Looking back at the Buc’ loss to Carolina

by Gary Shelton on November 6, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes./CARMEN MANDATO

Monday, 4 a.m.

5 Observations

1. When did this become an expansion team? It seems lost, unmotivated and talentless. The Bucs may win a couple more (and may not), but there is no team in the league to whom it can't lose.

2. Has anyone seen Mike Evans lately? Do we know if he made the flight home? Suddenly, the guy is The Invisible Man.

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3. Here's a bit of perspective. In faking a punt and throwing one of the worst passes in the history of football, Bryan Anger's quarterback rating was 39.9. The week before, Jameis Winston's was 47.7. So all those years of training, of practice, of the Heisman Trophy, of winning the national title, the No. 1 draft status and great receivers are worth just 7.8 points?

4.There is a look in the eye of beaten coaches. Dirk Koetter has that. He's not innocent here, either, but the play calling is better than the play execution.

5. If they had the NFL re-draft tomorrow, when does Ronald Jones get picked? When does Vita Vea?

Is Koetter's team getting better?/CARMEN MANDATO


(From Dirk Koetter's Day-After Press Conference)

(On the defense struggling early in games): "Poor tackling was the main issue yesterday — poor tackling. Just real inconsistent yesterday on defense. We actually did start fast yesterday on defense and then on those five straight drives where they scored, on three of those drives we put them in horrible field position — the interception, two sacks and a punt return and a fake punt put them in bad [position]. We just tacked horrendously on those two long drives they had in the first half and we come out the second half and started off great. Played three excellent series in a row — got ourselves back in the game. Tackling was the main issue yesterday.”

(On if better tackling might have changed the game's outcome): “Except for the double reverse play ... which was just Keystone Cops. Except for that play, all those other plays we had a guy right there to tackle him on the line of scrimmage. I mean, look at the tape. There was a guy on the throwback screen — we had two guys right there. On both, they ran two little versions of that throwback screen — guy’s right there on the line of scrimmage and we miss a tackle. Those could’ve easily been no gain — coulda, woulda, shoulda. And then we’ve got pursue better. When we do miss tackles, we have to have better effort in pursuit. You’re not going to make 100 percent tackles. All you can do is have the guys there and then your pursuit has got to catch up.”

(On the struggles of the offensive line): “Two of the three sacks we gave up yesterday were strictly communication errors. We didn’t communicate right, so we didn’t have the right guys blocking the right guys. On the one that we were in a two-back formation, one of our linemen made a call that he shouldn’t have made and that threw everybody off — we had everybody blocking the wrong guys. On the second one where they came off the edge on that third down, we were in the right thing and one of our guys just didn’t slide out to the edge and everybody else thought he was. We got beat by communication instead of getting beat physically. The very last one of the game, I thought Donovan (Smith) did a good [job] — (Mario) Addison comes away on the game in the stat sheet with three sacks, but on the last one he just beat Donovan. Donovan had a good day against him. The other two, like I said, were communication issues.”

(On the struggles of Mike Evans): “Mike had a rough day yesterday. That might be as poor as I’ve seen Mike play in the whole time I’ve been here. Mike has typically had good days against (James) Bradberry, so we had a lot of stuff game planned for him. Mike really struggled yesterday and we probably should’ve moved on sooner. One thing about that is once you say mentally and you tell your quarterback – I tell you guys all the time, we don’t go back there and say, ‘We’re going to look for Mike,’ because then there was time in the second half where Mike did win and we should’ve been looking at him and we weren’t.”

(On the defense not contesting passes): “On the touchdown to (Greg) Olsen down the middle, we had two guys right there. They’ve got to make a better play on the ball. Javien Elliot was right there on one of the third-and-mediums, it was a good throw. (Brent) Grimes had two where he was right there laid out and didn’t get them. We definitely have to play tighter coverage and we can obviously — we talked about this last week — getting more pressure will always help you with that.”

David and the Bucs defense gave up 179 yards rushing./CARMEN MANDATO

5 of the Best Takes

"So just how good can these Carolina Panthers be?

"In the first half Sunday, they were pretty darn scary. Then in the second half, for different reasons, they were also pretty darn scary. What had been a 28-point Panthers lead at one point in the second quarter dwindled to seven. Then Carolina’s offense scored one final touchdown, order was restored and the Panthers won 42-28, over Tampa Bay.

