Chris Conte and the Buccaneers secondary had a poor outing against Arizona. – Photo by: Getty Images
Things got ugly in a hurry in Arizona and there were plenty of culprits factoring into the Bucs’ miserable 40-7 beat down.
Check out who PewterReport.com stuck on this week’s Most Disappointing list as Tampa Bay shifts its focus to the Los Angeles Rams.
QB JAMEIS WINSTON
Franchise quarterbacks get all the glory when things are going good. When games play out like Sunday’s groaner in the desert, they’ll be catching some flak.
Winston appeared to shrug off his deep, first-quarter interception intended for receiver Mike Evans. He took a shot to the end zone to try and hang six points on Arizona with his first drive and got nabbed by Patrick Peterson. Winston completed his first two passes beforehand and his next two of three after, but that’s when the unravelling began.
Off-target passes throughout the game resulted in Winston completing just 27 of 52 attempts and posting a career-low quarterback rating of 39.2. The second-year signal caller finished with a career-high five turnovers that included four interceptions and a lost fumble.
Outside help from teammates was not always reliable Sunday and contributed to the high turnover number and low, 51.9 completion percentage. Winston’s already shown his bounce-back ability during his brief NFL career, but salvaging that game proved too difficult.
RB CHARLES SIMS III
The Tampa Bay offense found itself behind the eight ball early when running back Doug Martin left with a hamstring injury.
Martin had picked up 23 yards on seven carries before exiting during the Bucs’ first drive of the second quarter. Backup back Charles Sims saw his role expand and he was unable to deliver. Not much came on the ground (nine carries for 24 yards) or through the air (three catches on five targets for four yards).
In addition to not picking up much with the ball, Sims played a role in two of the team’s five turnovers. His left shoulder knocked the ball out of Winston’s grasp in the third when the quarterback was not expecting him to be sliding across. On the third-quarter interception that turned into a pick-6 by Arizona’s Marcus Cooper, Winston’s pass was tipped at the line by Josh Mauro before sailing high to Sims. The back had to leap and it would have been a nice grab, but it tip-drilled right to Cooper.
CB BRENT GRIMES
Veteran cornerback versus veteran wide receiver turned into an ugly mismatch for the defense.
Brent Grimes could not match up with Larry Fitzgerald. Even when the 10th-year defensive back tried mugging the 13th-year wideout it didn’t work out well.
Grimes tied with safety Chris Conte and linebacker Kwon Alexander for the team-lead with seven tackles, but didn’t get credit for a single pass defense. A split second is all it takes to be late breaking up passes and Grimes watched that happen a few times Sunday.
Fitzgerald finished his day catching six of 11 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. Grimes was called for pass interference on the 4-yard touchdown catch that opened Arizona’s scoring in the second quarter. He was beaten for a long touchdown later in the quarter, but replay ruled Fitzgerald was down at the 1.
BUCS PASS RUSH
It’s hard to pick out an individual here when Tampa Bay’s entire pass rush was nonexistent.
Bucs defenders were credited with hitting Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer four times and sacking him once. That takedown came early in the third and counts as not only rookie Noah Spence’s first career sack, but his first and only NFL stat of any kind.
Mike Smith’s defense has been picking up compliments since training camp for its attacking style. It was hard to tell Sunday and the inability to get to Palmer or at least get him off his spots resulted in a shredded secondary and 416 yards of total Arizona offense.
Compounding the defensive front’s issues was seeing Robert Ayers hobbling off the field before halftime. The defensive end entered the game with an ankle issue and it came back to leave the line shorthanded.
WR VINCENT JACKSON
This makes two straight games for Vincent Jackson failing to make much of a difference with an inefficient performance. After catching just two of seven targets for 18 yards last week in Atlanta, Jackson grabbed four of nine for 44 yards.
The veteran receiver is playing in his 12th season at age 33. Losing a half-step or so can be natural, but seeing Jackson appear to not be on the same page with Winston again is unexpected and discouraging. Winston’s interception last week was intended for Jackson, as was his second-quarter pick nabbed by Marcus Cooper.
