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October 14, 2012 @ 6:03 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/2 Votes

Bucs' Five Keys To Victory Against The Chiefs - Revisited

Written by Dory
Dory LeBlanc


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In the Bucs' dominating 38-10 win over Kansas City, Tampa Bay either accomplished or improved on every key to victory except one. Despite the Chiefs entering the game with 19 giveaways, the Bucs could only force two turnovers - one of which was an INT returned for a touchdown. 
Pewter Report's Dory LeBlanc examines five keys for a Buccaneers victory each week prior to the game. Following Tampa Bay's convincing 38-10 victory over Kansas City on Sunday, LeBlanc reviews her keys to victory and offers up her grades on each one.

Key 1. Offense Must Cash In On Turnovers
Rookie safety Mark Barron was the first Buc to capitalize on the Chiefs’ propensity for making mistakes. On the second drive (which coincidentally was a result of a Josh Freeman pick), Kansas City QB Brady Quinn threw a pass to TE Steve Maneri, which was tipped then grabbed by Barron. The offense couldn’t convert a third-and-six and the Bucs were forced to punt. 

The Bucs didn’t force any fumbles against the Chiefs, and on the contrary – had two of their own. But Ronde Barber was able to grab another interception against Quinn, but didn’t need the offense to capitalize - he took the ball 78 yards downfield for the TD on his own.

Grade F: The only time the offense had an opportunity to capitalize on a turnover they went three-and-out. 

Key 2. Stop Charles In Charge
The Chiefs’ offensive playbook in the first half mostly consisted of handing the ball off to Jamaal Charles, which was completely ineffective for a Kansas City offense that only amassed 260 yards of total offense the entire game. Charles, the NFL’s leading rusher, finished the day with 40 yards on 12 attempts and caught two of three passes thrown at him for seven yards. However, 22 of those yards came from a breakout run in the third quarter. Those big plays have come back and bitten the Bucs in all three losses, but Kansas City is so reliant on Charles, shutting him down just meant they would be forced out of their comfort zone. 

The Bucs shut down of Charles also forced Kansas City to utilize other options; out of 68 offensive plays, Charles was involved in 15 of them.  

Grade A: When you can hold a player averaging 110 yards per game to less than half – 47 yards – you’ve done something right. 

Key 3. Pave The Way
Tampa Bay signed tight end Nate Byham the week of the bye due to his blocking abilities and even had tight end Danny Noble inactive for the game. Like most tight ends on the Bucs this season, Byham played sparingly and when he did he went unnoticed. 

Luke Stocker, billed as a complete tight end a year ago before the draft, did a nice job with run blocking against the Chiefs, something he struggled with in the first four games. 

As a team, the Bucs rushed for 145 yards with rookie Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount combining for 134 yards on 20 attempts. Martin rushed for 76 yards on 13 attempts for an average of 5.8 yards per carry, while Blount had seven carries for 58 yards – an average of 8.3 yards per attempt. The team overall averaged soared to 6.0 – up from the 4.4 per carry two weeks ago against Washington which was their best average to date on the season. 

One of the most promising aspects of the Bucs’ ground attack was that both Martin and Blount had breakouts; Martin’s was 23 yards while Blount’s longest was 35 yards, both came in the final quarter. 

It’s not always fair to blame the blocking when things don’t go the way you want, just as it’s not always fair to give the back all the credit when things do. 

Jamon Meredith at right guard was a huge improvement over Ted Larsen from first glance and hopefully that continues. The offensive line continued to play well in pass protection – Freeman was only sacked once, bringing his season total to eight sacks in five games. Freeman is among the least sacked QBs in the NFL, due largely in part to the O-Line. But with Davin Joseph out for the season, the run blocking had been exposed as a weak offensive link. Meredith may be the key to right the rushing ship. 

Grade B+: It’s a start. The average per carry went up and both Martin and Blount had fourth quarter breakout runs. 

Key 4: Get It Together On Third Downs
Entering the game the Bucs had converted an abysmal 26 percent of third downs. Against Kansas City that number jumped to 44 percent. 

Tampa Bay went 2-for-4 on third downs in the first half and came back in the second half converting 2-of-5 third downs. 

