How did the Bucs secondary grade against the Chiefs? What grade
did Tampa Bay's defensive line and linebackers get against Kansas City? Find out in
this Pewter Report article.
Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds offers up his analysis on how Tampa Bay's
defense played against Kansas City in the Bucs' 38-10 victory over the Chiefs, and dishes out the game grades for
each defensive unit and the Bucs special teams.DEFENSIVE LINE
Tampa Bay’s defensive line did a very good job of shutting down Jamaal Charles and the fearsome Kansas City running attack. Charles, the NFL’s leading rusher, was held to just eight yards on seven carries at halftime, and finished with only 40 yard on 12 carries. The Chiefs had only 80 yards rushing on 30 carries (2.7 avg.) and the defensive line played a huge role in that effort, although the stats don’t show it.
Defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and defensive tackle Gary Gibson each had four tackles and a tackle for loss. Te’o-Nesheim almost had his first career sack and might have played the best out of the linemen. Defensive end Michael Bennett had two tackles and starting tackles Roy Miller and Gerald McCoy each had one tackle. Miller had a pass break-up at the line of scrimmage.
Tampa Bay’s defensive line failed to record a sack, but got significant pressure on quarterback Brady Quinn, who completed 22-of-38 passes for 180 yards with two interceptions.GRADE = BLINEBACKERS
Tampa Bay’s linebackers were free to make plays thanks to the great effort from the defensive line. Weakside linebacker Lavonte David tied for the lead in tackles with eight, and also had a tackle for loss. Middle linebacker Mason Foster finished with seven, and strongside linebacker Quincy Black had a season-high six.
The speed of the Buccaneers linebacker corps didn’t allow Charles to get outside or rip off any breakaway runs. In fact, Charles’ longest carry of the day against Tampa Bay’s defense was 22 yards. The linebackers played a big role in holding Kansas City’s offense nd zone and to just three points on Sunday.
GRADE = B+SECONDARY
The Bucs secondary broke up seven passes by Chiefs QB Brady Quinn and intercepted him off twice. Free safety Ronde Barber picked the ball off Chiefs running back Dexter McCluster’s back and raced 78 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to break the game open. That touchdown was his ninth career pick-six, including the postseason. Barber also had seven tackles and two passes defensed.
Strong safety Mark Barron recorded his first NFL interception on a pass that was deflected and intended for tight end Steve Manari at the Tampa Bay 19 to kill a potential Chiefs scoring drive. Barron tied for the team lead with eight tackles, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup.
Eric Wright had four tackles and two pass breakups and did a great job of holding Dwayne Bowe three catches for 21 yards. E.J. Biggers, who started in place of Aqib Talib at left cornerback, had a pair of tackles and a pass breakup. Nickel cornerback Brandon McDonald had two tackles and dime cornerback Leonard Johnson had a pass breakup.
With the Bucs coming into Sunday’s game with one of the worst-rated passing defenses, the secondary stepped up and held the Chiefs to only 180 passing yards, which is a season-low for Tampa Bay.GRADE = A-SPECIAL TEAMS
Barber partially deflected a Dustin Colquitt punt in the first quarter, but that was the extent of Tampa Bay’s highlights on special teams. Connor Barth saw his consecutive field goal streak of 25 straight kicks end after he missed his first attempt on Sunday, a 55-yarder in the second quarter that hit the upright. Barth made a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to increase Tampa Bay’s lead to 24-10.
The real catastrophe on special teams came from punter Michael Koenen, who had a fourth quarter punt get blocked in the end zone by running back Shaun Draughn. Instead of falling on the ball in the end zone and only surrendering a safety, Koenen picked up the ball and tried to throw it at the 1-yard line, only to have the pass picked off by linebacker Edgar Jones, who scored on an 11-yard fumble return for a touchdown. The reason why it was not labeled an interception return was because a blocked punt cannot be passed forward.
Koenen averaged 53 yards per punt on the ones he got off, but had a net of 31.7.
Tampa Bay’s return game continued to struggle as Roscoe Parrish failed to fair catch two punts that resulted in Tampa Bay getting backed up to its own 2-yard and 6-yard line on two occasions. Parrish returned three punts for 21 yards, an average of 7.0 yards per carry.
Arrelious Benn had two kick returns for 36 yards, averaging only 18 yards per return.
Fullback Erik Lorig also had a block in the back penalty in the fourth quarter that resulted in Tampa Bay starting a drive at its own 15, and linebacker Dekoda Watson jumped offside on a punt.GRADE = D+
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