So The Lions Are Better Than The Bucs Now
September 12, 2011 at 11:49am by Scott • 14 Comments »
This entry is a little late in coming, partly because I’m having a hard time sorting out all the things that went wrong with this game. There’s just SO much that sucked. You know how you’ll see something that sucks, and you’ll go “Holy shit, that really sucks!” But then it gets worse and you don’t think it can possibly suck anymore? But then it does and you just stare at it with your mouth agape wondering if you’ve reached the maximum allowable suckitude in the physical universe? But then it continues to suck even more and you consider writing your Master’s thesis on how you just witnessed the breaking of the Universal Suck Limit? Yeah, that was yesterday.
You know what the Bucs missed most of all about this offseason? Live tackling. Did they conduct even one practice this year with live tackling? I don’t think so. And they still didn’t do much of it yesterday. Tackling was sloppy as shit and every time I looked up, the Lions were breaking tackles and juking Bucs out of their jocks. The stat line says the Lions only rushed for 3.6 YPC, which I find unbelievable. I must be thinking of yards after a reception because it seemed like they would have double that the way they were bouncing off tacklers.
Still, the Lions ran the ball 35 times for 126 which is still getting the job done. The Bucs gave LeGarrette Blount the ball five total times. Earnest Graham, their third-down back, got six carries. Three of those came on third or fourth down with one yard to go and Graham missed all three, fumbling one of them away. A lot of that has to do with the blocking of the offensive line, which couldn’t open up any holes for the backs. Still, one yard. A good running back can’t pick and pound his way for one yard without fumbling? Everyone knew the Detroit defensive line was going to be tough, and it seems like the Bucs went in unprepared for what they saw. Pass-protection wasn’t bad but those pockets seemed to get smaller and smaller.
Calvin Johnson is a fucking monster and the match-up between him and Aqib Talib was one-sided. Talib got his pick six off of Will Heller, a guy he has no problem guarding. But against Johnson, forget about it — at least for now. Johnson had six catches for 88 yards and 2 TDs. He was such a no brainer on draft day that even Matt Millen took him.
The Bucs spent the last two drafts on defensive linemen. Yesterday, the Bucs got zero sacks and zero quarterback hurries. Chew on that for a couple minutes.
On a happy note, did it seem like Sean Jones kind of came out of nowhere yesterday? I saw more of him in the Lions game than I remember seeing all last season. He led the team with eight tackles and one of them looked like he almost killed the dude. He did miss on that long TD by Johnson, though. He was supposed to provide help over the top but was out of position.
I suppose we have to get to him eventually. Josh Freeman did not look sharp. He was constantly scrambling when it didn’t seem necessary, he was off target on several throws (including an overthrow to Luke Stocker which would have been a touchdown) and looked more like a rookie than he has in a long time. He looked like he found his groove in the last two minutes of the first half, but the Lions were giving up a lot of those passes up the middle to keep the clock running. So Freeman found a rhythm against a Cover 2 shell — everything else seemed to give him a hard time. I thought maybe he had shaved his head again, but evidently not.
It’s not to championship length, but it’s adequately funky enough to beat the Lions. I’d say it’s wildcard hair right now.
Highlights: Kellen Winslow, Sammie Stroughter, Mike Williams‘s ridiculous touchdown, Quincy Black in the first half. There was some good stuff to take from the game, but overall it was a poor first showing and does not make me optimistic for the rest of the season. The good news is that the rest of the NFC South lost, so we’re still tied for first!