Unfortunately one of the things that didn’t improve from two weeks ago was the Buccaneers ability to avoid third-and-long situations. The shortest third down situation was a three yarder that was converted in the second quarter.

Tampa Bay was also successful turning second downs into firsts thanks to big plays by the receiving corps. Comparatively speaking, Kansas City was forced into 17 third down situations and could only convert six for 35 percent. 

Grade B: The Bucs are still converting less than half of their third downs, but 44 percent is a vast improvement over the first four games when Tampa Bay averaged 29 percent. 

Key 5: Force Quinn To Write Checks He Can’t Cash
Quinn hadn’t started a game since 2009 before Sunday and although he started out decently, his play declined as the game went on. 

The Bucs defense forced Quinn to throw early in the first quarter – and forced an interception by Barron. But after the pick, Quinn settled down and at times was throwing lasers. In the first quarter Quinn was 5-for-8 for 29 yards and followed it up throwing 6-for-9 for 54 yards - not great, but not awful either. The day all went downhill for Quinn after halftime.  

Quinn opened the Chiefs’ second half with a pick-six by Ronde Barber on Kansas City’s first possession and it seemed like the Bucs’ defense was too much for either the Chiefs’ passing or ground games. 

Quinn ended the afternoon completing 22-of-38 passing (57 percent) for 180 yards and two interceptions for a QB rating of 48.1. 

Grade A: Quinn’s longest pass was 19 yards, he threw two interceptions and he was held to zero touchdowns. 

Last modified on Sunday, 14 October 2012 18:25

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  • avatar

    Thanks for the clarification DL
  • avatar

    Scubog's Keys revisited. #1.) Ain't Seen Nothin' Like the Mighty Quinn": Fears that the former first round draft pick might come in here with no pressure and have a career day never materialized. He played very cautiously and I never thought the Bucs concentrated on stopping the run and allowing him to pass. Grade A. #2.) Romeo, Romeo Where the Heck Are You Romeo": Surely Chief's fans are wondering what kind of defensive game plan Crennel devised when the Bucs lit them up for over 400 yards. Grade A. # 3.) The Gift that Keeps on Giving": The Bucs did get an early tipped interception and of course the great # 20 snatched one, but I never thought the Chiefs were careless with the ball. Grade C. #4.) "Homie Don't Like That" As much as fans here get frustrated with Josh Freeman's play from time to time, I'll bet the Chiefs fans would take him over the expensive free-agent Matt Casel. Grade B. # 5 "Use all the Tools or be Fools": Better use of the offensive weapons but still not to the level I'd like to see. Where are the TE's in this offense? Is Benn ever going to be used for anything other than an average kick-off returner? Grade C. And finally, the Chief's fans in attendance (two from Iowa in front of me) had little to cheer about and were far more respectful than those who live here but root for their former "home" team. Sad, that on such a nice day so few Bucs fans attended. But a few more wins like this one the remainder of the season, RJS might just become the "place to be" in 2013.
  • avatar

    Point taken, Horse and JBuc but in the original post I wrote that the offense had to capitalize on turnovers. Whiich, they did not. Sorry for the confusion. Yes, of course Pick-Sixes are great, but as I said in the original I was talking about the offense scoring off of TOs. I'll be sure to be more clear moving forward if something like this crops up again.
  • avatar

    The goal was for the "Offense to cash in on turnovers". The only points off turnovers were scored by the DEFENSE. As Dory said, the one chance the offense got to get points off of a turnover, they went 3-and-out. There is no grade OTHER than an "F" to give since the listed goal was NOT "convert turnovers into points". Since it specifically targeted the offense, and the offense did not do that, it has to be an "F".
  • avatar

    How can it possibly be written and reviewed that the Bucs should be given an "F" for not turning turnovers into TDs? Agreed, a C at least.
  • avatar

    Wow. This was a really fun game to watch at the stadium. Defense played really well and even though there was no sacks, they were effective in stopping the run and putting pressure on Quinn. It was so good to see Blount pounding it out. I know Chiefs are not a very good team but this is a start. Baby steps. We almost certainly are going to have more wins than last year.
  • avatar

    I think Key 1 should be a C at least since we did have a turnover that resulted in a touchdown. .
  • avatar

    Great win...finally Ronde for President Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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