Looking back at the loss to the Patriots

by Gary Shelton on October 7, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Saturday, 3 a.m.

5 Observations

Are the Bucs trying so hard to protect themselves from Jameis Winston's turnovers that they're dooming themselves to slow starts? It's possible. Winston hit only eight of 16 passes for 71 yards in the first half against the Patriots, but threw for 263 yards in the second. In four games,Winston has thrown for 519 yards in the first half and 779 in the second.

How much to bring back Connor Barth? Huh?

Even more impressive than holding the defending World Champions to 19 points (and one touchdown) was that the Bucs played with rookie linebacker Kendall Beckwith (14 tackles) and rookie safety Justin Evans (nine tackles, one interception).

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Despite his ragged first half, Winston is now third in the NFL in passing yards. That'll probably change Sunday when most of the league plays it's fifth game.

Doug Martin looked a lot closer to the 1,400-yard back than he did the 400-yard back Thursday night. Who knows if he can keep it up, but the Bucs are better with him.

Isn't there a Gramatica brother around anywhere?


(From Dirk Koetter's day-after press conference)

(On reflecting on the game: "The main thing I would just say is, my own personal opinion today is just one of disappointment because we lost the game on the scoreboard and that's what counts, but we did a lot of good stuff in the game. We competed hard, we won the turnover battle. When you win the turnover battle two to nothing you're about 90 percent that you're going to win the game. There's things that we have to do different. We didn't take advantage when we got those two turnovers. We left plenty of points out there. Our defense played good enough to win. Our offensive line played good. We just didn’t execute good enough. Fourteen points — however you get your points, 14's not going to be enough and it wasn't last night."

(On his feelings on kicker Nick Folk): "When we decided on Nick as our kicker – I told you guys this many times — whoever our guys are, I've got total confidence in them. I think Nick was kicking very well up until a week ago. He had a rough day against the Giants, he came back the one day we kicked in practice last week, he kicked very, very well and we had no reason to think Nick wasn't going to kick well last night. That first one right before the half, the 56-yarder or whatever it was, it was pretty windy down there. I actually thought long and hard, in the few seconds you have to think about it, [about] throwing for the end zone instead of trying the kick, but Nick actually had made a 56-yarder in practice earlier in the week. That's a bonus if you get that kick. We got a couple penalties to even get a chance at that kick. But there were a couple there that you're expecting him to make. When I say we're disappointed today at opportunities that we missed, that's at a lot of different positions and that's certainly one."

(On second-guessing himself): "Trust me, for everyone that criticizes me as a play-caller, no one's harder on my play-calling than I am. We started off, I think it was our first eight, we were oh-for-eight or something like that on third down, but we also, probably three of those were drops. If you're three-for-eight, you're right about where you should be, 45 percent is a good [rate]. If you're in the 40s, you're doing okay. I always look at it as a play-caller as it's my job to get us in rhythm, okay? It's my job to get us in a rhythm, and I had a hard time doing that yesterday. Sometimes during the game you don't always know why that is. After you look at the tape, you have a lot better idea of why you weren't in a rhythm. Sometimes it's play-calling and sometimes it's play execution and sometimes it's a combination of both."

(On quarterback Jameis Winston's play): "Spectacular at times, and [he] made some incredibly good throws, some pinpoint throws under tough conditions. And also, again, depending on who's counting, there's somewhere between six and eight drops in there, eight on a high end. It's always a little bit debatable on what's a drop. There's some that were obvious drops. Cam Brate had a couple balls that we've seen Cam catch many times before and last night a couple of those you're expecting him to make. Then there were some other times when Jameis, you would have liked to see him get through his progressions a little bit quicker. It's a continual progression."

(On a 10-second runoff on the final drive): “Yeah, we got a 10-second runoff and that was a communication issue between the quarterback and the center. The right tackle goes down in the stats as getting the penalty, but that was a communication issue between the quarterback and the center. The crowd was loud, not that it’s any excuse. But, I can’t tell you how many plays we ran no-huddle last night. If we went by that theory, would you be clocking it every time you got a complete pass? I just don’t buy into that. You could say I’m wrong, but I don’t buy into that one.”

5 of the Best Lines

1. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers not only dressed like tomato cans, they spent much of the evening playing like them.  -- Ron Borges, Boston Herald.

2. Saying they weren't as bad as they've been is not the same as saying they were good, or even appreciatively better. They were just facing a team that was apparently worse at the art of offense. -- Borges.

3.  Had Tampa's nick Folk not missed two makable field goals, New England would be talking about the Bruins today. -- Borges

4. Jamies Winston was the fifth straight quarterback to rough up the Patriots for a 300-yard game, which set an NFL record. -- Karen Guregian, Boston Herald.

5. The Patriots' white color rush uniforms were fine. The Bucs looked like what would happen if someone tried to make a creamsicle with Bloody Mary mix. -- Chad Finn, Boston Globe.

