How To Make It A 60 Minute Game
September 19, 2011 at 11:39am by Scott • 13 Comments »
I sat here for a few minutes trying to think of some different angle to take on this article besides focusing on the slow start the Bucs are becoming famous for. But I just don’t see a way around it. It’s like a chick with a unibrow. It’s so obvious and ugly that it has to be addressed.
Maybe it would be better for everyone if the Bucs just spotted the opposing team 14 points coming off the bus. If the NFL doesn’t allow that, just don’t let the defense take the field for two snaps. Let the other team grab two touchdowns against air and then start the game. Maybe then we’d get a full 60 minutes (or at least 59) of good football out of them. Some people just have to have their backs up against a wall in order to perform. That report has to be due tomorrow even though you had all semester to work on it or you have to wait until December 24th to do your Christmas shopping. That’s fine, I accept that we root for a team with a whole roster of those types of guys. But there’s no reason for us as fans to have to watch all the bullshit that leads to the crisis. That seems unnecessarily mean. Anyway, onto my random observations.
Is there any doubt now that you just keep handing LeGarrette Blount the football regardless of how it goes early on? Very few running backs are like Adrian Peterson, who are spectacular from the beginning of the game until the end. Most take a little while to get going. Blount may be one of those guys, but he has proven time and again that he has it in him to break a big one at any point in the game. His 27-yard touchdown is exactly the kind of play that pumps a team up for the rest of the game. And he finished with 5.5 YPC. Good job by Greg Olson to not panic like last week.
Speaking of good calls by coaches, the onside kick was a great move by Raheem Morris. Even if it hadn’t succeeded, I would applaud it. He’s making decisions to win the game. Go big or go home.
And good work by Michael Koenen for executing the onside kick. I wondered why the Bucs paid so much money for a punter when the old punter was getting the job done, but I guess this is why. I’ll shut my mouth about it now.
You have to think Josh Freeman benefitted from the threat of the run in the second half and that’s why he was passing at a 75% completion rate at that point. He passed for 52 yards in the first half, 191 in the second.
Mike Williams had one catch for -4 yards. That touchdown that was negated because of an illegal shift penalty was awesome and it’s a shame it won’t be shown in highlight reels. But that was really his only play. He seemed to have trouble getting open yesterday.
There have been some comments on this site about not knowing what was so special about Preston Parker. He may not be the most talented receiver on the team, but he leads all receivers now with 142 yards in two games. Maybe it’s because no one is paying attention to him because they don’t know who he is, but he’s getting open and making plays.
Jeremy Zuttah replaced Ted Larsen at left guard and didn’t do anything to lose the job for next week. He made a sweet block on Blount’s second touchdown. I’ve always been kind of down on Zuttah, but if his presence helps the running game, leave him in.
Quincy Black played like dog shit. My understanding is that he was hurt and that’s why he was replaced in the second half, but why was he on the field as long as he was in the first place? He missed a ton of tackles and couldn’t get off blocks. Dekoda Watson replaced him and was an instant improvement.
I thought Mason Foster had a decent game despite his pass interference call, but is he an improvement over Barrett Ruud? The complaint everyone had about Ruud — that he made tackles while being dragged around — seemed to be the case for Foster yesterday. It’s hard to blame him, though, when he’s playing Adrian Peterson. Holy shit, that guy is good.
Speaking of being dragged around, the announcers twice described Cody Grimm as “hanging on for dear life” while trying to tackle Peterson. That’s never good.
I don’t have a lot to say about the defensive line right now. I need to go back and watch them specifically. I do know that the Bucs had two sacks, but neither of them were from linemen (and was one of those where McNabb fell down? Because no one should get credit for that.) I also saw Adrian Clayborn slam a dude to the ground after chasing down the play from behind and also knock down a pass. I also saw Clayborn bite hard on bootlegs and get caught out of position.
Overall, you can’t bitch too much about a win, so I won’t. I guess we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that most weeks are going to involve getting down early and coming from behind. At least you know you can show up late and not miss anything. Your thoughts in the comments.