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September 16, 2012 @ 5:56 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs Can't Stop Giants: Most Impressive and Disappointing

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Which players made the most impact Sunday in the Bucs 41-34 loss to the Giants? Who had a sub-par game and needs to step things up next week against the Dallas? Find out in this regular Pewter Report post-game feature.
Pewter Report’s editor-in-chief Mark Cook takes a look at the Buccaneers' most impressive and disappointing players following a crushing, 41-34 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday.

MOST IMPRESSIVE
Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson
Jackson proved why he was the most sought-after free agent receiver in this season’s free agency period. Jackson, who struggled last week against Carolina, started the game with a bang, snatching a 41-yard first quarter pass from Josh Freeman, and then followed it up with 29-yard TD reception in the second quarter. For the game, Jackson had five receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown.

Linebacker Mason Foster
Foster was a physical force all day, leveling Giants, including knocking two New York players from the game. Foster also added an interception that turned into a second quarter touchdown for the Bucs offense. When drafted last season many wondered if Foster could make the transition to the middle linebacker position after primarily playing the weakside in college at Washington. Foster showed on Sunday at New York he not only could make the switch, but dominate at times. Foster likely reminded some Bucs fans of some of the franchise’s top middle linebackers – Cecil Johnson, Ervin Randle and Hardy Nickerson among others – with his hard-hitting and sure-tackling ways.

Cornerback Eric Wright
Of the big three free agent signings – Jackson, Carl Nicks and Wright – the one that excited fans the least was Wright. But on Sunday against New York, Wright made most fans forget their criticism of general manager Mark Dominik for shelling out $37.5 million for the former Browns and Lions cornerback. Wright had one of the most incredible interception returns in recent Bucs’ fans memories in the second quarter, returning an Eli Manning interception 60 yards for a touchdown. Most NFL cornerbacks go down in that situation with less than a minute left, but Wright juked three Giants and followed his blockers down the right sideline for the score. For the game, Wright finished with three tackles and the interception before leaving in the third quarter with a back injury.

Kicker Connor Barth
Barth doesn’t just make field goals, he splits the uprights dead center nearly every kick. Like Tiger Woods in his prime, Barth can almost call his shot. He is in a groove never seen before in Tampa Bay, adding field goals of 45 and 52 yards, nailing 20 in a row now to extend his franchise record Sunday at New York. Barth was also perfect on extra point attempts going 4-of-4.

Honorable Mentions
LT Donald Penn, RT Demar Dotson, RG Ted Larsen, WR Mike Williams

MOST DISAPPOINTING
Cornerback Aqib Talib
Talib’s day started off bad (giving up a 7-yard slant on the Giants first passing play) and went downhill from there. Manning ended the day with a career-high 510 yards passing and at least 200 of those yards coming against Talib’s receiver. Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan and head coach Greg Schiano didn’t help Talib and the defensive backs with numerous blitzes that left the Bucs corners in one-on-ones throughout the game, particularly on third down. As anemic as the pass rush was, Talib still played poor technique at times, guessing instead of reacting, while also committing two penalties.

Quarterback Josh Freeman
Bucs QB Josh Freeman did several things right Sunday in the loss to the Giants. He also made several mistakes and bad decisions that hurt Tampa Bay’s chance of winning. On a good note, Freeman and Jackson hooked up five times for 128 yards and a score, and in the fourth quarter the Bucs’ fourth-year pro showed leadership and poise in attempting to bring Tampa Bay back. Onto the bad, Freeman was indecisive at times, and chose to force the ball in the third quarter instead of throwing it away, resulting in an interception. It also appeared there were running opportunities that Freeman chose not to take advantage of. Freeman completed 15-of-28 passes for 243 yards with two touchdowns and two second half interceptions. Freeman did enough to put the Bucs in position to win but not quite enough to actually pull it out.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
As well as McCoy played last week against Carolina, McCoy was just as bad Sunday in New York. The Giants at times appeared to take advantage of McCoy’s speed by allowing him to run himself out of the play. Other times McCoy was stoned at the line of scrimmage and at first look, it didn’t appear he was exclusively being double-teamed. For the game, McCoy was credited with just two tackles.

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn
Clayborn was shutout again, and now through two games the Buccaneers' leader in sacks from a year ago is still in search of his first QB takedown. Clayborn tried inside rushes, outside rushes and straight-on bull rushes with zero success. In fact, Clayborn, despite playing the majority – if not all the defensive snaps – failed to even register a single tackle. Clayborn’s motor runs at a high level, but so far has produced very little for the Buccaneers through two games.

