Pewter Report's Haley Cornish offers up her analysis on how Tampa Bay
played against Baltimore in the Bucs' 44-16 loss to the Ravens, and
dishes out the game grades for each offensive, defensive, and special
Josh Freeman played just two series against the Ravens in Thursday night’s preseason opener, but was the most impressive quarterback of the game for the Bucs. Freeman went 4-of-7 for 34 yards and had a 69.9 quarterback rating. Freeman made a couple questionable throws where it looked like he and the receiver had a miscommunication. But he also had a couple great passes, including one to Vincent Jackson that was ruled incomplete, as he was unable to maintain possession. Freeman wasn’t great, but he did lead the Bucs to a 3-0 lead over the Ravens starters.
Mike Glennon, the rookie quarterback out of North Carolina State, came in with about five minutes left in the first quarter. Glennon played a little over two quarters and went 11-for-23, gaining 169 yards and had a quarterback rating of 54.4. Glennon’s low point was a bad interception thrown right to the Baltimore defender. Although the rookie made a few good plays, including avoiding a sack to complete a 61-yard pass, he made a lot of poor decisions and held onto the ball too long.
Dan Orlovksy, who has been getting all of the third-team reps in camp, was held out of Thursday’s game and the Bucs instead chose to go with Adam Weber. Weber had a disastrous night throwing two picks and completing just two of six passes. GRADE= C-RUNNING BACKS
Star running back Doug Martin carried the ball just two times for zero yards. Schiano pulled Martin after the first series, as there was no need to risk injury in such a meaningless game for Martin.
Running back Brian Leonard s of the night, shows off his versatility in short-yardage situations and blocking. Leonard picked up a Baltimore rusher that would have crushed Freeman, and the play instead resulted in a big third-down conversion. Leonard carried the ball six times for 23 yards and one touchdown.
Rookie Mike James split carries with Leonard on the second team, but was unimpressive. He carried the ball six times for just 15 yards.
Second-year player Michael Smith was also unimpressive, gaining 15 yards on five carries. Newly acquired Peyton Hillis carried the ball just four times for 13 yards and was taken off the field after fumbling the ball and injuring his knee.GRADE= CWIDE RECEIVERS
Starting receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams were in the game for just two series and didn’t get very involved. Jackson should have caught a great throw from Josh Freeman, but after a review the officials called it an incomplete pass.
The current third receiver on the roster, Kevin Ogletree, had a great game leading the team in receptions and yards. He had five catches for 65 yards on the night. Underwood, who is in competition with Ogletree for the third receiver spot, had just one catch for six yards, and also had a drop on a perfectly thrown Glennon pass.
Training camp standout Chris Owusu wasn’t much of a standout in Thursday’s game. Although he did have two catches for 48 yards, he was targeted seven times and had one drop. Owusu needs to perform in the preseason if he hopes to compete for the third receiver position. GRADE= B-TIGHT ENDS
With tight end Luke Stocker out with an injury, Tom Crabtree got his chance to prove he deserves to start. And he did just that by getting wide-open for a 61-yard catch and run from quarterback Mike Glennon. But other than that catch, Crabtree didn’t do anything in the passing game.
Danny Noble caught two passes for seven yards, but Nate Byham had no receptions. The Bucs generally don’t use tight ends in the passing game as much as a lot of other NFL teams, and that showed in Thursday’s game. All three tight ends did a decent job at blocking however.GRADE= C+
With their two Pro Bowl guards held out of the game, the Bucs’ offensive line didn’t look too impressive in the run game. There was virtually no room for the running backs all night.
Although not impressive in the run game, the line did a good job in pass protection. They did allow two sacks on the night, the first one was right at the snap of the ball on Freeman. The second one was due to Glennon holding on to the ball for too long and stepping right into a sack. But other than those two plays, the line did its job and gave the quarterback enough time to find a receiver.GRADE= C-DEFENSIVE LINE
The starting defensive line, consisting of Da’Quan Bowers, Akeem Spence, Gerald McCoy, and Daniel Te’o Neshiem was unable to get to the quarterback. In fact, no lineman was able to get to the quarterback all night. However, defensive tackle McCoy was in the backfield on almost every play he was in, forcing quarterback Joe Flacco to throw the ball.
Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers was basically non-existent, even though he played the entire second half. Bowers was a big disappointment in the first preseason game, as he has a lot of pressure on him to deliver this year.
The defensive line, with the exception of McCoy, played quite poorly in terms of rushing. But aside from a couple missed tackles, the line did a solid job against the run. They will need to greatly improve their pass rushing before the season starts, or it won’t matter that Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis is playing in the secondary. He can’t cover receivers forever, and that’s where the defensive line comes in. GRADE= D+LINEBACKERS
Star linebacker Lavonte David got the Bucs’ only sack of the night on Joe Flacco for a loss of ten yards. The starting linebackers – David, Mason Foster, and Dakota Watson all played a good game. They weren’t in for too long, but didn’t make any glaring mistakes when they were in. Both Watson and Foster had two tackles, and David had three.
Jonathan Casillas, who is pushing Watson for the starting strong side linebacker position, had a very good game. He had three combined tackles including a huge hit on a Baltimore running back.
Adam Hayward, who is also in the conversation at SLB, had a good game as well with four total tackles. 2012 draft pick Najee Goode led the linebackers with four solo tackles, including a tackle for loss.GRADE= B+DEFENSIVE BACKS
The Bucs’ starting secondary did a great job, holding Flacco to just 57 yards. Rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks was very impressive in coverage and against the run. He hits hard and never gives up on a play. Even though he played less than a quarter, Banks lead the team with five solo tackles, and also had a pass broken up.
Cornerback Danny Gorrer had one of the best plays of the night in the first quarter against Flacco. He stepped in front of the receiver and made a leaping interception just in bounds. Gorrer also had a pass break up, but had to leave the game early due to a groin injury.
After the starters left the field, the secondary collapsed. Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor beat the defense for 154 yards and two touchdowns with a 106.1 quarterback rating in just over two quarters. Training camp standout Rashaan Melvin got out-leaped on a touchdown, and Deveron Carr made a bad play on the ball on another Raven’s score.
Backup Safety Ahmad Black was one of the few bright spots later in the game with a nice pass breakup and safety Cody Grimm had a deflected pass go right through his fingertips. The Bucs defense was put in bad situations due to the poor special teams play and the turnovers on offense, and didn’t have much help from the defensive line, either. GRADE= CSPECIAL TEAMS
The special teams were a disaster in Thursday night’s game. Chris Owusu had two fumbles (losing one) and the other return men didn’t flash, either.
The Ravens had a blocked punt on a missed block by Joe Holland that was picked up for a touchdown. Their coverage was okay for most of the night, but almost gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown that was saved by the kicker, Derek Dimke.
Dimke was the only bright spot on special teams, nailing three out of three field goals for 29, 35, and 45 yards. Dimke’s field goals and game-saving tackle are the only plays that kept the special teams unit from getting an F.GRADE=D-
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