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November 13, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/1 Votes

Texans Trample Buccaneers, 37-9

Written by Eric
Eric Horchy


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The Houston Texans destroyed the Buccaneers 37-9 in Tampa Bay as they could not tackle Arian Foster, who amassed over 160 yards and scored two touchdowns. Sloppy tackling by the defense and a poor day from Josh Freeman (four sacks and three INTs) doomed the Bucs, who are now 4-5.

In a game Tampa Bay needed in order to stay above .500 and remain in the NFC playoff race, the Buccaneers were crushed at home by the Houston Texans, 37-9. Led by the versatility of running back Arian Foster, who amassed 84 yards and a touchdown rushing and added 102 yards and another score receiving, the Texans offense proved to be unstoppable against the league’s 29th-ranked defense.

Wary of a Houston ground attack that went for 260 yards last week with both Foster and Ben Tate topping the century mark, Tampa Bay was focused on shutting down that aspect of the Texans offense. Doing so allowed Houston quarterback Matt Schaub to use play-action to find Jacoby Jones wide open for an 80-yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the game. Safety Sean Jones bit on the play-action and also whiffed on the tackle attempt downfield. The extra point was blocked, but the Bucs trailed 6-0 just 12 seconds into the game.

The quick strike was a precursor of Houston’s overall dominance Sunday afternoon and one from which Tampa Bay could not recover. Outgaining the Bucs by nearly 200 yards (420-231) the Texans took advantage of another sloppy defensive day by the Buccaneers and displayed little trouble with either marching downfield for points or making big plays.

Quarterback Josh Freeman was unable to lead his team with similar efficiency, turning in one of his poorer performances through nine games. The third-year signal caller finished with a 31.8 passer rating, completed only 15 icked off three more times. The Houston defense got to Freeman for four sacks.

Tampa Bay didn’t get on the scoreboard until the final play of the first half when Connor Barth’s 55-yard field goal attempt snuck over the north end zone crossbar. That kick, Barth’s 17th converted field goal in 19 tries, made the score 16-3 Texans heading into the locker room.

Houston scored on three of its first four possessions to go up 16-0. Tampa Bay never truly threatened to make it a game, but did suffer from some controversial refereeing in the first 30 minutes.

The first of those plays came during Houston’s second time with the ball. After pushing forward with a long, commanding drive, Schaub’s poorly thrown pass to wide receiver Derrick Mason on third-and-5 was intercepted by Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib at the 1. Rather than becoming Talib’s second pick of the season, though, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak won a challenge and the play was ruled an incompletion. Houston took advantage by going up 9-0 on Neil Rackers’ 22-yard field goal.

With Tampa Bay’s offense unable to get out of its own side of the field on its next two drives, Houston struck again early in the second period. Schaub (11 of 15 for 242 yards passing and two touchdowns) dumped off a short pass to a wide-open Foster and the third-year back took care of the rest. Foster first juked Talib to the ground, then made strong safety Sean Jones fly right past en route to a 78-yard touchdown reception and 16-0 lead.

“The first play of the game was bad execution,” said Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris. “The other long pass to Foster in the flat was just a terrible missed tackle and a terrible secondary-level tackle. The hustle, I’ll be grading that on tape for you tomorrow [and] letting you know who was there. It should have been a 40-yard gain, not an 80-yard gain, and you’ve got to eliminate those things and that’s my fault. Again, all of that stuff, put it all on me.”

Tampa Bay suffered from another questionable officiating decision on the play. Playing in his first game as a Buccaneer after being picked up on Wednesday from New England, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth appeared to be held before he could disrupt Schaub’s pass to Foster. No flag was thrown and the touchdown remained on the board.

“We’ve got to execute better and we have to have [a greater] sense of urgency,” said Jones postgame from the locker room. “If you don’t play with passion and go out there and play like it’s your last play, it’s not going to work. We didn’t do that [today].”