Defensive end Michael Bennett
Bennett, like Clayborn and the rest of the defensive line, was ineffective in attempting to get pressure on Manning all day Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Giants offensive line, even after having to replace offensive tackle Dave Diehl, kept Manning upright all day despite 51 pass attempts. Bennett finished Sunday with one assist.

Safety Ronde Barber
Barber wasn’t terrible on Sunday, but one glaring play stood out, when the 16-year pro gave up an 80-yard touchdown pass to the Giants' Victor Cruz in the fourth quarter. In Barber’s defense it was third-and-2 and the Buccaneers were blitzing, and in most cases, the receivers settle at the sticks. Barber took the odds, but unfortunately for Tampa Bay, the Giants had other ideas, and the ineffective Buccaneers blitz allowed Cruz to easily blow by Barber for the game-tying score.

Dishonorable Mention
CB Brandon McDonald, OC Mike Sullivan, DC Bill Sheridan
Last modified on Sunday, 23 September 2012 19:45
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    I think Freeman being on the list for Disappointing is a little harsh, he's running whats called and the final pick was desperation. The first one was dumb no doubt about it, but I think the second half play calling was as poor as it was last week. We could have killed them throwing the ball more and we chose a different path, how about putting the caoching on disappointing list for the Defense and Offense.
  • avatar


    The only time I saw Blount was in one of the Tv network's highlight clips they kept running between commercials....it showed #27 but he was probably just on the sideline...definitely did not notice him on the field.
  • avatar


    I absolutely loved this game. great analysis of this game PR. As a growing team in whole, the game was well played. We were ahead and kept up with the reining SB champs. Remember we still have alot of young players that gained great experience from this game. Yes we had some negatives, but will learn from them. Sounds crazy , but I was happy even tho we lost. Note: our second half play the last 2 games was lackluster and not 100% effort. If coach reads this we deffinately need to work on a full game effort
  • avatar


    Anybody see Blount in this game at all?
  • avatar


    There was some awful coaching on display yesterday. Heading into the 4th quarter we had the ball with about 30 seconds left in the 3rd. They ran 3 straight pass plays instead of a running play to end of the quarter and get to the 4th. I get that they have adopted a new more aggressive style of defense and when the pressures are actually getting to the quarterback its an effective form of defense. HOWEVER on this past Sunday the blitzes never got home and it left our secondary in far too many man coverages. Coaching is realizing whats working and not working then adjusting. It appeared to me that Sheridan was hell bent on sending these blitzes regardless of how effective they were. Once he saw they were not working he should have changed things up and went to maybe a little more cover 2 like they have ran before and forced Eli to check down and execute a drive rather than waiting for the blitz and beating it. Coaches failed the Bucs this game and not the players.
  • avatar

    Freeman played really good in the first half and really bad in the 2nd half (again). Our offense did nothing to help the defense in the second half aside from a great play by Williams for the TD. His first interception in the 3rd quarter was huge. We are up by 14 and he has room to run for at least 7-8 yards and he throws an inaccurate pass late over the middle, into an area with 4 defenders. As I've said before... defenses should stay in cover 2 and zone defenses, because Freeman is lost. And our oline gave us great protection all 2nd half. Our defense was on the field the whole 2nd half. No wonder they couldn't stop them. Give a great QB that many chances and he is going to slice you up.
  • avatar


    Overall the Bucs are on the right track. However as good a job as the coaching staff was last week, they did a really poor job of managing the game and making adjustments this week. Continuing to blitz and leave Talib one on one, even though he was getting beat consistently is a real head scratcher to me. We weren't getting close to ELI and we never adjusted. Talib had a poor game but got no help. And another key point was when we got the ball back with 30 something seconds to go in the third. Our defense was gassed and the first play should have been a run to end the third quarter and help give the defense a break. Instead 3 straight passes and a killer int. The defense had to come right back in before the qtr ended. That being said, can't wait for the next game.
  • avatar


