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Thursday, Nov 23, 2017
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Bucs-Bills: Instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Here's the Tampa Bay Times' Bucs coverage team's instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo:

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Tom Jones, @tomwjones: The game was lost. Then it was won. Then it was lost again. In a game the Bucs absolutely had to have, they couldn't get it. They had their chance but found a way to lose. Costly turnovers. Breakdowns on defense. Now you have to wonder if the Bucs season that held so much promise is now circling down the drain. A gut-punch loss.

FOLDING LIKE A CHAIR

Rick Stroud, @StroudNFL: Give the Bucs a minute and they will give you the game. Make that under a minute. That's how long it took for Tampa Bay to take a touchdown lead and give the game away. A 44-yard pass on first down. A late hit. A touchdown. A fumble. How many ways can you give away a game? They did it all.

THE ROAD TO 6-10 STARTS HERE

Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly: Brutal. On the canvas, the ref counting. In the worst Bucs tradition of doing what it takes to lose, this season began to sink beneath waves. Wiped out: the fourth-quarter comeback, the forced fumble, Winston-to-Evans. Defense gives it back in blink of an eye. Then the Humphries fumble. Reverse magic. Now, where will they pick in the draft?

KISS THE PLAYOFFS GOODBYE

Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics: This team knows how to reel its fans in and then stomp on their hearts. They rallied from an 11-point deficit, took a seven-point lead with about three minutes to play and then … blew it … in 46 seconds. At 2-4, the Bucs can forget about the playoffs. Only one Tampa Bay team has ever recovered from a start that bad — the 1982 team, and that was a strike-shortened season. Can you see the Bucs winning seven of their last 10?

Greg Auman, @gregauman: This game was won. Jameis Winston throws three touchdowns in the second half against a defense that had allowed two all season, but one defensive collapse and a fumble, and it's a loss.

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