The Bucs first-team units on offense and defense did their part in the first half, gaining a big lead to take into halftime. But, the game did not end in their favor, as they fell by a score of 33-30 to the Detroit Lions in preseason game three.

With that collapsing result came some disappointing performances

Second Half Defense

I mean yikes…

At one point, the Bucs were up 27-6, and yet they ended up losing the game 33-30. When the Bucs’ second-half defense entered the game, it was a rough sight. There was soft coverage and blown coverage all over the place, and that blame can be split between the players and coaches. And there was no pass rush.

No matter where you place most of the blame. You can’t blown a 21-point lead. You just can’t.

DE Noah Spence

He’s 240 pounds, 250 pounds, 260 pounds; it doesn’t matter what Spence weighs, he hasn’t been effective getting to the passer — this year and most years.

Spence is coming off back-to-back seasons where he’s had a shoulder injury that has shut him down early. But, even when he’s been healthy, he has not been the player they thought they were getting drafting him at the top of the second round in 2015. Spence just can’t seem to affect the pocket in the way they need him to, and that’s against third- and fourth-stringers late into these preseason games like tonight. That’s a cause for worry.

Bucs RG Alex Cappa - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs RG Alex Cappa – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

OL Alex Cappa

The Bucs’ offensive line was beat up bad going into this contest, but in the preseason that can be a blessing as some of the younger guys and deeper depth players can get experience. Fourth-round rookie Alex Cappa got his chance to start at right guard against the Lions and looked overwhelmed. Playing offensive line is all about chemistry, so it’s tough to be too hard on him here, but against the Lions’ first-team defense, Cappa looked like he was “welcomed to the NFL.”

He’ll likely get plenty of playing time next week, too. We’ll see how quickly Cappa adjusts. Right now you wouldn’t want him getting time in the regular season if you were quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

RB Ronald Jones

Jones had a beautiful 37-yard catch down the sidelines in his first series of the game, and that was very encouraging to see. But outside of that it was another night of poor production on the stat sheet for him with just seven yards rushing on six carries.

As stated before, the offensive line was rough on Friday night so it’s not all Jones’ fault, but it has to improve at some point. Peyton Barber can get yards, and averaged 6.8 yards per carry on Friday night. Why can’t Jones?

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

20 COMMENTS

  1. Jones was hit in the backfield on most running plays he was in. I don’t think he belongs on this list.

    Backup LB’s had a bad game though. Especially Cinchy who was bullied on a single drive by Cassell and the Lions.

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  2. Trevor, it’s nice to see that you aren’t wearing the rose colored glasses like the ones that some of your PR colleagues are wearing regarding Noah Spence. I keep hearing hype on how much muscle weight he’s added and how he flashes in practice. Guess that dominating against backups in practice proves our backup OL really sucks!

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  3. OJ howard improving, Barber looks good, Fitz did good job, Problem 1st pick not there, 2nd pick as running back cant run would get cut from any team if not 2nd pick, JPP is missing a lot of tackles
    and this is 3 games in a row not even close to a sack, running back having field day against him, JPP would not win a starting job on any other team in NFL.
    Watch the film, film does not lie.

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  4. Wilson had 1 carry for 10 yards but he was on the most impressive due to returns in which rule changes allows for better returns… Yet Jones gets hit in the backfield on every carry and you keep putting the guy on the most disappointing list. and just brush off the 37 yarder even though one of the biggest knocks on him was that he couldn’t catch…. makes zero sense

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    • Agreed. I wat he’s the game. During the second quarter, Jones was hit the
      Minute he touched the ball. There was zero running lanes. Speed is negated when it never gets the chance to get started

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      • Watched.

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  5. Try to remember this is a preseason game and albeit the most important preseason game it is nothing more than a scrimmage glorified practice with players they don’t see every day. That’s not saying it’s not football far more entertaining than anything else on TV, but it for the most part is smoke and mirrors. The Super bowl champs played the night before in a game that produced only 5 points with The Browns?? New England lost. This is all about cutting down the squad and preparing for New Orleans. Vanilla at best. Don’t fall into the trap of predicting wins and loses or the season outcome on these outing. Probably most of the guys sitting out with injuries would play during the regular season and if you have your panties in a wad over who’s calling plays, anyone of you would be equal to the task.

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  6. I didn’t see any jokes for Jones again. He did play with starters a bit this time too but starters were not great and lone missing guys. I have no idea why they blocked well for Barber but I just don’t think watching that game I can blame Jones much. Guys Getting in and hitting in the backfield is going to shut down any back even the best. Penetration kills runs and there were no holes for Jones. Not sure why they don’t try to pitch it to him and use his speed. Seems straight ahead runs for most pert and he did get north and south and didn’t dan e just ran into wall it seems to me.

    Anyways good game overall except the d in 4th qtr was bad.

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  7. The way to beat the Bucs offense is to Press and Blitz. The way to beat the Bucs defense is to play Mike Smiths Scheme. Yes this is Preseason, but all of a sudden when Regular Seasonbegins we’re going to change our schemes? I don’t think so. We are in serious trouble. Hell we can’t even warm up and not get injured!

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  8. At the game, loving every minute being in Ray Jay. My #1 going in was the D line. Substitute Noah Spence for the starting D line. No push. I don’t see any difference from last year. New young DB’s and a resurgent Hargreaves will help, but if we don’t get pressure up front Drew Brees and the QB’s in our division [not to mention rest of NFL] are going to role over this defense. Is it talent or scheme – I’ll defer to Horse here – it may be time for our new D line coach to take over the D.

