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.QUARTERBACK
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.GRADE= B-RUNNING BACKS
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.
GRADE= CWIDE RECEIVERS
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.GRADE= B+OFFENSIVE LINE
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.GRADE= CTIGHT ENDS
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.GRADE= B
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.