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September 24, 2013 @ 8:26 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/2 Votes

After Further Review: 2 Impact Plays - Bucs At Patriots

Written by Gil
Gil Arcia


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What was the turning point in the Bucs and Patriots game on Sunday? What plays on offense and defense were major factors in the outcome or how did they effect Tampa Bay and New England? Read it here in this third edition of "After Further Review."
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers once again fell victim to their mistakes. A bad play called at a crucial moment for the offense and a penalty that gave New England’s offense new life greatly contributed to the Buccaneers 23-3 loss.

In this third edition of “After Further Review,” beat writer Gil Arcia goes inside the two plays that impacted the Bucs and Patriots game from Week 3.

In the second quarter down 7-3, the Buccaneers had the ball at the Patriots 38-yard line with 4:30 left on the clock and Josh Freeman was under center with running back Doug Martin lined up behind him as the lone tailback. Tight ends Nate Byham and Tim Wright were lined up on the line of scrimmage on each side. The wide receivers were Vincent Jackson near the left sideline and Kevin Ogletree near the right sideline. Patriots were in their base 3-4 defense.

Before the snap, New England’s rookie safety Duron Harmon moved up in the box to cover Wright while linebacker Brandon Spikes was responsible for Nate Byham. Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was on Ogletree and Aqib Talib was on Jackson. There was no pre-snap movement for the Buccaneers. 

After the snap, both receivers and tight ends ran seam routes up field. Ogletree’s fake to the inside allowed him to beat Dennard, Jackson beat Talib off the line, and Byham beat Spikes easily after the Patriots’ linebacker stumbled, forcing him to trail Byham by about three yards. All this occurred within Freeman’s five-step drop.

Across the line, there was good protection for Freeman to scan the field if he wanted to. Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones forced left guard Carl Nicks back into the pocket but Freeman still had enough space and time. Freeman, not checking his other options, throws the ball down field to Jackson once he saw him get behind Talib. But Jackson was unable to haul the ball into his chest inside New England’s 10-yard line as Talib got his hand in and may have disrupted the veteran receiver’s concentration.

Why This Was Relevant: The Bucs were only down four points. They technically wasted a down by going deep with just one yard to pick up and keep the drive going. As a result, the Buccaneers would come up short on fourth-and-1 and turn the ball over on downs. Which by the way, the following drive the Patriots scored a touchdown. 

In a season when nothing has went right offensively, Jackson, as a leader and team captain has to come up with that catch. Jackson also had another drop on the Bucs first drive that may have also went for a touchdown. 14 potential points left on the turf,affecting the outcome of the game. Do the Bucs win? Debatable, but it does change the entire complexion of the game and gives the offense – and Freeman – some much need confidence.

And was this bad playcalling? Was it poor execution? If the staff had already decided you would go for it on fourth down, why not call a running play or a higher percentage pass play to give yourself two easy opportunities to pick up the first? Why not throwing to a more wide open receiver in your tight end Nate Byham?

What They Said:
“You’ve just got to move on. Drops are part of the game. If I throw a bad pass you’ve got to move onto the next one, so that’s kind of how we look at it. It’s a collective effort – a collective effort to find a way to get in the end, just score some touchdowns at the end of those drives.” – Quarterback Josh Freeman on the dropped passes.

Tampa Bay’s defense forced New England into a third-and-5 from the Buccaneers’ 45-yard line with two minutes left before halftime. New England came out with three receivers in Julian Edelman (far left side), Kenbrell Thompkins in the slot, and Aaron Dobson on the far right. Tight end Zach Sudfeld was lined up next to Patriots’ right tackle in a three-point stance and running back Stevan Ridley started out in the right of the formation in the slot. Quarterback Tom Brady was in shotgun. Once set, the Patriots shifted around some parts; Ridley moved into the backfield to Brady’s right side and Edelmen motioned from left to right just behind Thompkins.

The Bucs came out in a 3-3-5 nickel defensive grouping with rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks covering Dobson, Darrelle Revis on Thompkins, and Leonard Johnson on Edelman. Safety Mark Barron was in the box with linebackers Lavonte David and Mason Foster at each end of the line — which consisted of (from right to left) Adrian Clayborn, Gerald MCoy, and Trevor Scott. Safeties Dashon Goldson was deep in the defensive backfield shadowed over the top towards the two receivers and Ahmad Black closer in as he was responsible for Sudfeld. 

Once the ball was snapped, Brady already had acknowledged he was going to the right side and throw to the rookie matchup of Banks and Dobson and take his chances. As Brady threw it down the right sideline to Dobson who ran a seam route upfield past the Bucs rookie cornerback, Goldson was already making his way to that side after reading Brady and getting a good jump before the pass. As Dobson when up for the catch inside the Bucs 20-yard line, Banks got his arm in there to break it up. In the process of breaking it up, Banks made contact with Dobson and never turned around to play the ball drawing the pass interference penalty even though it was wrongfully given to Dashon Goldson on the stat sheet.

