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December 1, 2013 @ 7:37 pm
Current rating: 3.33 Stars/3 Votes

Most Impressive And Most Disappointing: Bucs Vs. Panthers

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers were soundly beaten by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in Charlotte, and the giddiness over the team;s three game winning streak is over – for the next week at least. What players had an impressive game? Which ones disappointed? Get Mark Cook's thoughts.
To think the Buccaneers were ready to walk into Bank Of America Stadium and whip the surging Carolina Panthers was a bit of a reach. However to show little, if any improvement over their October matchup, a 31-13 loss, was a big disappointment for fans. Unfortunately Tampa Bay looked just as inept on Sunday as they did back on October 24, and the Panthers basically ran an exact blueprint of that game.

There weren’t many bright sports in the 27-6 loss on Sunday although a handful of players made a few plays, but as a team nowhere near enough.The Bucs were clearly out-manned and outcoached on Sunday.

LB Lavonte David
At times Lavonte David looks like he is playing at a different speed than the rest of the defense. On Sunday, David finished with nine tackles and another interception, his third of the season. David didn’t play perfect, as the Panthers totaled 163 yards on the ground, averaging nearly five yards per rush attempt (4.8).

Still, David did his best to try and neutralize Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Carolina’s trio of running backs as best as he could, but too many missed tackles and poor scheming by the staff, all contributed to the poor performance by the team.

David’s march to the Pro Bowl is being hindered by the team’s 3-9 record, but one third of the voters, the players, are learning quickly David is the real deal.

WR Tiquan Underwood
It was obvious the Panthers defensive game plan was the double wide receiver Vincent Jackson, at least early, leaving Tiquan Underwood with some single-coverage opportunities. Underwood delivered early for the Buccaneers, but as the game went on the Panthers secondary adjusted and pitched a virtual shutout after the first quarter.

Underwood finished the afternoon with three catches for the Buccaneers offense on Sunday, totaling 51 yards, with a long of 23 yards.

WR Vincent Jackson
Jackson had the biggest play of the day for the Buccaneers when he got behind the Panthers secondary and hauled in a 60-yard reception. But just like he has a number of times over the past two seasons, Jackson was caught from behind and stopped short of the goal line. Three plays later, quarterback Mike Glennon fumbled the ball, turning it over to Carolina, and the Buccaneers squandered a perfect opportunity to take the lead back.

Jackson coughed up the ball late in the game but the fumble didn’t hurt the Buccaneers, as Tampa Bay kept possession after an officials review.

On the afternoon Jackson had three catches for 75 yards.

S Mark Barron
Mark Barron has had a much better 2013 than last year, and is playing with a lot more confidence and aggressiveness than he did one year ago. On Sunday, he was a tackling machine, leading both teams in stops with 10.

The one issue Barron has, and can maybe be blamed on coaching, is his inability to get to the quarterback when blitzing. At times he takes long, looping paths around the defensive ends, which is way too slow to ever have an impact. As often as Barron has blitzed over the past two seasons, the former Alabama All-American has just one career sack, and that came last year.

S Keith Tandy
If someone asked you who would be tied for the team lead in interceptions after 12 games, who would you have selected? Most likely any other defensive back other than Keith Tandy would have been your choice. But after picking off Newton in the second quarter Tandy is in fact tied with Lavonte David for the team lead with three interceptions.

Tandy finished Sunday’s game with one tackle, one pass breakup and the interception.

QB Mike Glennon
After playing like a seasoned veteran over the last month, Glennon fell back down to earth – with a thud. No question the Panthers have one of the best defenses in the NFL and the combination of a rookie against the Carolina defense was a bad mix.

Glennon started off well, completing his first four passes, marching the Bucs down the field and getting them on the board with a field goal to open the scoring. But other than a 60-yard completion to Vincent Jackson, that was the highlight of the rookie’s afternoon.

Glennon’s second quarter fumble was extremely costly and completely shifted momentum to the side of Carolina. Glennon later tossed an end-over-end pass that was intercepted, and after that never came close to getting into a rhythm.