Haynesworth came to Tampa Bay this past week to fill a void left when Gerald McCoy went down with a season-ending biceps injury. The 10th-year veteran recorded five tackles and was given credit for blocking Rackers’ first-quarter extra point.

“I felt fine,” Haynesworth said afterward. “I was a little bit tired, but that was the most plays I’ve played all year. When I was in New England it was hard. You play like three or four plays and then you sit for a quarter, quarter-and-a-half and have to go back out and play. It was hard to get into a rhythm. The more I played the better I got.”

Haynesworth added that while he feels he was playing alongside quality, young athletes today, they need to learn to move on from bad plays and mistakes.

“I think we’ve got a good team. I see the way we practice and see the talent we have. We’re a young team and instead of letting a bad play go and wiping it out of your mind and going and playing football, we let it pile on and kept thinking about it. … We can’t let one bad play keep us down.”

While Haynesworth was seen getting penetration into Houston’s backfield at times, the only sack Tampa Bay managed came from defensive tackle Brian Price in the second quarter. It was the Bucs’ first sack since defensive end Adrian Clayborn took down Chicago’s Jay Cutler in London three weeks ago.

Freeman and Tampa Bay’s day unraveled further in the second half. All three of Freeman’s interceptions came in the final two quarters, as well as three of his four sacks. A persistent thorn in Freeman’s side was Houston’s Brian Cushing. The third-year inside linebacker tied Bucs’ linebacker Adam Hayward with a game-high eight tackles and he both sacked and intercepted Freeman.

The early, growing deficit again rendered running back LeGarrette Blount to be little more than a spectator all day. The second-year back out of Oregon took only 10 handoffs from Freeman for 34 yards.

Freeman, while saying that the young team has not played to its potential, said he feels like he’s “a better quarterback this year” than he was last year.

“It’s just that we have not played nearly up to our potential,” he said about the team’s struggles. “We are a young team and as a young team you have to understand that this is the NFL. You see some success and you can’t rest on that. You have to continue to prepare and go out and give it all you’ve got every week because even when you have a great week of preparation, you’re not guaranteed to win if you’re not making plays in the game.

“Nothing’s wrong with me,” Freeman continued. “I feel like I’m a better quarterback this year than I was last year. As crazy as that may sound, looking at the numbers, I feel like I continue to get better in preparation and execution. I feel like I’m throwing the ball as well as I ever have; it’s just things aren’t going my way.”

The Bucs totaled 90 yards on 18 rushing attempts. In stark contrast, Houston put the game on the legs of Foster, Tate and former Buccaneer Derrick Ward. The Texans battered Tampa Bay’s much-maligned rush defense all afternoon, running the ball 44 times for 185 yards and three touchdowns.

Tampa Bay’s lone touchdown came in the fourth quarter and with the game well out of hand. The Bucs made it 30-9 with just over 11 minutes remaining on Freeman’s 9-yard pass to wide receiver Preston Parker over the middle. The catch was reviewed in the booth but the call was upheld, giving Parker his team-leading third touchdown catch.

The Bucs drove deeply into Houston territory on only one other occasion on Sunday. That came with under 2 minutes left in the first half. That nine-play drive ended on the Texans’ 5-yard line when Freeman’s fade to the right side of the end zone failed to connect with wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe. Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson’s tight coverage took away virtually any opportunity for Briscoe to catch the pass.

Tampa Bay’s loss dropped it under .500 for the first time since opening the season with a loss against Detroit. The Bucs are now 3-3 at home, including the London loss against Chicago. Combined with New Orleans’ 26-23 win over Atlanta, Tampa Bay is now 2 1/2 games out of first place.

In his postgame press conference, Morris shouldered virtually all the blame for his team’s poor performance.

“The last three weeks have been tough,” said Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris. “You know, we haven’t won in about a month. The guys right now are not playing well and we’ve got to find a way to get better. Again, any regression, you’ve got to put that right on my shoulders, because I got it. It was my fault – my fault, guys.”

