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October 15, 2012 @ 12:20 am
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PR Analysis: Tampa Bay's Offensive Grades Vs. Kansas City

Written by Dory
LeBlanc
Dory LeBlanc

Dory
LeBlanc

Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
How did the Tampa Bay offense fare in the 38-10 victory over Kansas City Sunday? Did OC Mike Sullivan use the bye week to retool the offensive playbook against the 27th ranked scoring 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 Kansas City in the victory, and dishes out the game grades for the offensive units.

QUARTERBACK
Josh Freeman was streaky through most of the first half entering the break 5-of-13 for 122 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The pick wasn’t so much a bad throw or decision by Freeman it was really just a good read by Justin Houston who stepped right in front of Dallas Clark, the intended receiver. Right before the end of the first, Freeman hit Mike Williams with a 62-yard TD bomb to put the Bucs up 7-0.

Freeman came out in the second half firing on all cylinders, throwing 10-of-13 passes for 206 yards and two more touchdowns – both to Vincent Jackson; Freeman threw a 19-yarder on the opening drive of the third quarter and a 17-yarder with nine and a half minutes to go in the game. On Jackson’s second score, the drive was kept alive, when on a third-and-11, Freeman threw another 62-yard deep pass to Tiquan Underwood.

However, despite Freeman’s success throwing the long ball, the fourth-year QB struggled in his short-to-intermediate passes in the second quarter, throwing five incomplete passes in one drive.  Freeman continues to stare down his first progression and didn’t have a good touch on the ball on the shorter passes. Freeman’s final statline was 15-of-26 for 328 yards, three touchdowns, an interception and a QB rating of 124.7.
Grade B

RUNNING BACKS
The 46,500 in attendance were the first to witness what the Bucs offense looks like with a two-back system. Doug Martin had the majority of the carries over LeGarrette Blount, but Blount had the longest run of the day – a 35-yarder to the left and the only rushing TD of the game.

Martin rushed for 76 yards on 13 attempts for an average of 5.8 yards per carry, while Blount’s 58 yards came on seven carries, an average of 8.3 per attempt. One of the most improved aspect of the ground game was the Bucs’ yards per attempt which jumped from 4.4 against Washington two weeks ago to 6.0 per carry Sunday versus the Chiefs.

Overall, the Tampa Bay running backs ran the ball 21 times for 140 yards, while Freeman ran three times for five yards.
Grade A-

WIDE RECEIVERS
Three Buccaneer wide receivers were responsible for 10 receptions for 247 yards and three touchdowns Sunday against Kansas City.

Mike Williams broke 100 yards for the second straight game, while being the recipient of a 62-yard TD pass in the first quarter. Williams had another huge catch in the second quarter as the third-year wideout caught a 36-yard pass down the right sideline on a 2-and-11 situation. Williams ended the game catching four of six targets for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Vincent Jackson only amassed 66 yards on four catches, but two of them were for scores. Jackson finished the day catching four of eight targets, but two of them came on Freeman’s shaky drive in the second quarter.

The only other wideout to catch a ball was Tiquan Underwood who caught a six yard pass in the Bucs’ opening drive to convert a third down and made a beautiful play in the fourth quarter. With 13 minutes left in the game, Freeman fired a shot downfield for Underwood, who was in tough coverage. Underwood broke up what could have been an interception by batting the ball away from the defender, and as luck would have it, was able to catch the ball after he swatted it away.

Underwood was one of Freeman’s five incompletions in the second quarter drive, but otherwise has been very reliable the last two games. Underwood ended the Kansas City game with two catches for 68 yards.

Each of the three Tampa Bay receivers made a highlight reel catch, and at times, were responsible for Freeman’s successful afternoon.
Grade A

OFFENSIVE LINE
RT Demar Dotson was beaten badly in the third quarter, causing a sack on Freeman and a fumble – which Dotson recovered.

The pass protection has not been a problem this season, but the run blocking has been. Sunday against the Chiefs, the blocking up front was much improved and helped to allow the Bucs 145 yards on the ground.

Jamon Meredith started at right guard and from first look, was solid in both pass protection and run blocking.

The line still has a ways to go as far as blocking, but Sunday’s matchup with the Chiefs was a step in the right direction.
Grade B

TIGHT ENDS
Dallas Clark was the only tight end targeted in the game, and it came as he was the intended receiver for what turned out to be Freeman’s lone interception. The Bucs TEs blocked much better this week than they have all season and can’t be held responsible for not getting the calls to catch the ball.
Grade C

- Mark Cook contributed to this report

Last modified on Monday, 15 October 2012 00:39
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    If you were at the game, you saw how poorly Free threw the ball to everyone but VJ. There is a reason the fans (yes our fans) briefly booed him. The balls he threw up to Williams were true jump balls, if not for Williams' athleticism there could have been two disastrous picks. On the INT, it wasn't that the DB made a great play, Free looked at that half of the field and stared the WR down the whole time. Against a real D, his stats would have been far different. I want to believe, and I think you have to give Free until next yr to show what he can do in a new offense, but I would start thinking about spending a 3rd/4th on a QB in the next draft or the one after. I know, I know, fire away...
  • avatar

    I agree with the grades I would have given an A+ to the running game other than that spot on, your right Dory you can't please every poster on here with the grades I'm always right on here and not everyone agrees with me either sigh!, lol
  • avatar