    Also watched RoJo and I just don’t know. He WAS getting hit by TWO guys in the backfield multiple times vs. the kid from Duke looks like he’s running a sweep from behind a picket fence. That early catch was EXACTLY what they were doing in warm-ups so I’m glad he made in a game.

    Either way – Licht and Koetter have to face the fact that they have not fixed two of the handful of pressing needs this off season – D line and RB. Love that the Offense is scoring in red zone [Monken needs to keep play calling] and appreciate we’ve got some banged up players, but time to be looking for for more help or to make some internal adjustments – Smitty, you’re a great guy but it isn’t working!

    Either way, we need to go get some RB help

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  9. Mike smith will be gone by week 6 in a attempt to save the Gm and head coach job. That defesive game plan is terrible predictable and outdated.

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  10. Buc-Up, that pretty much was our reserve offensive line starting last night you tool and they didn’t allow one sack.
    The starting defensive line got two sacks last night against a very nimble Matt Stafford who was flushed from the pocket a number of times. The Lions are wasting a great QB talent. The kid can move around and can make any throw. I don’t know what film you are watching always negative BUC-ASS-BOB but that was what I saw last night.
    Time for all of the sportswriters to get off Ronald Jones’ back and quit trying to make him the new Bucs whipping boy.
    I saw what most people saw last night. Whenever Jones got the ball there was usually someone in the backfield waiting for him. With three reserves starting that shouldn’t be a surprise.
    If he continues to catch the ball like he did last night that should relieve some pressure since teams won’t press the line knowing he is unlikely to go out for a pass.
    The whole defense in the second half could have used a better or at least a few different schemes last night but they continued to rush four and drop back seven in the soft zone.
    I don’t know why they never changed the scheme but it might possibily be that Smith was looking for something in particular.
    Unless you hayseeds didn’t know, the overall objective of preseason games is to first get out of them healthy and the second is to gauge the talent you have in the players. Winning them is third.

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    • Yeah, we had three 2nd stringers starting with Jensen and Dotson. So that means we have two or three backups that are decent at best because Detroit’s front seven doesn’t strike fear into opponents. They might not have given up sacks but allowing our backs to get hit in the backfield for losses is just as bad because it’s a loss of down with negative yardage. So even if I were to concede to your thinking that our backup OL doesn’t suck, explain the following: Why does Noah Spence look good against our guys in practice, but gets eaten up by the starters and backups for the three teams we faced so far? From what I’ve seen since he was drafted is that if he doesn’t get by the OT with his initial burst, they either ride him outside or outright stonewall him.

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  11. Well I sure hope you are right on your analysis. I don’t see it the same way you do. If you aren’t going to try to see how your scheme works in preseason, then I don’t understand why there is even a preseason? Practice makes perfect. If you don’t practice it then it won’t get perfect. Just my opinion.

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  12. I hope I am too but I’m not going to make comments about the quality of our defense based on the play of third and fourth stringers late in the fourth quarter like some horses asses do. Present horse excluded.
    I too would have been frustrated if I had been on the field running the same scheme while watching the Lions chew up positive needs on us.i might have looked up into the coaches box to see if Lovie Smith was whispering into Mike Smith’s ear.
    As for Noah Spence, he might play better and get more pressure on the QB if he were playing with the first string instead of gquys who will be teachers and branch bank managers next month.

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  13. BTW Buc-Up, Peyton Barber ran for 6 yards a carry through that leaky line but I do agree with you, for whatever reason, RoJo didn’t get the same support. Still, a lot of teams in the NFL would be happy to have 3 solid backup OL. Especially if the OT was a converted guard who held Ziggy Ansaugh to 0 sacks.
    Why are you always so negative.

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    • Because I’m commenting on a post titled “Bucs vs. Lions: Most Disappointing. To make you happy, I’ll go post something positive on Bucs vs. Lions: Most Impressive to balance it out.

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  14. Buc ass bob really jpp would t make teams rosters based of a couple preseason games. Why are you even a bucs fan. That’s some negative bs right there. People say some dumb stuff but that is insane. If we released jpp right now there would be 31 waiver claims for him. I know I am feeding into what you like. You say dumb stuff on probably every bucs site just so people will respond to you. And you feel better about your self. Probably think you are the most important poster because multiple people responded to your stupidity. But come on man if you want responses go post anti trump rhetoric on Fox News don’t come and try to ruin bucs websites to get your cheap thrills. Jpp is a stud are offense has looked lethal. As a bucs fan I am really optimistic even though the 3rd best looking qb will be starting the first 3 games. But even he has looked better than 90% of other teams qb. Little stat are qbs including Allen have a 102 qb rating in preseason. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to let Monken call plays in preseason because if the offense starts struggling during the regular season koetter will be hearing it from everyone to let Monken take back over. For his sake I hope the offense doesn’t miss a beat because that means my beloved bucs offense is doing great. If not the Monken should take over play calling will be coming from every angle. And if you are suppose to be an offensive guru and you are being asked to relinquish that duty you will soon be told to relinquish your head coaching duties. In other news buc Ass bob says release jpp. He didn’t work out through 3 preseason games. Sorry jpp welcome to the Tampa Bay fans if you have one bad game you are garbage and we should trade you for kicker. Speaking of kicker no one has really talked about ours missing another pat. That 42 yard field goal to put us up ten I thought was clutch and had won the game. But 2 missed extra points in 3 games. Matt Bryant curse lives on.

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  15. i was surprised there was no mention of the kicker. I mean WTF AGAIN!!!!

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    • Eric, why would the bucs kicker be in this list. He missed 1 extra point due to a bad snap. Not his fault.

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