The Buccaneers, once again, showed how undisciplined of a football team they are. Whether they are chasing receivers or not opening holes on the offensive line, Tampa Bay beat themselves on certain occasions.
Before every game each week beat writer Gil Arcia comes out with his Five Keys To Victory. Then after the game takes a look at how the team fared in meeting the objectives. The following is an analysis on how Tampa Bay did against the keys to victory as well as grades.
Key 1. Warm Up The Ice
The Buccaneers did not get to Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan fast enough to register a sack in Sunday’s game. Instead, “Matty Ice” was as chill as always as he finished the game 20-of-26 for 273 yards and three touchdowns.
Ryan completed two key third down situations in the game – his first touchdown came on a third-and-6 where he found Jacquizz Rogers in the flat for a 19-yard touchdown and in the second quarter found Harry Douglas on another third-and-6 for a long 54-yard completion which lead to points for Atlanta.
Another game of no pressure leads to the opposing quarterback having a great game.
Key 2. Win The Tunover Battle
The Buccaneers were even in the plus/minus of the statistical category for turnovers coming into Sunday’s game. They would leave the same after the loss to Atlanta.
Tampa Bay committed the first turnover of the game when rookie quarterback Mike Glennon fumbled while being sacked in the third play of the day for the Bucs. Safety Thomas DeCoud would pick it up and run 30 yards for an Atlanta touchdown. In the third quarter, the Bucs would force a fumble on the Falcons punt return by Brian Leonard then recovered by Dekoda Watson at the Atlanta 23-yard line. Tampa Bay would eventually score a touchdown on the ensuing drive.
The Bucs could have done more in this department to give themselves a better chance. However, Atlanta’s offense was clicking on all cylinders making that difficult to accomplish.
Key 3. Who Are These Guys?
In the keys to victory, it was noted that the Buccaneers have a knack for making players people are familiar with stars. Well, they did just that.
Tampa Bay allowed wide receiver Harry Douglas to catch seven passes in as many targets for 149 yards and one touchdown. They also allowed Drew Davis to make a one-handed catch for 24 yards down the sideline for a first down. Darius Johnson, who was promoted from the practice squad just a day ago, contributed with a couple big catches for first downs.
Key 4. O Dougernaut, O Dougernaut! Wherefore Art Thou Dougernaut?
Runningback Doug Martin was making due with what he had to work with as the the game went on. The offensive line of the Buccaneers was making it difficult for Martin to run once again but he did get a 16-yard run in the second quarter which led to the Mike Glennon to Vincent Jackson connection for a touchdown on the following play.
Martin would unfortunately go down with an injury and leave the game. He finished the day with 11 carries and 47 yards. Rookie Mike James would come in and spell the 2012 Pro Bowler and proved to be serviceable. He got 45 yards on 14 carries, including a hard run at the Falcons defense inside the five-yard line which would be followed by Jackson’s second touchdown reception.
But again, the offensive line did provide much for the backs to work with. You take away Glennon’s 13-yard scramble, the team finishes with 98 yards on 27 carries.
Key 5. Special Teams Has to Stay Special
Punter Michael Koenen got off a bad 20-yard punt in the second quarter that gave the Falcons position at the Bucs 37-yard line to start their drive. One play later, Atlanta scored a touchdown. Michael Adams had a not-so special moment of his own when an opportunity to pin the Falcons inside their own five yard line ended up going through his hands and into the end zone.
Aside from those two plays, the Bucs got good production from their special teams. As mentioned previously, the Buccaneers punt unit forced a fumble and recovered it, leading to a Tampa Bay touchdown on offense. Eric Page was decent has he had an average of 28 yards per kickoff return and nine yards per punt return.
The Bucs held the Falcons to no punt returns and one kickoff return of 21 yards.