Looking back at the loss to the Saints

by Gary Shelton on November 7, 2017 · 2 comments

in general

Evans is better with his hands open than closed./CARMEN MANDATO

Evans is better with his hands open than closed./CARMEN MANDATO

Monday, 3 a.m.

5 Observations

1. Jameis Winston will miss the two most winnable games on the rest of the Bucs' schedule with an injury. Mike Evans will miss one with a suspension. Yet, it's hard to argue with either. Except for a half against Buffalo, Winston has not been good. Sunday, Evans was the Invisible Man. Come to think of it, maye the Jets and Dolphins would prefer that both guys play.

2. Most of the team is in over their heads, but I wonder if Winston is over the top. His bizarre pregame speech about eating Ws, his pushing Marshon Lattimore by the helmet, etc. I like Winston, and I'm sorry he's hurting, but sometimes, calm wins the race.

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3. When children fight, it's hard to determine who started it. Lattimore wasn't hanging out by the Bucs' bench to get a sip of Gatorade. He was yammering, which a lot of players do. But Jameis Winston certainly shouldn't have pushed his helmet, and Lattimore shouldn't have shoved him, and Mike Evans shouldn't have hit Lattimore from behind. I have no problem with Evans defending his quarterback if he had been facing Lattimore, but you don't hit from behind. If that's taking up for a teammate, then Robert Ford was acting on behalf of the justice system.

4. The Bucs seem to think their offensive line is pretty good. It is not an observation shared by the defensive linemen of the NFL. Koetter thought the Bucs' secondary played fairly well Sunday. After Brees hit 22 of 26, it is not an observation shared by the Saints' receivers.

5. Hey, the secondary got four incomplete passes out of Drew Brees. Whee.

Koetter has lost five in a row with the Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Koetter has lost five in a row with the Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING


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

(On quarterback Jameis Winston missing the next two weeks with a shoulder injury): “As I told you guys last night, Jameis did have an MRI today and as a result of that MRI, he is going to be out for the next couple of weeks. We will be activating Ryan Griffin to the 53-man roster this week at some point. Jameis didn’t play his best, but on that third-to-last play in the half when he got hit on his left side and the weight of the defensive end and Jameis’ weight fell on his right shoulder – that’s when he reaggravated it. That was a hit that most all quarterbacks in the NFL are going to come up with. When you see those, those are not good. Up until that point, I mean, Jameis had practiced good last week. He had one of his best practices on Friday. (He) threw the ball great in pre-game warmups, but after that point he was definitely hurting.”

 (On provoking a fight with Saints' cornerback Marshon Lattimore): "Totally, totally unacceptable behavior, first by Jameis and then by Mike. Jameis cannot, under any circumstances, come off the sideline when he's not even playing in the game. And trash talking is trash talking, but to go out and tap another player, touch another player, whatever you want to call it at all on the field -- that's inexcusable. The Saints player responded and then Mike responded. That's not acceptable either. That's not having your teammates' back. That's just wrong."

(On the mood of the team): "Frustrated. Disappointed. Confused. The mood you would expect from a team that had high expectations and has lost five in a row."

(On the injury to defensive end Will Gholston): “Will flew back. He is continuing to undergo some testing here. Their saying that he is neurologically sound and that everything is good that way, but he is continuing to undergo testing. We will see in the next day or so what that means as far as him playing moving forward. He made the trip back with us. He was walking on the plane [and] off the plane.”

(On if there is a connection to Winston's injury four games ago and the current losing streak): “Yeah, I mean you could definitely draw that conclusion. The problem with that is there is no way to measure it. There’s no measurement for that. Because Jameis played so well in the second half of Buffalo – the first time we came up a week where he didn’t practice until Friday – you think that could be duplicated, as long as he is medically cleared and of course his safety is first. I talked with Jameis about that earlier today that we have been on this losing streak since Jameis was injured somewhere in there, but there is no way to put a measurement on that. As you’ve asked in here, of course we would always want our starting quarterback – most NFL quarterbacks take every rep during the week with the first unit. That hasn’t been ideal, but at the same time, at most positions in the NFL if a guy is cleared to play medically he is going to play and the quarterback is not an exception to that.”

