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August 17, 2013 @ 8:11 am
Current rating: 4.33 Stars/3 Votes

Pats Batter Bucs Early, Hang On For 25-21 Win: Game Grades

Written by Haley
Haley Cornish


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Pewter Report's Haley Cornish offers up her analysis on how Tampa Bay played against New England in the Bucs' 25-21 loss to the Patriots, and dishes out the game grades for each offensive, defensive, and special teams unit.
The Buccaneers fought back after falling behind early, and ended up on the short end of things, 25-21. When head coach Greg Schiano watches the film, several units with frustrate the Bucs boss, while he will also see improvement in some cases. Find out what PewterReport.com thinks.

Josh Freeman’s workload didn’t increase this week, only getting two series to run the offense. In those two series, Freeman went 2-for 3 for eight yards. Freeman was sacked three times, two of them were due to poor blocking, and the other was on Freeman for holding the ball way too long. Freeman’s best play came when he was being pressure yet again by the Patriots, but stepped up nicely in the pocket and through a laser to Kevin Ogletree on the sideline. The pass was dropped, but it was still a nice play by Freeman, and really the only positive thing to come out of the starting quarterback.

Mike Glennon played the majority of the game, going 12 for 22 with two touchdowns and one interception. He ended up with a quarterback rating of 81.8, and besides the terrible interception, Glennon played decently. He made a great pass the Tiquan Underwood between two defenders, which was probably the best throw he’s had all preseason.

Dan Orlovsky saw action for the first time this preseason and went 3-for-3 for 52 yards. He was only in the game for a short period, but he was solid while he was.

Star running back Doug Martin got just one carry on the night as he left the game with a head injury, which he has said is not a concussion. After Martin left the game, rookie Mike James and veteran Peyton Hillis split carries the rest of the night and were both very impressive. James, who hasn’t stood out much in training camp, was one of the bright spots in the game with 81 yards on 15 carries, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. James also had three catches for 21 yards in the game.

Hillis, the former Cleveland Brown star, also had a nice game with 73 yards on 18 carries, a 4.1 average. Brian Leonard, who played well last week against the Ravens, sat out this game, giving James and Hillis the chance to shine. And they did – the backup running back position has become one of the tightest competitions on the team.

There were just 181 passing yards for the Bucs against the Patriots, so no receivers really stood out. Kevin Ogletree did have a good game, aside from the drop, catching three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Tiquan Underwood had the biggest play of the night for the Bucs, catching a great pass from Glennon, gaining 41 yards and setting them up for a field goal to end the half. Aside from those two players, the receiving core was not very impressive. There were multiple dropped passes and they had trouble gaining separation for against the defensive backs.

Luke Stocker, who has returned from an injury, had a very rough game against the Pats. Stocker didn’t have any catches and missed at least two big blocks on a defender. He is making it much easier for Tom Crabtree to win the starting job, unless he can impress next week against the Dolphins.

Crabtree had a good game blocking, and also caught two passes for 10 yards. Danny Noble led the tight ends with two catches for 17 yards.

The offensive line got off to an atrocious start, allowing three sacks on Freeman in just two series, and a sack on Glennon when he came in the game. But after the first quarter the line did a much better job in pass protection and in run blocking. However, when they were facing the Patriots first defense, there was no contest. Granted, the Bucs two starting pro bowl guards weren’t in the game.

Right tackles Demar Dotson and Gabe Carimi, who are competing for a starting position, both had a rough game missing multiple blocks. Dotson was called for a holding call while also giving up a sack. It was not a good night for the starting O-line, but the reserves played pretty well and the run blocking was good all game.

For the second week in a row, the Bucs’ defensive line failed to sack the quarterback all game. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who’s coming off a groin injury, played sparingly in the game, while Pro Bowl defensive tackles Gerald McCoy was taken out during the first series.

Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, who has received a lot of criticism for lack of production and being out of shape, was put back into a situational role instead of being an every down player. Although Bowers didn’t record any tackles, he did show improved penetration. That still isn’t good enough, however. The Bucs need him to make big strides this season for their defense to be where they want it to be.

The D-line’s only standout play was a tackle for loss by the rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence. Spence, who is battling for the starting nose tackle position, is decent against the run but needs to improve his pass rush abilities.

The linebackers had an uninspiring game against the Patriots with missed tackles and poor coverage. No linebacker stood out for good reasons in the game. Middle linebacker Mason Foster got beat on a two-point conversion where he didn’t drop deep enough, allowing Tom Brady to fit the ball between him and safety Mark Barron.