Jackson capped a lackluster performance late in the third quarter by dropping a deep ball in front of the end zone. It’s the type of third-down catch teams need receivers to make – especially ones who are supposed to be top-end playmakers. Making the catch would have put Tampa Bay inside the 5 and set up a touchdown opportunity. Dropping the ball led to kicker Roberto Aguayo running out and missing a 45-yard field goal attempt wide right.
S CHRIS CONTE
It was a bad day for just about the entire secondary and safety Chris Conte’s rougher moments resulted in Arizona touchdowns.
They both came in the game-changing second quarter, too.
First came getting pulled forward in the end zone by Palmer in order to give receiver Michael Floyd enough space along the back line to catch a 1-yard touchdown. That expanded Arizona’s lead to 17-0 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half.
As if a 17-point hole at the break isn’t rough enough, it got worse when Winston and the offense went three and out in 10 seconds. Four Arizona plays later, receiver Jaron Brown was racing behind Conte and the entire Bucs secondary and hauling in a 51-yard touchdown catch. Conte could’ve used a little help in this situation, but he did not react quick enough to avoid being beaten by the speedy Cardinals wideout.
Yoy said it all. Time to move on to the Rams. Go Bucs!
Was afraid this might happen. Cards were beatable,injured,inconsistent team but we just sucked all way around. Could not afford a slow typical Winston start,turnovers, or dumb penalties. We never have traveled well to west coast. Hope they can shake it off and get the win at home next week. Was hard game to watch. Pathetic really. I knew this D line was razor thin. Besides J. smith and Ayers nobody can rush the passer period. It’s really bad. Winston sucked. Love the guy but if he doesn’t learn to control his emotions he will continue slow starts and cost us lots of close games like a said weeks ago. Not looking good at all. Hope Martin and Ayers can come back soon.
Chris Conte was horrible.
While Winston made the throws, I give as much blame to each of Evans, VJax and Sims on three of the INTs respectively. On the 4th, he under threw the Hail Mary so that’s all on him.
Sims is no Every down RB…that’s for sure.
Dline…where were you?
Oline…where were you?
When the 20th ranked OC (points) stole the job of the 26th ranked DC (points), we were all assured that these days were behind us. PR told me: 1) Koetter’s style was bringing new energy to the place, 2) Continuity in his system was the key to offensive production, 3) Lovie was holding back the linebackers with his antiquated D (you know the one that the Panthers use), 4) Mike Smith’s new hybrid D with blitzes coming from improbable angles would render offenses helpless as QB after QB was carted off of the field. PR, what happened? These are your guys (HC & GM), you’ve gushed about them like breathless school girls for months. And we get this? I’m curious, when you watched Conte give up 14 points in 45 seconds, did Licht seem like a pool diving genius, or a guy not smart enough to draft a safety in the second round as opposed to Bertooooo? (Or should I say Bert noooooo!) When we all just watched Lavontae David of all people have zero tackles, that’s zero with a Z, did Mike Smith still seem like a defensive mastermind, or a guy who just schemed the best OLB in football to a goose egg? You cried like a baby over Lovie’s pass defense (I did too), but are you sure we upgraded? Or did we just watch back to back 300-yard games and zero (again with a z) turnovers?
I’m going to watch the Odd Couple now and pretend today never happened. But PR I’ll end on this note. This HC and GM stole this team and the vision for it, which I’m ok with at a certain level of result. We are nowhere near those results. Hopefully, your reporting on this club reflects what is actually occurring and not the hyperbole you’ve been giving us. And by that I mean I want you to walk into One Buc next week, walk right up to Dirk and Mike Smith and ask as politely as possible, WTF?
