Blame it on the defense.

That’s a popular refrain in Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers have surrendered late fourth-quarter leads in half of their games en route to an 0-8 getaway.

The trend began in Week 1 against the Jets, then New Orleans staged a late comeback in Tampa Bay’s home opener. The Cardinals rallied from a 10-0 deficit after three quarters in Week 4 and the Seahawks erased an early 21-0 deficit last week, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter before winning 27-24 in overtime.

In all four setbacks, Tampa Bay’s offense stood by helplessly as opposing quarterbacks made key plays in crunch time.

But as each crushing loss ended, those same offensive players knew they could have done more to avert the latest disappointment.

“It’s a team sport and we share the responsibility for every outcome,’’ Bucs guard Davin Joseph said Thursday. “We’ve got to sustain drives in the second half because when you give a good team like Seattle too many chances to win, especially in their house, it’s hard.’’

Although the Bucs converted a season-best 53 percent of their third-down opportunities at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, their success rate varied wildly between halves.

In grabbing a 21-7 lead, Tampa Bay was 7-of-8 on third down in the first two quarters. The only time the Bucs failed to convert in the opening half was on a third-and-18, following a sack of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.

But after Glennon found running back Brian Leonard for 13 yards on third-and-4, setting up a Rian Lindell field goal on the opening possession after intermission, the Bucs failed to convert any of their six third-down situations the rest of the way.

“In the first half, we had things going,’’ said rookie tight end Tim Wright. “We felt really good on the sideline and everybody was excited. We were playing together. Some plays that we didn’t have going for us earlier in the year, they were going for us.’’

Tampa Bay’s second-half offensive woes at Seattle continued a season-long pattern.

Heading into Monday night’s home matchup against the Dolphins, the Bucs have scored 88 points before intermission and 36 points in the final two quarters and overtime.