The linebacker core was okay against the run, but did have a couple missed tackles in the open field. Star linebacker Lavonte David didn’t even play a full series, so the Bucs had backup linebackers in the game against Tom Brady, which isn’t exactly an even matchup.

While Tom Brady was in the game, the secondary was playing much like they did last year. Brady went 11 for 12 with 107 passing yards. The secondary wasn’t necessarily poor in coverage, they just needed to be perfect and they weren’t.

Once backup quarterback Ryan Mallet entered the game, the secondary played better, getting their hands on the ball and staying in good coverage forcing a throwaway.

When Tim Tebow came in, the held him to negative yards and cornerback Mason Robinson picked him off. That was the only interception of the game, but the secondary was pretty solid after Brady left. Rookie Rashaan Melvin had a nice pass break up, and Leonard Johnson led he team with six tackles. After Brady left the game in the first quarter, the Bucs held the Patriots to just 136 passing yards.

After a nightmarish game against the Ravens, the Bucs turned the special teams unit into a strong suit against the Patriots. Derek Dimke continued to impress, going 2-for-2 from 37 and 27 yards out.

Michael Smith started off with a nice 63-yard kickoff return, and Eric Page had a nice night averaging 34 yards on his two kickoff returns. Most importantly, the Bucs didn’t turn the ball over on special teams, and were very good in coverage, as apposed to last week.


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  • avatar

    I have to say that I was much more hopeful about the season before seeing the preseason games....yes its only preseason, but still.....not a lot to hang their hats on. You know that there are many issues that are of concern, but one I noticed is that our linebackers are not very good in coverage, they are fine against the run, but a tight end going down the seam will beat us. I hope the Bucs improve, as they look like a discombobulated, uninspired mess at this point, not really a professional football team. I think the coaches have a lot of accountability in getting them prepared. Go Bucs (don't suck!)
  • avatar

    Buc4life79, I stand corrected on the OC time. Actually Jeff Jagodzinski started as OC in 2009 and was fired before the last preseason game and was replaced by QB coach Greg Olson who was Josh's OC for 3 years. I got my idea from listening to some guy on NFL network. A lot of times they don't know much about some teams (BUCS). I'm not as worried about the Bucs offense anyway. The only thing that bothers me is not having Joseph and Nicks playing during the preseason. Big guys like those two take a while to get into football shape and I hope we don't have to wait until mid season for them to be back up to sinc. I would just like to see the Bucs O-line work as a unit some before we go to play the Jets. The Bucs front 7 concerns me. I know NE's O-line is massive and very good to go with it. Ridley and Vereen were gashing us early and Brady was 11 for 12. What I saw was physical domination by NE's O-line. I realize we play NE in the 3rd game of the season and were probably plain vanilla on offense, but if Joseph and Nicks aren't back (in shape and in the groove) it could be a long season for the Bucs. I didn't like the effort of our D-line and our back up backers were slow to react and sluggish. Bowers showed me zilch. Maybe we need to start grooming Gholston as our LDE. We may have to pick up a DT, DE and some LBs after final cuts. Lacksadasical in the preseason leads to more of the same in the regular season.
  • avatar

    @jcostello The 3rd preseason game isn't against the Redskins, it's the Dolphins I believe. The final game's against Washington and you're welcome.
  • avatar

    To say the Bucs aren't going to beat the Jets in game 1 is a misnomer. Thankfully we have the Jets to start off. The Jets defense looked terrible against the Jags. The Jags, whose offense consists of MJD, is far from a juggernaut. The Bucs on the other hand look like crap on offense on the first team. But it is pre-season thankfully. Let's see how they look in game 3 against the Redskins. That will tell us a lot about their first team offense.
  • avatar

    It's humorous how many can infer a sinking ship from a meaningless practice game. First, Brady and the pats routinely make all defenses look bad. Second, the Bucs played their starters much less than the Bucs. Third, the pats seemingly tried harder to win by blitzing most plays, while tb played simple man coverage on most third downs to evaluation purposes. Finally, Freeman had zero chances to set his feet and pass due to the lack of pass products. The Bucs use these games for practice and evaluation - not to beat the other team. This game's result has nothing to do with how the regular season will go, but it is entertaining to read the expert commentary in any case.
  • avatar

    Saying the secondary played solid after Brady left is like saying " It was calm after the Tornado left". This will be another long season if Revis goes down. We have no pass rush again and our DC seems to be lost on how to improve it.
  • avatar