Sunday’s game was played in front of 56,037 fans at Raymond James Stadium under partly cloudy skies. The game-time temperature was listed at 77 degrees and there was a slight wind of 9 miles per hour out of the southeast.

Starting on defense for Tampa Bay was: LE Michael Bennett, DT Albert Haynesworth, DT Brian Price, RE Adrian Clayborn, SLB Adam Hayward, MLB Mason Foster, WLB Quincy Black, LCB Aqib Talib, RCB Ronde Barber, SS Sean Jones, FS Tanard Jackson.

The Bucs lined up offensively with: WR Mike Williams, LT Donald Penn, LG Jeremy Zuttah, C Jeff Faine, RG Davin Joseph, RT Jeremy Trueblood, TE Kellen Winslow, WR Arrelious Benn, RB LeGarrette Blount, FB Erik Lorig and QB Josh Freeman.

Last modified on Sunday, 13 November 2011 22:50

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  • avatar

    Not enough draft picks to fix this team, need to try some F/A's. Haynesworth made more tackles in one game than McCoy did all year.I forgot, F/A cost money!
  • avatar

    As bad as that was, we're still the same team as last year. In other words, we play mediocre/bad teams evenly while we get absolutely thumped by the good teams. It is very discouraging that it is this way, but this team is still in a rebuilding mode with lots of young players. It was (un?)fortunate that the 2010 season went the way it did to raise fans expectations too quickly. Most pundants agreed at the start of the season that we'd have a worse record in '11, and that is a virtual certainty. Hey. we ain't playing the NFC West this year....! Still cheering for you - go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I'll give Big Al some credit, he wasn't Suh, but he played well and was disruptive. Price is a hero as well, but probably doesn't belong out there yet (he was helped off the field at least once, he's clearly in pain every game he plays). Ronde lost at least one obvious chance for a pick off a way-obvious bootleg pass play. Did Black even have a tackle? I heard Hayward's name a lot. Many, many drops. Faine is NOT a stud anymore. Overall, yeah, we just flat sucked. I'm willing to take Raheem at his word at this point: He wants the blame? He's GOT IT.
  • avatar

    No he wasn't Suh, he was actually better. Suh hasn't had 5 tackles a game this year. He has looked pretty pedestrian against the run. I think big Al has a chance of really producing for this team. Unfortunately he's not a linebacker and that's where our real problems are.
  • avatar

    That was just a terrible performance defensively. Our DL just doesn't get enough pressure, and other than Tanard and Ronde, we just don't have any playmakers. But our real weakness is our LB's. I was missing Ruud today. At least he made tackles after 8 yard gains, what we did today was pathetic. Hayward is always trailing, and Black hasn't made a play all year. Foster gets a pass. I know we have alot of needs, but I would start with LB. Offensively, other than the 2nd pick,I thought Freeman did OK. Our interior OL killed us, it's like we never saw a blitz before, and I don't know how many passes M. Williams has to drop before he gets benched (I like him, but I think he needs to be sent a message. He just isn't concentrating this year.) Terrible loss, and a tough game next week. That being said, we are 4-5, I am disappointed with our record and with our progress, but it's not the end of the world. Playoffs is out, but I am not giving up on these Bucs. Hopefully we can finish 8-8.
  • avatar

    Haynesworth after one game already looks better than McCoy. This was a god awful game, but at least the tackles are looking good now. Price really looked good.
  • avatar

