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December 23, 2013 @ 9:52 am
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs Drop Winnable Game to Rams, 23-13: Unit Game Grades

Written by Haley
Haley Cornish


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The disappointing season full of promise is almost over and for those hoping the Bucs would end on a positive note, they have just one game left to accomplish the goal. How did each unit grade out in the Bucs 23-13 loss to the Rams on Sunday?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their second game in a row, losing 23-13 to the St. Louis Rams. The Bucs fall to 4-11 on the season and will face the New Orleans Saints in the Super Dome next Sunday. Here are PewterReport.com’s unit game grades.

Rookie Mike Glennon continued his poor December, completing 16-of-26 passes (61.5 percent) for 158 yards, no touchdowns, and a fumble. His passer rating was just 78.7.

Glennon had no help from his offensive line, who allowed seven sacks and failed to create any push in the run game. Glennon didn’t have much time to throw the ball and often had to throw it away to avoid being sacked. But there were several plays where the pass protection was so bad all Glennon could do was tuck the ball.

Glennon’s fumble came late in the game when the Bucs needed to get a first down to keep the drive going, and the pocket collapsed, forcing Glennon to try and get the first down on his own. This was Glennon’s biggest mistake of the game along with a poor slide/dive in an attempt to get the first down in the second half. Glennon missed an opportunity to prove to his teammates something and earn some respect. Although getting up after seven sacks, some vicious, and a number of knockdowns did show some toughness.

For the second straight game, the run game was extremely unsuccessful. Bobby Rainey ran the ball 20 times for just 37 yards (1.9 yards per carry), but did have a touchdown. The offensive line did nothing to help, unable to gain any push on the Rams’ front four.

But when you run the ball 20 times, and average under two yards, the running back is partly to blame. Rainey’s biggest problem is his hesitancy to hit the hole hard, which would result in him falling forward for a couple more yards. Instead he stutter-steps behind the line, allowing the defense to meet him in the backfield.

When your quarterback doesn’t have any time to throw, then the receivers aren’t going to put up any big numbers. Vincent Jackson led the team with five catches for 98 yards, but did have a big drop late in the game that would have resulted in a first down. Jackson also drew a pair of big pass interference calls deep in Rams’ territory.

Chris Owusu had two catches for 13 yards, and Tiquan Underwood had just one catch for seven yards.

Tim Wright continued to be a sure-handed receiver for Glennon, but was banged up in the second half, which is why he wasn’t more involved. He did have four catches for 27 yards. Glennon showed his trust in Wright when he threw a first down pass with two defenders closing in on the tight end. Despite the helmet-to-helmet hit, Wright still held onto the ball. The rookies’ chemistry has grown over the course of the season and is somewhat promising for 2014.

No matter what defensive front you are facing, giving up seven sacks in a game is just bad. Glennon was sacked seven times for 47 yards. It was a group effort; not a single player on the offensive line had a good game. Donald Penn was handled easily by Robert Quinn, who had three sacks in the game.

Their run blocking was just as bad as the pass protection. The created zero holes and were often run over by the Rams’ front seven. This was probably the worst performance of the year for the offensive line, which is really saying something. There could be big changes coming in the offseason to help this struggling unit.

On the opposite side of the ball, the defensive line played decently, aside from struggling in the middle of the game against the run. They ended up holding Zac Stacy to 104 yards on 33 carries (3.2 yards per carry). The front four actually got better late in the game against the run, stopping Stacy for a loss on several plays.

Gerald McCoy led the line with six tackles and the teams’ only sack, pushing his season total to nine. Adrian Clayborn had three tackles, two for a loss, and was credited with forcing Kellen Clemens’ fumble. William Gholston continued to make plays, as he had six tackles and a tackle for loss.

As a unit, the defensive line didn’t create enough pressure on Clemens throughout the game, which would have been a huge help for the defense. Had Clemens been under more pressure he likely would have made more costly mistakes.

Lavonte David led the team with 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit, and a fumble recovery. He even almost stole the ball right out of  tight end Jared Cook’s hands, who was barely down by contact. His best play of the game was when he tackled Zac Stacy on his own at the one-yard-line, denying him a touchdown and eventually forcing the Rams to kick a field goal

Mason Foster had nice game with seven tackles and two tackles for loss. Dekoda Watson had his second good game in a row with four tackles, a quarterback hit, and a forced fumble on Stacy.

As a unit, the linebackers were definitely the strongest part of the defense against the Rams. They didn’t make any big mistakes, tackled very well, and made big plays.

The secondary didn’t have a bad game, holding Clemens to 158 yards. But they did give up some plays on third-and-longs, which really hurt the Bucs’ chances. Johnthan Banks didn’t have his best game, and was targeted often by the Rams’ offense.

