Buccaneers Receive Answer From NFL About Controversial Call

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady talks with Leonard Fournette after a failed two-point conversion.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles asked the NFL for an explanation amid a perceived play-clock error before a game-deciding two-point conversion against the Green Bay Packers.

With the Bucs trailing 14-12 in the final seconds of the game, quarterback Tom Brady failed to get the ball snapped in time for a two-point conversion, which led to a delay of game. Teams get 25 seconds of play clock time to set up a two-point conversion, and Bowles said he didn’t believe his team actually got that amount of time.

“One time it’s at 25 [seconds], the next time it’s at 20. We’re looking into it right now. We’ll send it in and see what they say,” Bowles told the media on September 25 after Sunday’s loss.

The delay-of-game penalty by Tampa Bay moved back the line of scrimmage by 5 yards, and Green Bay then ultimately broke up Brady’s pass in the end zone to secure the win. It all came just moments after Brady led a potential game-tying scoring drive.

The NFL responded quickly on Monday to the Bucs’ request and confirmed that the “play clock is paused at 20 seconds” before a two-point conversion, and the referee signals to restart the clock, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. In the end, Bowles acknowledged it came down to his team’s execution.

“We got to get the ball off. We’ve got to be cognizant of that as a unit,” Bowles said. “We’ve played enough ball to know we need to get the ball snapped.”

Brady: ‘Just a Bad Execution’

Brady made a last-second change at the line of scrimmage for the first attempt at a  two-point conversion, but he didn’t want to dwell on it afterward.

“I just looked up and we had … just a bad execution,” Brady told reporters on Sunday. “That’s really what it is.”

Brady then highlighted all of the other ways he and the Bucs came short before a last-second chance to win.

“There were a lot of other times we had bad execution, and I think the reality is when you do that, you don’t have the opportunity to score points,” Brady said. “There were too many plays when we were behind the sticks and not good on third down. Penalties, turnovers and missed opportunities. The defense played great. We’ve got to play better on offense.”

Bowles ‘Not Aware’ of Bee Infestation on Field

Bowles could only laugh when ESPN’s Jenna Laine asked him about the colony of bees under the crossbar of the south end zone goal post, which was caught on camera shortly before the game. Bucs kicker Ryan Succop hit a 45-yard field goal through the uprights during the first quarter, clearing the crossbar and leaving the bees undisturbed.

Bucs staff attended to the bees in order to remove the colony from the goal post. The job didn’t get done in time for the Packers to score a touchdown and extra point in that end zone, however.

“Jenna, I was not aware of it,” Bowles said about the bees as he walked away with a smile to end the September 26, press conference.

Bowles and the Bucs didn’t have much to smile about otherwise from his team’s first loss of the season. The offense couldn’t get going, and it took the defense shutting down superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to give the Bucs offense a chance.

“It’s concerning,” Bowles told reporters on Sunday. “We just needed to play smarter.”