It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but the Buccaneers fell victim to their own mistakes once again. Tampa Bay put the ball in the hands of their rookie quarterback in his first start with under four minutes to go while being backed up against their own end zone which would eventually lead to a series of two consecutive plays that spelled the beginning of the Bucs’ end.
In this fourth edition of “After Further Review,” beat writer Gil Arcia goes inside the two plays that impacted the Bucs and Cardinals game from Week 4.
OFFENSE: THE ROOKIE MISTAKE
It was second-and-6 with 3:23 left to play in the game and Tampa Bay was holding a 10-3 lead. The Buccaneers came out in an off-set I-formation with Vincent Jackson lined up far left and Mike Williams lined up wide right. Doug Martin was deep in the backfield along with fullback Erik Lorig behind right guard Davin Joseph. Tight end Tim Wright was lined up in a three-point stance on the line of scrimmage to the right of right tackle Demar Dotson.
Arizona came out in a base 3-4 defense with cornerback Patrick Peterson on Jackson and loaded eight players in the box.
As the ball was snapped, Glennon faked the handoff to Martin which drew in safety Yeremiah Bell and drew two linebackers to account for Wright as he crossed the middle. As Williams ran a seam route downfield, Glennon started his way but looked left towards Jackson who Peterson had blanketed. As Jackson broke inside for his 15-yard in route, Glennon threw the ball to him and Peterson, positioned underneath already, was able reach in for the interception and returning it to the Buccaneers’ 13-yard line.
Why This Was Relevant: The turnover could have been avoided. After Glennon took his five-step drop, the offensive line held their ground and the rookie had about an additional three seconds to throw the ball. The problem is, he threw it at around two seconds. At that moment, Lorig was making his way through the line and became open underneath with no one near him for about 10 yards.
Another reason why this was relevant is for the simple fact that the Cardinals scored a touchdown on their following offensive play which tied the game at 10.
What They Said:
“I just read it out and I just had to put the ball about a foot in front of Vincent (Jackson) and that’s the difference. He was open; the read took me there. It was a great play call and I just have to put the ball one foot in front (to avoid the interception).” – Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon on how he saw the play.
DEFENSE: FITZGERALD'S SHAKE-N-BAKE TOUCHDOWN
It was first-and-10 for the Cardinals following the interception off of Mike Glennon. With 3:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, Arizona started at the Buccaneers’ 13-yard line. Lined up in a single-back formation (Rashard Mendenhall), the cards two tight end on the right side of the line in Jim Dray and Rob Housler and two wide receivers split off far left side in Michael Floyd (slot) and Larry Fitzgerald. Quarterback Carson Palmer was under center.
The Bucs lined up in a 4-3 base defense. Linebacker Lavonte David was lined up against the slot receiver (Floyd) while Darrelle Revis was outside on Fitzgerald. Safety Dashon Goldson was to provide help over the top behind Revis and David. Other Bucs on the field were non-factors as they were preparing to cover “decoys” on the field.
As the ball was snapped, both Floyd and Fitzgerald ran five yards before cutting in their routes. Floyd broke inside to the harsh marks which forced Goldson to come in on his route. As Goldson bit on Floyd’s route, Fitzgerald’s triple move on Revis forced the cornerback to anticipate an outside route when in fact was an inside route. The move by the Cardinals’ All-Pro receiver caused about a four-yard gap between he and the Bucs All-Pro corner at the goal line. Palmer, not looking anywhere else, saw the separation and threw a dart to Fitzgerald in the end zone – which by that time was also too late for Goldson to recover as he already bit on the inside route run by the slot receiver that removed him from being in position of a potential interception or pass break-up and prevent the touchdown.
Why This Was Relevant: The touchdown from Palmer to Fitzgerald tied the game with just over three minutes to go. There wasn’t much the Bucs defenders could have done. The routes by Floyd and Fitzgerald were perfectly timed and run to where Goldson had to make the choice of jumping inside or staying put to have better positioning on Fitzgerald and with Revis shaken out of his cleats on the route, it was an easy touchdown for the Cardinals.
What They Said:
“It was a battle back and forth. That’s how it goes sometimes when players are out there playing. When you throw a punch, he throws a punch back. You throw a punch, he throws one back. It goes back and forth. I tip my hat off to him on that last play, it was a great run. It was a triple move route; it was a good route. You have to take punches that way, too, [and] he threw one at me and he executed it and it cost us.” – Darrelle Revis on his day covering Larry Fitzgerald.