Baker Mayfield Jan 21, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) reacts after losing a 2024 NFC divisional round game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

It was déjà vu on Sunday. One final play to end it all.

Despite a day where he threw three touchdown passes for the Buccaneers, quarterback Baker Mayfield lost it in the end. It was an interception by Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes that had them heading back to the locker rooms with their heads down and playoff dreams slashed.

“It sucks,” Mayfield said following the, 31-23 loss, via NFL Network’s Sara Walsh. “I feel like my heart just got ripped out.”

The loss resulted in the Lions advancing to the NFC title game to face the 49ers on Sunday.

The game wasn’t all bad, however. Mayfield ran for 14 yards just before halftime. It was the longest run by a Tampa Bay quarterback in a playoff game. He threw for 349 yards for those three TDs. His wide receiver Mike Evans also put on a show. He had eight receptions on 147 yards and a touchdown.

The Bucs finished the regular season with a 9-8 record.

That wasn’t good enough. The playoff appearance wasn’t good enough.

Head coach Todd Bowles after the game said there was only one goal, and they failed.

“Anything short of the Super Bowl is a disappointment,” Bowles said, via ESPN.

As far as what the future holds for Mayfield, he was signed to a one-year contract with the Bucs this spring and both parties appear to have mutual interest in a reunion. His teammates are on board as well as he managed to gel rather quickly.


About Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jess is a baseball fan with Reno, Nev. roots residing in the Bay Area. She is the host of "Short and to the Point" and is also a broadcaster with the Oakland A's Radio Network. She previously worked for and NBC Sports Bay Area.