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October 1, 2012 @ 10:03 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

PR Analysis: Tampa Bay's Offensive Grades Vs. Washington

Written by Dory
Dory LeBlanc


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How did the Tampa Bay offense fare in the 22-24 loss Sunday to Washington? Did the Bucs open the offensive playbook up against the 31st ranked pass defense in the league? Find out in this Pewter Report article.
Pewter Report’s Dory LeBlanc offers up her analysis on how Tampa Bay’s offense played against Washington in the Redskins 24-22 victory over the Bucs, and dishes out the game grades for the offensive unit.

Is seems as if things are starting to click for Josh Freeman. Against Dallas, Freeman completed 10 passes out of 28 thrown, for a dismal 35.7 percent completion percentage and 45.2 QB rating.

Sunday, Freeman made 24-of-39 passes for 61.5 percent and QB rating of 83.2. Quite a turnaround in a week, but it’s still not at the top of the quarterback food chain in the NFL.

Fans and media alike were clamoring for the Bucs to open up the playbook and throw the ball more after two weeks of a run-first mentality that wasn’t coming to fruition. 39 passes is opening the playbook, couple with the two long shots down the field, the first to Mike Williams for 65 yards in the third quarter, tying his career-longest, and again to Vincent Jackson for 54 yards in the final quarter of the Redskins game. Both drives ended with Tampa Bay touchdowns, and the catalyst seemed to be the big playmaking throws by Freeman.

Freeman did throw an interception in the second quarter on a pass intended for Jackson but attempted to extend plays with his legs; taking off with the ball twice, netting five yards and sliding for three. Freeman accuracy was right on in the opening and closing quarters, but wavered in the middle; if not for the 65-yarder to Williams, his third quarter numbers would have been much worse.

First Quarter: 8-for-9, 64 yards
Second Quarter: 5-for-13, 24 yards, one interception
Third Quarter: 4-for-8, 99 yards, one touchdown
Fourth Quarter: 7-for-9, 112 yards

Freeman is still not in the same class as pass-happy QBs Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, or the Mannings, but if he can improve on his execution and accuracy after the playbook was opened, Freeman is heading in the right direction. 
Grade B+

Through the first three games the Bucs were so committed to the run, most questioned if there was even a passing play in the offensive playbook. The Redskins were sixth against the run entering the game, and the few amount of rushing attempts could have been part of the game plan against Washington, considering their pass defense was ranked 31st in the league.

Doug Martin had eight carries for 33 yards for a respectable 4.1 yard per carry average, but it could have been higher had a 19-yard run not been called back for a holding penalty called on Jeremy Zuttah.

LeGarrette Blount registered his first touchdown of the season bullying his way into the end zone from the two yard line, and finished the game with six carries for 17 yards (2.8 yards per carry).

D.J. Ware took a direct snap and ran 17 yards up the left side, his only attempt on the ground Sunday.

Arrelious Been took an end around for a five-yard gain in the first quarter.

Freeman kept the ball twice, running for five yards, and then sliding after three yards on a third down.

That brings the total to 18 attempts for 80 yards between five ball carriers, for an average of 4.4 yards per carry. Granted, Martin’s 19-yarder would have put the total yards on the ground closer to 100, but the holding call negated the run.

The positive side is that Martin averaged slightly over four yards per run, which may mean he’s starting to know where the holes are going to be.
Grade C

Freeman threw for 299 yards, with two receivers catching the bulk of those yards. Vincent Jackson caught six passes for 100 yards and a score, while Mike Williams had four receptions for 115 yards. Both players caught deep passes, with Williams being the recipient of a 65-yarder that would ultimately result in Jackson’s seven yard touchdown reception towards the end of the third quarter. Jackson caught a 54 pass in the fourth quarter that went on to set up Blount’s two yard TD run. The 65-yarder to Williams tied Freeman’s longest career pass, and Williams and Jacksons combined yards marked the first time Tampa Bay had two receivers end with at least 100 yards each since 1992.

Now the bad news. Jackson was targeted 11 times, and Williams eight. Martin, who has been fairly solid thus far in the passing game was 2-for-5. Between the Bucs top three receivers, 12 passes were missed.

The remainder of the receiving corps was productive, as Tiquan Underwood was targeted three times and caught all three passes for 39 yards.

It seemed Arrelious Benn would finally have the breakout game people were waiting for after starting the game with two receptions and the end-around, but Benn fizzled in the second half, and did not make another catch.

When the Bucs have two receivers with at least 100 yards, and three more with double-digit yardage, it has to be considered a good day. The grade would have been much higher if not for the drops by the top two receivers. 
Grade B+

Pass protection is still holding up, with Freeman sacked once in the Redskins game – a six-yard loss on third down in the second quarter, forcing Tampa Bay to end the drive with a punt. On the sack, Washington DE Ryan Kerrigan put an inside move on Demar Dotson and got right in. It was the first sack allowed by Dotson since he took over for Jeremy Trueblood as the starting right tackle.

On the second drive of the game, Jeremy Zuttah was called for holding, negating a 19-yard Martin run to the left side. Martin has been running productively to the left behind Carl Nicks and Donald Penn, and this trend will be examined as the week goes on as to a breakdown of the offensive line in regards to Martin’s rushing totals.
Overall, Freeman is being pressured on drop backs, but the line is keeping defenders from reaching Freeman. 
Grade C+

By far the most difficult of all the offensive grades to give. Tampa Bay’s two tight ends, Dallas Clark and Luke Stocker, were targeted a total of six times with four catches for 20 yards.

