The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered another tough defeat on Sunday as they watched David Njoku and the Cleveland Browns muscle their way to a 23-17 win that sent the Buccaneers back below .500 on the season.

You have to credit the Browns – they made the plays to win the game. I mean, Njoku’s catch is one of the more impressive catches we’ve seen over the last couple of years. And, of course, Myles Garret and co. really stepped up when needed, too.

But the Buccaneers did themselves a major disservice in the final minutes that was a catalyst to their loss: They made Tom Brady’s job of putting together a game-winning drive harder.

There’s a lot of chatter going around about Todd Bowles’ and his decision to forgo using any timeouts at any point during the Browns’ rally.

It gets a little muddy in terms of details, but when you lay everything out in line, it’s easy to see why it would’ve been a great idea to use at least one of the three remaining timeouts:

When going back and looking at the game, the play clock for the 4th and 12 play that resulted in the Njoku touchdown started right at 1:09ish. If the Buccaneers called a timeout then, the clock would’ve stopped at 1:09. Instead, they allowed the clock to run and the Browns snapped the ball with :37 left in the game.

The time between Njoku’s catch and the Buccaneers’ first snap on their final drive of regulation totaled five seconds.

Therefore, if the Buccaneers called a timeout at 1:09, Brady would’ve had 1:04 and two timeouts to work his magic. That’s plenty of time to get the team in position for the game-winning field goal. Hell, they could’ve even scored a touchdown in that situation.

Instead, Brady was given :32 and three timeouts. Which is still a decent situation, but it’s obviously nowhere near the above situation.

And the most frustrating part is the Buccaneers only used one timeout on their last drive, which left two in their back pocket as the game went into overtime.

So the whole opportunity was wasted in vain.

And that’s just the minimum. The Buccaneers could’ve used another timeout and saved even more time, but the whole point is they only had to use one if they played it smart.

It makes little to no sense to let the clock run in that situation. It makes no sense to forgo using all timeouts on the final drive of regulation.

Todd Bowles didn’t have much of an answer as to why that happened, either.

The Buccaneers didn’t do a lot of things to help themselves in this game and this was arguably the most painful shot in the foot.

Taking time away from the greatest quarterback of all-time -even with this year’s struggles- is a sin. The Buccaneers played to lose and they won the top prize.

Featured image via Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

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