Josh Freeman

Laser Rocket Arm Shoots Down Bucs

December 04, 2012 at 12:53pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

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This isn’t going to be a long write-up because we all had a feeling that the league’s worst pass defense against the cyborg that aliens replaced Peyton Manning with in 1993 would be a mismatch. And while the secondary did get burned a few times, I’m probably blaming this loss on the Bucs’ offensive line.

Josh Freeman had what was probably his worst game of the season. He looked hurried and indecisive and inconsistent, and a lot of that had to do with his not having any time. Both run-blocking and pass-blocking were subpar and for the first time this season, the line looked squarely outmatched. It’s hard to be too critical of them because we expected Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks to be holding the line together and really, these replacements haven’t been too bad. But the Denver defensive line whipped them several times, forced them into penalties, and kept Doug Martin from getting into any kind of rhythm which also led to Freeman not having a good game.

I’d also like to find out what halftime adjustments were made and slap the man responsible for making them. The Bucs went into halftime with a three point lead and then proceeded to give up 21 points in the third quarter. You can’t allow Peyton Manning to study you for 30 minutes and then not expect him to have figured you out at halftime. It seemed at times the Bucs were determined to stop the run (which they mostly did — Denver only had 91 yards rushing) and said, “We’ll make the quarterback beat us.” That works nicely with inexperienced quarterbacks. But making one of the best ever beat you isn’t a sound strategy. Of course, the Bucs were in nickel for a lot of the time, so I may be wrong about that strategy. That’s just what it looked like.

Not getting any QB hits, let alone any sacks, didn’t help, either. When I was watching, I was thinking the defensive line looked pretty good with the way they were stopping the run, but that came at the expense of quarterback pressure. Statistically, Manning was never touched.

Lavonte David came up with his first interception and another ten tackles, three for loss, along with two more passes defensed. Unfortunately, he got beat for two touchdowns, one of them to a defensive tackle playing fullback. I’ll give him the Demaryius Thomas touchdown — that’s a mismatch that Manning just exploited when he saw it. But who the hell is Mitch Unrein and how is he beating David for a score?

LeQuan Lewis looks like he was hurt toward the end of the game and may be out for the rest of the season. And that’s actually a pretty big blow for the team since Leonard Johnson looked like hell for most of the game. E.J. Biggers had a decent day and was probably the best cornerback on the field for the Bucs. Ahmad Black was on the field quite a bit, which means that Ronde Barber was playing cornerback for those snaps. I didn’t notice Barber much yesterday except for his pass interference call. It was the right call, though. He go there early.

I was really hoping for a win but I was being realistic about it. And the Bucs kept it a one-score game with some late-game action and picked up the pace at the end. So, again, they can’t beat the best teams in the league yet. But the Bucs took the best shot the Broncos had and held their own. If the Bucs had Adrian Clayborn, Joseph, Nicks, a full-speed Da’Quan Bowers and ANY cornerbacks, I think this could have easily been a Bucs win. Keep positive, everyone.

2 Comments to “Laser Rocket Arm Shoots Down Bucs”

Mark S

Mark S (December 04, 2012 at 01:52pm:

I am not too disappointed in the loss. Did not like that we could not run the ball. For this team that is a must. Totally expected Manning to take us apart and was happily surprised it took to the third quarter. I still think the next four games are winnable. Anything but a collapse to 6-10 is good enough and if they acutally win the next 4 maybe, finally people in Tampa will get excited. Read, buy tickets.

Matt Price

Matt Price (December 05, 2012 at 10:08pm:

Obviously, the team needs work and it needs a few more pieces. But putting that aside, I love the progress this team is making. I have a lot of hope for the future.

The one thing that troubled me in this game was Freeman. I’ve been pretty sure that he will evolve into a top notch franchise quarterback, but in this game he just looked so inaccurate. Even when he wasn’t rushed, he was throwing miles away from receivers. That is troubling.

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