Rookies have games like Glennon did on Sunday, but how he bounces back over the last month of the season will go a long way in determining his place on the team next season. Play as he did over the previous four games and he is most likely the starter next September. But play like he did on Sunday and the Bucs brain trust may be looking to go in a different direction.

The Offensive Line
The offensive line's play over the last year is becoming a bit concerning. The season didn’t start well for tackle Donald Penn, but after the bye week, and then the insertion of Jamon Meredith next to him at guard, Penn seemed to settle in and play more consistently. But on Sunday, Penn and Meredith played as if they didn’t even knew each other, much less were teammates. Part of Penn’s less than stellar play may be attributed to Meredith or poor line calls by Glennon and/or center Jeremy Zuttah. And Penn will never throw his teammates under the bus, so the answer may never be revealed.

Davin Joseph also struggled mightily, as did the rest of the line, who failed to open many holes for the running game, particularly in the first half.

Some of the Panthers five sacks can squarely be blamed on Glennon holding onto the ball too long, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan’s slow developing routes and lack of check downs options, and even on the receivers somewhat, who failed to get separation.

Regardless, the Bucs can't win many games without a running game or when giving up five sacks and numerous pressures.

CB Darrelle Revis
For the first time this season Revis played poorly. How much of it was the groin injury? For Bucs fans and the organization, the hope is he was far from 100 percent, especially after getting burned by Ted Ginn for a touchdown. Of course we all know every corner gets beat, as the best ones make their names – and earn contracts – guessing and jumping routes like the one Revis was beat on.

But the most uncharacteristic Revis moment came in the third quarter when Revis stepped in front of a Newton to Steve Smith pass with his eyes on a touchdown. Unfortunately for Revis he couldn’t corral the pass and to make matters worse, went down with some type of chest/shoulder injury.

Revis has also been of the surest tacklers in the secondary this year, but on Sunday missed a handful, allowing the Panthers running backs and receivers additional yards.

DT Gerald McCoy
NFL offensive coordinators are not stupid, and any of them that put on any film this season of No. 93 quickly learned the key to attacking the Bucs defense starts with stopping McCoy. Mike Shula did just that, as McCoy had his worst statistical game of the season, failing to show up on the stat sheet.

Without the benefit of the coaches tape it is hard to determine exactly how the Panthers shut McCoy out but most likely it was with constant double teams. Regardless, to be considered one of the best, McCoy has to figure out how to impact the opposing team’s offense, even through double teams.

Defensive coaching staff
It is easy to jump on the defensive coaching staff and game plan and scream at them for the scheme, whether it be stunts, blitzes or whatever. But even with an untrained NFL eye, it was easy to see that Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula simply outcoached Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan for a majority of the game on Sunday. The Buccaneers were out of position often, lost containment on Newton several times and blitzed themselves out of the game at times.

This was the second matchup with the Panthers in a month. Conventional thinking is that it should be an advantage to the losing team of the first matchup. The winning team most likely goes into the game with a fairly routine blueprint of what worked the first time, and that should give the losing team the opportunity to not repeat the same mistakes made in the loss. But that wasn’t the case on Sunday, and the Buccaneers now sit at 3-9. The loss can't be blamed strictly on the defense, as you aren’t going to win many games scoring just two field goals.

Last modified on Monday, 02 December 2013 10:46

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  • avatar

    STLBUCSFAN - I share your pain all around. Saturdays AND Sundays have been brutal this season.
  • avatar

    Schiano has no signature wins in his 2 years as Head Coach, unless you count the road win against the Lions, a team which annually underachieves. He barely beats teams that we should beat and never has the team won bc of him, they usually win in spite of him. Some games we are able to run the ball then his philosophy works but if not then we aren't capable of making in game adjustments and winning in different ways which is the mark of a good coach. There are not enough wins left in the season for Schiano to change my mind about his fate. Players will play hard for their next coach and hopefully they will be playing smarter as well. The Dolphins nearly saved his job with that lackluster first half but true to his colors Schiano showed up and reminded us all why he should be fired. Not sure what I did to deserve Muschamp and Schiano all in one season but whatever it is Im Sorry! LOL
  • avatar