amen! once Smith tore his ACL i was already worried about the defense, now Ayers is hobbled and N. Spence is looking liking a rookie… with zero pass rush the defense will be just as bad as last year… it’s on the “genius” koetter – who’s just a stubborn as Lovie (didn’t use any of the type of plays that worked so well for the patriots) – and the offense to make this even a .500 season
A good beat down by a top team. A wake up call? This makes the Rams game at home next week absolutely critical for this season. A pivotal game! Vjax and Miko’s husband are the same age and performing about the same. Is it time to stick a fork in them?
because PR & other media outlets still like to give Lovie a hard time for being too conservative before the half, i just want to point out that instead of going into the half down 17-0 the Bucs went down 24-0… sometimes it’s better to just lick your wounds and regroup especially on the road in a hostile environment, when nothing is going right and you’re getting the ball back to start the 2nd half… UNBELIEVABLE!!! A 10 SECOND DRIVE? being “aggressive” put the game out of reach this time
Plenty of Buc disappointment to go around. Still can’t understand Evan’s effort on that early deep ball, but sometimes we have to admit the other team just kicked our butts.
Card’s defense appeared to have our huddle mic’d. all day. They were faster. Quicker to the ball. Blocked better. Tackled better and simply played the way a good team would after a tough home opener loss. Their QB was good. Their backs got to the edges faster than our tacklers who then struggled to make the tackles. And Mr. Fitzgerald schooled our DBs like the Hall of Famer he is.
We’re probably better than we played yesterday but those other guys sure exposed our weaknesses. Go Bucs!
I have no issue with us attacking before the half, if thats the identity they want to establish then I’m glad they are consistent. I said prior to the season a Desean Jackson for Vincent Jackson swap would be nice and I still firmly believe that. Vincent creates no seperation and couldnt get open while being covered by a rookie yesterday. Jameis was off but the Bucs became completely 1 dimensional and only used Sims for tosses and screens which became rather obvious. As for the defense I think it all stems from no pressure either with 4 man or blitz. The pressure was blocked well and Carson had all day which is a recipe for disaster against any QB. With Smith out and Ayers hobbled I would not be upset if they called Greg Hardy in for a workout. If the NFL says he fine to play why not give him a chance. I have never been concerned with a players history if hes eligible to play and doesnt mess up here. We have cast off many players maybe its time we take a chance on a guy that could save our season bc no pass rush and theres no way we make the playoffs. The snaps for other players will begin to rise and that increases the potential for injury. Just some thoughts but on to the Rams. Go Bucs!
1 dimensional is right…and I really don’t understand this. We targeted our WRs 38 times! (17 for Evans alone), and our TEs only 6 times (ASJ only twice – both of which he caught…no surprise there). Patrick Peterson (one of the best in the league, if not the best) is covering most of those 38 times. ASJ in particular is a huge mismatch against whoever is covering him…why aren’t we targeting the TE more? I really don’t understand why there seems to be so much hate coming from the team for ASJ…is he dating the coach’s daughter or something…
Rather than trying the slow developing down-field targets 38 times, asking our so-so Oline to pass protect too long, maybe we could try a few more TE 5-10 yard passes…just a thought.
Targeting Mike Evans that many times against Peterson is nothing short of bad coaching. It was Jameis who ultimately threw the passes but there appeared to be no emphasis on targeting the rookie CB or the middle of the field where we actually had mismatches in our favor. It would have been nice to hear about the awful practice the team had last Wednesday but I think PR drank more of the kool aid than the players.
As for ASJ I’m also not sure whose daughter or niece he’s giving it to but I hope the playbook starts to involve him more. Also not sure why we waited until the 2nd half to use the WR screens to beat some of the all out blitzes they were coming with on 3rd downs. Then once we used them it became the only play we ran on 3rd downs. The pick was a result of predictable playcalling bc I knew the screen was coming on that INT returned for a TD so I know AZ picked up on that. They could have very easily included the coaching staffs in this weeks most disappointing as we didn’t appear to be ready to play or prepared for what AZ was doing.