Game Burns

Offense: The Bucs finally got a flash of DeSean Jackson Thursday night, who caught five passes for 106 yards. If Jackson can get going, maybe this offense finally will.

Defense: Kendall Beckwith has done the improbable. He's made it so Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David aren't missed. The rookie had 14 tackles against the Patriots.

Special teams: Banger Anger had three more punts inside the opponent's 20.

5 Imported Receivers

(After four games)

   Receiver          Year   Targets   Rec.   Yds.     TDs

1. Bert Emanuel 1998 40 19 265 0

2. DeSean Jackson 2017 19 14 249 1

3. Alvin Harper 1995 29 15 218 1

4. K eyshawn Johnson 2000 28 15 181 1

5. Joey Galloway 2004 19 7 77 0


Quarterback: Sometimes, the stat line can fool you. Winston ended up with 332 yards, but it was an uneven football game for him. He struggled for three quarters to find his rhythm. Winston blamed himself for the last pass, but some of his passes earlier (against the league's worst pass defense coming in) were easier to blame. Grade: C.

Running back: Doug Martin showed that he's still the best back that the Bucs have to offer, and the team immediately made him the focus of its running game. At 5.7 yards per rush, why wouldn't you? Grade B +.

Offensive line: The line enabled the Bucs to average 4.5 yards per run, and Winston was sacked only twice. Not a bad effort: Grade B.

Defensive line: Coming into the game, there was doubt the Bucs could apply any pressure to the Patriots. They could have provided more, but three sacks and two forced turnovers weren't bad. Grade: B.

Linebackers: Beckwith should be an early candidate for defensive rookie of the year. Grade: B +.

Defensive backs: Brady can cut up a team as well as any quarterback who has played the game. He hit 30 of 40 against the Bucs, and there were times when it seemed as if he'd never miss again. Grade: C.

Special teams: Bryan Anger punted well again, but there is no grading on the curve when your kicker is as bad as Nick Folk was. Grade: F.

Coaching: Dirk Koetter took the blame for the Bucs' third down problems. The Bucs' passing game could start faster, too. Grade: C.

5 Free Agent mistakes

1. Anthony Collins (2014).

2. Michael Johnson (2014).

3. Nick Folk (2017)

4. Alvin Harper (1995)

5. Derrick Ward (2009)

2-2 starts and finishes

1987       2-2       4-11       Perkins

1989       2-2       5-11       Perkins

1995       2-2        7-9       Wyche

1998       2-2        8-8       Dungy

1999       2-2       11-5        Dungy

2001      2-2        9-7         Dungy

2003      2-2       7-9        Gruden

5 Great Nicknames

5. Karl "The Truth" Williams

4. Carnell "Cadillac" Williams

3. Richard "Batman" Woods

2. Martin "Automatica" Gramatica

1. Mike "A-Train" Alstott

5 Bucs Who Should Join Malcolm Glazer in the Ring of Honor

1. Ronde Barber

2.Hardy Nickerson

3. James Wilder

4. Tony Dungy

5. Simeon Rice

5 Bad Field Goal kickers

(Folk's five missed field goals are just a start)

Kicker Season Misses

Bill Capece                1983         13

Neil O'Donogue       1978         10

Donald Igwebuike  1985         10

Martin Gramatica   2003       10

Roberto Aguayo      2016          9

Bill Capece               1981          9

Mirror, mirror

(Who was worse)

Hugh Culverhouse          Bad Owner              Bill Bidwill

Eric Curry                     Bad draft pick            Andre Wadsworth

Brad Johnson               Recycled QB             Kurt Warner

Trent Dilfer                Bad quarterback         Matt Leinart

Roberto Aguayo           Bad kicker                John Lee

5 Best Cardinals

1. Larry Fitzgerald

2. Aneas Williams

3. Pat Tillman

4. Kurt Warner

5. Larry Wilson

Favorite Cardinals

1. Pat Tillman

2. Luis Sharpe

3. Simeon Rice

4. Conrad Dobler

5. Dan Dierdorf

5 Who Played for both

1. Simeon Rice -- More than 50 sacks for each team.

2. Darryl Boston -- A star in Arizona; a bust in Tampa.

3.Michael Pittman -- Troubled back for both teams.

4. Keith McCants -- Finished his career in Arizona.

5. Sam Wyche -- Threw his last pass for the Cards.

Best game

They were going to grow together. They were going to win together.

After all, who was going to stop them?

It was 2010, and the Bucs seemed like a team on the move after a 38-35 victory over the  Ariziona Cardinals. Quarterback Josh Freeman of the Bucs had a rating of 121.8. Running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 120 yards. Receiver Mike Williams caught 105 yards worth of passes. And the Bucs won their fifth game on their way to a 10-win season.

Alas, it would not last. Blount is still kicking around the NFL, but Freeman and Willliams are distant memories. Coach Raheem Morris didn't last.

For one day, however, they worked. A shame it didn't last.

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