Tampa Bay’s woeful offense generated just 233 yards against Detroit on Sunday and converted just 4-of-14 (29 percent) third down opportunities in a 34-17 loss, which dropped the Buccaneers to 2-11 on the season. Tampa Bay’s defense, which had been the bright spot over the past month, surrendered 407 yards and 34 points.
“I think they dominated us in all phases today, whether we were running or passing the football. We didn’t get anything going,” Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said. “We didn’t do anything well enough to give ourselves a chance. Rushing the passer, taking advantage of the few opportunities we had to take the ball away. Right at the end there, breaking down with the run and letting them have a few runs there at the end.”
Find out which Buccaneers were the most disappointing in the team’s loss to the Lions.
MOST DISAPPOINTING BUCCANEERS AT LIONS QB Josh McCown
McCown was under siege all day from the Lions’ front seven, but struggled as a passer. McCown suffered two picks, including one in the end zone where he threw into trouble coverage while forcing the ball to Vincent Jackson. McCown completed 20-of-39 passes (51 percent) for 250 yards and a 67.3 QB rating. He was sacked six times and scrambled four times for just eight yards. Aside from a few nice heaves downfield to Vincent Jackson, McCown’s lack of arm strength was apparent on some out routes that were nearly picked off.
C Evan Dietrich-Smith
Dietrich-Smith had a fumbled snap on the Bucs’ side of the field that led to points for the Lions. He also had a holding penalty that wiped out an 11-yard run by Doug Martin. Dietrich-Smith also couldn’t block Ndamukong Suh, who had two vicious hits on quarterback Josh McCown.
The Rest Of The Offensive Line
The Buccaneers offensive line was called for several penalties and gave up six sacks and 14 quarterback hits to the Lions defensive front. Tampa Bay failed to establish the running game, evidenced by 14 carries for 26 yards (1.9 avg.) with a long gain of just nine yards. Left tackle Oniel Cousins, who was replacing injured starter Anthony Collins, was particularly bad against defensive ends Ziggy Ansah and George Johnson and gave up a couple of sacks. The Buccaneers retooled the offensive line in the offseason by adding Cousins, Collins, center Evan Dietrich-Smith and left guard Logan Mankins, but these players, in addition to right guard Patrick Omameh, have let the Bucs down and need to be replaced in 2015.
RB Charles Sims
The rookie running back picked up 24 yards on a screen pass to convert a third-and-9 in the second quarter, but that was his only good play. Sims didn’t display much power, speed, quickness or vision in the running game as he had five carries for minus-4 yards. On the season, the team’s third-round pick has been a disappointment since coming off injured reserve, rushing 37 times for 83 yards (2.2 avg.). While starter Doug Martin wasn’t terribly impressive with just 22 yards on five carries (4.4 avg.), Sims’ production was awful.
Tampa Bay’s Defense
The Bucs defense deserves some mention here, but it wasn’t just a player or two. Several Buccaneers missed tackles, didn’t break up passes and played a role in Detroit rolling up over 400 yards of offense and 34 points. While the defense notched four sacks, it didn’t record a takeaway on Sunday, and that really hurt Tampa Bay’s efforts to steal a road win.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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