(On whether he sees a lack of effort.): “When you’re a coach, usually what you’re looking for on that is change in speed. Does a player, is he running a certain speed and then he either speeds up or slows down? That’s typically what every defensive coach I’ve ever been around (looks at). Did we have some? Yes. We do in every game. You’re looking for every body to sprint to the ball, but they especially have a tendency to show up on screens that are down the field a little bit and they did. Those are also plays that we missed tackles on, so that’s a bad combination. 

Gholston is 'nuerologically sound"./JEFFREY S. KING

Gholston is 'nuerologically sound"./JEFFREY S. KING

5 of the Best Takes

Kamara makes a jaw-dropping play seemingly every Sunday. One week, he's outrunning Luke Kuechley and the Carolina defense for a 25-yard touchdown. The next, he's hurdling a stupefied Lions defensive back like Lolo Jones for a first down. On this afternoon, Kamara made the play of the game, taking a screen pass in the left flat and weaving through Tampa Bay's defense for an incredible, now-you-see-me-now-you-don't 33-yard touchdown catch and run. The score staked the Saints to a commanding 16-3 halftime lead and spurred Saints coach Sean Payton to race down the sideline like an overzealous parade-goer chasing a Mardi Gras float.

-- Jeff Duncan, New Orleans Times-Picayune

Least clear of all is how much falls on coach Dirk Koetter's shoulders, no pun intended. He was brought there to be the Jameis whisperer, and after their first seasons in town, he was elevated to head coach to keep Winston from getting away, at the expense of Lovie Smith. So many applauded the Bucs ending the apparent blight of the Smith regime after all of two years, and an expected change in "culture" in which Winston would flourish.

-- David Steele, Sporting News

"That's the sneakiest of sneak moves," Lattimore said of Evans' blindsided shove. "Nobody has any respect for that. It is what it is. He did what he did."

-- Josh Katzenstein, New-Orleans Times-Picayune

“Would you say legendary like the X-Men?” defensive end Cam Jordan asked. “I mean, at the end of the day we could even go like — I’m not going to say Justice League-ish, but it’s cool.”

-- Nick Underhill, New Orleans Advocate

The Saints defense had thoroughly dominated the Bucs up to that point as they held them to just 144 yards of offense in three quarters. Tampa's passing attack, ranked second in the league coming into the game, was especially woeful, whether it was Winston or back up Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Tampa's star receivers, Evans and DeSean Jackson, were non-factors.

-- New Orleans Saints.com

5 Better Ways to Spend Your Sunday

1. Eye surgery.

2. Stuck in traffic

3. Watching Two Broke Girls reruns

4. Shopping for bath beads with the wife.

5. Waiting for Godot

Winston will have time for his should to heal./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston will have time for his shoulder to heal./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston's Splits

(Before the injury and afterward)

                     4                          Games                      4

                   2-2                        Record                   0-4

                  154                       Attempts                 105

                    94                       Complete                  65

                  1198                            Yards                 722

                    61.04                   Percentage             61.90

                        7                            TDs                         3

                         3                 Interceptions                  3

                      92.4                  Rating                      79.9

                     7.78               Yards/Attempt            6.16

Ranking 5 Bucs' General Managers

1. Rich McKay

2. Jason Licht

3. Mark Dominik

4. Bruce Allen

5. Phil Krueger

5 Mock Drafts

Bleacher Report        4        DE Arden Key, LSU

Draftwire                    5         Edge  Bradley Chubb, N.C. State

WalterFootball         5           Chubb

Drafttek                     5           DE Harold Landry, Boston College

Yahoo.com                5           OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma

Stocker scored a TD for the first time since 2015./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Stocker scored a TD for the first time since 2015./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Game Burns

Offense: Does there have to be a winner? Everyone on offense played horrible. No receiver caught more than two balls, and no running back had as many as 35 yards. Let's give it to Luke Stocker, who scored his first touchdown in a while.