    I guess Martin must have gotten faster, since he now has a couple of big plays under his belt... Now can we stop the chatter of his inability to break out runs/passes? If you block them, the big plays will come.
  • avatar


    I think the most promising play was a pretty basic play by Blount. I don't remember the exact time but Blount came across the formation to pick up an outstanding block when we were deep in our own territory. You combine that with the trust that the couches have in him not to fumble by giving him the ball to run out the clock and I think it's obvious how much work and effort he put in this offseason. Keep it up..
  • avatar


    This was a game where the Bucs showed a very balanced attack...24 rushes (including Freeman scrambles) and 26 passes...a good formula for winning.
  • avatar


    I was very proud of the bucs sunday. This sunday night i went to bed very happy, not disappointed. I hope we can get on a roll now and get a streak going. Keep up the excellent work Dory and Mark and the rest of the PR staff.
  • avatar

    I was at RayJay to watch the win yesterday and feel Freeman's grade is accurate but somewhat misleading because the WR (see Mike Williams and Tiquan Underwood catches) made great catches in key situations all day long. Freeman had a great statistical day but his accuracy and decision making were suspect on the short to intermediate throws. He still has a tendency to stare down WR and opts for the quick dump off too quickly sometimes even when the pass protection was outstanding yesterday. Hopefully that improves when we play a better secondary later in the season but I will take what we can get at this point. Thankfully the Saints pass DEF is very suspect and we should continue to press the deep ball.
  • avatar


    I don't think throwing Blount in there for mop-up duty on the final drive really constitutes a true "two-back system." We still need more Blount!
  • avatar

    100% agree. Blount did see the field early in the game but that usually lead to some nice play action passes down the field vs outright carries. I think the prospect of a team lining up against us and trying to stop both backs will be tough as long as we can mix up the carries and get each their 10-15 touches per game. Blount has big play potential that we can not afford to leave on the bench.
  • avatar


    Dory, your grade on Freeman is right on, just ignore the "wanna-be" commentators that just don't have a clue. I personally think one of the real keys to the success of the offense was the play of RG Jamon Meredith. The 6'-5", 305 lb. guard was outstanding all day long and helped out Dotson on several plays. The only question I have is: "Why has this guy been sitting on the bench and Larson playing ahead of him?" Keep up the good work Dory!!!
  • avatar

    well everybody's opinion matters, that's what makes this site so great. But I take offense when my objectivity is being questioned. I assure you, I have no bias one way or the other.
  • avatar


    I think a B for Free is valid. He had a pedestrian 1st half worthy of a C at best. Then he had an A+ second half...which equals out to an overall B. Makes sense to me.
  • avatar


    Freeman had the third best game of the week as a QB and yet you only give him a B? I think your bias is showing.
  • avatar

    Why would Mark or I have a bias? For every fan that thinks it should be higher, there is always a fan that thinks it should be lower. Can't please everybody all the time. That said, we listed the reasons he was given a "B".
  • avatar


    Freeman continues to get backhanded compliments. What does this guy have to do? Good grief. There were at least 3 drops and if those had been completed he's almost at 70% a completion rate. "Each of the three Tampa Bay receivers made a highlight reel catch, and at times, were responsible for Freeman’s successful afternoon." All good QB's have good WR's, they kind of go hand in hand. Freeman continues to get better now that he's being coached.
  • avatar


    The problem is that Freeman can be maddenly inconsistent. 5 for 13 is awful and Freeman was booed in the first half his passes were so off the mark. Yesterday in particular free was bailed out by Williams and Underwood on balls that should have been intercepted. He did turn it around in the second half, but he was putrid in the first half for the most part. Free has not played a consistent game yet. At least in the second half he got hot and was able to put away a team that was on its heels. I will say this for him, he didn't have that deer caught in the headlights look in the second half. He looked decisive and he was planting and throwing.
  • avatar


    On the interception on the throw to Clark, former TE Dave Moore said Clark ran the route too deep.
  • avatar

    Scudog - Thanks for the info. I rewatched the interception on NFL.com but it didn't give an overall view of that side of the field - just Freeman throwing and Houston jumping in front and grabbing the ball, so it was difficult to tell Clark's route. In any event, I don't think the INT can be necessarily blamed on Freeman either way. I really appreciate you posting your comment to clear it up.
  • avatar


    I'm a fairly staunch Freeman supporter, and even I don't get the idea that the INT wasn't his fault. MAYBE Clark ran the route too deep. Since Dave Moore doesn't have a copy of the playbook and doesn't sit in on TE position meetings any longer, that's just conjecture. I like JFree a lot, but that was a really, really bad play. From the moment the ball was snapped, he was looking right where he was going to throw it. Then after seeing the route Clark DID run and seeing Houston very clearly undercut the route, he threw it anyways. On top of that, the throw was late. It was a really, really bad play for a querterback to make, and it took points off the board. These are simply facts. Dave Moore saying that he thinks that Clark ran the wrong route is an opinion. Great game by Josh overall, but terrible play there.
  • avatar


    Anybody want to rewatch the game, here is the link. Enjoy!.... http://gamerewind.nfl.com/nflgr/servlets/inmarket?id=TB
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