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November 26, 2012 @ 8:29 am
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PR Analysis: Tampa Bay's Offensive Game Grades Vs. Atlanta

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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How did each offensive line grade out during Sunday's 24-23 loss to the Falcons on Sunday? Find out what Pewter Report's Mark Cook thinks as he takes a look at the overall play of each offensive unit in this weekly Pewter Report analysis feature.
Pewter Report's Mark Cook offers up his analysis on how Tampa Bay's offense played against Atlanta in the Bucs' 24-23 loss to the Falcons, and dishes out the game grades for each offensive unit.

Josh Freeman didn’t set the world on fire but was solid for a majority of the afternoon.

Like any quarterback in the NFL, there are always a couple throws, especially in a close loss, that will make you lose sleep. Freeman’s biggest mistake was overthrowing a wide-open Mike Williams in the end zone in the third quarter. Freeman admitted after the game he made the decision to throw to Williams at the last minute and just sailed the ball. After the incompletion, the Buccaneers were forced to settle for a field goal rather than the touchdown. The extra four points obviously may have been the difference.

For the game Freeman posted a respectable 90.4 QB rating on 19-of-30 passing for 256 yards with no TDs and no interceptions.

The Falcons obviously came into Sunday’s game determined to stop the Muscle Hamster momentum that has taken the league by storm over the last few weeks. Overall Atlanta did a great job limiting Martin and the Bucs running game, however part of the inability to run was self-inflicted mistakes by the offensive line.

The Buccaneers only ran the ball 21 times in the game and just eight times in the first half. Of course when you only are averaging 2.9 yards per carry, it is easy to get away from the run. The offensive line failed to maintain blocks on several running plays, as evidenced by the seven TFLs the Falcons were able to manage on Sunday.

Martin finished the game with just 50 yards on 21 carries, but did manage to find the end zone twice.

For the second straight game running back LeGarrette Blount failed to earn a carry. In fact, Martin was the only Buccaneers player to register a carry in the game.

The Buccaneers receivers were very good on Sunday, as they have been for the most part this season, but failed to get in the end zone.

Vincent Jackson continued his Pro Bowl pace, totaling five receptions for 96 yards, while Mike Williams made the most of the opportunities when his number was called, totaling three receptions for 28 yards. Williams also completed his first career NFL pass, with a 28-yard toss to Vincent Jackson.

The biggest surprise from the receiving corps was Tiquan Underwood who was the beneficiary of the Falcons focusing much of their coverage attempting to slow down Jackson and Williams. On the afternoon Underwood caught five Freeman passes for 77 yards.

It is hard to criticize a unit that is made up of a rag tag group of guys, some playing out of position. But when you manage just 50 yards on the ground, there certainly were some deficiencies.

Jamon Meredith and Demar Dotson may have had their worst games of the season, as the Falcons exploited the youngsters with a solid pass and run defense. Both also committed penalties, one by Meredith, which negated a 42-yard reception by Doug Martin.

Overall the pass protection was solid, giving up just two sacks, both of which came in the course of three plays in the second quarter. Freeman was pressured at times, but overall the pass protection was good for the most part on Sunday.

Veteran tight end Dallas Clark was also a benefactor of the Falcons efforts to shut down Williams and Jackson and Clark had 65 yards on four receptions. With teams rolling coverages and keeping safeties deep, the Buccaneers need to continue to take advantage of Clark and his ability to still beat linebackers one-on-one.

Luke Stocker was targeted once, but was unable to reel in his one opportunity.


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  • avatar

    Why do we keep giving underachieving Stocker more and more chances to show what a loser he is? It is as if they don't want to admitt they wasted valuable picks for him, even moving up to get him. Trade him or cut him. Dwight Clark is great and I would rather see us give a free agent a look at TE, and if we can't find anyone suitable we need to draft another TE. Of course our offensive line was not as good as it was last week. We lost our backup center to injury and then had to juggle positions, and moved Zutah back to center and brought in a guard who has never started for the Bucs. We have a great OL Coach who has worked wonders so far but that was too much to ask from him this past week. The OL did their best and given all the problems they played better than I expected they would. Good grades, Mark!
  • avatar

    I'm with you EastEnd Boy. It's comical how some people just feel the need to blame the QB for every loss and expect absolute perfection. Guess they missed the interceptions and fumble from Matt Ryan or the interceptions from Drew Brees later in the day. One poster here even invented another statistic in an attempt to prove his invalid point, "the almost pick". I'll go out on a limb here and predict that Dominik will be looking at every other position in the 2013 draft and free agency except QB when many other teams will be searching for a signal caller like our youngster.
  • avatar

