The Bucs made big plays on both sides of the ball to beat the Falcons 30-17 on Sunday. Tom Brady threw four touchdowns, Rob Gronkowski caught two of them and Chris Godwin broke a franchise record with 15 receptions in the game. Meanwhile, it was a huge day for the pass rush, as Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea each had two sacks. The defense allowed only 10 points in the entire game.
Here’s who was most disappointing from this afternoon.
Bucs Run Defense
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In a very surprising outcome, the Falcons were able to run on the Bucs’ great run-stopping defense. It started from the first drive of the game, as the Bucs allowed 63 yards on the Falcons’ first scoring drive. The possession included a 39-yard rush from Cordarrelle Patterson and a 17-yard touchdown run from Mike Davis. It’s not often you see a team push the line of scrimmage against Tampa Bay, but they gave up a stunning 121 yards on the ground. To their credit, they buckled down in the second half, but it was still very uncharacteristic of them.
Bucs Third Down Defense
The Bucs found themselves in a bit of a similar situation as the Washington game, where they couldn’t get off the field on third down and allowed long drives. On three separate drives, the Falcons got 15, 11 and 11 plays, which somehow only resulted in a total of three combined points. Tampa Bay was subpar on third down, allowing Atlanta to convert 9-17 attempts. This included allowing two separate third-and-14 conversions. That just can’t happen.
K Ryan Succop
Succop didn’t have much to do in this game besides kick extra points and hit a chip shot 31-yard field goal. He missed his second extra point of the game, hitting it off of the left post. When you only have so many opportunities in the game, you have to hit them. Succop went 3-4 on extra points and was good on his only field goal attempt.
Bucs Decision-Making On Final Drive Of First Half
I don’t know whether this play is on Tom Brady, Byron Leftwich, Bruce Arians or anyone else involved with the offense. But Tom Brady’s pick-six at the end of the second quarter with 22 seconds remaining was shocking. The Bucs had more than 90 yards to go and had already failed to get a big gain on a screen on first down. There was 20-something seconds left on a moving clock. At that point, your best bet is to run the ball and go into halftime up 10.
The Bucs decided to push it though, and Brady’s attempted screen pass to Leonard Fournette was intercepted by defensive lineman Marlon Davidson for a pick-six. The idea to go for a passing play with such little time left was a poor decision, and it cost the Bucs a great deal. Whether it’s on Brady or the coaching staff, you can’t make a most disappointing list and not mention this play.