‘Koetter’s Korner’ looks for answers after lopsided loss by the Bucs

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright, left, scores on a 2-yard touchdown pass ahead of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith (29) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – One week after a dominating opening day victory over the Chicago Bears, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were humbled 34-17 by the Minnesota Vikings.

Head Coach Dirk Koetter admitted that his team was beaten in every phase of the game on Sunday and explained the moment his team lost momentum at Minnesota.

“The key play in the whole game was [14-3, five minutes to play in the second quarter],” Koetter said. “We got a chance to throw one over the top to Desean [Jackson.] It gets intercepted.”

The play not only stalled the Bucs’ second real chance to put points on the scoreboard, the Vikings provided an answer that was impossible to overcome. On their next possession, backup quarterback Case Keenum led Minnesota on a 92-yard touchdown drive, burying the Bucs 21-3 before halftime.

On defense, for two straight weeks, Koetter discussed playing “complimentary football.” The defensive line could not provide a steady pass rush and any contact on Keenum resulted, often, in a pass completion behind an inconsistent defensive backfield.

On a career passing day of 369 yards, Keenum marked a third consecutive victory over the Bucs. In 2015 and ’16, Keenum led the St. Louis Rams to victories over Tampa Bay.

The practice week leading up to next Sunday’s game against the 0-3 New York Giants will include an injury report of great interest as the Bucs defense has been decimated with injuries, during the past week.

Linebacker Lavonte David and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy suffered ankle injuries in Sunday’s loss. Defensive end Noah Spence re-injured the shoulder that ailed him through much of the 2016 season. Linebacker Kwon Alexander injured his hamstring in the Bears game.  Before Sunday’s game, cornerback Brent Grimes appeared on the inactive list, joining defensive tackle Chris Baker and defensive end Jacquies Smith. Both players were left behind in Tampa, suffering from the flu.

‘Koetter’s Korner’ is News Channel 8’s exclusive interview with Bucs Head Coach Dirk Koetter that airs each Monday during the 6 p.m. news cast.

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