Why This Was Relevant: The Bucs had just turned it over on downs and the defense did a good job of stopping the Patriots offense just past midfield. As a result, the Patriots were given new life and scored a touchdown five plays later to give themselves a 14-3 lead over the Bucs. This drive created a string of bad fortune for the Buccaneers where the New England offense started having their way with Tampa Bay’s defense for the rest of the afternoon.

What They Said:
“Today we definitely made some adjustments throughout the first quarter, second quarter, and we did a good job adjusting and really trying to understand what we need to do to put drives together.” – Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady when asked about the matchups he saw with his receivers, primarily the rookies.

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 09:38

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  • avatar

    My brother and I were watching the game and he said the same thing that Talib hit Jacksons arm causing the incompletion except, I've watched the play at least three times in slow motion and the ball had already gone off Jackson's hand before Talib even touched him....nice try though! Let's stop making excuses for this guy. Yes, he's a great wr but he has had his share of mishaps this season...PERIOD!
  • avatar

    Stone: "A corner can be avoided all game long." That's the objective! And you think this is a bad thing? I guess you can't comprehend that if # 24 takes away a team's biggest receiving threat they have to rely on a lesser weapon. Horse: Please explain that on the battlefield it's a good thing to take out the enemy's tank. You were right about Talib. He had his hand in the way preventing Jackson from catching the ball. I wouldn't classify it as a "drop".
  • avatar

    do any of you watch the games the drop by Jackson was all talib he got a hold of one jacksons arms.the season was over before it started homers, and am one too, 16 mil for a corner that doesn't affect the game much, when we could have got palmer for qb, grimes for corner still had money and Richardson first and still got banks, I did steal this from another poster but sure makes sense. a corner can be avoided all game long as we have seen, goes back to my kids high school coach wants to play players only one way, last years qb had 15 touchdowns last year, now playing cb lost first two games, then put that kid in at wo or rb offense is a lot better, oh and he still plays d and has swag back as he was being underutilized it comes down to coaching and qb play we have neither, by the way garret was let go by his brother enough said there who get rid of their blood brother
  • avatar

    "OFFENSE: INCOMPLETE PASS TO JACKSON ON THIRD-AND-1" contained good point Gil but, I was more concerned with Freeman's bad math on 4th and 1. Freeman coming to the line on FOURTH and 1, having Wilfork lined up directly over center, seeing 4 Pats to Wilfork's left, and 3 to Wilfork's right. The Bucs were in a balanced formation. Freeman, yet again, seemingly can't count past three neglecting to flip the run to the Pats weakside. We run to the defenses teeth yet again. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It's one thing to not bother to adjust runs on second and 10 running right into the teeth of a defense, but Freeman's inability to count up to four on third and/or fourth and short is becoming LEGENDARY in my book. PATHETIC. My guess is when Freeman becomes a FA is most teams won't touch him with a ten-foot-pole.
  • avatar

    It would be one thing if this was Vincent's only drop this year, but it wasn't as we all know well. The real mystery is why is Jackson dropping so many passes? Two things I have noticed: This year some of the drops appear to be Jackson fearing getting hit, which didn't seem to bother him at all last year and also doesn't bother him late in close games this year. He is well conditioned and a large receiver and fear should not bother him anytime; so perhaps he had sore ribs earlier this season and is more sensitive than usual to hits this year. Secondly, you know Freeman is often inaccurate so balls aren't in proper placement for easy catches. And it doesn't help when Freeman stares down Jackson before throwing which Jackson knows will attract a crowd quickly which makes catching the ball twice as hard too. In this instance Freeman lucked into an accurate throw which may have been so rare it surprised Jackson and threw him off. With an elite QB Jackson would likely be catching a lot more balls. He is a great talent and we are lucky to have Jackson.
  • avatar

    Disagree that it is all on Jackson; when other Receivers were more open and it took a perfect pass and perfect catch to make the Jackson pass work. I call that a forced pass.
  • avatar

    Spot on pinkstob...I got no problem with the call for the exact reasons you stated. I don't care if the entire wr and te corp is wide open, bottom line is Josh threw an accurate ball to the open guy(our best guy) and he dropped it....Period. This was actually one of the few good call Sully made all game. I don't agree with beating him up over this one.
  • avatar

    In the first impact play it occured because of one thing and one thing only: poor execution on the part of V. Jackson. All that other stuff is coulda, woulda, shoulda that's a part of every play call. I have no problem with Sullivan going deep on 3rd and 1. Freeman has an accurate deep ball and it keeps defenses honest for the rest of the game on 3rd and short so they won't cram the 1st down line. As far as a more wide open Byham he's not a great pass catcher, Vincent (supposedly) is. If he had thrown the ball to Byham and he dropped it, the line would have read, "Why not throw it to your $55.5 million dollar WR in a must have 3rd down situation instead of a backup TE?" Again coulda, woulda, shoulda.
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