With the season on the line and perhaps jobs also on the line, the Buccaneers fell to the Falcons by a score of 34-20 on Sunday afternoon in Atlanta. Below is a list of the most disappointing from the loss. There were certainly individual players that could have been on the list, but ultimately this loss falls on the ones in charge.

Offensive Coaching
Third-and-2 with a chance to convert and possibly tie the game in the fourth quarter. Coming out of a time out, with your full playbook at your disposal, and you run a pass play where the primary receiver doesn’t get the depth for the two yards needed? Adam Humphries was stopped after a one-yard gain and you face fourth-and-1 and you throw the ball down the field? After not taking the pretty much guaranteed three points with a field goal? Or even attempting to run it?

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said after the game, since it didn’t work, he called the wrong play. Understatement of the season.

And how does the Bucs offensive coaching staff forget they even have tight ends on the field? And it isn’t like they are mediocre ones. Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard are proven playmakers when utilized, yet somehow neither were even targeted once in the entire first half. When the Bucs reached the end zone just before halftime, you would think most certainly Howard and Brate would get involved in the action. Nope. Three straight pass attempts without one even headed in the direction of a tight end. In the second half the Bucs finally went to their tight ends, and had success. But it was too little, too late.

Two field goals in first half knowing you need touchdowns. All these “weapons” and six whole points in the first half.

Enough said.

Defensive Coaching
I jokingly tweeted after Julio Jones’ second touchdown of the first half that it was unfortunate defensive coordinator Mike Smith wasn’t familiar with Jones and didn’t know he was one of the best receivers in the game. But seriously, how can Jones be running free the entire first half when he had 137 yards and two touchdowns through just two quarters? It is just mind-boggling to most. Probably even to Jones himself.

And after a monster first half certainly the defense will make adjustments to keep the ball out of No. 11’s hands, right? Well, not exactly. CB Ryan Smith, and really the whole secondary continued to play soft coverage, allowing Jones to once again impose his will against the Bucs defense. Jones finished with 12 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns. If Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel beat you, so be it. But how do you leave Jones so open so often and allow him to single-handily beat a team essentially by himself?

Then finally, after your offense rallies in the second half and gets back in the game, down seven points, the defense is given the opportunity to be the hero. To erase all of the bad tastes from all season long. But Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense is able to drive 82 yards on 11 plays and chew up 5:12 of clock to score the game-clinching touchdown.

Falcons offense: 34 points. 516 yards. 11-of-14 on third down. Zero sacks by the Bucs defense.

Enough said.

 

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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Bucnut2
Bucnut2
4 years ago

Mark- TOTALLY agree but how can you leave Mike Evans off the list? He dropped 2 first half TD’s?

Bucnut2
Bucnut2
Reply to  Mark Cook
4 years ago

Agree on Pamphile as well but Evans is supposed to be elite. Those were catches that VERY good receivers make.

Hit55Fan
Hit55Fan
Reply to  Bucnut2
4 years ago

that first TD drop was a great play by the DB. slow motion doesnt give the DB enough credit there.

GIJoeWasThere
GIJoeWasThere
Reply to  Hit55Fan
4 years ago

Evans dropped it. He is soft as hell and has turned in to a bum.

bucballer
bucballer
4 years ago

Welcome back…Coach Gruden!

Bucnut2
Bucnut2
Reply to  bucballer
4 years ago

I ONLY want Gruden IF we hire someone like Polian to head football operations. Gruden was a TERRIBLE talent evaluator.

Hit55Fan
Hit55Fan
Reply to  Bucnut2
4 years ago

Im keeping licht and pairing him with gruden.. Licht has put a GREAT team together.. the coaching has failed this team. Gruden won with much worse.

Kin Walden
Kin Walden
Reply to  Hit55Fan
4 years ago

Licht–great? He miffed on Calais Campbell, he took Aguayo as a 2nd rounder, he took vh3 #11 overall. Honestly he has failed the Bucs. What was the point of takin OJ Howard–he was not even targeted in 1st half–they never use Howard and Brate together so we could of been better off drafting for need not player. So many mistakes by Koetter and Mike Smith every game especially today. Humiliating to be a Buc fan.

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  Bucnut2
4 years ago

Bucnut, I have reading this site and its predecessor mag or 25 years or so. I’ve never agreed with anyone more. Gruden is a very fine x’es and o’s coach, but he is horrible at talent evaluation . We would need a GM, but he won’t go for it. He wants total control. He is from the George and Bruce Allen school of trade away your draft picks for players who may have a year or two of juice left. When he did pick it was a God awful choice. No thank you! I am tired of fans clamoring for… Read more »

scubog
scubog
Reply to  76Buc
4 years ago

What makes you think Gruden would trade away Draft picks? We didn’t have any to trade after Malcom made the biggest swap in Bucs history.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  76Buc
4 years ago

We’re in the mess we’re in because the baby Glazers fired the best coach in Bucs history, Jon Gruden, and then kept replacing him with back coaches.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

bad coaches, not “back”

Jlog
Jlog
Reply to  bucballer
4 years ago

Gruden will ask too for too much money with Winston as our guy. I can’t stress enough Gruden distaste for inconsistent improvising QB’s. Gruden is set he can easily afford to wait for the opportunity of his liking.

