Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith was dismayed by the team’s 15 penalties at New Orleans as Tampa Bay racked up 113 penalty yards in a 37-31 overtime loss to the Saints.
“Penalties, which is something that hasn’t been a big part of who we are, it’s become a trend – and we need to stop it,” Smith said. “I think we had 10 in the second half. Critical penalties that kept drives going for them and stopped drives for us. These are some things that we have to clean up.”
The Bucs had several costly penalties in the second half as they built an 11-point lead, and in overtime after the Saints tied the game at 31-31 at the end of regulation. Right tackle Demar Dotson had a holding penalty prior to a delay of game penalty and a fumbled snap that backed up the Bucs to their own goal line and set up a sack for a safety by New Orleans linebacker Junior Gallette that pulled the Saints to within a field goal of tying Tampa Bay.
With the scored tied 31-31, the Bucs had a chance to win the game on their final possession, but a holding penalty by left guard Logan Mankins negated a big gain and ultimately forced a Tampa Bay punt. In overtime, the Bucs defense could have gotten off the field on third down, but an illegal hands to the face infraction on cornerback Johnthan Banks proved to be costly and gave New Orleans a first down.
Despite the Bucs’ tendency to beat themselves, Smith saw improvement in Sunday’s loss, specifically on offense and from a turnover standpoint on defense where Tampa Bay recorded three interceptions, including a pick-six by linebacker Danny Lansanah.
“Danny Lanasanah, how many linebackers have two touchdowns?” Smith said.
“It seems like each week we’re putting a better product out there on the football field. We’re disappointed [we lost after] an 11-point lead, but you have to be a pretty good team to get an 11-point lead on the road like that, which we are. We will tighten up these things that I’ve talked about, to a man, and we’ll start winning football games consistently.”
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]
It seems in many of these games the officials are simply too eager to toss a flag. It is killing the spontaneous excitement of a big play or a TD when the first thing we do is look for a flag. This past game was ridiculous. Please don’t tell me the Bucs committed more rules infractions than the Saints. How about take on the “No Harm No Foul” approach. If a hold didn’t affect the play, make it a no call. If a receiver and defender bump into each other, don’t automatically throw a flag against the defense. If a defender’s hand just grazes the receiver’s facemask it’s not the same as sticking his hand inside it pushing the head back. You don’t call that in OT. You don’t call the tackle for lining up slightly back unless you call it every play on both teams or at least give a warning. When the penalties are so against one team vs the other it makes you wonder. I still haven’t gotten over the offensive pass interference call against K2 in the Detroit game or the bogus leaping call against Simeon Rice against the Colts. All together now, Bullspit, Bullspit!
The game is becoming to much like the NBA. Officials calling tick, tack fouls that really kill the flow of the game. I to look for the flag now after every play. I read the book by the NBA ref that fixed games, and believe it’s true. That league loves the big market teams, and their draw, so when you see the Knicks get more calls then the Kings you wonder. Now Brees throws 57 times, and with my own eyes I see McCoy being held all game with no flag!! Come on man!!
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