Home » Regular Features » Articles Archive » Articles » Bucs' Five Keys To Victory Against Carolina – Revisited
  • increase font size
  • Default font size
  • decrease font size

September 9, 2012 @ 8:54 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/2 Votes

Bucs' Five Keys To Victory Against Carolina – Revisited

Written by Dory
Dory LeBlanc


Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
In the Bucs' 16-10 victory over Carolina Sunday, Tampa Bay succeeded in accomplishing a few of the five keys needed, and had some help from a sloppy Carolina defense that handed the Bucs three free points after two pass interference calls in the second quarter that resulted in the Bucs taking a 13-0 lead into the half.
Each week Beat Writer Dory LeBlanc gives her Five Keys To Victory against that week's opponent. Following the game, LeBlanc revisits those five keys and give a synopsis along with the grade for each.

1. Build A Fortress 
Josh Freeman finished the game 16-of-24 for 138 yards and a touchdown while carrying the ball seven times for 13 yards. Are those numbers Pro Bowl worthy? No. But what they were was effective and efficient. Freeman was sacked twice and did not throw a pick, but could have had more help from Vincent Jackson, who only caught four of 10 targets.

As the game wore on, especially Ted Larsen who was playing in place of Davin Joseph, the O-Line got sloppy. At the end of three quarters, Freeman was 13-of-16, but both sacks came in the third. The Bucs were spotless penalty wise entering the second half until the first two penalties given up by the Bucs were both on Larsen. Freeman had enough time to get the Bucs up on Carolina and not look back, but that was largely due in part to Connor Barth, who was a perfect 3-for-3 on the day.

Combined, Freeman and RBs Doug Martin, D.J. Ware, and LeGarrette Blount, the Bucs rushed for 130 yards and no touchdowns, but 95 of those yards came from the rookie Martin who had 24 attempts.

Grade = B-: The line gave Freeman time with decent pass protection, but the loss of Joseph was felt in the running game.

2. Penetrate Enemy Lines
The Bucs needed to put pressure on Newton and did, sacking him three times for a loss of 12 yards total. The most promising part of the pressure one of them came from Gerald McCoy. McCoy practically lived in the Panthers’ backfield registering two QB Hurries and two tackle for losses.

Michael Bennett got in on the Newton-sack-action, but not before committing a roughing the passer penalty in the fourth quarter.

The front four as a whole recorded seven of the Buccaneers 40 total tackles, two sacks, two QB hurries, and 3-out-of-9 tackles for loss while the linebacker corps and secondary handled the rest of then tackles. Mason Foster led the team with TFL with three and Ronde Barber registered the final sack on his 200th consecutive start.

Grade = A: The Bucs held the Panthers to 10 yards on the ground the entire game, and sacked the hard-to-bring-down Newton three times. You can’t ask for much more from your defense than that, other than a shutout, which the Bucs had going into the third quarter.
3. Gain Positive Position
Aided by a Carolina penalty for interference on a fair catch punt to Sammie Stroughter, the Bucs started their second possession around the 50 yd line up 7-0 in the latter part of the 1st quarter. The drive resulted with a 36 yard Connor Barth FG to put the Bucs up 10-0 on the Panthers.

Mike Smith finally saw the field to start the second half, but his efforts were futile. After an impressive preseason where Smith won the starting kick return position, he returned three kickoffs for 55 yards against Carolina.

Stroughter had three fair catches, and Preston Parker got into the action with one punt return for zero yards, and a downed ball as the Bucs amassed zero total yards on punt returns against the Panthers.

The Bucs defense put Josh Freeman et al in great position throughout the second half, but the Bucs couldn’t capitalize on anything more than field goals.

Grade = C: Although the 18.3 yards per return average by Smith isn’t horrible, the punt return average of zero is. The defense gave the offense the best they could, which is why the grade isn’t an F.

4. Operation Shock And Awe
The Bucs blitzed a ton in the preseason and continued the same routine in the opener. Using linebackers, corners, and safeties, the Bucs kept the pressure on Newton the entire game, resulting in last year’s Rookie of the Year completing 23-of-33 passes for 303 yards. Newton was forced to throw two interceptions, however, and was able to only gain four yards on five rushing attempts.

