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September 16, 2012 @ 5:43 pm
Current rating: 4.50 Stars/2 Votes

PR Analysis: Tampa Bay's Defensive Game Grades vs. New York

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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What grade did Tampa Bay's secondary receive from Pewter Report in Tampa Bay's 41-34 loss at New York? What Bucs defensive unit fared the best? Find out in this Pewter Report article.
Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds offers up his analysis on how Tampa Bay's
defense played against New York in the Giants' 41-34 victory over the Bucs, and dishes out the game grades for
each defensive unit and the Bucs special teams.


Tampa Bay’s defensive linemen were nearly invisible against New York. Defensive tackles Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller and Gary Gibson each had two tackles against the Giants, and defensive end Michael Bennett only had one stop. After making big strides last week against Carolina with a sack and several pressures, McCoy didn’t come close to Manning this week.

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn didn’t even show up on the stats sheet against New York. Clayborn has had a bad start to the season and has totaled one tackle in two games thus far.

What was even more disturbing is the fact that none of the Bucs defensive linemen registered a sack against Eli Manning despite the fact that he dropped back to throw 51 times and Tampa Bay had the lead for nearly three quarters of the game. Manning was only hit twice after he threw the ball and that’s disgraceful.

Middle linebacker Mason Foster made a big play by intercepting an Eli Manning pass intended for tight end Martellus Bennett at the New York 28 to set up Tampa Bay’s first touchdown. Foster also knocked running back Ahmad Bradshaw out of the game with a vicious tackle that jammed Bradshaw’s neck in the first half. He finished with a game-high 13 tackles (12 solo), including two tackles for loss, and a pass breakup, and might have played his best game in his two-year NFL career.

Weakside linebacker Lavonte David was quite active, finishing with a career-high eight tackles (seven solo) and two tackles for loss. Strongside linebacker Quincy Black contributed six le dime linebacker Dekoda Watson had one tackle on defense.

The Giants were able to rush for 94 yards on 25 carries (3.8 avg.), led by running back Andre Brown, who picked up 71 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries (5.5 avg.) – most of which came up the middle. That takes away from some of the good stuff Tampa Bay’s linebackers were able to do.

Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib was targeted by Manning early in the first quarter as Hakeem Nicks had two catches for 48 yards, and Domenik Hixon had a 12-yard catch down into the Tampa Bay red zone on New York’s second possession. Nicks finished the day with 10 catches for 199 yards and a 23-yard touchdown against Talib, but his biggest play might have been a 50-yard catch-and-run play down to the Tampa Bay 11-yard line that set up New York’s game-winning touchdown.

Talib has never surrendered as many big plays as he did to a single receiver as he did on Sunday. The fact that he broke up four passes and finished with eight tackles doesn’t make up for Talib’s nightmarish day against Nicks.

Cornerback Eric Wright played a role in allowing Victor Cruz to roll up 179 yards on 11 catches against Tampa Bay before leaving in the third quarter with a back injury. Wright did have an amazing 60-yard interception return for a touchdown just before halftime. Wright finished with three tackles and a pass breakup in addition to his pick-six, and the Bucs missed his play terribly in the fourth quarter.

Cornerback Brandon McDonald intercepted Manning and returned the pick 41 yards down the sideline to help set up Tampa Bay’s second touchdown in the first half. McDonald got extended playing time outside at cornerback in the second half when Wright was injured. He had seven tackles and two pass breakups in addition to his pick, but also gave up a game-tying 33-yard touchdown to Bennett.

Strong safety Mark Barron had a solid game with 10 tackles and two pass breakups, while free safety Ronde Barber had his good day, which consisted of four tackles and three pass breakups tarnished by giving up Cruz’s 80-yard touchdown catch. Reserve safety Ahmad Black had one tackle against the Giants.

If not for the three interceptions and 15 pass breakups, the Bucs secondary would have received an F for playing a huge role in surrendering 510 passing yards.

Arrelious Benn replaced rookie Michael Smith as the team’s kick returner against New York and he fumbled his first attempt, but Tampa Bay recovered. Outside of Benn’s 55-yard return to start the second half, Benn wasn’t overly spectacular and averaged 25.7 yards per return.

