Josh Freeman

Bucs Hand Vikings Their Collective Asses

October 29, 2012 at 12:41pm by Scott   •  16 Comments »

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If you were looking for some sign that the Bucs had taken a step forward in the Greg Schiano regime, Thursday night should have given you the encouragement you needed to stay with the team for at least a couple more weeks and not jump on the Falcon bandwagon just yet. The game was a complete victory — no one unit needed to be called on to save the day.

Of course, the first thing everyone is going to talk about is the Doug Martin and his 214 yard, two-touchdown night running and catching. And with good reason since he was the star of the night. Martin had 135 yards rushing on 29 attempts for a nice solid 4.7 YPC. He finally broke some of those runs that he couldn’t seem to break earlier this season. He showed more speed than he has before along with the same shiftiness and balance we’ve come to expect. And one thing he did that LeGarrette Blount hasn’t been able to do is punch the ball into the endzone on a short yardage run. I hadn’t realized it, but there was already talk going on that Martin was a disappointment as a first-round pick. These were obviously people who care more about fantasy points than their own team doing well, and hopefully Thursday night shut them up for a while. And if not, they deserve a Doug Martin stiffarm right in the windpipe.

But Martin couldn’t have done it without a great performance from the offensive line. Run blocking was incredible on Thursday, especially on the left side. Martin ran most of the time to the left and there were holes in the defense than hadn’t been there all season. Offensive linemen were even blocking 20 yards downfield sometimes, springing Martin for some incredible runs. Pass blocking started off a little shaky, but firmed up as the night went on. Josh Freeman was only sacked once and hit three times, nothing major. Donald Penn held Jared Allen in check most of the night except for that fight they got into and then Penn had to deal with a pissed off Allen, and no one wants that. Hell, there weren’t even any false starts or holding penalties on the line. If they can play like that every week, this offense will be hard to beat.

The best thing I saw in Thursday’s game about Freeman was his decision making. The Vikings had obviously chosen to take away Freeman’s deep throws, so he said fine and just took what was available. After a shaky first quarter, he was accurate and careful and just continued to chip away at the defense in some long, sustained drives. Freeman threw the ball up 36 times and had no picks. But most of all, he was clutch. When the team needed to convert a third and long, he found the right guy and made a good throw. His receivers bailed him out of a couple high or possibly inaccurate throws, but part of what receivers do is go get the ball when it’s anywhere around them. It was Freeman’s best game of the season.

Speaking of his receivers, Mike Williams is looking like a Lynn Swann clone, and I don’t mean that he’s turning into a huge douche like Swann. But his concentration and foot awareness and hands are in that category. Williams has no problem laying out and sacrificing his body for the ball and just about every week there’s a highlight reel catch by him for a big play. Vincent Jackson was relatively quiet on Thursday, but the two balls he did grab were important (not a euphemism). And as the weeks go on, Dallas Clark is looking more like the player we remember from the Colts.

The defensive line came alive on Thursday, especially the defensive ends. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Michael Bennett both had sacks on Christian Ponder, with Bennett picking up 2 tackles for loss and a forced fumble on top of it. Da’Quan Bowers made it off the PUP list and onto the field, and even though he didn’t make it on the stat sheet, he showed that he is ready for some game action and provide some much needed depth. Besides one breakaway run by Adrian Peterson, the line held the running game in check too. It was a complete turnaround from last week.

Maybe it was the line’s performance that made the secondary look a little rough by comparison. Besides Ronde Barber, who had an excellent game with 9 tackles (1 for loss) and a forced fumble, who really stood out in the secondary? Eric Wright tried to arm tackle Peterson and got embarrassed and let Percy Harvin get by him for a touchdown. E.J. Biggers had a few tackles but didn’t do anything spectacular (although I won’t hold Bigger’s responsible for Jerome Simpson‘s catch even though it was Biggers’s responsibility. They kept forcing the ball to Simpson and eventually one of those is going to hit.) The brightest spot I saw was Leonard Johnson getting in some real playing time and making the most of it with 3 passes defensed and an interception, the only one of the night. I’m not going to get too down on it because it was still a win and they didn’t look terrible, but it just seemed ordinary compared to everyone else.

You can tell this was a solid win by the comments by the Vikings afterwards. They said they got their butts kicked and the Bucs beat their brains in. It was a demoralizing loss for the Vikings and that’s the best kind of loss to pin on an opponent. Schiano is big on preaching the virtues of “Buc ball”. If this is what he means, I’m 100% on board with him.

16 Comments to “Bucs Hand Vikings Their Collective Asses”

HouseofG

HouseofG (October 29, 2012 at 04:26pm:

Definitely a solid effort by all, and a great win at an important time. I think Lorig deserves some credit (in addition to the line) for Martin’s excellent night.