    For those who think that the defense lost the game yesterday, I'm saying this : Bucs possessions from the 10:36 of the third quarter on: Punt (6 plays) - Intercepted Pass (2 plays) - Punt (6 plays) - Punt (3 plays) - Touchdown - Intercepted Pass. We lost the game because the offense couldn't sustain drive in the 3rd quarter ... As a result, our defense was too tired to play the game. We should have gone for it on 4 and 1 in the middle of the field. Our defense was helpless, punting was not the solution. We knew it ... Where is the F°°°°ing QB sneak that works wonder 2 years ago ??? GO FOR IT when your defense is being torched no matter where the drive begins ...
  • avatar


    The fact that we are even talking about the Bucs having a chance to win this game is big progress over last year. Last year this would have been a blow out, this year we are in it to the last possession. Let's not forget that we were playing the Super Bowl Champs, at the Meadow Lands and after they lost to the Cowboys. We should also take into consideration that the Bucs are still learning two new schemes. Part of why Freeman is being kept under wraps is because the coaches are restricting him while he learns the system. The offense will improve as the players master more of the read adjustments. While Manning had a great day passing, I thought what set it up was Brown's running. Where did this guy come from? He dominated the Bucs defense and his effectiveness prevented us from playing coverage and/or teeing off on the QB. He was much more effective than Bradshaw. If Brown is the real deal, the Giants will be trouble for every and any team in the league. To recap the young 4-12 Bucs did not match up favorably to the veteran Giants super bowl champs. Wow big mystery there.
  • avatar


    I thought Josh played well. I don't count the last INT. Funny, but I still feel that if Mike Williams makes that late first down, we win. Oh well. The defense was definitely on the field too much yesterday and it got us beat. Good article.
  • avatar

    This game was loss by bad second half coaching, when bucs went up 14 they stopped attacking, by running first and second and throwing on third Hakeem nicks is no scrub guy has size and speed after the first long catch sheridan should have kept safety help the rest of the game before freemans first pick huge helmet to helmet call missed the play before, Doug martin is a good back but if he struggles why not let blount get a few carries there was no pass rush in the first half and bucs dominated cause the safetys stayed back bucs just need to study the film and realize our safetys need to stay deep if we need more pressure blitz LBs not DBs mike williams was robbed late in game im pretty sure he caught that ball and made a football move, it should have been ruled a catch and fumble, this is a week two game loss by 7 points with things that can be corrected easily, no need to abandon the ship, its not sinking
  • avatar


    Couldn't have said it better myself. The second-half was a combination of complacency, ill-advised gambling, and poor coaching. It's all a process fellas, let's stay patient.
  • avatar


    Look I've been an appologist for McCoy since we've drafted him. Horse has been bashing this guy forever, and I've given him the benefit of doubt, not anymore. He played great last week, but isn't consistant. The Giants had a starter go down, and McCoy couldn't exploit his back up. Sapp would've detroyed in a game like this. As for Clayborn, he did alright last year, but certainly hasn't taken his game to the next level yet, the jury is still out, but I'm not sure he can. It's hard enough beating elite left tackles in the NFL with two good arms, Clayborn has a deformity in one arm that might make the difference at this level. I thought it was a risk then when they drafted him,but again prove me wrong. I hope next week both these players show up, and I'll gladly eat crow, but if they can't get to Romo, we'll be looking at another long day for the Buc secondary.
  • avatar

    While you all panic and talk about drafting a DL in the first round you should consider that the Giants planned for our DL. They watch the tapes and there OL are all veterans so they knew their strengths. If you watch the game Eli was getting rid of the ball quick so pass rush really wouldn't matter. When the 4th quarter rolled around they were just tired. The main reason why the defensive line wasn't getting much pressure by the end of the 3rd was because when your on the field for 76 plays compared to the Giants 52 your going to get drained. Mason Foster was starting to cramp up. The only reason that stat doesn't seem so bad was because the Giants were scoring with drives of 4 plays or less. The offense didn't help much with the lead by not running the clock out and the 3 incomplete passes they did in the 4th was just stupid. They only took off 18 seconds off the clock and the defense was back on the field after the Giants just scored. All they had to do was run the ball and kill the clock but throwing incomplete passes will not help do that.
  • avatar