Clark was 3-of-4 for 15 yards, but the pass thrown at him that he didn’t catch was one of Freeman’s worst balls of the game. Clark was draped in coverage, and the ball was errantly thrown behind him.

Stocker just flat out dropped his pass, which will happen from time to time, but it sticks out when you are only targeted twice.

The tight end situation in Tampa Bay is the most perplexing of all the offensive positions. Signing Clark should have been an asset to Freeman, but instead has been more like an afterthought.

Stocker’s role should be more of a blocking tight end, but truth be told, none of the tight ends on the Bucs roster are true blockers. Stocker was considered an all-around tight end, but has yet to produce as such.

Short passes over the middle or out in the flats if the linebackers are committed to the box would work for both of the Bucs’ TEs in the game plan, but the game plan hasn’t called for much of it yet. Clark was a major factor in the fourth quarter drive against the Giants that netted the Bucs a late TD, but other than that has been invisible all season.

The tight ends can only catch what is thrown to them and that hasn’t been much, but what is thrown has to be caught. 
Grade C
Last modified on Monday, 01 October 2012 10:33

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  • avatar

    Dory, did you even watch the game?????
  • avatar

    Dory, did you go to the game????????
  • avatar

    I hate to say it, but Freeman is not a franchise quarterback---I wish he was. He still holds the ball too long and does not hit receivers when they are open. He waits too long to make the decision and then it is too late, the receivers are covered. Plus, he is not accurate enough. Don't know if those issues will ever change.
  • avatar

    I am trying to find the link to watch the game. I can't find it. Can anyone supply the link. It would be nice if Pewter Report would put up the link as soon as it is available since the NFL doesn't want anyone to find it. To the Glazers, the USF game sold out on Saturday. You have sold out 2 games in the last 2 years. Stop blaming your customers and lower your prices.
  • avatar

    I agree with BuccanAy- The running game deserves an "F" and Freeman deserves a "C" he didn't start having a decent game untill the second half and sliding before the first down marker is ridiculous.
  • avatar

    I'm not here to bash Freeman but the play of the game was the 2 and 10 incomplete pass with 1:50 or so to go in the game. If Freeman tucks the ball away and hits the seam that was right ahead of him he gets positive yards and it keeps the clock rolling. We then have 3 and manageable with the redskins using all timeouts. Freeman made a terrible pass in that situation (low and to the wrong shoulder) In my opinion Mike Williams made a heck of a play just to make sure it wasn't picked off. Freeman is not a pocket passer.
  • avatar

    Agreed, but you will also see that VJax was wide open on a shorter route that Freeman could have seen. It would have been an easy first down. To no avail.
  • avatar

    Freeman after four years is not accurate, most of his throws were poor throws and the INT was just stupid. We keep making excuses for Freeman trying to sell him as a franchise QB that he is NOT. The score was much closer than the game. Give the Redskins nine more points (three missed easy FG's) and we are not even in the game. To give the QB a B+ is waaaay to high.
  • avatar

    I could not agree more. B+, he was terrible in the second quarter. He can never put a full game together. After a while, it's time to look in the mirror. He's been in the league almost 5 years now, I don't see Flacco and Matty Ice missing wide open guys. Did anyone ever think the play calling is because Freeman can't make all the throws, or makes bad decesions? Does anyone think they are going to extend his contract? I know we have to see how the year plays out, but if he keeps up with the ups and downs from quarter to quarter, not even game to game, they need to think of another trigger man.
  • avatar

    @BuccanAy, Freeman was not just 'throwing them up' and letting the WR's 'go get it'. What were YOU watching? The accuracy and touch on the deep balls was spot on. That said, in the first half he was definitely off the mark, but the OL was NOT giving Freeman any time worth mentioning to unload the ball, sans a few plays. When the pass blocking improved in the 2nd half, we went to the air more and Freeman found his groove. That is no coincidence. Dotson and Larsen were getting pushed around all game and we had to give them TE or RB blocking help in the second half. Every QB makes mistakes and Freeman makes his fair share, sometimes more than he should, be he is the leader of this team, working in a new system, with coaches that maybe over-coach him. I personally think they harp too much on not making mistakes which I think stunts his growth to a small degree.
  • avatar

    These grades are RIDICULOUS!!! If Freeman graded that high(B+) this would have been a route. Most of Freemans throws were jump balls that were just heaved up and let his receivers make plays. Anything requiring accuracy or timing was way off. Still has deer-in-healight look. This guy is NOT a leader PERIOD. Sliding down 2yds short when we desparately need a 1st does not a leader make. RG3 showed infinitely more moxie that freeman. And how did our running game get anything but an F....my GOD!!! Were you even at the game or just lookin at stats? Had our offense been able to muster anything resembling a drive our defense wouldn't have been spent at the end....another Freeman FAIL!!!
  • avatar

    Too much passing in the first half led to 2nd and 3rd downs that weren't as manageable. Very frustrating to watch. I think the passing ratio was 3:1 (pass:run). - 3sk
  • avatar

    To be fair, the sack on Freeman was as much Freeman's fault as Dotson because Free held on to the ball way too long.
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