Oh and Aguayo should be listed. If he’s listed last week when he makes 1 FG then he should be listed this week when he misses his 1 FG.
Agreed. This is starting to look like Licht’s version of the Dexter Jackson pick, only you can afford to have a wasted pick on a slot receiver. The kicker is one of the four most important players on the team.
Licht traded up for this guy as if he was the next Janikowski and so far he looks very wrong in that assessment.
It’s time to put Hargraves on the best receiver the other team rolls out, Grimes can play nickel back.
L. David, zero tackles? I know he was banged up, but Zero tackles?
As I’ve said before, it’s all about the line. O and D. They looked horrible yesterday.
Time to lick our wounds and get ready for the Rams, who’s defense looked awfully good.
Bad weekend for Florida State. Winston and Agauyo laid eggs just like Jimbo.
I still look to win at home next week.
Will give Argyuo a few games but taking him over a couple of safeties is getting more difficult to justify. Conte was getting beaten all over the field Sunday, and then Roberto missed a 45 yarder, inside off the turn. Not good.
Bring on the Rams!!! GO BUCS!!!
We played a superior team who have three speed burners as WRs with we have three smaller CBs; none of which were able to match up with them and we had no pressure on the QB because of injuries, and we were way out coached. Koetter could have built a better offensive strategy picking on their rookie CB like New England did, but instead tried beating All Pro Peterson which resulted in the first interception and started the downward spiral. When he saw the success hitting our TEs he should have gone to a two TE offense and used our best receiver, Evans, to occupy Petersen and just set VJAX down who was terrible in the game. When Doogie went down he should have been replaced by our 220 pound Auburn backup who could have opened his own holes to get better production on the ground. Oh well, the Cardinals learned from their first loss and got ready for us; Koetter needs to do the same and get our first home win against the Rams.
I was at the game sat lower level and My most disappointing List was the whole team performance they got beat on every level, Winston still floats balls over wr’s heads and has poor footwork, looked very uncomfortable in pocket all game which is disappointing after how strong he looked last week. I was never a Conte Fan like fellow posters here and he only solidified my opinion yesterday. I saw Stocker in game or I should I say I saw him on field he did his usual game performance which is to the delight of some fans here which is nothing but few blocks. The secondary looked over matched with AZ speed and size and David Johsnon chucking guys around like they were little boys was embarrassing namely K Alexander and Verner. I haven’t seen my Bucs play on over 5 yrs and they had one of their worst performances, even Arguayo missed a field goal hearing cards Fans around me saying they drafted this guy with a second? and then laughed. I felt like I was back in Tampa Stadium the way I was surrounded by opposing teams fans and having them make wise cracks the entire game. Only positive thing I came away with was how they handled Cards Defensive line and blitzes they gave Winston time he just missed his targets
Winston was also under pressure most of the day, which always affects the accuracy of his throws and ability to fit passes into the tiny, tiny, windows good coverage allows you. Donovan Smith had a horrible day in pass protection. Enough to make me wonder if Demar Dotson should really be the guy protecting Winston’s blindside. Perhaps they should switch places?
On the same theme, part of the reason the Cardinals pass coverage was so good is that the Bucs don’t have any fast wide receivers anymore. Guys like Kenny Bell and Robert Herron didn’t work out, and Dontae Dye suffered the kind of injury that takes away his speed until it completely heals. Good route-running and height advantage isn’t always enough to create separation, and throwing all those high balls to tall guys can create tips and pick sixes, too, as we saw.
I would also have liked to see Jonthan Banks take over for Grimes, speaking of height disadvantages. Once it was 40-7, the Bucs could have let some of their backups get opportunities. For some reason they chose to continue to put all the starters at unnecessary risk. Banks is nearly the same height as Fitzgerald, and this is the kind of matchup we drafted him in the second round for.
Like most here, I am mystified why Coach K isn’t using ASJ more. With the opportunities he’s been given, he’s done pretty well. And, since Jameis throws everything high, ASJ might be a valuable option down the road.
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