    First off Freeman got a B- not a B....and second I can't believe after the year this guy is having that I am still called upon to defend Freeman to Buc fans. Look, yes he didn't throw for another 350 yards and 3 Tds, but his numbers were good (not average or Okay, they were good). Yes, he missed Williams on 1 pass - Freeman is not perfect, he's not going to be perfect, he doesn't have to be perfect to be our franchise...did Ryan throw a pick, what about Manning, Manning, Rodgers, and so forth..were they perfect....no! We didn't lose this game because of some poor effort by Freeman....come on man.
  • avatar

    A disappointing loss without a doubt. The only silver lining in this cloud is that we went up against an elite qb and even though they torched our defense all day didn't blow us out like last year because they still played hard, mad a few plays AND our offense kept us in the game. There were some very aggravating instances in this game that had me dumb founded. Like why is L Johnson lined up in press coverage but at the snap lets ALL receivers he faces run right by him without pressing them or even laying a hand on them. The Tampa Tribune even had an article about it on Saturday and this has been happening to all of our corners since I can remember. If he had jammed Jones just for a second, the safety would have had a better chance to get over toi help because Ryan was going that way from jump street. Might have given D-Line to put some pressure thus messing with Ryans timing on the pass. You gotta give it to him it was a perfect pass. Johnson knew at a certain point Jones was going to catch it and should have interfered with him. I would have taken the 45 yard spot penalty instead of the touch down! Pewter Report PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE!!! AT THE NEXT PRESS CONFERENCE FOR COACH SCHIANO AND SHERIDAN ASK THEM WHY THEY KEEP DOING THAT AND TO STOP IT IF THE CORNERS AREN'T GOING TO JAM THE RECEIVERS AT THE LINE!!!!! The things that cost us the game of course was the 80 yard one play td pass, Free missing Williams for the td( I think he had a case of happy eyes and just put too much on the ball when he saw he was open at the last second, and what no one else said about was Zuttah falling down for no apparent reason on the goal line play. Everybody was blocked and Dougertron would have just walked in for the td.
  • avatar

    Eric Wright loses appeal and is suspended 4 games effective immediately. Seems to me the smartest thing wouldve been to serve the suspension these last four games since he was injured anyway and get healthy. I will be perfectly fine if I never see Eric Wright in a Bucs uniform again. CUT him and if Ronde retires the only starter that should be back in the secondary should be Barron.
  • avatar

    Don't forget that Freeman missed a wide-open Jackson on the play before to force a ball to Williams. The announcers were all over it. I'm less concerned about one drop by our third receiver than I am by two missed TDs in a row by our franchise QB.
  • avatar

    I don't believe Freeman gets an B and Martin gets a C when we get no TD's from Freeman and we blame the OL for not blocking well for Martin. I have said this before and I say it again. Can't believe we traded up for Stocker, he just @##$%.
  • avatar

    Can't argue much with those grades Mark. The sad thing about Underwood's drop was that he bobbled and then caught the previous pass...right away i said, "you better learn from that Underwood...keep your eye on the ball and pull it in"....sadly he did not learn. The loss was not his fault, but sure would have been nice to make that catch.
  • avatar

    Good Article Mark; grades seem to be right on.
  • avatar

    I agree that drop was very aggravating but it seemed the whole game was that way. They were just a little short on a few plays. Williams floats the ball to Jackson, Williams open in the second quarter at the 2 the Williams miss in the 3rd quarter, even Barth's field goal miss. There were so many plays they left on the field but they are better than last year. 3 things they need for next year. 1). More defensive lineman or better play from lineman to be able to pressure the QB consistently which is the only way to beat good teams - 2.) Some decent cover corners 3.) Better understanding of the defense or better scheme/blitzes that work and can actually pressure the QB. I have been reading Steve Whites passing on the game 2.0. This is from his film study using All-22 footage released by the NFL. White claims the Blitzes work great against the run but not so much against the pass. Also he doesn't understand all the stunting and twists that our defensive line does. Look at our 5 loses and all the QB's we lost to were very good to Elite QB's. Things are not looking good with Manning and Brees coming up. Week 17 in Atlanta we may win because they should have home field throughout and will be resting at a minimum Ryan and perhaps one or both of their stud receivers.
  • avatar

    Agree all the way Mark30fla. Steve White's column is a must read for anyone actually looking at getting facts on the Bucs DEF and understanding what has worked and what has not. So many different chances for us to pull this one out but in the end we came up short. Falcons are a good team and thankfully all of our competitors for the 6th playoff spot also lost so no ground was lost. I see STL and PHILLY as games we have to win and then hope we can poach either at DEN, at NO, or at ATL when they are resting their starters. We will need to get 4 more wins to make the playoffs.
  • avatar

    Underwood could have very well cost us that game with his drop. That was as easy a catch as can be for an NFL receiver....to me, that's "disappointing".
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