RB Charles Sims – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
The Bucs offense didn’t do the Bucs defense any favors Sunday during the 27-7 loss to the Broncos.
Keeping with the theme of the first three weeks – in which five turnovers either resulted in points for the opposing defense or field position inside the Bucs 30-yard line, and then points, Tampa Bay set Denver’s offense up at the 11- and 27-yard line after two interceptions by Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib in the first half.
“The first one was just a bad throw,” Jameis Winston said after the game. “The second one was just a great play.”
Talib, for his part, said after the game that he was able to telegraph the interceptions after studying tape of Winston’s tendancies.
“He throws the ball into tight windows,” Talib said. “He throws the ball out [of] guys’ breaks so while they’re breaking, he’s going to throw it out of your break so you better win. If a guy [doesn’t] win, if a defensive back wins, you’re going to have a chance to make a play.”
Lesson to be learned for Winston? “Protect the football,” he said. “Don’t give them the ball on your side of the field.”
Both picks led to touchdowns for Denver, its only TDs of the first half.
There’s also question as to whether Charles Sims tried to lateral to Winston when he fumbled at the Broncos’ 26-yard line and possibly cost the Bucs a chance to close a 14-7 gap in the second quarter. Winston said he thought the play was over, but replay seems to show him calling for the ball. Head coach Dirk Koetter thought he called for it too, adding, “That was not one of our finest moments right there.”
Either way, turnovers paved the way for Denver to take an early lead and also kept the Bucs from making up any ground against the defending Super Bowl Champions. By the third quarter Denver took full command, eating eight minutes off the clock on its opening drive and extending its lead to 20-7.
Though the Bucs defense failed to come up with a turnover of their own, that was the first drive they really let up. But it all started with the offenses’ ineptitude, according to Mike Evans.
“Our defense played great,” said Evans, who had five receptions for a season-low 59 yards and admitted a sense of guilt as a member of the offense. “They’ve been playing great this whole year,” he said. “As far as an offense, we have to pick it up, myself especially.”
When looking for the reason for Tampa Bay’s second-half meltdown, look no further than the early giveaways, head coach Dirk Koetter said.
“Three turnovers in the first half,” Koetter said as his opening statement after the game. “You’re not going to win any games against a Super Bowl defending champions and a team that’s won eight in a row by turning it over three times in the first half. Our defense did a good job in that first half, but our offense put us in trouble. And it’s going to be tough to overcome those types of turnovers.”
“I’ve just got to bounce back. You can’t turn the ball over in the first half,” Winston said. “Big reason why the defense gave up those points. Every turnover this year, really, has been on our side of the field.”
Through four weeks Winston has thrown eight interceptions and lost two fumbles, compared to 2015 in which he had seven and three, respectively, in the first quarter of the season. Over the next 12 weeks during his rookie year, he threw just eight interceptions and lost just one fumble. Koetter called it a “conscience choice” by Winston to come out of the funk then. Moving forward, Koetter said, the Bucs “need it again.”
“I still think we’re going to be a good football team,” Koetter said. “We weren’t good enough tonight in a lot of areas, starting with coaching – my coaching. We’ve got to get better in a lot of areas.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
We keep trying to run in the beginning and it puts Winston in a position on 3rd down to fail.
While I appreciate all of the offensive guys pointing the finger at themselves – and indeed they did absolutely no favors for the defense – it’s hard to escape these tidbits:
– we’ve allowed more points than any team apart from the Aints (I believe that’s true even accounting for offensive points allowed)….and in case we missed it, the Aints are (for the second year running) on pace to be one of the worst defenses in the history of the league.
– it’s hard to find stats comparing “quality” of defensive snaps but clearly when we have a team (e.g., the Rams) on the ropes with 3rd and 17 in the throws of a potential game changing comeback situation for us, and we let them out of it with 2 defensive penalties….that’s a sign.
– most memorable quote from yesterday “Chris Conte with a back-breaking penalty”…yes it was….again, on 3rd and long.
– we were torched by Case Keenum and then Paxton Lynch/Trevor Siemian….that’s concerning.