"The victory pushed the Panthers to 6-2 at the midpoint of the season with another game coming at them fast and furiously — at Pittsburgh on Thursday night. These Panthers are going to be in the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons unless they really mess things up.

But how far can they really go once they get there? A  team that gives up 21 consecutive points to Tampa Bay — making me Google “Biggest Blown Lead by the Panthers” early in the fourth quarter — isn’t close to ready to size itself for Super Bowl rings. (The answer was 21 points, by the way)."

-- Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer

"For all its struggles, Tampa Bay entered the day with a stout run defense, ranking 10th in the NFL with 96.9 yards allowed per game. Carolina broke the century mark on three first-half runs by Curtis Samuel (33 yards), D.J. Moore (32 yards) and Christian McCaffrey (35 yards)."

-- Marcel Louis-Jacques, Charlotte Observer

"In a game full of highlights -- see McCaffrey, Christian -- former Ohio State star Curtis Samuel made up for an early drop with a pretty run on a double reverse in the second quarter. Samuel started left, then cut back right and jogged in an early 21-7 lead.

"According to NFL Next Gen stats, Samuel ran 104 yards on his 33-yard scoring run.

“If you’re a Bucs’ defense, your head is kind of spinning right now,” Fox analyst Ronde Barber said, “with all these multiple looks and reverses, you can’t find where the ball is.”

-- Langston Wertz, Jr., Charlotte Observer

"Carolina's Curtis Samuel arguably had the TD of the weekend, his 33-yard double reverse covering nearly 104 actual yards, per Next Gen Stats.

-- Nate Davis, USA Today

"Slot wide receiver Adam Humphries looked more like an impact player today as opposed to the fourth or fifth option. His quick, precise route-running led to two impressive touchdown receptions, the second coming on a slant pattern from the 30-yard line that saw him avoid three defenders on his way to the end zone off a short slant pass.

"When the Bucs’ offense stalled early in the first half and late in the game, it was the offensive line that struggled most. The inability of the line to handle stunts and basic bull-rushes prevented receivers from having the time they needed to run routes and kept Ryan Fitzpatrick on the run.

"The Buccaneers’ defense never seemed to be able to keep up with all the trick plays the Panthers threw at them. The unit on a whole was continually out of place and just a step behind resulting in multiple missed tackles, over pursues and busted assignments.

"Linebacker Adarius Taylor has been struggling all season long, and the Panthers used that to their advantage Sunday. Taylor was one of the weak spots on the Buccaneers defense, as Newton targeted the fifth-year veteran heavily resulted in a perfect passer rating.

-- Pro Football Focus

"Strong safety Mike Adams said that Reid’s ability to roam the secondary and keep everything in front of him was one of the keys to the game, since the Bucs like to take deep shots.

“That’s the number one offense in the league,” safety Mike Adams said. “You’ve got to take that into consideration. We didn’t let them have anything. We gave up some things we shouldn’t have, granted, but it’s the National Football League. They get paid, too.

“We expected them to throw the deep ball more, actually. We expected more picks, but how many deep balls did they throw? Two deep balls all day? We expected more of that. That goes to show our defense, we kept the ball in front of us. They dinked and dunked it down the field, but that kind of stuff happens.”

-- John Delong, Winston-Salem Journal

Adam Humphries caught eight passes for Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

Game Balls

Offense: No linemen. No running back. No Mike Evans. Fortunately, there is Adam Humphries. The Bucs threw to Humphries eight times. He caught all eight, including two for touchdowns.

Defense: The Bucs broke up one pass all day. It was by Brent Grimes. Give him a Sno-Cone.

Special Teams: Rarely does a day where a guy kicks four extra points turn into a big deal, but that's how badly Chandler Catanzaro has been doing.

Barber rushed for just 31 yards../TIM WIRT


Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick remains the Bucs' starter, but it wasn't as if he had to play great to keep the job. Fitzpatrick's first-half interception was Winston bad. Grade: D +.

Running back: Why do the Bucs even bother? And whose idea was it to go into the season with Barber and nothing else? Grade: F.

Offensive line: Who was supposed to stand between Mario Addison and the quarterback? Just asking. Grade: F.

Wide receivers: Adam Humphries and O.J. Howard helped make up for Mike Evans' disappearance. Grade: C.-.

Defensive line: Two sacks doesn't forgive an awful day of non-tackling. A day of absence. Grade: D-.