Lawdy
Lawdy
4 years ago

Koetter and Smith should be fired immediately, they’re not worth a shit.

Kin Walden
Kin Walden
Reply to  Lawdy
4 years ago

certainly fired by the end of the season I think Jameis would be better off with a new playcaller

surferdudes
4 years ago

I’ve been clubbed for saying this before, trade Evans this off season, he is no J.Jones. We have his replacement in Godwin. I’m not giving him big money, drops too many balls, does not have top end speed. No YAC from him at all, all season. Same with Brate, trade him, spent the 19th pick on his replacement. Not giving him big money either. Have to many holes to fill on this team, can’t afford to spend cap money on those two with their counterparts already on board at a far cheaper rate. Dirk Koetter’s play calling has left much… Read more »

scubog
scubog
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

Trade away your best players for some question marks in the Draft? What a concept! Let’s throw in Alexander, David and of course Gerald McCoy………. and if he keeps making FG’s, trade Patrick Murray. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

drdneast
drdneast
4 years ago

Gee bucballer, I think that is what Mark Cook has been lobbying for the last few weeks. Sorry, I’m not on board. He’s supposed to be the great QB guru but he went for the Caddy instead of Aaron Rogers. He has a chance to romance Drew Brees but didn’t even take a look at him. Why? We had Chris Simms, of course. Then there was a slew of draft choices that all went belly up. Of course there were also the inconsistent up and down seasons. If anyone is to blame for this loss and the other ones its… Read more »

scubog
scubog
Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

Bingo on Panphile being the real problem on the left side of the O-line. Glad someone else sees it.

I don’t think Gruden was a Chris Simms fan. At the time Brees was available, he was still nursing an injury which is why the Dolphins passed on him. He didn’t become the Drew Brees I hate until he connected with Sean Payton.

If not Gruden, as they said in Ghost Busters, “Who ya gonna call?”

Amo
Amo
4 years ago

I have no issue with trading Evans. Questionable hands. The o-line needs a complete overhaul. I would move Marpet back to guard and trade OL from Wisconsin, Iowa and Stanford. I don’t want to see Doug Martin on this team next year. On the defensive side of the ball, we need DE (DUH) and cornerback help. This sucks.

bucballer
bucballer
4 years ago

Hey dad East… I believe u meant “ Koetter called a good game”… I disagree! Got away from the run when it was working and then calls pass at 4th and 1… when it should have been a run. Don’t we have a jumbo package with McCoy or McDonald in at FB ala The Fridge? I believe this offense should be much more productive giving the talent they have. 3 and 6 point in the first half games r just ugly. I like how Fitz gets the ball out quickly… although he missed several throws today. That and the couple… Read more »

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

Mark, you called out the problems; Koetter & Smith. We all were fooled on last season herorics by the players and realize now it was despite Koetter and Smith play calling. After watching this game I’m okay with Licht staying another year, but Koetter and Smith need to go. they both had chances and really blew it. I’m for hiring a OC or DC as Head Coach from consistent winning NFL teams!!!! I know the Glazers are probably frustrated too, so please, move to another advisory group!

Kin Walden
Kin Walden
4 years ago

I think you diagnosed the problem perfectly. What was the point of the selection of OJ Howard–him and Brate are never used at the same time–so we really did not need another tight end. Koetter and Mike Smith are hugely disappointing.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

LOL Four wide shotgun when you have Brate and Howard on the roster. Complete joke.

owlykat
owlykat
4 years ago

I have typed comments twice, only to have them wiped out by your site reloading because of errors. I GIVE UP!!! Fix your site.

surferdudes
4 years ago

Scu, if those are our best players, why we keep losing? Evans has been very average this season. When was the last time he broke a tackle, and went the distance? Let me think, like never. He’s Mike Clayton 2.0. I wouldn’t pay him top dollar. The great G. McCoy. Been through more coaches then playoffs.I ‘m thinking outside the box, stay in the box, keep losing.

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
4 years ago

We have ZERO identity on offense. Every week it’s something different with this team. The Pats relentlessly attack an opponents weakness until the opponent adjusts & then the Pats attack something else. Ruthless efficiency. Yes, having a HOF QB helps, but it’s the mentality that drives everything. “You don’t do this well, so we’re going to attack it, even if it’s not something we normally do and force you to adjust. All game long.” Dirk seems hell bent on running his system regardless of the matchup. That’s why TE’s get ignored and DJax has mainly been used as a deep… Read more »

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
4 years ago

With a better offensive line the QB,W receivers and R backs would have a chance to win games! The same goes for the Defensive line the D backs would look better! IMO both lines have been ignored in the draft . For three years GMCoy needs help but time is not on his side.