Marcus Mariota and Ryan Mallett had career days against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So did running back Alfred Blue.
This says more about the Bucs than it does any of those players.
Last year, Carolina Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson had two of his best games against Tampa Bay in a career that has otherwise been rather mundane.
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It will take three to four years to figure out just how good Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and Tennessee's Marcus Mariota, the two top picks in this year's draft, will be in the NFL.
We don't need that much time to evaluate the Bucs' defense.
The experiment of turning Bears into Bucs has not gone well.
You can recite a litany of reasons why the Bucs lost Sunday to Houston -- 1-for-12 on third downs, missed field goals, dropped passes. But poor defense, especially in the fourth quarter, was the real culprit.
That was Alfred Blue, not Alfred Morris or King Alfred the Great, running through the Bucs' vaunted front four for a career-high 138 yards rushing. It was more yardage than he ever ran for in a game at LSU, where he was a part-time starter.
They told us practicing in the hot Florida sun was supposed to conquer fourth-quarter fatigue. Maybe the Bucs should train in Anchorage and play their games in Antarctica.
This loss came against a Texans offensive line that has used nine different players at the guard and tackle positions.
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith and his coaching staff are supposed to be doing things to help Winston grow as a quarterback. Maybe they are, but please stop helping these other guys who are not wearing Pewter.
"Face the Bucs and earn a pay raise" might be the NFL's new mantra.
Lovie says be patient. You want to feel that way, but it's hard. He has coached the Bucs through 19 games and lost 16. He
has never won a home game as Bucs head coach.
How do you go from Raheem Morris to Greg Schiano to Lovie Smith and become a worse team?
The Bucs are tied for the league lead with 11 penalties per game. That's a lack of discipline.
Opponents have reached the red zone nine times against the Bucs and scored eight touchdowns. That's hard to ignore.
Those former Bears Smith coached in Chicago were supposed to help.
"We didn't play the run as well as we needed to at times," Smith said. "We got a couple of guys out of their gap, but we're not getting ready to junk anything. Let's just let everything play out a little bit. We'll be fine on the defensive side of the ball."
Okay, Lovie, we will take your word, but excuse us for feeling a little anxiety.
There is an eraser game coming Sunday. The 3-0 Panthers are in town and a win over Carolina would chase away the demons circling over Raymond James Stadium.
A win would make the Bucs 2-2 and 2-0 against division teams in case they need a tiebreaker (yeah, we said it, why not?).
Disturbing rumors are flying around, maybe it's Bucs schizophrenia.
We hear the Panthers are to going to rest Cam Newton and start Anderson. Bucs de facto defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier told Smith he can keep calling defensive plays if that happens.
We all want Smith to succeed. He is a good man, decent, humble, and he looked like a great choice when he was hired.
So what happened?
Maybe he just needs more time. Maybe he should stay out of the player acquisition business, but then do the Bucs really have a general manager?
There is too much over-reaction in Tampa. Win a game and shouts of playoffs reverberate across the bay. Lose a game and long suffering fans see the ghost of Josh McCown in the locker-room.
Now that's a nightmare.
"We're not going to junk what we're doing right now," Lovie says. "We're on track eventually to break out of this and have an excellent defensive, offensive and special teams game into one. Hopefully, it's this week against Carolina."
Okay Lovie. We are pulling for you.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.