1) One of the big hopes coming into the 2011 season was that our team's offense would have a year of experience under their collective belt, and with that experience the Bucs' offense would be more aggressive and higher-scoring especially in the First Half of their games.
Instead we have a precarious situation two games in: the bad habit of starting slow in 2010 is still with us. Against the Vikings, the Bucs were completely shut out and shut down offensively in the First Half. Vikes led 17-0 going into the break.
The only good thing that Bucs fan could console themselves with was that the Vikings showed in their opening game that they have a bad habit of falling silent during the Second Half, which is exactly what happened as the Bucs roared back as usual in the final 30 minutes of game play to eke out a 24-20 road win.
1a) But this is inexcusable, Bucs coaches. Not every team is going to collapse against us the way the Vikings just did. Detroit didn't last week (and their Week 2 game shows that, yeah, the Lions might actually be GOOD this year God Help Us). Do you think Atlanta's gonna choke next? Or Chicago when we play them in London? Or New Orleans? And we're facing the possibility of Carolina actually having an offense of their own when we face them this year...
2) Player of the game: Failing to get him into the First Half? We get shut out. Focusing more offensive plays and getting the ball in his hands to carry down the field for huge gains and even 2 TDs during the Second Half? This is why we have LeGarette Blount, Coach Morris and Coach Olson. You need to get more schemes to use RB Blount to, you know, GET THE OFFENSE WORKING IN THE FIRST G-DD-MN QUARTER!!! Gah!
2a) Mason Foster made his shares of bad decisions on-field, true, but he got his first career sack, the first sack in the Bucs' young season, and made enough key plays as the game went on to aid in shutting down Minnesota's offense for most of the Second Half.
Peter Preston Parker had a career day, yes, with 6 catches for 98 yards and a handful of drive-saving ones at that. When the Minnesota secondary did a thorough job of cutting off Williams and Benn for most of the game, it helped that the No.3 WR like Parker (and also Briscoe) stepped up.
3) Goat of the game: Dear Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson. Whatever play calls you are making in the First Half, they ARE NOT HELPING. You need to take the Second Half playbook and use it for the whole 60 minutes of the DAMN GAME!
3a) Josh, I loves ya, you're the QB we need (for the next 5-6 years until FA drives you elsewhere, natch), but please for the Love of God don't force the ball into the end zone like that where Winslow was so obviously covered. That was a terrible INT to look at. You're supposed to throw the ball to where either the receiver is the only one to get it, or no one can pick it. You gotta be learning that. At this rate, Freeman is going to throw an equal number of touchdowns and INTs this season, which is a tad worse than his great performance last season.
4) Stats of the game: total offensive yards for the Bucs in the First Half: 62 yards. Total offensive yards for the Bucs in the Second Half: 273 yards and 24 points for the win.
4a) Third down conversions: 7 out of 12. It's a nice conversion rate, and shows a team able to move the ball at will. But how many of those conversions were in the First Half...?
4b) The Bucs finally get some sacks, 2 for the day. But the sacks came from Mason Foster (LB) and Sean Jones (S). The D-line had no sacks and only a handful of times pressuring QB McNabb. Can anyone reviewing game film get us an idea of what the D-line is doing so far and what might be stopping them from getting better pressure on the opposing QBs?
5) In other NFL news, Detroit demolished another team. Admittedly it was Kansas City just as the Chiefs are imploding from major injuries to key players, but there was more good play of the Lions than just playing a weak team. While it mitigates the humiliation we had from the Lions crushing us last week, this is currently making Detroit look like the team to beat in the NFC this year. Yes, re-read that sentence. The Lions look to be very good this year. Be afraid of the End Times. WhammyDown, if you are on the SB *Nation forums, if you are still alive, you must be having happy fantasies about this year...
5b) Buffalo is 2-0. Chris Berman is breaking out the "NOBODY WAGS THE CIRCLES LIKE... wait..." banners.
5c) Washington is 2-0. BOoooooooooooo
6) In other sports news in Tampa Bay, RAYS WIN and are now 2 games back on Boston (BOOOOOOOOOOO HISSSSSSSSS) for the Wild Card spot. Gotta keep winning, Rays!
7) College sports GOOD NEWS Dept: The South Florida Bulls demolish FAMU 70-17 and go 3-0 on the year and move up a few more spots in the polls.
7a) College sports BAD NEWS Dept: Pitt and Syracuse flee the Big East, signalling the now 90 percent possibility of the dissolution of the Big East conference. Just as we're starting to seriously win it! Grrrrr. With a lot of terrified talk on the Voodoo Five posts about where this leaves USF (hint: up a certain biofertization-compound-creek without a certain wooden instrument).
This... is not good.
8) Aliens Vs. Monsters on FX right now. With Stephen Colbert As the President. Don't be surprised if I get distracted during the rest of... oh wait I'm at the 8th entry. Only 2 more to go, anyway...
9) If anyone reading this can get word to the coaches for the Buccaneers, seriously, honestly, truly, FIX THE DAMN FIRST HALF OFFENSE YOU SONS OF BI... pardon my Swedish.
10) Next Week: Atlanta Falcons come for a visit. It will be an offense that can rack up early points, coaches. This is where point 9) needs to be YELLED IN YOUR DAMN EARS UNTIL IT PENETRATES THOSE CRANIUMS YOU IDIOTS! GET MORE POINTS ON THE BOARD IN THE FIRST QUARTER! FIRST, YOU KNOW, THE OPENING 15 MINUTES OF THE GAME! SCORE YOU BASTARDS SCORE!
Ah, yeah, my Swedish. Gotta tone it down...