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December 9, 2012 @ 9:46 pm
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PR Analysis: Tampa Bay's Defensive Game Grades vs. Philly

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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What grade did Tampa Bay's defensive line get for notching five sacks against Philadelphia? How did the Bucs secondary fare after surrendering 381 yards and two touchdowns to Eagles rookie QB Nick Foles? Get the answers in this Pewter Report article.
Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds offers up his analysis on how Tampa Bay's
defense played against Philadelphia and its rookie tandem of QB Nick Foles and RB Bryce Brown in the Bucs' stunning, 23-21 loss to the Eagles, and
dishes out the game grades for each defensive unit and the Bucs special
teams.

DEFENSIVE LINE

With legendary Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp in attendance, Tampa Bay’s defensive line started out hot with a pair of sacks in the first quarter by defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and defensive end Michael Bennett. McCoy’s sack was his first since the Bucs played the Cowboys in Week 3 and he added another one in the third quarter to finish with two on Sunday. McCoy played his best game as a pro with five tackles, three tackles for loss, three quarterback sacks and two sacks, which tied his career high and gives him a career-high five on the year.

Bennett also notched two QB captures to push his 2012 total to a team-leading and career-high nine sacks. Bennett, who is in a contract year, had a career-high four tackles for loss and moves ahead of Lavonte David for the team lead in tackles for loss this season with 15 as David has 14 this year.

Defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim had a sack in the second quarter, which was his third of the season. He finished the game with two tackles and a tackle for loss, but was flagged for not getting off the field in time during Philadelphia’s final scoring drive, which resulted in Tampa Bay having 12 men on the field. That infraction cost the Bucs five yard and made the Eagles’ touchdown drive easier.

Nose tackle Gary Gibson started in place of the injured Roy Miller and had a tackle and a quarterback hurry. Fellow defensive tackle Corvey Irvin also br>Defensive ends Aaron Morgan and Da’Quan Bowers didn’t show up on the stats sheet, but played well with some quarterback pressures and Bowers’ penetration on a run play in the first quarter resulted in one of Bennett’s tackles for loss.

The Bucs defensive line accounted for five of the team’s six sacks and took away the running game by limiting Bryce Brown to just six yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Nick Foles accounted for 27 yards of Philadelphia’s 29 rushing yards on three carries as the Eagles averaged just 1.8 yards per carry.
GRADE = A-

LINEBACKERS
 A week after notching his first career interception, weakside linebacker Lavonte David recorded his first NFL sack against Philadelphia. David tied for the team lead with nine tackles on Sunday, and saved a touchdown in the fourth quarter by pushing Jeremy Maclin out of bounds on a wide receiver screen that picked up 24 yards. David leads the Bucs and all rookie defenders this year with 117 tackles and is second on the team with 14 tackles for loss.

Middle linebacker Mason Foster had a very quiet game with three tackles and didn’t make any splash plays against the Eagles.

Strongside linebacker Adam Hayward played sparingly as the Bucs played a lot of nickel and dime defense and he notched one tackle.

Tampa Bay’s linebackers helped in shutting down Philadelphia’s ground game, but didn’t make enough plays in the passing game in coverage or on blitzes – outside of David’s sack – to make a real difference against Foles.
GRADE = B-

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Foles, a rookie quarterback making his fourth NFL start on Sunday against the Buccaneers, was able to shred Tampa Bay’s secondary for 381 yards and two touchdowns – both of which came in the fourth quarter. The Bucs defensive backs allowed eight passing plays of 20 yards or more on Sunday, which is unforgivable. Philadelphia wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant combined for 16 catches for 237 yards and one touchdown against Tampa Bay.

Bucs rookie strong safety Mark Barron has seen his play fall off in recent weeks and had just three tackles on Sunday. Barron gave up Foles’ first touchdown, which was an 11-yard strike to tight end Chad Harbor on third-and-7 and didn’t make any plays in the passing game.

The secondary’s best player on Sunday was free safety Ronde Barber, who had nine solo tackles to lead the Bucs, including a tackle for loss. Likely at head coach Andy Reid’s direction, Foles avoided throwing the ball in Barber’s direction.

Cornerback Anthony Gaitor saw his first action of the 2012 season after being activated from injured reserve and got his first NFL start at nickel cornerback. Gaitor played very well and showed promise while recording three tackles and breaking up two passes.

Fellow cornerback E.J. Biggers was fair in coverage, breaking up two passes while making six tackles, but he was often giving the receivers he was covering too much cushion.

Rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson had three tackles and one tackle for loss, but gave up several plays in the passing game, including the game-winning touchdown pass to Maclin on the final play of regulation.