Secondary: The Panthers didn't push it much, but they forced only six incompletions. The Bucs allow completions like some teams allow handoffs. Grade: D-.

Kicking: It was an average day. For this team, that's pretty good. Grade: C.

Coaching: Is this team getting better? No, it is. Grade: F.

Anger had a good day punting./CARMEN MANDATE

Unsung Heroes

1. Jacquizz Rodgers averaged seven yards a carry on his two tries and caught two passes.

2. Jerome Whitehead. He had eight tackles from his safety position.

3. Sean Wilson is now within 20 yards of taking over the rookie lead in Bucs' rushers.

4. Bryan Anger averaged 46.2 yards on his punts. A shame he can't pass.

5. Cameron Brate doesn't get as much attention with the ascension of O.J. Howard, but he did catch three passes.

Bucs fans have seen their team struggle./JEFFREY S. KING

Ten Tough Seasons

Team          Place            Division Record              Playoffs

2018              4th                      1-2                            Unlikely

2017              4th                      1-5                                 No

2016              2nd                    4-2                                 No

2015              4th                     3-3                                No

2014             4th                      0-6                                No

2013             4th                      1-5                                No

2012             4th                     3-3                                No

2011             4th                    2-4                                No

2010             3rd                   3-3                                No

2009            4th                   1-5                                 No


McCoy had a half-sack for the Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Five Best Plays

3-6-29 -- The Bucs' defense finally made a stop when Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David combined on a sack of Cam Newton for a nine-yard loss.

2-10-30 -- Fitzpatrick hit Adam Humphries, who weaved for a touchdown.

4-3-3 -- Fitzpatrick hit tight end O.J. Howard for the score on a fourth down.

1-10-32 -- Peyton Barber ran up the middle fo 18 yards. It was more than half of his day's production.

3-17-14 -- A team doesn't make a lot of third-and-17s, but the Bucs made this one when Fitzpatrick hit Chris Godwin for 25 yards.

Evans had trouble finding the ball Sunday./CARMEN MANDATO

Five Worst Plays

2-8-22 -- Fitzpatrick had trouble finding Mike Evans all day, but on this play, he badly overthrew Evans. Safety Eric Reid intercepted the ball and ran it 39 yards back to the Bucs' 10, setting up the Panthers' first score.

4-9-26 -- Desperation came to the Bucs early. In the second quarter, down 28-7, the Bucs faked a punt. Bryan Anger's pass wasn't anywhere near Alan Cross.

1-10-33 -- Curtis Samuel ran a long way on 33-yard double-reverse, but the play was memorable for all the feeble attempts at a tackle on the play.

1-10-29 -- On the Bucs' final play of the game, Fitzpatrick threw a deep pass to DeSean Jackson that was intercepted.

3-17-17 -- On third-and-goal from the 17, who would have expected a pass to Greg Olson? Well, everyone.

Dungy has the third-most losses./JEFFREY S. KING

All-Time Losses by Bucs' Coaches

(Koetter has 24)

John McKay.     88

Jon Gruden       55

Tony Dungy      42

Sam Wyche       41

Ray Perkins.    41

Winston has cracked the top five for losses./JEFFREY S. KING

Bucs' Quarterback Losses

Vinny Testaverde    48

Trent Dilfer              38

Josh Freeman         35

Doug Williams       33

Jameis Winston     29

Newton had an efficient day./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Best Opposing Quarterback Ratings

1. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago         154.6

2. Cam Newton, Carolina            133.2

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans       129.5

4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta                   125.5

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.         120.7

Brees gets another shot at the Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Fewest Opposing QB Incompletions

1. Cam Newton, Carolina      6

2. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago  7

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans 8

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh 8

5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta 10

Jones fell further behind the other rookies./CARMEN MANDATO

Running Back Draft

2.  Saquon Barkley, Giants            111    519        4.7

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks       42    146       3.6

31. Sony Michel, Patriots                 95   422       4.4

35. Nick Chubb, Browns                  74    402      5.4

38. Ronald Jones, Bucs               19             42    2.2

43. Kerryon Johnson, Lions.      89          503     5.7

The Saints are on a tear./JEFFREY S. KING

The Race for the Lombardi

(5 Good Teams)