    Well....that was sad wasn't it??? I really don't know what happened to these guys from last year. They are definitely NOT yungry. NO will to win, no attitude at all. If Morris wants to stay head coach he has to come down on these guys and wake their butts up. Last year when his coaching job was on the line these guys stepped up big time and showed a heart to win ball games. Now it seems like the contracts have been negotiated and it's time to ratchet back the intensity. Our linebacking corp is pathetic. When runners get to the second level there is noone to slow them down. I'll give Foster a pass because he's still learning but Black and Hayward have got to go. It's like they're velcroed to the opposing teams blockers and when they do get a chance to tackle, they miss. Our receivers run pedestrian routes and when they do get open they can't catch the friggin' ball! Man, I thought we were only a few pieces away but here lately with the regression of the offense and the defense going from a top ten pass defense last year to a joke this year and we still can't stop the run. When we played the Saints I thought we were making progress but we just fall right back. Same thing happened after the Atlanta win. This is definitely troubling. I think we need two linebackers this draft. I believe Dakota Watson has game but we need depth at that position. We are going to have to replace Ronde and I'm not sure who that's going to be. I think Gaitor has real possibilities but it seems like they are mentoring him before they allow him to get too much game time. I really like what I saw from him pre-season. On the bright side...I thought Haynesworth did an admirable job for his first time out. He was in the backfield a lot and had a couple solo tackles. I expect him to only get better. All in all....we just sucked!!
  • avatar

    each week we seem to be getting worse no other comments.
  • avatar

    That's the troubling part. I know the competition this year is stiff but it's gonna be that way every year. We have to be able to execute against good teams. I don't care if we lose if we show heart and we show progression. This looks like regression to me. Morris needs to put his boot in these guys *censored*!!!!
  • avatar

    Now THAT was a first class butt whippin. The Houston team, formerly known as the Oilers, completely outclassed our favorite team..........from play # 1. A deer looking at a semi-truck headed in his direction would say, "those guys with the red shirts on look petrified." I'm not usually one to quickly blame the GM and coaching staff; but some of this season's performances have got to placed at their feet. Even the four games we won, the team looked rather average and in no way an improvement from last year. I know "stats are for losers" is the mission statement at One Buc Place, but the numbers are matching up pretty well with the display we've seen in 2011. Maybe BF47 was right all along. I'm not ready to say being a head coach is over Rah's noggin. But right now he might have to start wearing Abe Lincoln's stove pipe hat to see him.
  • avatar

    Pathetic. No energy, no effort. For first time EVER I left early, in third quarter. Guys we have aren't cutting it, bench is so thin there's nowhere to go. I'd even put Josh on the bench, he's getting worse each game. Firing Olsen and hiring a d coordinator is a must. Raheem gets one more season if he makes it past this one.
  • avatar

    We have no offense. The same plays over and over and over. In New Orleans we were on the 7 first and goal , and we don't even try to run the ball. Week in and week out we put Lumpkin in on 3rd down. never wavering from the theory that Blount cant block. 20 hurries and how many sacks??? Could Blount do any worse! Even Rich Gannon said in the 4th Qtr when Lumpkin ran some, its about time you change up the play scheme. Wade Philips is not stupid, Blitz Blitz Blitz and Olsen wont know what to do!!! Wonderful!!!! Lets wake up Raheem. What are you going to do this week? More wind sprints! How Pop Warner!
  • avatar

    AWEFULL !!! Woaaa ... it's 2009 all over again ... Let's see. OFFENSE : Receivers can't get separation, can't catch (how many drops today ???), OC doesn't want to run even if it works and keep on calling for 3 yards when we need 15 ... Dink and dunk play book, and Freeman overthrow 1 out of 2 pass or check to the RB. DEFENSE : can't tackle (how many missed tackle today ???), can't run hard, can't catch or secure interceptions. IT'S 2009 ALL OVER AGAIN !!! Fire Olson, find a Defensive coordinator and I wonder about Raheem as head coach, don't know yet : horrible first season, good second and ... Hard to figure out who he is. By the way, did you like Jonathan Joseph for the texans ... he could have been ours ... hum, hum ... GO BUCS, GET BETTER (and let begin the prayers for next week ...)
  • avatar

    Gentlemen, I leave for you observation, two things - the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - a case study of two extremes on how not to put a football team together. I rest my case!
  • avatar

    This never happened under Gruden, let alone twice in one season. The owners should be embarrassed.
  • avatar

