Observations of the Bucs/Saints 11/6/11 Disaster

1) On the one hand, I'm perfectly content at this moment with having Josh Freeman as our franchise QB.  On the other hand, I know it's too late for the Bucs to go charging into the "Suck For Luck" campaign (although a high draft pick of some kind is a growing possibility for next April).  Let's just give it to Indy and be done with it.

Besides, Freeman's not the problem our team is having regarding the offense.  The problem seems to be matching personnel to the plays... and being a bit more creative and bold with plays in the First Half when the Bucs are more often than not failing to maintain drives and score TDs for early leads.

That I blame the coaches, both the Offensive Coordinator Olson and Head Coach Morris.  It's their job to motivate and plan.  And whatever they're doing for the First Half of games, it's not working...

2) I think there's been two games out of eight so far where the Bucs went into Halftime with a lead: our previous matchup vs. the Saints and the Colts game.  (remind me if I'm wrong please)  It's a sign of an offense that's failing to get into all six gears when the game actually starts.  For all the good work the Bucs seem to do in Fourth Quarters, they HAVE to play the other three Quarters...

3) Stats of the game: Third down conversion rate for the Bucs went 2-for-12.  That says the team failed to maintain drives, and failed to get more scoring chances.  Even converting 2 Fourth Downs really didn't help...

3a) Turnovers combined with Sacks: the Bucs secured only one turnover all game (an INT by Barber, which lead to a Field Goal in the 3rd).  The Bucs also had no sacks, which is the very frustrating part.  By game 4, the Bucs' defensive front was making a good number of sacks and creating a ton of pressure on QBs.  The last two games, however, almost no pressure.  Injuries (getting to that in a moment) are taking a toll on the D-line consistency...

3b) The Bucs also racked up 9 penalties, a few of them Personal Fouls that really made the day go longer.  The Defensive Hold called on Barber that led to the Saints' final TD of the day pretty much was the capper to a bad game.

4) Another worrying item: Injuries.  DT McCoy is out for the rest of the year, which has to hurt the D-line's ability to pressure QBs.  These injuries (to McCoy, to Grimm, to Graham) are underscoring a serious problem the Bucs have: little depth at key positions.  We're still another year of serious drafting from being a great team...

4a) Hope Saints DB Tracy Porter gets better from that scary-looking neck injury he got in the first minutes of the game...

5) Next week: I think it's the Bucs at home against the Houston Texans.  And wouldn't you know it, the Texans are actually GOOD this year (mutter grumble).

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