I wasn’t as impressed with Freeman as you. He was making some horrible throws when trying to take those short to medium range opportunities. He wanted the Vikes’ Robinson in particular to have the ball, very badly it seemed! And this was exactly what I was looking for – knowing they’d take away a lot of those long ball opportunities – could he take control and march them down the field by taking advantage of what he was given (and of course in the face of a pissed off Allen, and other pressure). Sometimes yes, but time after time I found myself shaking or scratching my head. I’m sure it’s not a popular opinion, but I’m still not seeing a steady franchise QB (or outright leader) in him.

Mark S

Mark S (October 29, 2012 at 08:22pm:

No offense, but Argo f*&k yourself.

HouseofG

HouseofG (October 29, 2012 at 08:47pm:

Interesting counterpoint. Thanks for playing!

Meatmaster

Meatmaster (October 29, 2012 at 11:14pm:

No dude. I don’t get the Argo thing but fuck off Freeman is playing good. If you you pull a negative out of that game or that clicky, you need to go on a drug and alcohol fueled 2 day binge and rethink life. Sorry man. Just the way it is.

BaldBuc4055

BaldBuc4055 (October 30, 2012 at 12:30am:

Freeman has occasionally played with fire, but for the last two-and-a-half games, he’s been very consistent and is finally looking like he’s putting it all together. And that’s all I’ve been asking for: a consistent effort for four quarters. If you’re complaining about that game, you’re just nitpicking and looking for things to bitch about. Sometimes it’s okay to just sit back and enjoy a decisive victory.

BaldBuc4055

BaldBuc4055 (October 30, 2012 at 12:33am:

And Meat, FYI, the Argo reference is basically shorthand for saying “Aaaaarrrggghhh, go fuck yourself.” Just thought you should know. Btw, where the hell is Darren47 to bitch about the tattoo on the wrist of the girl in this clicky?

Meatmaster

Meatmaster (October 30, 2012 at 01:20am:

haha I was thinking about the tattoo bitchy guy when I saw that shit too. Maybe he closed his eyes to that part and pretended she was like that girl his mom told him to marry. Sorry tattoo bitchy guy.

Mark S

Mark S (October 30, 2012 at 08:42am:

The “Argo” reference is from the movie by that name. It refers to the fake film that was invented as cover for getting the embassy personnel out of Iran. During the movie the characters use that phrase in place of Oh go f*&k yourself mostly because of the sheer audacity and inanity of the project demands an off key approach.

HouseofG

HouseofG (October 30, 2012 at 09:39am:

Definitely no problem with the clicky (or the prior one)!

At about a 50% completion percentage (19/36 vs. Ponder at 19/35) and a rating of 68.2 (vs. Ponder at 74.8), I don’t think I’m being nitpicky, unless Ponder is suddenly a high water line for what we are hoping to have in a franchise QB. And I certainly don’t call that “very consistent”. Without Martin we would have lost and Freeman’s play would have stood out as more problematic to most.

BaldBuc4055

BaldBuc4055 (October 30, 2012 at 09:41am:

Mark, I’ve been meaning to go check that movie out, but haven’t done so. Now you’ve given me the motivation to go see it. Thank you.

On a side note, I have seen the phrase “Argo fuck yourself” used in another context. I was watching that show Gangland on the History Channel, and they were profiling one of the biker gangs. One of their prominent sayings, which some members had tattooed on themselves is “Argo Nunya”, which is what they would say to the cops. It’s shorthand for “Argo fuck yourself, nunya business.”

IowaBuc

IowaBuc (October 30, 2012 at 02:09pm:

Where did the rating of 68.2 come from? Freeman’s rating for the Minnesota game was 104.2, and is over 90 for the season. While he may not be a Manning or Brady, the Bucs could definitely do a lot worse at the quarterback position. This kind of offensive run doesn’t come around all that often for the Bucs. I would say lighten up and enjoy it while it lasts. I am sure they will give you reason to be miserable again sooner or later.

HouseofG

HouseofG (October 30, 2012 at 02:15pm:

Ha..too true. And, believe me, I DID enjoy it. A lot. I had just chosen to pay attention to that particular aspect of the game especially, so I commented on it. I pulled that number from ESPN’s box score, but I went back and now see that my dumb (okay, not yet caffeinated) ass looked at the wrong column.

Aesir_B

Aesir_B (October 30, 2012 at 04:25pm:

Stupid statisticians. I could have sworn I saw Bowers sack (or belly-flop on top of ) Ponder in the 4th quarter. But then again I was full of victory-beer. Good game that was

BaldBuc4055

BaldBuc4055 (October 30, 2012 at 04:46pm:

And just when things are looking good, it’s announced that Carl Nicks is done for the year with a toe injury. Next man up for the Bucs…..again.

JV

JV (October 30, 2012 at 04:58pm:

SHIT…..that is NOT good.

Scott

Scott (October 30, 2012 at 04:59pm:

I know! There’s actually shit going on this week with Wright and Nicks and I’m swamped with work and home stuff. I’ll try to get a late night entry in tonight. And then I’ll try to write on the blog! *rimshot*

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