    @Everyone wondering about J.P.P., we didn't take him because the owners were still smarting over insisting on taking Gaines Adams, another lanky one-year wonder. In addition, J.P.P. is a classic Aaron Rodgers case - right system, right surrounding cast, right coaches, right amount of time on the bench, and it might not have panned out anywhere else (especially not in the utter train wreck that was this team the last three years). @Everyone saying this was no big deal because we played the defending Super Bowl champs down to the wire on the road, remember last year's Green Bay game? How was THAT as a harbinger of things to come? Also, the Arizona Cardinals. What I saw yesterday were some enormous systematic trends that are very bad. a.) Getting outcoached as measured by halftime adjustments. b.) Counting on the draft to improve the defense means we are still terribly thin at corner at D-line (much like Indy a decade, everything collapsed when we lost our number 2 corner. And the Giants didn't even have to cheat). c.) Cutting Tiquan Underwood means we have three kick returners and one quasi-deep threat, meaning that the middle of the field always has a safety camping in it. The Giants showed what happened when you have two guys capable of going the length of the field every play. d.) Freeman, for someone so large, seems to have no toughness at all. Witness Rothlisberger last night for the way Freeman should be playing. Since you can't coach attitude, we need to start calling plays for someone like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning instead of an Eli or Rothlisberger. And speaking of which... e.) Terribly predictable playcalling. No play-action passing in obvious run situations. Ronde had it right on defense; as for the offense, the last couple of offensive drives (Mike Williams' schizophrenia aside) showed what this team is capable of when desperate. That's the hallmark of a young team - playing not to lose makes them nervous. A moral victory is still a loss.
  • avatar


    The GB game and this weekend's game share few common factors; The Giants made mistakes and the Bucs capitalized every time. The Bucs were beating em up (literally). GB's game was a product of a few big plays and a conservative Aaron Rodgers. The Bucs lost this game because they failed to adjust their game plan in the second half. Bringing the house and going with a 0 cover scheme?! Sheridan should've dropped that non-sense after they got beat deep the first time! Regardless I'm very encouraged at what's going on here. Doubt the media thinks the same: Bucs get ZERO coverage compared to other squads.
  • avatar

    My impression is that we didn't run the dime package as much as we did last week and it hurt us. But also, our defensive line had no success with getting pressure on Manning, and Giants seemed not to be impressed with McCoy and ran towards him. One thing for sure is, our linebacking core has improved with David, and Foster really is stepping up. Talib in my mind when he is on is one of the best corners in the league, and this just simply was not his game. At least we got three interceptions, and in the past a lot of money was put in the bank due to turnovers on defense. If we can continue this we can win a lot of games. On offense, Jackson definitely looks like a good pick up, and Clark looked pretty good too. Williams looks to rebound in his position as the #2. Missing Smith on special Teams hurt us. Benn for the most part did an ok job, but he didn't exactly light it up. Overall we had no right to expect to go into the Giants Stadium on their home opener and win, but when you are ahead most of the game and seem to have a commanding lead it was heartbreaking to see them come back and beat us.
  • avatar


    Leave it to JonnyG to be thinking draft after a game 2 loss. Our 4-12 team from a season ago team went into the home of the champions after a loss, who were game-planning for the past 11 days and faced the Superbowl MVP on one of his good days and many of you think that this loss was unexpected. Come on guys! What happened was throughout the game we all could see a chance to "shock the world" so we are far more disappointed than we might have been. Regardless of the poor play and questionable game plan we almost pulled it off. Don't be so quick to abandon ship. By the way JonnyG; I agree with seeking a pass rusher in the draft............again.
  • avatar


    Guys, Nathaniel17 is right. Last week McCoy was the second coming of Mean Joe Green and now he's a bust. Come on. We don't need a DE in the early draft as we will have Bowers back. If I remember right the Giants DL sucked last week.
  • avatar

    I can see it now Bucs take a DE in the first round of next yr's draft!
  • avatar


    He will be a good player, as the Bucs will have a very high pick.
  • avatar


    I'm hopin Talib is bathin in aloe right now because he got burnt up today..I guess our defensive line was still tired from last weeks efforts to show any today..should have won this game..bucs need to learn to compete in the second half of games- maybe then we can worry about getting these guys to finish..this blows..
  • avatar


    You all are riding the roller-coaster nicely right now! I'm actually in shock at how hot and cold fans can be. This team lost 10 straight last season and now you're disappointed when they play a Superbowl-caliber team down to the final seconds?! For shame! Show some faith and trust in the program. Have a sip of the kool-aid... It's delicious.
  • avatar


    I though last week was an aberration and this week indicates that I may be correct. No roller coaster here! I quit drinking Kool aid when I was a kid and Funny Face as well.
  • avatar


