The Buccaneers found a new way to lose on Sunday and now find themselves sitting at 2-10 on the season after a 14-13 loss to the Bengals. Defensively it appears the team has turned a corner and are playing well since the bye week, but offensively the Buccaneers are still struggling to put points on the board. Below is the weekly unit game grades for each unit.
Josh McCown did nothing over the last two weeks to quiet the Glennon fans that have been clamoring for his return to the lineup. With the Saints winning on Sunday the playoff talk at One Buc should now finally quiet down. With that, it is possible Glennon starts the final four games of the season to give the staff and front office a final evaluation of the former N.C. State product. Playing behind a patched up offensive line that once again was poor in pass protection, McCown was able to extend some plays with his feet, buying time, but again had a bad interception that fortunately didn’t result in any points by the Bengals. McCown put the team in position to win in the end, but the Bucs inability to count the number of players on the field cost the team yet another win. McCown finished the game 15-of-29 for 190 yards and one interception and no touchdown passes
Doug Martin finally showed glimpses of the running back that had a breakout 2012 rookie season that saw him rush for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the first half Martin had 55 yards on 12 carries, even after a 28-yard gallop was called back by a penalty on Oniel Cousins for not lining up properly. In the second half however, the Bengals defense got things together and Martin was only able to add three more yards on four attempts to finish with 58 yards on 18 carries and a first half touchdown. Bobby Rainey added one 11-yard run and rookie Charles Sims was completely ineffective on the ground, gaining just six yards on five carries. Sims did have a good day catching the ball out of the backfield, with four receptions for 49 yards.
Rookie Mike Evans’ impressive string of games certainly caught the attention of the Bengals coaching staff, who rarely gave Evans one-on-one opportunities on Sunday. Evans finished the game with just four catches for 49 yards. Veteran Vincent Jackson was also held in check, nabbing just two McCown passes for 24 yards, and Louis Murphy had one catch on the afternoon for eight yards. Through three quarters, Tampa Bay attempted just 13 passes, which limited the Bucs receivers chances to make plays
With Luke Stocker, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Myers all inactive for Sunday’s game, Tampa Bay promoted Cameron Brate from the practice squad and were extremely limited in what they were able to do with that position. Brate did catch a nice 17-yard pass from McCown in the first quarter but wasn’t targeted after that.
There was plenty of blame to go around after Sunday’s loss but no one unit affected things more than the offensive line that once again underperformed and took turns missing assignments and committing multiple penalties. Garrett Gilkey got the start at center for Evan Dietrich-Smith who was battling an illness and his play gave fans flashbacks to Charles McRae, Jeremy Trueblood and Kenyatta Walker. Gilkey had two snaps that rolled back to McCown, a leg whip and a critical holding call on the Bucs’ final drive. The last holding call was the most egregious as it pushed the Bucs out of field goal range. Even if you get beat, just let your running back get tackled for a 2-yard loss. But you absolutely cannot hold in that situation and get your team backed up 10 yards. Logan Mankins, Anthony Collins and Patrick Omameh all had critical errors in the game and while the Bengals only managed one sack, McCown was under duress for much of the game.
Once again the Bucs defensive line played well enough to win, keeping steady pressure on Bengals QB Andy Dalton sacking him twice and helping to force three interceptions. Gerald McCoy had another sack, and now had 8.5 on the season, and Da’Quan Bowers and Akeem Spence teamed up for the other QB takedown. The Michael Johnson saga continues to play out poorly for the high-priced free agent, who, getting a chance to go against his former team, managed just two tackles on the afternoon.
Lavonte David missed his second straight game and despite the loss of the former Cornhusker from the starting lineup, the Bucs linebackers did an excellent job. Danny Lansanah racked up a career-high 14 stops while sliding over to David’s weakside position. Mason Foster was solid in the middle, totaling six tackles, and Orie Lemon added five stops from the strongside position.
The Bucs safety play was as solid as it has been all season, with Bradley McDougald and Dashon Goldson combining for 14 tackles and not allowing any deep completions. Tampa Bay’s cornerbacks also played well as Alterraun Verner, Johnthan Banks and Brandon Dixon all recorded interceptions and limited Dalton to just 176 yards through the air. It appears the Bucs defense is finally getting the system down, and has strung together three straight games of keeping opposing defenses to under 300 yards.
Punter Michael Koenen averaged 41.5 yards per punt and did a nice job of limiting the Bengals punt return game. Patrick Murray had another excellent day, nailing both of his field goal attempts. Bobby Rainey took over the kickoff and punt return duties and while he didn’t do anything special, he was able to catch all his kicks cleanly — something that cost Marcus Thigpen his job last week.
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, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. 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]
Danny Lansanah is turning out to be a nice player and McCoy is no fluke he is a all pro player at his position. The oline is the worst I have seen in Tampa ever and I have been a fan since 1985, the qb position is right up there with Shaun King and Bruce Gradkowski talent level
Yeh, but we don’t have you coaching the the QBs.
Come on! Cousin’s at TE! that’s not a solid B- for blocking?
Offense was a dumpster fire yesterday, but all the way up to the final seconds I naively believed that the Bucs were going to pull out the win. Should have let Murray try the 60+ FG. Couldn’t have been worse than the last play McCowan made.
D- for the coaching staff as well on Offense. How can we not have someone on the sidelines recognize that we had 12 guys out there? How many plays did this go unnoticed? Did it happen every time they went 4 wide?
Defense played very well, except for the Johnson covering Green in the 2nd half in the slot. AJ just beat him up.
