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.QUARTERBACK
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. GRADE= C-RUNNING BACKS
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.GRADE= A-WIDE RECEIVERS
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.GRADE= D+TIGHT ENDS
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. GRADE= C-OFFENSIVE LINE
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. GRADE= C-DEFENSIVE LINE
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. GRADE= D-LINEBACKERS
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. GRADE= CSECONDARY
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.GRADE= B-SPECIAL TEAMS
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. GRADE= A-
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