Darrelle Revis had another good game; it didn’t look like he was targeted once in the entire game, which explains why he had just one tackle.

Safety Keith Tandy was starting in place of an injured Mark Barron. He had seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Free safety Dashon Goldson will probably have a fine and possibly another suspension coming his way after another helmet-to-helmet hit. He finished the game with five tackles.

Rian Lindell made both of his field goals in the game from 32 and 35 yards out. The Bucs didn’t give up any big runs in the return game, and Eric Page didn’t have any kickoff returns (all were touchbacks or fair catches). Tampa Bay did attempt an onside kick, but the ball went out of bounds, resulting in a Rams’ recovery.


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  • avatar

    Lets ask ourselves this question are we better than the 1988 Bucs that Had Vinny, Mark Carrier, Bruce Hill and Ron Hall? My answer is NO, and thats bad!
  • avatar

    Sorry Haley, but that offensive performance that once again churned out less than 200 yards is a big fat F except for Vincent Jackson. Glennon's showing certainly wasn't deserving of an average grade. What happened to the offensive line that was good enough last season to do it's part to reach a 9th in the league ranking? Personnel is basically the same.
  • avatar

    Would not draft a QB in this draft, we would only get another project. Gleenon runs like he has frankenstien shoes on. Everyone is trying to put lipstick on a pig, the same that was done in Freemans case. Did you see the run by Glennon when he fell or slid,( I guess thats what you would call it) when he ran for the first down, the guy is afraid to take a hit. Dump Doninik and Schiano and wait till 2015 to draft a new QB that has some guts and can throw a deep ball. This organization is in sorry shape. As far as Gruden coming back, not a chance, would you?
  • avatar

    Here we are again. Thinking about the draft. Pondering coaching changes. Let us all pray Sullivan goes to the United States Military Academy as it's next head coach. Donald Penn has given us a good run. Time to draft a left OT in the second round. I like Glennon to date. Good arm. Can make all the throws. Smart. Goes through some of his progressions. Needs to come in next year with 15+ pounds of extra muscle. Oh yea. Lots of speed work too. John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, and Peyton Manning all had pretty rough rookie seasons. Draft -humm. First round? I like either of the two first round tight ends. Eric Ebron grades out as a top 10 in many rankings. Tight end?? Think Jimmie Giles and you can kind of get an idea of the potential value to the Bucs offense. If Carl Nicks has not finally resolved his MRSA infection (which had to involve the bone) by OTAs I think it might be time to move on. Speaking of moving on - I think it is time for Mark Dominik to walk the plank. $25 mill contracts to Michael Clayton n Quincy Black. Drafting Josh Freeman and wasting 4 1/2 years on someone who will be lucky to be a back up. Schiano ? Dealt a bad hand by Dominik. But did pick a lousy OC. One more year? Would John Gruden (rumor has he wants to coach again) consider coming back?
  • avatar

    Were we actually watching the same game. The score might've been close but that game was in no way winnable. The Bucs were outmatched by a mediocre team again 2 seasons in a row. Tell me again why Jeff Fisher wasn't interviewed for the Bucs Head Coaching position 2 years ago?
  • avatar

    Glennon has the makings of an adequate backup QB, but the Bucs need to draft a QB in round 1. Maybe they can trade down some and pick up the 3rd they lost on Revis. This team has many more needs than the draft can fulfill. I would give Schiano another year, but Dominik has to go. Dominik has been a panic merchant in every draft, trading away good draft picks to move up a few spaces to draft players that were flops. And this on a team that is woefully short of talent because of screw ups in past drafts. Dominik has always tried to make the big splash play in the draft rather than being basically sound and this has led to a team that is over rated, over bloated and over paid. As bad as there is need on the O-line with Nicks's future in question due to health issues and Joseph and Penn grossly underplaying their contracts, as bad as the DE position is and as bad as another DT is needed to line up next to McCoy while his career is still in high gear. With all these things a factor, the Bucs have to go for a QB, because Glennon is not the future for this team. The Bucs need an effective slot receiver and a tight end too. Free agency? This team irritates me !!!!
  • avatar

    Haley, good grades. I might add that Glennon, Spence, Banks, Goldston are all playing like rookies; they all have good futures ahead for them.
  • avatar

    Its not the offensive coordinator that is bad but the head coach who is in charge of the game plans. The head coach gives his approval so until Schiano is gone ,nothing will change much!
  • avatar

    Until we get an offensive line that can push and open a hole, and an offensive coordinator with an imagination, we will suffer through the season next year just like this.
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