“Interior pressure,” said Arians when asked why there were so few downfield passes. “Our interior guys. We busted an assignment on third down on a blitz up the middle and had to throw it away. Those are the type of errors that are just driving me crazy.”
Arians was referencing a third-and-2 play on the Bucs’ first possession of the second half. With the ball on Tampa Bay’s 46 yard-line, Brady took the snap, felt immediate interior pressure and threw an incompletion to Cameron Brate. The tight end was held on his shallow crossing route, but the officials did throw a flag.
Although the Bucs had the right play call, dialing up Mesh against Washington’s Cover 1 blitz, a blown protection caused the play to break down. Center Ryan Jensen should have stayed on Allen, but passed him off to pick up the linebacker. Also, Giovani Bernard should get eyes inside here, fitting up on the linebacker Jensen ends up picking up. Two mistakes makes me think there were communication issues between the line and Bernard pre-snap.
The Buccaneers compounded the third down failure by punting on fourth-and-2. The decision cost Tampa Bay 8.1 win probability percentage points according to Ben Baldwin’s model.
—> TB (6) @ WAS (16) <— TB has 4th & 2 at the TB 46
Recommendation (VERY STRONG): 👉 Go for it (+8.1 WP) Actual play: 🏈🦵 B.Pinion punts 46 yards to WAS 8, Center-C.Tinker, fair catch by D.Carter. pic.twitter.com/0vz89M87XU
Per Sports Info Solutions, Brady faced pressure on six dropbacks. This tied with Week 8 for the fewest pressures allowed in a game by the Bucs all season. Contrarily, the Rams pressured Brady a season high 22 times. While interior pressure did affect some plays, it was only one of many reasons for the lack of downfield passes. For instance, Washington’s coverage shells, Tampa Bay’s offensive play selection and Brady’s decision-making were all significant factors as well.
The Buccaneers offense will try to regain its’ explosiveness against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. However, the Giants defense has only allowed an ADOT of 7.1 – the seventh lowest mark in the NFL.