How did the Bucs secondary grade against Robert Griffin III? What grade did Tampa Bay's linebacking corps get against the Redskins? Find out in this Pewter Report article.
Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds offers up his analysis on how Tampa Bay's
defense played against Washington in the Redskins' 24-22 victory over the Bucs, and dishes out the game grades for
each defensive unit and the Bucs special teams.
Tampa Bay’s pass rush wasn’t nearly as effective as it was last week in Dallas, but the Bucs did manage a couple of sacks. Middle linebacker Mason Foster and defensive end George Johnson split a sack on Robert Griffin III that almost resulted in a safety, and should have been reviewed by head coach Greg Schiano. Griffin III was ruled down at the Washington 1-yard line, but replays showed him being sacked in the end zone. Johnson had two tackles against the Redskins as a reserve defensive lineman.
In the fourth quarter, defensive end Michael Bennett sacked Griffin III and notched his fourth of the year, which leads the team. Bennett was the most active defensive lineman and finished with two tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss.
Daniel Te’o-Nesheim started in place of the injured Adrian Clayborn at right defensive end and played okay. He finished the game with four tackles, three of which were assists.
Defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Roy Miller posted three tackles and one tackle respectively, and did an intermittently good job stopping the run. Alfred Morris gashed the Bucs for 113 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries (5.4 avg.), and picked up 75 of those yards in the first half, including the touchdown. Morris was held to 38 yards on 10 carries in the second half.
Outside of McCoy’s tackle for loss, he didn’t make many impact plays or pressure the quarterback like he did in Dallas last week.
Griffin III was not contained well enough on Sunday as he rushed for 43 yards on seven carries, 15-yard scramble on Washington’s game-winning drive. Griffin III also had a rushing touchdown on a QB draw up the middle and nearly scored on another one as he fumbled the ball in the end zone, but it was recovered by Pierre Garcon for a Redskins touchdown.
GRADE = C-LINEBACKERS
Rookie Lavonte David missed some tackles in the first half, but still led the Bucs in that category with a career-high 14 (12 solo), including three tackles for loss, which is a personal best. David now has 33 tackles on the season and six tackles for loss. Against Washington he was a tackling machine and put on a performance that hasn’t been seen from a Tampa Bay weakside linebacker since Derrick Brooks.
Middle linebacker Mason Foster had a costly personal foul when he hit Griffin III after he threw the ball on third-and-19 at the Washington 1. But he also had a pretty solid job tackling Redskins ballcarriers, finishing the game with 10 stops to lead the team with 36 stops. He also split a sack with Johnson.
Strongside linebacker Quincy Black had two tackles and was out of position on a couple of plays. The linebacking corps compiled 20 of Tampa Bay’s 47 tackles on Sunday, but failed to create any turnovers or make any splash plays in the passing game outside of Foster’s half sack.GRADE = B-SECONDARY
Strong safety Mark Barron forced his first fumble in the NFL, but it was recovered by wide receiver Pierre Garcon in the end zone for a touchdown at the end of the first half. Barron also drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for what looked like a perfectly legal tackle of Griffin III even though he was slammed to the turf. Barron finished with eight tackles and played reasonably well.
Free safety Ronde Barber did not have a great game as he was flagged for a 32-yard pass interference penalty, but he did draw an offensive pass interference penalty and finished with four tackles, including a tackle for loss.
Cornerback Aqib Talib broke up a pass and did a good job of covering Pierre Garcon, who was held to one catch for 20 yards, while fellow starting cornerback Eric Wright had three tackles before leaving with a head injury in the third quarter.
Reserve cornerback E.J. Biggers saw his first action of the 2012 season and responded with a game-high three pass breakups despite the stats sheet only giving him one. He finished with one tackle while Brandon McDonald had two stops for Tampa Bay.
The Bucs secondary didn’t record an interception and only broke up two passes while allowing Griffin III, a rookie, to complete 26-of-35 passes (74.3 percent) for 323 yards, including all four of his passes for 41 yards on Washington’s game-winning drive. The coverage just wasn’t tight enough.GRADE = D+SPECIAL TEAMS
Connor Barth got the Bucs on the board with a 50-yard field goal in the first quarter. Barth also drilled a career-high 57-yard field goal in the second quarter, and followed that up with a 47-yarder that gave Tampa Bay a brief 22-21 lead with 1:42 left. That was his 25th consecutive field goal dating back to last year and is a team record.
Punter Michael Koenen averaged 46.2 yards per punt with a net of 43.3 yards. He had three punts downed inside the 20 and had a season-long punt of 64 yards, which was the fifth-longest in team history.
Roscoe Parrish got nine yards on his first punt return as a Buccaneer, and more importantly, didn’t fumble the ball like Jordan Shipley did. He finished with four returns for 36 yards (9.0 avg.), including a long of 13 yards.
Tampa Bay’s coverage team did an outstanding job on Washington punt returner Brandon Banks, who was held to just 17 yards on three returns (5.7 avg.). Kick returner Niles Paul averaged 21 yards on two attempts.
Leonard Johnson and Erik Lorig were called for block in the back penalties on punt returns, which didn’t help the offense in terms of starting field position.GRADE = A-
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