    There's the rub, you won't win without a pass rush. Can't blame the D.C. for blitzing, he had to try to do something to disrupt Manning. Clayborn we can't afford a 2nd year slump, and McCoy you need to show us you were worthy of being the 3rd player taken in the draft. If these two can't play up to their draft status, we're back to square one. We'll have to look for D.T.'s, and D.E.'s in the draft again. Right now these two look like decent back ups. How did the Bucs miss on a guy who played his college ball at Ray Jay, J Paul? This last draft looks promising, maybe Schiano has a better eye for talent then Dominick, and Hickey, right now it looks like they missed with McCoy, and Clayborn.
  • avatar


    You're about to break the panic button, my man. After two weeks you're willing to call Clayborn a back-up? And McCoy, a week off of DESTROYING Carolina's O-line, is considered a "good back-up". Get real! The whole line had a bad game, that's all it comes down to.
  • avatar


    Same Dline as last year...how can we expect different results?
  • avatar


    Actually, if the DC sees that blitzes aren't even getting close to getting to the QB, then yes, I can fault him for continuing to send them and leaving his cornerbacks, who clearly can't keep up with the receivers, on islands. You have to make adjustments if what you're doing isn't producing the desired results. Instead, Sheridan just kept beating his head against the wall.
  • avatar


    How could we find absolutely no use for Blout even on 3rd and 1? Did he play a down?
  • avatar


    I mean seriously....1 sack would have been nice.....in 51 attempts.....
  • avatar


    Can I just say again....zero pass rush!!!!!!! How is any team supposed to win a game that way....
  • avatar

    Talib was one of the problems today. He was called for too many penalities and there were alot that he got away with. Replays showed that he was constantly trying to hold the Giants player. On one play (no penalty called) he had a chunk of the other guys jersey. It was a total mismatch today. I put that on Talib and on the coaching staff. There were times that Talib needed to be sat down so he could regroup and try to get his head back in the game. Review the game film, fix the mistakes and move on to Dallas. Go Bucs!!
  • avatar

    I dont understand Mike Sullivans crapstick play calling, It felt like Greg Olsen all over again.. And I can clearly see why Bill Sheridan was FIRED.. NO SENSE OF URGENCY FROM THE D-LINE WHAT SO EVER..!!!! WHERE THE F@#$ is BLOUNT COACH SCHIANO? IM CALLING YOU OUT!!!!! MARTIN CANT DO IT ALL SEASON LONG FOR 3 1/2 QUATERS A GAME LIKE YOUR TRYING TO DO, ITS JUST NOT REALISTIC!!!!!!!!! YOU WANNA SELL OUT RAYJAY, THEN YOU BETTER TIGHTEN UP QUICK OR YOU WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE & YOU WILL BE CALLED OUT!!!!!
  • avatar

    Pass rush would've made all the difference in the world. DB's had good moments, were sketchy in others. Talib was bad overall, but the Giants have really good, fast, receivers as well. In fact, with our coaches, we're often compared to the Giants and I really saw that during the game: We ran decently, they ran decently, our receives torched their secondary, their receivers torched our secondary. We had more take-a-ways, they had a better pass rush and a better QB. I thought it was a respectable game overall and gave me more hope than anything else (continual improvement on D-line and better (new?) DB's and we're trending more towards good from average).
  • avatar

    Your assestment is spot on. I have to say It couldn't have been put in writing any better...OBD
  • avatar


    What's up Free? All that soccer this summer you'd think maybe you'd run some. Still look like a rook at times. If Clayborn, and McCoy don't start playing to their draft status, it's time to let Dom, and Hickey go, you can't whiff this bad on 1st rounders, and keep your jobs.
  • avatar


    I yelled at him to run...he didn't listen to me.
  • avatar


    Thanks Mark - totally on board with your assessment of VJax...he was killing their DBs. I think you're being kind to Wright because of the excellent INT return....go back and watch the pathetic effort he gives on the blitz where Cruz (I believe) cruises down the field for a TD. I also don't see how anyone can even be mentioned in the same most-disappointing breath as Clayborn, McCoy and Bennett....they were like minus 1000000 on a scale of 1-10, while Talib was maybe 4 or 5, Freeman was possibly even a 6 or 7 (other than one INT, I thought he did well with the play calling he was given - his TDs to VJax and Williams were outstanding), and Barber was probably a 5 or 6. There is clearly one reason we lost this game......and it's called zero pass rush!!!!!
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