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 BRUNNING 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 AOFFENSIVE 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 BTIGHT 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
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