    Most of all our wins have been come from behind. You should have known the LUCK was going to run out sometime. Well the time has come. This time has come and this team can not play with the better teams. And don't even try the Saints win excuse because it was pure luck of field goals. Haynesworth played great for the most part.But he can't do it all by himself. Morris you are not a DC and I am sure Gruden is glad he is not here to take the heat for putting you in as DC. I heard the number 2 high school team in the nation which is Armwood from here in the Tampa ( Seffner) would love to play you. I know who I would bet on to win!!
  • avatar

    Fu@$ tha garbage a$$ YUCS!! They can all go F@$% them selves. Starting with Raheem & Greg Olson to the Glazers to all the powder puff players on the roster. What an embarrassment and disgrace of a ball club. All I can say is Fu#@ing YUC!!! I refuse to cheer/root or go to a homegame! Sick & tired of the same bullsh@$ every week,now I hope that they implode & lose every game from here on out. Been a faithful fan to long & haven't been showed any love back, so now Fu$% them! Go Giants!
  • avatar

    I really can't blame fans for not showing up. Overpay for that garbage? Not going to repeat what I have been saying since Chicago game. No gameplan, poor execution, costly mistakes, no energy. The worst is listening to post game when all you hear is how good the other team is. No accountability and that's preventing us from truly improving and moving fwd. We are regressing because we keep trying to do the things that havent worked since last season. And someone please burn the page of our teany play book that calls for 3 yd pass on 3rd and 13. Oh wait that was the only page in the gameplan
  • avatar

    WOW! That was literally the first game I did not finish watching. I am speechless. Haynesworth was by far the best performer for the bucs the entire game. Yet again, tackling was nonexsitent, followed by numerous stupid penalties. I swear I actually feel bad for Josh Freeman, trying to make chicken salad out of chicken sh%t! The refs really didn't help all that much. Calling back Talib's interception was bull@#$%, follow by a K2 phantom offensive facemask; they killed all momentum before it actually even started. It's really sad when I'm already looking forward to the draft. AHHHHHHHHH!!! GO BUCS!
  • avatar

    Agreed on the need for a new OC and a new DC (Morris should fire himself and Olsen). I've heard Freeman every week on the radio say "you don't know what play we called in huddle" - I call BIG BS at this point, we know. Not sure if this game was winnable or not, but we HAD production out of the run game and we went back to throwing on 1st, bootlegging Freeman out. Speaking of the play-action bootleg pass from Schaub - we couldn't have jumped one of those? Several had two defenders in pursuit and double-coverage on the ONLY possible WR target (who ended up with the ball). This game was universally terrible. This game IS WHAT WE ARE, sadly. I've got advanced heartburn already for next week......
  • avatar

    Losing is a bad deodorant that just spreads throughout the organization and now we are desperate for a win but I don't know if we have the horses to win any time soon. There are so many issues starting with Freeman accuracy issues, Trueblood was man-handled today, penalties still, slow WR's, play calling, tackling, Linebackers, and overall talent. It's going to be an interesting off-season because what I see is pure regression from everyone.
  • avatar

    No way this team needs to keep Morris. This team looks every bit as bad as his first year 3-13 team but this year there is so much more talent ...thats regression in its purest form. Time for the whole coaching staff to go and the Glazers to put up or shut up when it comes to being active NFL owners.
  • avatar

    Well that sucked. The Bucs have regressed in all areas of the game from last year besides special teams. Give Morris another year as head coach for 2012 but we need a new OC and DC. The defenders are sitting on the short routes because we never go downfield anymore and Freeman never runs enough. A new OC can change that. The new DC can help with better fundamentals in tackling and preparing for offenses. Morris still does a good job with game management and getting players to play hard which is why he gets another year. By game management I mean good clock usage and a good feel for when to kick onside kicks and go for it on 1st down. Olsen just screws up the play that is actually called on 4th down.
  • avatar

    UGH!!! I don't even know where to begin so I won't. Go Bucs! Become a team again.
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