    Schiano read too many press clippings about the previous four games (I'm counting the Seattle game). He now feels secure that he's coming back next year - he's getting all the infamous votes of confidence from the Glazer's and Dom (plus other, non-Tampa Bay, outlets). The result, he's back to the terrible game planning that is the Schiano trademark. Sullivan and (especially) Sheridan may be bad but this falls all on Schiano. It's one of the principal reasons we are 3 - 9. All that said, if Schiano is able to NOT coach us out two more wins, I think the Glazer's bring him back. He doesn't deserve it (it's all about wins) but he'll be back. As far as Glennon, I fervently wish him to be our QB for the future so we can address other needs. However, as EastEndBoy accurately points out, if you really breakdown the his passing stats, there's not much there to get exited about if not for some jump balls downfield to VJax. That makes me very uneasy about our QB position.
  • avatar

    Obviously Sheridan/Schiano scheme on defense just doesn't work. If Schiano can win two more games, it wouldn't surprise me that the owners keep him for one more year. They'll blame it on Freeman and injuries. It's tough to be a Buc Fan; endure is the word that comes to the surface for me.
  • avatar

    Well said Stlbucsfan!
  • avatar

    I agree scubog. It's too early to tell about a rookie QB that indeed has potential. At this point in his development, I would stay away from the "F" word (franchise) for a whole multitude of reasons. I can say this in Glennon's defense. He is over-scripted (sound familiar?) and sometimes struggles to make good decisions because he is so loyal to the script. He must be allowed to play to win regardless of some rookie mistakes so we can truly evaluate his development. We also need to uncouple Glennon from Schiano. We’ve fallen into the belief that Glennon’s future depends on Schiano. I don’t believe that! If Glennon is a good QB, and I believe he is he will possess the same skills and perhaps even flourish under an offensive-minded coach.
  • avatar

    @scubog...I like everything you wrote. @matador...this is supposed to be fun - fans (including PR) sharing their reasoned views and opinions on their team is what this site is all about (no one is pretending to be the Board or the GM – just the fans who pay the bills and probably should have some sort of voice because of that)...I hear your opinion that Glennon could still become a Manning, RGIII, Kap, Newton…I haven’t seen anything that leads to me believe that (but I respect your opinion)…what I have seen leads me to give Glennon some more time and see if he can become a Frank Reich or Brad Johnson type (e.g., his long ball to Underwood against DET was excellent). Overall, I have seen a QB with 5 passes that account for nearly 50% of his numbers in the past 4 weeks (sort of “1-2” passes per game that makes or breaks his day) – and 4 of those were amazing catches by VJax (including 2 one-handers 40+ yards down field). That’s what makes me cautious about Glennon at the moment – I don’t see a QB who had 4 great games (leaving aside his first 5 games that weren’t so great) and had these 5 excellent passes to top off his great games – rather, I see a QB who had 4 bad-to-mediocre games, three of which were saved by a small handful of hail mary passes that VJax largely made work for him…take away those 4 VJax catches and his numbers start to look poor...that’s the difference for me right now, if you take away that “1” pass per game, Glennon goes from top-10 to bottom-10, that doesn’t happen with Manning, RGIII, Kap, Newton, Luck, Wilson, Brady, Brees, etc. So, I’m still waiting to see the inner Reich-Johnson come out, but I think it could be there….and none of that would change my opinion on drafting Bridgewater, Mariota or Hundley…who all have an inner top-10 QB in them…in my opinion.
  • avatar

    Revis injured again? Shocking that a 28 year old corner is not able to play. Glad I am not one of the idiots that thought it was a good idea to give up a high first round pick for a player that has probably already played his best years.
  • avatar

    @jshumaker: And don't forget the $16 mil. the Bucs are paying for Revis which could have gone a long way to fill at least 3 or 4 holes on this team.
  • avatar