1. New Orleans 7-1

2. Kansas City 8-1

3. L.A. Rams 8-1

4. New England 7-2

5. Panthers 6-2

Will flag fly for another high draft pick?/JEFFREY S. KING

The Race for the No. 1 Draft Pick

(5 Bad teams)

1. L.A. Raiders 1-7

2. N.Y. Giants 1-7

3. Tampa Bay 3-5

4. San Francisco 2-7

5. Buffalo 2-7

Howard has come on for the Bucs' as a receiver./CARMEN MANDATO

Random Stats

Passing Yards                23. Ryan Fitzpatrick 1,793

Rushing Yards             36. Peyton Barber 376

Receiving Yards             5. Mike Evans 786

Sacks                               6. Jason Pierre-Paul 8

TE Receiving Yards.     5. O.J. Howard 422

Evans still has the Bucs' only interception./CARMEN MANDATO

More Random Stats

Scoring             25. Chandler Catanzaro 53

Tackles              15. Lavonte David 64

Interceptions   41. (tie) Justin Evans 1

Punting             29. Bryan Anger 44.5

Kick Returns.   65. Shaun Wilson 17.4

Two sites see the Bucs drafting another QB./JEFFREY S. KING

Mock Draft

Bleacher Report          12. Josh Allen, DE           Kentucky

CBSsports.com             8. Ryan Finley, QB        N.C. State

Walterfootball.com   14. Greedy Williams, CB LSU

NBCsports                  15. Drew Lock, QB           Missouri

Draftsite.com              8. DeAndre Baker, CB   Georgia

Bucs sinking in power ratings./JEFFREY S. KING

NFL Power Ratings

Oddshark                            19

Bleacher Report                 24

Fansided                              24

Sporting News                    24

Arrowheadpride.com        27

McCoy can't explain the defense./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Closing Thoughts

1. Nice of Gerald McCoy to break his silence. Alas, he had no explanations for a team that cannot tackle, cannot cover and cannot pass rush. The team picture looks good, however.

2. If bad performance led to silence, we'd be watching Fearless Marcel Marceau and Friends, wouldn't we?

3. Oh. So the problem with the sacks was "miscommunication." Funny, but other team's don't have "miscommunication" against the Bucs to nearly the same degree.

4. For those of you keeping score, Sunday was Mike Evans third-worst day as Bucs' receiver. He caught one ball for 16 yards, meaning that the other nine times he was targeted with were incomplete or intercepted. Evans had a one catch, 13-yard day last season against the Saints, and was penalized for his actions against Marcus Lattimore (Saints coach Sean Payton said he should have been ejected). In a September game of 2015, Evans didn't have any catches against the Saints.

5. Yes, it was an awful day for Peyton Barber with just 31 yards on 11 carries. However, Barber has had three worst days ... this season.

Looking Ahead

5 Predictions

Washington 34, Tampa Bay 21

Pittsburgh 24, Carolina 21

New England 30, Tennessee 14

L.A. Rams 35, Seattle 26

Philadelphia 27, Dallas 14

Best Washington Redskins

1. Sammy Baugh

2. John Riggins

3. Darrell Green

4. Art Monk

5. Sonny Jurgenson

Favorite Redskins

1. Doug Williams

2. Dexter Manley

3. Billy Kilmer

4. Larry Brown

5. Joe Theismann

Famous Fans

1. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

2. Matthew McConaughey

3. Wanda Sykes

4. Kevin Durant

5. Josh Brolin

Alstott had a clutch two-pointer./JEFFREY S. KING

Best Game

It was late in his career, and Mike Alstott already had established what he could do for the Bucs. But in 2005, he was the team's forgotten man going into  Week ten game against the Redskins.

Alstott had carried the ball just 11 times in the team's first eight games, and only four times in the previous six games. But against the Redskins, he had nine carries and scored two touchdowns.

His big play, however, came with 58 seconds to play. The Bucs had missed an extra point, but Washington was offsides. Bucs' coach Jon Gruden chose to go for it, and Alstott squeezed into the end zone for the score and a 36-35 win.

"It crossed my mind (to kick)," Gruden said. "But after the (offside) penalty, I wouldn't have been able to wake up (today) not knowing what we would have done with Alstott."

Alstott would carry the ball just 15 more times the rest of the season. Still, that two-pointer validated his season. He carried just 60 times in 2006, his final season. That two-pointer was the punctuation to a Ring of Honor career.


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