Defense: Ryan Smith had nine tackles. That's something.

Special teams: It wasn't Bryan Anger's fault he had a punt blocked. He had a decent day punting the ball.

2-6 Starts

1988     2-6        Perkins        5-11

1993     2-6        Wyche          5-11

1994     2-6        Wyche         6-10

2006    2-6         Gruden      4-12

2017     2-5        Koetter        TBD

5 Defensive statistics

1.        32      Opponents' third-down percentage

2.       32      Sacks

3.       29      Opposing quarterback rating

4.       29      Plays of more than 20 yards

5.       28      Total Defense

Martin was smothered with every carry. /JEFFREY KING

Martin was smothered with every carry. /JEFFREY KING

5 Bad Days by Doug Martin

1. New Orleans        11-5-17               8         7

2. Carolina               9-7-14                 9         9

3. New Orleans       12-16-12              9       16

4. Green Bay            12-21-14            10       17

5. Arizona                  9-18-16             7        23


Quarterback: Even before Winston was injured, he was having a tough day against the Saints.He hit only seven of 13 passes for 67 yards, and for the third time in four games, he had a quarterback rating of less than 70. Grade: F.

Running back: Doug Martin gained seven yards on eight carries. Yikes. Grade F.

Wide receiver: Mike Evans had one catch. DeSean Jackson had two. Any questions? Grade F.

Offensive line: Four sacks. No back with as much as 35 yards. Penalties. Ouch. Grade F.

Defensive line: One sack. Allowed 151 yards rushing. No one in the top four in tackles. Grade F.

Linebackers: Both Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David had seven tackles. Hey, it's something. Grade D.

Defensive backs: Someone has to make a play sometime. Drew Brees is good, but 22 of 26? Sheesh. Grade: F.

Lovie lasted only two seasons./JEFFREY S. KING

Lovie lasted only two seasons./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Coaches with Short Tenures

(Koetter is in his second season with an 11-13 record)

1. Richard Williamson          19                 4-15

2. Leeman Bennett               32                 4-28

3. Lovie Smith                       32                 8-24

4. Greg Schiano                    32                11-21

5. Raheem Morris                48                17-31

5 Bad Comparisions

Donovan Smith                          Charles McRae

Vernon Hargreaves                   Rod "Toast" Jones

DeSean Jackson                        Alvin Harper

Robert Ayers                              Eric Curry

Doug Martin                              Lars Tate

5 Tough Days for Mike Evans

Opponent         Date                  Catches   Yards

New Orleans    9-20-15                 0             0

New Orleans    11-5-17                   1            13

Carolina            12-14-14                2           13

Carolina            10-4-15                  3           32

Chargers           12-4-16                  3            38


5 Worse Starts than This

1976       0-8

1977       0-8

1983     0-8

1985     0-8

2013    0-8

More Worse Starts

1986      1-7

1991      1-7

1996     1-7

2009    1-7

2014    1-7

Longer Losing Streaks

1976            14

1977            12

2011            10

1983             9

2013             9

Looking Ahead

5 Best Jets

Joe Namath

Curtis Martin

Winston Hill

Mark Gastineau

Darrelle Revis

5 Favorite Jets

Marty Lyons

Joe Klecko

Don Maynard

Matt Snell

Wayne Chrebet

Best Game

Over the years, it seems as if the Bucs have given a lot of touchdowns away. This time, they meant it.

With James Wilder having a shot at the NFL record for combined yardage in 1984, the Bucs flopped and allowed the Jets to score in the final minute. The jeers from the crowd didnt bother coach John McKay. It was his last game (and defensive end Lee Roy Selmon's).

To date, it is the only time in 11 meetings that the Bucs have beaten the Jets.

Alas, Wilder didn't get the record.

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