Foles was able to find wide-open receivers for big gains all day, as there were numerous breakdowns in coverage. If a rookie like Foles put up 381 yards against this secondary, what is a veteran like Drew Brees going to do next week in New Orleans? In recent weeks Barber’s play continues to be the lone redeeming quality of Tampa Bay’s secondary.
GRADE = D-

SPECIAL TEAMS
For the first time all year, Bucs kicker Connor Barth did not attempt a field goal in one of Tampa Bay’s games. He was perfect on all three of his extra points.

Punter Michael Koenen struggled on Sunday, averaging 42.4 yards per punt with a 34.9-yard net. Koenen had two punts downed inside the 20-yard line, but also had two touchbacks. While one his punts was muffed by Damaris Johnson at the Philadelphia 5-yard line and recovered by linebacker Dekoda Watson, Koenen’s final effort of the day traveled just 31 yards and gave the Eagles great field position at their own 36 for their final touchdown drive.

Johnson averaged just seven yards per punt return on five attempts with his longest traveling 18 yards. Kick returner Brandon Boykin averaged 27.5 yards per kick return with a long of 32 on Sunday.

Punt returner Roscoe Parrish had his best day as a Buccaneer, returning five punts 63 yards for a 15.8-yard average. His 30-yard punt return was the Bucs’ longest of the year.

Tiquan Underwood returned two kickoffs on Sunday while filling in for the injured LeQuan Lewis. He averaged 23.5 yards per kick return with a long of 25.

Watson’s recovery of Johnson’s muffed punt was the highlight on special teams for Tampa Bay, while Koenen’s poor punt in the fourth quarter greatly aided Philadelphia on its final touchdown drive to win the game.
GRADE = B-



Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012 22:37
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    As I talk about Barron here, I am going to try to have some perspective here. This guy was impressive overall with his play early on. I could take 20 lines to say a simple truth: he just looks really, really bad right now. I've said for weeks that he would come along and grow despite growing pains, but right now all I'm seeing from that list is pain. Perhaps Sheridan and Cooper are to blame...I just don't know right now. My thoughts are somewhat humbles right now about Barron. All we can do right now is hope that he turns it around somewhat in these last weeks and plays like a new player in camp next year. I feel confident that he has the drive and ability to be much, much better. He is STILL A ROOKIE. We have to try to cling to that while he gets burned by much, much lesser players. As of right now, those are about the ONLY positive things I have as far as he goes. Ugh...............
  • avatar


    You know I was down on Anthony Gaitor last year, but he really showed me something about what DOM saw in him when he drafted him. Gaitor has got a combination of great instincts and guts, very much the qualities I really like in Ahmad Black and of course, Rhonde Barber. I am beginning to wonder if all the money and being a first round draft choice haven't ruined Mark Barron, or is he just dense? By now he should have been soaking up everything he could learn from Rhonde and be getting comfortable in the scheme, but he doesn't seem to be doing either and plays with no fire! He is a bust so far. We''d be better off starting Rhonde and Black as the two safeties and just set Barron down and tell him he has to prove himself in practice to get another opportunity on the field and if he doesn't start producing the team is going to ask him to give back some of his salary or be traded next year. However, the defensive line was on fire and showed what they are capable of. With a couple great DBs in either the draft or free agency this team can still make a lot of noise next year!
  • avatar


    Why in the world would you idiot fans blame a player(s) that are not on the team, nor on the field? Let's stop blaming Raheem Morris, John Gruden, and other for our mistakes! We lost with the players and coaches on the field period. Freeman is the re-incarnation of Byron Leftwich. He is the slowest, stiffest, plodding QB in the league. His decision making ability is equal to a division III QB at best. Our offensive line is trash! Demar Dotson, and Ted Larsen makes Trueblood Look like Anthony Munoz and Paul Gruber. Poor, Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson are playing "balls out" for nothing. Our offensive playing is weak and scary, which accounts for Freeman's "Deer in the headlight" or playing like a girl. I wanted to say "beatch" Could, someone please tell me, who was our first round pick, and when was the last game he actually played??? Please, let's stop with the Talib crap. He's playing for the Patriots, and we received a 4th rnd pick in return. The same 4th rnd pick that we wasted on Luke Stocker that gave the Eagles a chance to pick the garbage QB (Foles) that kicked our Ashes. So, please let's not blame our DB's reminder we signed the best hall of fame (future) DB in Eric "toast" Wright. He's returning after four games. Thanks, Mark (Ishiah Thomas) Dominick!
  • avatar


    It’s way too easy to blame any one individual or in this case any two players, Wright and Talib, who made non-football mistakes. Ultimately all losses are the responsibility of the coach or more broadly the guys who hired Wright or retained Talib. Better decisions could have been made early on and Talib didn’t trade himself. And as far as the game itself we wouldn’t be having this conversation if Danny Gorrer, whoever that is, hadn’t dropped an interception. I’m not blaming anybody. We lost, teams lose, Brees lost, Rothelisberger lost. There are things that need to be fixed top to bottom - from coaching to players. I have faith that we will do that and live to win another day!
  • avatar