Grade = A: The Bucs blitzing is effective and needs to continue being heavily implemented into every game. In a pass-happy NFC South, the more blitzing the Bucs do to Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Cam Newton – the better the outcome for Tampa Bay.

5. Achieve Secondary Objective
Vincent Jackson should have had a big game. The eight-year vet was the prize of the free agent wide receivers, but struggled against a secondary he shouldn’t have. Jackson was targeted 10 times, but had only four receptions for 47 yards. Not what you expect from a $55 million man. He rebounded just before the two minute warning in the fourth and gave the Bucs the first down they needed for Freeman to be able to take a knee to end the game.

Mike Williams put the Bucs on the board with a six-yard TD in the first for the 7-0 lead, but in two more targets, Williams only caught one for another six yards for 12 total.

Tight end Dallas Clark had just one reception for 33 yards and Fullback Erik Lorig tied Jackson and Martin for four catches.

Grade = C+: Freeman was given time to throw, and not including Jackson, the Bucs receivers caught 12-of-14 passes. You just have to expect more from one of the top eight wideouts in the league. 

Before the 16-10 Bucs victory, the PewterReport.com staff felt the season opener would end like this:
LeBlanc's Prediction: 17-14 Buccaneers
Cook's Prediction:26-21 Buccaneers
Reynolds' Prediction: 27-17 Panthers
Last modified on Sunday, 09 September 2012 21:19

Only registered users can rate articles!


  • avatar

    Lay off Freeman until midway through the season. He will check down a lot because he is learning a new offense. I would rather him check down for now instead of launching it up like he did last year for interceptions. If he isn't sure about the play I'm ok with the check downs as long as he shows improvements as the season goes on. I'm pretty sure they are reviewing the tapes to seeing what passes were there, and what he should do the next time he sees a certain coverage.
  • avatar

    Grades were good. I had added one which was the weather and it turned out that it did effect the teams? Just as the half ended a huge lightning bolt struck close to the stadium and a good rain shower drove just about everybody out of their seats. When the 2nd half started it was the Buc's who were flat and the Panthers on fire. It seemed as the field got dryer the Buc's came to life towards the beginning of the fourth quarter.
  • avatar

    V Jackson is a DOWNFIELD reciever. he averages 20 yds per rec in SD, IMO, he's not a crossing route receiver, he's a deep threat, and I'm concerned we're not gonna use him in that capacity, and more specifically, concerned that Freeman has an aversion to throwing the deep ball. there were a couple of times the deep ball was called and OPEN, but Freeman checked down, as he is wont to do. He continues to hold the ball WAY to long....throw the dam ball!!!
  • avatar

    I thought Jackson was pressing a little. He could have had a monster day and made the win a little easier to achieve.
  • avatar

    Agree scubog, VJax could have had a monster day. The drops didnt help his cause but he was able to get open and create throwing lanes to other WR.
  • avatar

    I'm pretty fine with the grades given. One random thought: there is no way that Vincent Jackson is a top 8 receiver. Top 15 is more like it, and that's probably optimistic. Don't get me wrong - I like the guy, and I'm thrilled to have him. But saying he's top 8 is ludicrous. Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Julio Jones, AJ Green, Mike Wallace, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Hakeem Nicks, Marques Colston, Steve Smith. That's not a list of guys ranked in order, but there are 13 guys literally off the top of my head that, right now, are almost unquestionably better than Vincent, who has always had issues with drops and route running in addition to being something of a head case. Top 8 is nuts.
Only registered users can write comments!
  • Blog

  • Articles

  • Around the Web

more RSS feed
moreRSS feed


View Magazine Front
2014 Buccaneers Future Forecast 2014 Buccaneers Future Forecast After a disappointing 2013 season, the Buccaneers are about to embark on the beginning of the 2014 offseason. PewterReport.com breaks down the team’s free agents and salary cap room and previews what’s ahead for Tampa ... [+] Read more
Missed an Issue? Archive
View Magazine Front


Should the Bucs sign Richie Incognito?

Pewter Report: Your source for inside and breaking news on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hide Tools Show Tools