    "Hillis, the former Cleveland Brown star..." whoa
  • avatar

    For everyone that is claiming that Freeman hasn't had 2 years of the same OC, I will remind you all that from 2010 to the end of the Raheem dream, he had the same OC. That's 2 seasons folks not 1, but imo, Freeman has always been a better dink and dunk passer than what Sully and Schiano want him to be..I think therein lies the biggest prob, the system he's in does not fit him and never will...Glennon on the other hand....
  • avatar

    The Revis trade will determine how strong the 2013 draft turns out to be. It was a dutch boy putting his fingers in the leaks in the dyke type draft. CB was a glaring weakness and had to be addressed. If Revis can stay healthy 2013 will be seen as a successful draft.
  • avatar

    DaQuan Bowers hasn't shown a thing. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets cut. He has no motor, no work ethic and I wish we still had Bennett. Bowers 2011 (2nd) just doesn't want it bad enough. We have endured busts like 2010s Brian Price (2nd), Arrelious Benn (2nd), Myron Lewis (3rd), 2011s Luke Stocker(4th) appears close to joining that list and Mason Foster (3rd) is at least playing out of position (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt). Foster is not as instinctive as a great MLB needs to be imo. 2009 1st round pick Josh Freeman is playing for his NFL life this season. I think playing under a different OC every year of his career has been a huge setback in his development. This season marks the first season he has some consistency at OC. Josh enters his 5th season and no one is sure what player he is. He is such a nice young man, I'm pulling for him to come through as I think a lot of Bucs fans are. 2009 picks DT Roy Miller (3rd) didn't work out, DE Kyle Moore (4th) was a bust as was OT Xavier Fulton (5th). The Bucs have missed on too many players under Dominik's watch. We need a football man to be making player decisions. Maybe the Bucs should do what Atlanta did with Rich McKay and assign Dominik to negotiating contracts and being a capologist. You can tell there has been a much stronger player selection in the last 2 drafts since Schiano arrived. The Bucs are never going to be able to get the electric offensive players (Ticket sellers) available each year in the draft, until they get the foundation to support them. Our D-line is pitiful and who knows about our O-line as we can't even see them working together as a complete unit. Baltimore and New England show the results on drafting consistantly well as these teams both have solid cores and good depth. This could be a rough season for the Bucs and I HOPE I am wrong.
  • avatar

    Haley, your grades were accurate. However, I watched our first string LG on offence and saw him over run a number of times as the Patriots used DL stunts to befuddle our line. Schiano needs to put the All Pro Guards in there with the Dolphins so the starting offensive line can get their timing down to stop the stunts and to coordinate their run blocking. So anyone missing Bennet now? Compare the enemic pass rush we brought this year to the crushing rushes we put on the Patriots last year when we beat them in Preseason. Our ones were no match for them this year. Absent one good throw by Freeman, he was a bust once again and not even able to capitalize on a short field. We can't win if Freeman can't make a single touchdown in two games. Did you watch the clutch throw by our third string QB from the end zone and only protected by our third string OL. He is the best QB we have, though I will admitt that Glennon improved this week. As I said before this game will show where we are compared to last year. I am not even positive we can beat the Jets in the opener with the way our first stringers looked. However I was pleasantly surprised to see Mike average 5.4 yards a carry.
  • avatar

    Excellent point east end, a preseason game with constant shuffling of players against an up tempo team cannot possibly have a good showing and it's way too reactionary to condemn this team from this game. Guys, lets let josh play a game before judging him especially when Vincent and mike and Doug were barely in the game and nicks and Joseph were out! The play calling was vanilla and the pats d just spent a week practicing against our o and anyone who has played football knows that in this case they knew exactly what the plays were going to be just by formation so even scrubs could look dominant. That being said, mason foster is really concerning me as a complete liability in coverage and the issue seems to be his speed/athleticism so it will be difficult to correct. I think Brady would've had a more difficult time against Revis and banks rather than Leonard Johnson so lets hope Revis is ready to play in soon! As others have mentioned the stunts HAVE to stop!!! If Sheridan can't stop them the pass rush will never work regardless of personnel. PR is there any acknowledgement of the futility of stunts from the coaches? Can you ask them?
  • avatar

    Nope... Saying its PRESEASON.... what you do offesviely and defesively has nothing to about the other team. There is little to no game planning right..... very little to no adjustments made during the game. More interrested to see how players line up and execute the play, do they know their assignments, are they making the tackle when it comes their way, are they in the correct gap. etc... etc... etc... D-lineman are neutralized on 3 steps all they can do try and jump and bat the ball.
  • avatar

