Tampa, Fla. (CBS) Tampa Bay Bucs fans could not catch the game on television due to another blackout, but the fans at Raymond James Stadium were forced to witness the 37-9 beating given by the Houston Texans this afternoon.
With their third straight loss Tampa Bay fell to 4-5 and is now in third place in the NFC South behind the New Orleans Saints (7-3) and the Atlanta Falcons (5-4).
It was a rough day on both sides of the ball for the Bucs. The defense suffered abuse in the air and on the ground, and Josh Freeman and the Bucs’ offense only scored one touchdown, and it came early in the fourth quarter. Freeman continues to struggle for the slumping Bucs, going 15-for-33 with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Houston’s offense had another impressive outing a week after pounding the Cleveland Browns. Matt Shaub ended his day with 242 yards and two touchdowns, while Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Derrick Ward led the rushing attack with a combined 185 yards and a touchdown each.
The Texans were so successful on the ground that the Bucs had to respect the run, but fell victim to play action. Shaub tore apart the Bucs’ secondary on the first play from scrimmage, linking up with Jacoby Jones for an 80-yard touchdown pass.
Arian Foster increased the lead after catching a ball in the flat and taking it 78 yards to the house to put the Texans up 16-0 in the second quarter. Connor Barth kicked a 55-yard field goal to get the only three points of the half for Tampa Bay.
Shaub and the offense continued the onslaught after halftime with a seven play, 65-yard drive to go up 23-3 in the third. Brian Cushing picked off Freeman in the third quarter, which led to another Texans touchdown to make it 30-3.
Raheem Morris has multiple reasons to be concerned. Freeman is lacking consistency, the defense has soft spots, LeGarrette Blount ran for 34 yards today and the undefeated Green Bay Packers are next on the schedule.