Tampa Bay lost a fourth quarter lead for the fifth time this season and dropped to 1-8 this year after losing to Atlanta, 27-17, at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. There were plenty of culprits that aided and abetted Tampa Bay’s fifth-straight loss. Here is a list of the most disappointing Buccaneers against the Falcons.
MOST DISAPPOINTING BUCCANEERS VS. FALCONS
DT Gerald McCoy
When the Buccaneers needed him the most to be a difference-maker, McCoy was a virtual no-show on the stat sheet against Atlanta. McCoy had recorded three sacks in the last two games since signing his mega-contract extension, but didn’t live up to the hype against Atlanta, finishing with one tackle and one tackle for loss with no quarterback sacks or pressures against an injury-depleted offensive line. When you sign a deal in excess of $95 million, a one-tackle game is unacceptable.
CB Crezdon Butler
In the first quarter, Butler gave up a 21-yard in route to Roddy White, which drove Atlanta into the Bucs’ red zone on the Falcons’ initial touchdown drive. In the second quarter, Butler was flagged for an illegal contact penalty on White on third-and-15. Butler was also beaten by Devin Hester for a possible touchdown in the end zone, but a wide-open Hester dropped the ball.
P Michael Koenen
Koenen’s struggles continue this year continued on Sunday with several poor punts, including a 23-yarder in the first half and a 31-yarder in the second half. Koenen was scared of punting to Devin Hester in this game after having a punt returned for a touchdown in Week 3, but he averaged a paltry 30.3 yards per punt on Sunday with a long of 37.
LT Oniel Cousins & The Bucs’ O-Line
Cousins gave up a sack in the first half and had a careless 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the Bucs’ second-to-last offensive drive in the fourth quarter. Bucs head coach Lovie Smith called that a stupid penalty. Then on the next play, Cousins gave up his second sack of the game. The offensive line did a poor job in both pass protection (four sacks) and run blocking (53 yards on 18 carries – 2.9 avg.) and didn’t help Tampa Bay sustain drives and put points on the board.
Nickel CBs Leonard Johnson & Isaiah Frey
Johnson celebrated breaking up a pass on third-and-5 in the end zone in the first quarter, but was instead flagged for pass interference, which set the Falcons up at the Tampa Bay 1-yard line. Steven Jackson would score a touchdown on the next play to take a 7-3 lead. Replacing Johnson in the second half, Frey was beaten on a 2-point conversion catch by Harry Douglas on a play that gave Atlanta a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
RB Charles Sims
Sims made his NFL debut on Sunday and wasn’t spectacular. The rookie carried the ball eight times for 23 yards (2.9 avg.) with his longest carry covering eight yards. Sims’ first NFL tote picked up just one yard. Sims, who also had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter, caught two passes for 17 yards (8.5 avg.).
RB Bobby Rainey
Rainey didn’t receive much run blocking, but still struggled on Sunday, gaining just 14 yards on six carries (2.3 avg.). Take away an 8-yard run and Rainey had six yards on five carries (1.1 avg.). Rainey fared better in the passing game, catching four passes for 42 yards, including a 17-yarder, but he struggled running the ball.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Seferian-Jenkins overcame a holding penalty and a false start in the first half to have a decent game with five catches for 30 yards and his second NFL touchdown on a 1-yard pass from McCown. But after his score, which gave the Bucs a 17-16 lead in the fourth quarter, Seferian-Jenkins mimicked the Captain Morgan pose and stood on the football in the end zone. He was flagged 15 yards for using the football as a prop during his end zone celebration, which was his third penalty of the game.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys 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: [email protected]
Most disappointing for me stands out clear as a bell; not enough pressure on Ryan from the DL.
Penalties would be the next. We can’t leave out time management either at the end of the half and just before the 2 minute warning in the 2nd half. I don’t see us winning another game. Truely it is time to play as many rookies as possible to see what we got. Go Bucs! Get Better!
Agree totally except Leonard Johnson. That was a phantom call like the hands to the face call on Banks which didn’t happen either. Had Johnson interfered the ref would have pulled his flag when he saw it. I am wondering if both those calls were by the same ref that every break in the game was shown smiling and chatting with the Falcon’s Coach. To me the first PR story should be the bad calls by the dirty Zebras trying to help the Dirty Birds.
Like every other week, the worst performance list is just a grab bag of 20+ sad performances…can these guys even honestly say they are trying their best…trying a little sure, trying on some plays probably, but trying like the game is a matter of life and death – no way….these are guys going through the motions for the most part…maybe LvD is giving it 95% but the rest are not very interested.
Koenen should be cut NOW!!!!!!
As Charles Barkley would say, “Turible…..just turible.” On Offense; as John McKay might say, “We couldn’t pass block, but we made up for it by not being able to run block”. On Defense; as Horse said, there was absolutely no pass rush and we made Steven Jackson rise up from the dead. But to me, the killer phase of the team this week was once again Special Teams. The one KO return from Thigpen and the 51 yard FG from Murray were great, but Koenen’s punting and kick-offs are absolutely atrocious. Who is telling him to kick the ball straight up in the air to in effect be a 10-15 yard return on a fair catch? The buzz killer to this game was after scoring a TD and getting a 15 yard BS penalty Koenen kicks it short to Hester who promptly sets the Falcons up at almost mid-field with a mere 46 seconds left. But as has been the 39 year history of the Bucaroonies; we allow the Falcons to go right down the field for 3 points as the half ended. Buzz gone….in less than 60 seconds.
I would like to see us maybe try a fake punt, or just go for it more on fourth down. Like last week we had a fourth, and a couple at mid field, and instead of a fake, or going for it we punt 15 yds to the 30!! Baffling. The one thing we should be great at because we do it so much is punting, but we screw that up too. I don’t think it’s asking to much to see a few heads roll. Let’s start by cutting Koenen, and firing O’Dea. Warhop, you’re next on the list.
I am really starting to hate ASJ, This is the second game he has made a galling, game losing play. This kid needs to be put on a short leash and learn to be an adult in a hurry.
McCoy was triple teamed all day long and it got to him. During one series he was off-sides 3 plays in a row and that led to 1st downs for Atlanta.
Punt the punter! ASJ to the woodshed or parking lot! Rulebooks for eerybody!
Not to be mean, but do you guys watch tape of the game before making these lists? While in the midst of the game, some of these make perfect sense, but if you’re really watching the tape some of these picks don’t really make sense.
Take McCoy, for example. You can critique him for not having any sacks or hurries…. But when watching the game film, he is double and sometimes triple teamed on pretty much every play… Not to mention two of those offsides penalties on the first drive were questionable at best.
And speaking of flags… Can’t help but agree with owkykat about the numerous questionable calls and no calls… Counted at least three blatant holds not called against Atlanta on two of their long touchdown drives. I usually argue against this sorry if logic, but in a game that was so close for the majority of for quarters, the calls really started to affect the momentum of the game. Frustrating.
But in the end, I can’t argue with three of our corners being on the list. They were keeping six, sometimes seven guys back to block our four rushers and Ryan was just pitching and catching with receivers sitting with seven or eight yards of cushion. When you have that sort of advantage in numbers, there’s no excuse.
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