    Please people - don't panic. Here's a little reminder: preseason 2012, Bucs #1's against Pats #1's...Brady stats = 13 for 26 (50%), 1 sack, 1 pick-6...and teh quote from Belichick ""I think it was pretty obvious that we've got a lot of work to do. We've got a long way to go. We didn't perform, I think, to what the level we need to at any area," Belichick said. "When you can't score offensively and give up a lot of points on defense, nobody can make any plays in the kicking game, then you don't have a real good chance to win. And that's pretty much the way it was tonight."...Pats make the playoffs, Bucs don't. So, this year's game was the reverse...it's just preseason. The Pats didn't give up on Brady last year...come on folks it's a little early to throw in the towel.
  • avatar

    BucWild: good point about tics. Poor preseason performances don't improve fans' hopes of having a competitive team, and surely don't increases ticket sales. More blackouts this year. Deacon: are you saying there is no way to stop the other team when they use 3-step drops? Owlykat: where are you? Did u watch this game? Still think Tebow is a great QB?
  • avatar

    I am starting to get a sick feeling in my stomach. On the first day you could purchase tickets, I bought tickets to the Thursday game vs Carolina. Thats starting to look like an $800 dollar mistake(between airfare from Indy, hotel, and game tickets). I sure hope a light bulb goes off between now and then.
  • avatar

    What grade should the all star roster of coaches get? HC Greg Schiano, Special assistant Butch Davis, OC Mike Sullivan, OL Bob Bostad, DC Bill Sheridan, Pass rush coach Bryan Cox, and special teams coordinator Dave Wannstedt aren't getting it done. Blown coverages, poor tackling, bad angles, ineffective blocking, and outmatched physicality are all on the coaches. They are supposed to put the players in position to make plays and that isn't happening. I would give them a solid D in this practice game.
  • avatar

    I think everyone needs to watch the 1st quarter again. Take out the 26 yd td Brady threw and he goes down to 8 yds a completion. All his other throws were 3 step drops, Quick outs, dump offs to the backs and screens. You're not going to get pressure, if you bring extra guys they're going to expose themselves. Granted stunts arent going to work either. But its preseason right. They call the play and run it regardles.
  • avatar

    First team was completely embarrassed on both sides of the ball. What has Schiano been doing this off season and during camp? Very disgusted as a fan at the status of the team right now. Looks like the losing team at the end of 2012. Can't continue to use injuries to the starters as an excuse. These guys aren't likely to finish the season anyway - next man up hasn't been producing. Team needs to be hitting on all cylinders at early in the season against some tough opponents Saints/Pats - right now we're looking like a Raheem Morris team.
  • avatar

    Anything above a D- is being generous at best. I know it's preseason but DANG. Brady looked all WORLD against our defense who could do nothing but lay on the ground and watch as the Pats did whatever they wanted. Not sure we could beat a HIGH SCHOOL team playing like we did in the first quarter. Must have been contagious as the offense looked worse than the defense. Perhaps we are doing a huge deceptive diversion to confuse all the teams we will play this year into overlooking us. ??? Running back battle for the number two and three is heating up. I thought Hillis looked strong. GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Saving the real stuff for the season......(I hope)
  • avatar

    No way the o-line is as high as a c-. It maybe a long year until we draft a new one.
  • avatar

    Those grades look about right to me Haley. While it was an improved performance by our second team against their second team...sadly, it is Mr Brady and the rest of the first team that matters - and that was no contest on either side of the ball. The only solace I take is that McCoy, David, Revis, Joseph, Nicks were not in this game (the first two seemingly playing about two snaps). Nevertheless, that looked like men against boys on both sides of the 1's against 1's that played. This better be a wake-up call.
  • avatar

    Dump Stocker! Get a decent Tight End from the waiver, some team is going to have to give up one
  • avatar

    Paine, way too early for that. Sticker gets one more season to see where he is.
  • avatar

    Very Disappointing! I understand it is only preseason, however, very lackluster performance. What happened to that Never Give Up, Hard-Nosed, Disciplined Attitude Schiano's teams are supposed to have??? It seems the reigns have been loosened to much. Lets get these guys back to playing with a sense of urgency!!
  • avatar

    Haley, good grades. Coach has got what he wanted after two Pre season games which was limited injuries. I hope he plays his starters in the Miami game at least a half and maybe some go into the third quarter. It's obvious their timing is way off. Pass rush and Freeman are my concerns. At this point, Revis, Nicks, Joseph, are not ready to start the season.
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