Lavonte David made one of the few highlight-worthy plays for Tampa Bay Sunday night but also injured his knee in the blowout loss.
David also commented about his knee in the Buccaneers’ press conference, per Buccaneers.com.
“I’m fine,” David said. “Just a little, quick scare, but I’ll be OK.”
David stepped up early for the Bucs with a fumble recovery near the end zone when the Saints led 7-0 with 3:39 left in the first quarter. He also had seven tackles in the loss.
Tampa and quarterback Tom Brady couldn’t do anything with the turnover, punting the ball away. The Bucs never recovered from the lost opportunity as the Saints buried them 38-3.
What looked like a promising bounce back for the defense, things went south quickly as Saints quarterback Drew Brees did anything he wanted.
“We just put ourselves in bad situations, which is uncharacteristic of us,” David said in the Monday press conference. “Communication wasn’t there. Everybody was just pressing to be perfect, and we got out of sorts and put ourselves in bad situations.”
The Buccaneers surrendered 282 yards passing and 138 yards rushing, and the Saints scored four touchdowns on its first five drives. Tampa couldn’t get much pressure on Brees, managing only one sack by linebacker Shaquil Barrett.
Barrett also forced a fumble in the third quarter, which safety Mike Edwards recovered and took to the Saints’ 21-yard line. Brady and company couldn’t capitalize as tight end Rob Gronkowski dropped a pass in the end zone on fourth down.
Twice, the Buccaneers defense gave its team a chance to get back into the game, but Brady couldn’t engineer anything offensively. Besides a couple of takeaways, the Buccaneers defense couldn’t get much going either.
“We couldn’t make a play to save our lives,” Barrett said in Sunday’s postgame press conference. “We’ve just got to get better.”
Consequently, the Buccaneers defense ended the night facing their former quarterback, Jameis Winston, for a few plays as the Saints had the game well in hand. The former Bucs starter signed with the Saints in the offseason.
As the Buccaneers fell to 1-2 in prime time games, questions about the team’s ability to play under the lights continued in press conferences Sunday and Monday.
The Buccaneers lost their first prime time game, a 20-19 loss in Chicago on Oct. 8 when Brady accidentally thought a play was fourth down. Tampa didn’t exactly shine in its other prime time game against the New York Giants before Sunday, needing Antoine Winfield Jr.’s pass breakup to secure the win.
“It’s something that we have to be able to handle because I know we have another one on the way,” David said in Monday’s press conference.
That’s the Los Angeles Rams coming to Tampa on Nov. 23, which boasts a slightly stronger defense than the Saints on paper.
“We’ve got to find a way to get it done,” Barrett said in Sunday’s postgame press conference. “We get paid the big money for a reason, so no excuses.”