    Any time a rookie QB can pass for nearly 400 yards when getting sacked 6 times and virtually no ability to run the ball, the secondary is going to have to bear much of the responsibility. But, with the collection of CB's available being late round draft picks and street free agents there's little that can be done during the season. We all expected Aqib Talib and Eric Wright to form a better than average duo but with those two gone we are playing with guys that have no business starting in the NFL no matter how hard they try. It's like Rosanne Barr trying to win a beauty contest. No matter how much make-up she wears, she's still ugly.
  • avatar


    That is so funny scubog!!! I guess you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig! You hit it right on the head, the secondary carries the brunt of this loss. All day long our dbs were running behind the receivers 5 yards after the snap as has been the case all season long. Biggers is the worst excuse for a cb AND football player period! I have better heart and football sense and I'm 46! If I was in his shape I know I could cover and tackle better than he could! He is the worst I have ever seen!!! Gorrer dropping that int that hit him right in his hands shows why he's a cb and why he went undrafted. How Johnson let that receiver get that wide open just behind the goal line is unforgivable! I am tired of our players constantly looking at the qb when thay can't even cover their own receivers. Like they're going to see something that'll make them break on a pass. They can't even break wind without hurting themselves. Mark Baron sucks period. No awareness on the field. How do receivers end up running past him 20 yards down field when he's looking right at him?? The idiocy of our coach to take the game out of the offenses hands who had heated up on two good td drives and put it in the defenses is beyond words. No matter how much evidence he's had in all the games we've played and most importantly this one he was coaching showed it wasn't the right choice but he once again gets all conservative and plays not to lose. We should have passed that ball instead of running Dougie Fresh into a completely stacked line. He must have had an idiots guide to coaching football because Phillies defense was on the same page same line and he played directly into it. All I can say is" I SMELL sniff sniff PU__Y!!! Who is our cb's coach because he needs to be fired. Same thing as Sheridan.When you have your d linemen arguing with you about your play calling ONCE AGAIN there is a problem. The secondary has gotten worst and for them to give up 380 yards to a rookie qb not named Andrew Luck is unforgivable!!!
  • avatar


    Scott, I have to disagree this time because of what I saw in person like you at the game; we both saw some things differently though. What I saw with Punting was not good and I am wondering if our Punter has lost his edge a bit? I believe that our LB's played decent, but by no means good enough to get a B-. The Eagles QB ran the ball many times because there were no LB's there to stop him and that goes for the 5-7 yard passes too. The CB's were left on an island because we were blitzing a Safety or Corner too many times. Yeah Barber had 9 solo tackles because of the lack of the LB or CB presence. I thought Barber played okay, but by no means at the level he has played in the past. Just my opinion. And by the way, which direction was Foles throwing too? How about a lot of passes in the Safety area and Barron was by himself because Barber was helping a CB over or under.
  • avatar


    On that play They all just stood there waiting for the screen pass. David was right there looking at Foles and stood still even when he starting running to his right. He should have rushed him immediately.
  • avatar

    I know we're all upset with Freeman's play, our rookie DB's, the coaches scheme, etc etc ...but you know who I really blame ....Talib and Wright!!! These 2 boneheads, while no world beaters and the CB (average at best) really killed this defense with their stupidity. Our DB's are so bad right now that having these 2 average CB's playing and starting would be a huge improvement and probably got us a couple more wins. We already gave Talib the boot I say lets dump Wright as well and use his money on a corner that wouldn't miss practices with "personal" issues and mysterious ailments and of course NOT get suspended for making a dumb decision.
  • avatar


    JohnBuc06, I agree with you that Talib and Wright were being stupid and that stupidity has cost us games. At least you are willing to admit that Talib being here probably would have gotten us a few more wins. That's the point I've been trying to make the last couple of weeks. I have no problem with anybody wanting Talib gone because of this off the field issues, but once he was gone everyone reacted like he was a bad CB on the field and kept referencing one game against the Giants as proof positive. Did anybody see the Giants/Saints game last night? When Nicks is healthy he can undress any CB, as he did against the Saints' former 1st round draft pick Robinson. Nicks was making the same sideline catches that he and Manning must practice 50 times a day because their timing is unbelieveable. Talib had a very bad game against the Giants, but he certainly would have helped us win a few more games since he wouldn't have had to face Nicks again.
  • avatar


    You're right pinkstob. If we had two of them now things could have been a lot different. Atleast Talib can defense some passes. The ones we have now don't even have ten pass break ups in the last 5 games. The only thing about Talib is we had more than one game to reference on him BUT most of us were making judgments based on emotions. We got tired of his crap and him not being as good as everybody says he is fueled my opinion, but he IS better than Biggers, Gorrer andf Johnson combined! We are better off having him. You know what, thoiugh maybe this what is needed to expose Sheridan and our secondary coach for what they are, not very good coaches.
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