Also while props to the guys who kick the ball, how about the coverage teams. 2 great hits on Pacman and another on Tate on Punts.
I am enjoying the way the defense has played the last few games. Especially with David out. The special teams have played a lot better also. But, same ‘o same ‘o with the offense. Particularly the OL. Every game, dumb penalties and constant mental errors. What is it going to take to get their attention? Next Sunday with Suh and their defense, it will get ugly. Lord have mercy on the Bucs starting QB next week.
Why in gods name do we still have Daquan Bowers on this team? Players I don;t want on our roster next yr who are just paycheck grabbers and a waste of a roster spot are as follows Bowers, Stocker, Gholdston, Clayborne, Gilkey, Cousins, Omammeh, every corner except verner and Banks, Dashaun Gholdson, Koenen, McCown, Coaches Arroyo and Frazier
I can’t recall…is that the first “F” of the season? A well deserved F at that. It’s not easy to get an F you know. You have to actually really try hard to be that kind of awful…I applaud those guys for being able to indisputably claim an F….there is absolutely no way anyone could argue with that grade…those 5 guys should print out a huge F on a piece of paper and frame it over their lockers…a real trophy that few could ever attain.
jongruden, Agree with your selections but we need to add Warhop for sure. It’s sad that there are so many players and coaches on one team that has just been rebuilt. Looks like we have the same problem that we have always had, cannot judge talent.
Some grades are too high. Like the O-line just for instance. Plus, no coaches grade can be explained, we evidently don’t have any (that count).
Lemon’s heads up play on the Bengals’ onside kick was terrific! Obviously he wants to win and his head was in the details of the game. He should go to the OL room and teach them how it’s done.
Agree, except not sure the WR’s deserved a C. Maybe a D.
We’re going to know even more after the Lions and Packer games as to where we are in being competitive. Glennon would have grown from 6’6″ to 7′ after been hit from front and back at the same time if he had played. McCown survived from the OL from hell and deserves a B for surviving.
Why is no one pointing the finger at bucs O line coach George Warhop? Look at his history, no where has an offense really done anything where he has been at. He leaves Cleveland and now Browns line is playing better. Collins, Dietcrich-Smith, Mankins were good players last year with their teams. They were looked at by more than just the Bucs. Now they all stink? common ground? George Warhop. All Offensive coaches need to go.
The point about Warhop is a very good point. Dietrich-Smith was rated as a top 5 Center in the entire league by PFT, & the 2nd best behind the Cleveland kid by BR. What happened?
These types of games are agonizing but in some ways a little encouraging if I can put a positive spin on it. We have now had a half dozen games in which victory was basically in our hands until we somehow and inexplicably found a way to lose. That tells me that they are playing almost well enough to win. As Ahab the Arab might say, “If I could just get over the hump”. We’d all be celebrating the resilience of the team if Cousins had alerted Heron to leave the field and Murray kicked the game-winner. The real problem is what occurred, or should I say didn’t occur the previous 59 minutes and 30 seconds when our offense in general and O-line specifically do so little to win a game. The problems to correct this off-season are all too obvious making it easier to correct. Easier to cure an illness when you know what it is as opposed to saying, “Doctor, Doctor, Mr. MD, can you tell me what’s ailing me? As the Young Rascalls song says, “Gimmie some Good Lovie”
Remember the Dungy years when we won a lot of close games. Our defense was ledgendary and our offense was just good enough to win. I sat at the stadium Sunday after the (I can’t count past 11 game) and reflected on those years when Bucs fans filed out of the Ray Jay or the Big Sombrero harassing those fans who wore their colors , heads drooped, and spirits crushed. For the past few years it has been our turn to dread Monday mornings and not really feel decent until Wednsday or Thursday. It’s almost like a parallel universe or that old saying “Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you.) I don’t know if this coach or these players can turn this mess around. I hope things flip-flop back to the way things used to be. I see some positive sighs And I see some really good players. We just need to put the two together and cross over to the Good Buc Side. I’m not getting any younger and would love to live to see the day when my grandchildren have the opportunity to harass those fans in different colored jerseys. Go Bucs…..
Those were the good times Martini. I hope to enjoy them again as Hugh Culverhouse would say, “Before I cross the creek.” Fun indeed to chide those fans (who live here) when they would walk up the aisle in defeat. That all ended when the Colts fans were exiting with a little over four minutes to play and down 35-14. This year has been the worst “in stadium experience” in that regard and I’m really not looking forward to the Saints game and the Who Dat cheer echoing in our stadium and certainly not the Packers game when these people dig up their Bart Starr jerseys and make Ray Jay their vacation destination.
scubog; you’re right on. We are close to turning it around. One more draft might do it.
12 men on the field
11 yards for Rainey
10 losses this season
9 third downs not converted
8 yard kick return for Lemon
7 points for Murray
6 punts for Koenen
5 tackles for Verner
4 rushing first downs
3 yards per carry
2 wins this season
And not 1 franchise quarterback
Remember the days when we would fire coaches for not winning bowls ex. Dungy or firing Gruden for winning a bowl and 3 division titles and going 9-7 in his final season.
We’ve been a long time without a winner, it looks like it will be a while longer….heavy sigh.
If most everything clicks now they are capable of winning, but the clicks are not close enough together yet.
Buctebow: Was your post meant to be sung to the tune of On the First Day of Christmas……..my Lovie gave to me?
scubog, that was the theory, but I did it very quickly and didn’t worry about following the phrasing of the original verses.
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