Up-back D.J. Ware returned a squib kick 18 yards in the fourth quarter.

Sammie Stroughter only had two punt returns, totaling 16 yards. Punter Michael Koenen had a good day punting, averaging 42 yards with a 38.2-yard net. He had three punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

Tampa Bay’s coverage units did okay. David Wilson averaged 28.7 yards on kick returns, and had a long of 44 yards. Ruben Randle averaged 11.5 yards on two punt returns. Fullback Erik Lorig and Watson each had two tackles to lead the Bucs’ special teams.

Kicker Connor Barth drilled a 47-yard field goal for the Bucs’ first points of the day and also had a 52-yarder to remain perfect for the year.

Last modified on Sunday, 23 September 2012 19:43

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  • avatar

    A lot of negative comments.... but the bucs are playing better, and should win thair share of games. Got to keep freeman focused down field.....
  • avatar

    I only know this! The Bucs defense is averaging giving up over 400 yds per game via the pass........something is not working in that part of the defensive game plan. Pretty stout against the run, but pass defense is deplorable!!!!!
  • avatar

    Realistically, who really believed we could go into Metlife Stadium against an angry Super Bowl Championship team coming off a loss and take them to the wire? I commend this team for giving it all they got. If this was last season, we would've given up as soon as the plane landed in New York. These Bucs fought hard. The D-line needs more depth and we have to open the offense for the entire game.....we got a lead and decided to become conservative in the 3rd quarter which allowed the Giants to gain momentum.
  • avatar

    Our entire defensive line was a non-factor. Clayborn has been the invisible man of late. The RDE is supposed to be the dreaded pass rusher. Well, he does have dreads.
  • avatar

    At least I didn't bring up his Irb Palsy, lol
  • avatar

    Did you hear Barber saying at the end of the game “They call the defense, we play the defense" ... Seems to me as a shot to the defensive playcaller ... No ?
  • avatar

    I like the tough mentality this team is developing. Knocked out 3 Giant players and gave the champs all they could handle.
  • avatar

    Right on 76Buc! I think some these fools forget their Buc history.. New coaches, new systems, young players, 4-12 last year. Hell, we won our first divison game and gave the champs everything they could handle in their house! All you Monday Quarterbacks need to wake up!
  • avatar

    We have a missing persons alert! HAS anyone seen or heard from Adrian Claiborne? If so please call Coach Schiano immediately!!!!!
  • avatar

    I think that we have to give the defensive coordinator an "F" as well. At the end of the game you can't continue to blitz the house an leave yourself susceptible to getting burned deep. Especially, when the blitzes aren't creating any extra pressure.... With a two score lead, you implement the Tampa 2 and keep everything in front of you. Just my two cents...
  • avatar

    I have never watched an NFL lineman constantly on purpose run offline of making a play in order to claim to himself to be a disruptive force, other then this guy. This is not the first time I have seen this from him but it was full scale today.Heck on one TD given up he ran on a stunt so wide of his lane he collided with the blitzing corner, really?? Your job is to clear the way for the corner Bozo! It reminds me of Eric Curry but from the tackle position. It is unreal to actually watch some of the unreal directions and lanes this head case takes on the way to the rb and qb, I mean totally takes himself out of the play but actually thinks he is a disrupter.Its easy to get penetration away from a play and let me tell YA he has mastered the technique.The corners got torched , no doubt, but having a d lineman running away from plays is absurd... Clayborn just flat out got outplayed but at least he attempted to go towards the QB. Please Ian Beckles watch the tape
  • avatar

    McCoy, Clayborn, these dogs can't hunt. Talib watch the guy running by you, not the Q.B., Manning ain't running no where, and when a blitz is called stop biting on the out route. Can we find some pass rushers already!
  • avatar

    I don't think F is low enough for the DL - especially Calyborn who worked against single blocking regularly....does he know a move other than the bull rush? This was our #1 pick.....I had dreams of Ware and Allen rushing from the end for us....now I just have nightmares....please oh please can someone fix Adrian Clayborn before the next game.
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