    Yesterday's loss showed me all I need to know about Schiano. In a game where we are playing a mobile QB and contain is of the utmost importance we certainly shouldnt be stunting upfront as that creates alleys to run through yet he did it anyway.In desperation he made adjustments that helped the team and as soon as he got remotely comfortable the defensive schemes reverted back to what hasnt worked in his 2 years. The last few weeks I had been giving him some slack bc he appeared to be growing as a coach but after Sundays loss that doesnt appear to be the case. The Panthers aren't 21 points better than us even without Nicks, Martin and Williams but there coaching staff is much better. This team is willing to run through a brick wall for Schiano its just ashamed that the brick wall is our coaching and scheme.
  • avatar

    @stlbucsfan - yes, seen enough now - sadly will have to see 4 more games of it...
  • avatar

    Why can't we sniff out screens on defense...ever? Why don't we run screens on offense...hardly ever. It doesn't even seem to matter who the OC is. I bet the Bucs have thown the fewest screens in the NFL over the past 10 years. The only common denominators are players like Penn, Zuttah and Joseph.
  • avatar

    @pinkstob: because we are a well-coached team!
  • avatar

    I disagree with Glennon leading the most disappointing list. 66% completion percentage against that defense is an achievement. They made Tom Brady look bad fairly recently. We have a real opportunity with Glennon because of how far along he is so early in his career. Is he going to be the dynamic, all-world QB that Luck or Wilson MAY become? Perhaps not but we can save ourselves $10-12 mil per year in salary cap space for the next 5 years by settling on this guy and letting him develop into a young Brad Johnson with better wheels. We did pretty well with that formula in the past, if I recall. Getting schooled by Mike Shula makes me nauseous.
  • avatar

    Sheridan did a better job neutralizing McCoy than the panthers oline with stunts and blitzes. Countless times McCoy was literally standing still "occupying blockers" or sent looping around.
  • avatar

    I completely agree about the Mike Shula comment from NJBuc. Guess it's not the 90s anymore.
  • avatar

    I find it odd that 3 catches or the stat line "one tackle, one pass breakup and the interception" looks impressive to anyone. Granted, if you're comparing them to the rest of the team, those might be a half-respectable 5 people, but really no one stood up and delivered on Sunday.
  • avatar

    To keep the facts straight matador; Kaepernick is now in his 3rd, not 2nd (sophomore) year of the 8-4 49ers. I didn't read anything by the Pewter Report boys...and girls that is suggesting anything other than what everyone except you has observed this season. Of course we are more hopeful for 2014 after a win and less so after a loss where the team is totally dominated. To suggest that Glennon has looked like a sure fire franchise QB at any point is his brief career, is just a little premature. We all know about Manning's shaky start. We all watched RGIII have success followed by his "sophomore slump." Point being, it's too early to tell how Mike Glennon will evolve. As we sit here today, my humble evaluation of Mike Glennon is a QB who won't be the reason to win games; but he could be a reason not to lose them if enough talent is around him. No one is going to game-plan to defend three complete passes but still not get a first down. Looks like a thinner version of Brad Johnson. Time will tell.
  • avatar

    After seeing FL. state play Sat. and seeing the Buc's play Sun. I think a good plan would be to get a pass rusher ( Clowney if possible) in 2014 and in 2015 give the house and get Winston ( if not in jail) as that guy has all the tools, quick release, accurate, mobile and a big arm for a REAL FRANCHISE QB. It's about time this organization got a franchise QB. We are in the NFL souih with Brees, Newton and Ryan. To compete we need a TOP QB, not average. IMO Glennon will be fine next year but this team has been built to win now and that did not happen. This team is not getting any younger, our OL needs help and we have many holes to fill. Hopefully a new GM/HC in 2014 will build a team for 2015 and have it ready for a REAL FRANCHISE QB. I think this might be to much wishful thinking.
  • avatar

    OK. I know that I am going to sound bad when I say this. I missed the second half of the game with my daughters girl scouts. Is this accurate? ( Yes, there is an undertone)
  • avatar

    Reading that Mike Shula out coached anyone is a travesty in itself..
  • avatar

    You could say he outcoached Tom Coughlin, Jim Harbaugh and Bill Belichick as well. He has grown over the past decade and a half and has alot of good talent. Give credit where it is due.
  • avatar

    I completely agree. Guess it's not the 90s anymore.
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