So, yes the offense hasn’t been helping…but this isn’t the 2000 Bucs with a stout defense being undone by a terrible offense…this a poor defense being buried by a poor offense…
This article makes no sense – it does not support the headline. The offense giving up the ball on a turnover does not suffocate a defense. If the defense suffocates, it is because it snuffs itself out, which it has been doing in all four games so far.
The offense has played two good games out of four, scoring enough points to win in the good games, but the defense played poorly all four games. That’s how you get to 1-3.
A good defense is not going to give up an average of 32 points a game … no matter how much blame members of the offense try to assume (good for them as team members, but it doesn’t explain the results).
People tend to have very short memories – yesterday seems like the whole season to some, but it wasn’t.
The offense definitely must play a lot better than it did yesterday … but the defense definitely must play a whole lot better than it has all four games so far this season.
And its going to be pretty damned tough to do that next game up, with McCoy and Ayers likely both being out.
Naples, Offense giving up the ball and turnovers does suffocate defenses. Think about it. Your defense comes up with a great stop and then your offense comes on the field only to turn the ball over. It kills your momentum and now your tired defense has to come back on the field to try and make another stop. That deflates your defense both mentally and physically. Do you realize that 49% of all the points scored on us this year have come after a turnover or missed field goal. Our Defense isn’t great by any means but they are good enough to win games if our offense would just quit turning the ball over. If you take away all the turnovers and points scored after, we would be 2-2 or even 3-1 right now. You cant turn the ball over 3 times a game and expect a defense with very little talent to hold the other team to under 21 points. If you seriously believe offensive turnovers don’t deflate and suffocate defenses, then you don’t know much about football. This isn’t the good old days when half our defensive starters were probowlers and our offense could turn the ball over 3 times and we would still win. This is 2016 where we have invested many early draft picks on our offense and the defense is our weak link. When your strengths (offense) aren’t playing well and turning the ball over multiple times a game then it causes your weakness (defense) to look even more weak. Did anyone really expect our defense to be great this year. Think about the last 4 drafts not including this year. 75% of players taken by the Bucs since 2012 have been offensive players not counting this year. And of the 3 players on defense we did draft in the first 3 rounds (Barron, David,and Banks), only David has been great. With that lack of talent your going to be average. We have enough talent on this team to win 6-8 games this year if everyone plays to there talent level. The problem is our offense holds 75% of the talent compared to 25% that our defense has. Our defense is playing at or above there talent level and our offense isn’t. Our offense not playing to there talent level is causing our defense to look worse than it is.
The Offense and mainly Einston lost the game this week. Last week the defense was pathetic start to finish and we couldn’t win with 34 points at home? So what’s the point here? Each week it’s a different issue that kills us? Lol.
“Mistakes continue to wear out defense” might have been a slightly more accurate headline. Sims turnover was his own fault. He should know better than to dangle that football out there when he’s already being brought down by multiple tacklers. Not really mentioned is that the Broncos defense was so good that there weren’t really any opportunities for Winston to make good throws. If all your receivers are covered, you have four options: throw into tight coverage (Talib’s picks), scramble (Winston’s TD), take the sack (he took 5), or throw the ball away. ASJ would’ve helped. When he’s covered, he’s not really covered (just like Evans), because of his height and athletic ability. All our other receivers are possession-type guys with no breakaway speed or Jerry-Rice-type route-running prowess. They were covered all day, just like vs Arizona.
Defensively, the lack of McCoy, Ayers, and Jacquies Smith takes away the pass rush. Spence, Spence, McDonald, and Gholston don’t really have that in spades, although they occasionally break through. Howard Jones has the speed to sack if he’s unblocked, but has a hard time shaking loose from those offensive tackles. Talib was once our guy. We should have kept him, OBVIOUSLY. The Broncos QBs found big holes over the middle, particularly, which is the linebackers and safeties’ responsibility. Alexander, David, MacDougald, Conte, and Tandy covered poorly, were overloaded by too many receivers in their zones, or suffered from the lack of pass rush. Either way, those completions were way, way too easy to guys who were very wide open. Fatigue’s got a play a factor there, too. Too many 3-and-outs and turnovers for the offense. Way, way, too many.
You can’t overlook the fact that the Broncos just have way more talent and better strategies than the Bucs. It’s surprising that they were only favored by 3 points.
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