The logo of the National Football League

Tampa Bay’s upset bid comes up short as Lions roar into NFC title game


In a playoff showdown, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced a disappointing 31-23 defeat against the Detroit Lions, marking the end of their postseason journey. The Buccaneers’ defense initially managed to contain the Lions, holding them to 134 yards in the first half, resulting in a 10-all halftime tie.

However, the Lions found their rhythm in the second half, with quarterback Jared Goff leading the charge to secure 257 yards and three touchdowns. The Buccaneers struggled to capitalize on opportunities, including a dropped interception, missed field goal, and an inability to stop the Lions on a crucial fourth-and-1 play.

Detroit’s offensive lineman, Taylor Decker, highlighted the significance of the second-half performance against Tampa Bay’s stingy defense. Rookie Jahmyr Gibbs contributed a crucial 31-yard scoring run, putting the Lions ahead 24-17 and ultimately securing the victory.

Despite Baker Mayfield’s efforts, who completed 26 of 41 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns, the Buccaneers’ offense faced setbacks, including two interceptions. Mayfield expressed deep disappointment and took responsibility for a late-game interception, acknowledging the impact on the team.

Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles emphasized the team’s disappointment, stating that anything short of the Super Bowl is considered a letdown. The Buccaneers, having won six of their past seven games, fell short of their ultimate goal. Bowles refrained from placing blame and credited the Lions as a good football team that executed well.

The loss leaves the Buccaneers reflecting on missed opportunities and a premature end to a season where they aimed for Super Bowl success.