Looking back at the Bucs 34-24 Week 3 loss to the Rams, there were not many bright spots on defense. In a game full of defensive mistakes, the back-breaking one for Tampa Bay might have occurred on the third play of the second half. With the Rams facing a 3rd-and-10, Matt Stafford found a wide open DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard touchdown. The score gave Los Angeles a 21-7 lead less than a minute into the third quarter.
“Busted coverage,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. “Just totally busted the coverage. Lack of communication and they (Carlton Davis and Mike Edwards) didn’t get the call to each other. That’s what young guys do.”
On Jackson’s touchdown, it appeared that Carlton Davis was trying to funnel the receiver inside to his safety help. But Davis failed to get a great jam on Jackson, a difficult thing to do from his off coverage alignment. Even if he had, Edwards’ eyes were looking inside the whole time. He didn’t realize his assignment until Jackson was already well past him. The result was a rare busted coverage for the Bucs and a critical touchdown for the Rams.
Jackson finished the game with three catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. It could have been worse, as Jackson blew by Ross Cockrell on a deep ball early in the game, but Stafford underthrew him. Later in the first half, Jackson worked free late against Winfield Jr., but Stafford underthrew him again. On his third target of the game, the Rams finally connected.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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