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St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Bucs: Evaluating the Penalties

If you enjoy banging your head on the wall, you are going to love some of the numbers I draw out in this piece. For those who were able to see the game yesterday, it's how you felt for 50 minutes of the game. The Bucs couldn't do anything right and when they did it was often accompanied by a yellow flag. I mentioned in my preview of this game that the Bucs had to capitalize on penalties as the Rams were one of the most penalized teams in the league and the Bucs, one of the least. I saw several pieces last week noting that the Bucs were on their way to being the lowest penalized team in franchise history. Pretty sure the stat line of 12 for 92 yards will offset that. While the amount of yards the Bucs were actually penalized weren't off-the-charts, the yards it kept us from gaining were.


Evaluating the penalties:

1st & 10 - StL 48 - The Bucs had just converted a 4th and 1. LGB runs for 14 yards. Offsides on James Hall and Holding on James Lee. Penalties offset replay down. It was away from the play and stupid. Cost - 1st down, 14 yards, ball at 34 and in FG range. 3 Pts, likely.

1-6-STL 6 (8:36) (Shotgun) 5-J.Freeman pass incomplete short left to 82-K.Winslow. PENALTY on TB, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at SL 6 - No Play. Terrible Call. Winslow slapped the defenders hands away. Completely legal. Cost - Potentially a TD. 

1-16-STL 16 (8:29) 27-L.Blount right end to SL 13 for 3 yards (21-O.Atogwe). PENALTY on TB-76-J.Zuttah, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at SL 16 - No Play. Pushes us further back, out of reasonable scoring distance and into a tough FG. 

1-10-TB 33 (14:47) PENALTY on TB-75-D.Joseph, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at TB 33 - No Play. Cost - 3&Out. 

3-6-TB 25 (10:23) (Shotgun) 8-S.Bradford pass incomplete short right (58-Q.Black). PENALTY on TB-71-M.Bennett, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at TB 25 - No Play. The Rams then had a 3-1 and were able to convert. 3 plays later, the Rams scored a touchdown. Cost - Touchdown.

1-10-TB 19 (8:14) 5-J.Freeman pass deep left to 82-K.Winslow to TB 35 for 16 yards (53-N.Diggs). PENALTY on TB-70-D.Penn, Offensive Holding, 9 yards, enforced at TB 19 - No Play. The result of the drive was a punt. This cost a first down and a potential scoring drive. 

4-4-TB 14 (3:53) (Field Goal formation) 3-Josh.Brown 32 yard field goal is GOOD, NULLIFIED by Penalty, Center-45-C.Massey, Holder-5-D.Jones. PENALTY on TB-20-R.Barber, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at TB 14 - No Play. Cost: 4Pts.

4-4-STL 46 (13:36) (Punt formation) 5-D.Jones punts 49 yards to TB 5, Center-45-C.Massey. 81-M.Spurlock to TB 10 for 5 yards (50-B.Kehl). PENALTY on TB-35-C.Grimm, Illegal Block Above the Waist, 5 yards, enforced at TB 10. Cost: 5 yards, but really wasn't very damaging. 

2-2-TB 13 (12:44) 27-L.Blount up the middle to TB 16 for 3 yards (97-D.Scott, 90-G.Selvie). PENALTY on TB-62-T.Larsen, Offensive Holding, 8 yards, enforced at TB 16. Cost: 10 Yards, but TB goes on to convert a 3rd down keeping the drive alive. Not very costly. 

1-10-STL 40 (9:21) PENALTY on TB-75-D.Joseph, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at SL 40 - No Play. Could not get all of the yards back. Settled for a FG. Stalled the drive. 

(2:37) PENALTY on TB-62-T.Larsen, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at SL 41 - No Play. Not Very Costly. Bucs continued to move the ball

1-10-TB 18 (10:28) 27-L.Blount right guard pushed ob at SL 36 for 46 yards (21-O.Atogwe). PENALTY on TB-65-J.Trueblood, Illegal Block Above the Waist, 10 yards, enforced at TB 28. Cost: 46 Yards. Biggest play at the time of the game. Stalled a scoring drive. Donald Penn got in Truebloods ear about this. As he should. It was a good call. Trueblood blocked a man who was already out of the play. Stupid penalty. Also cost at least 3 points.

1-10-STL 37 (2:00) (Shotgun) 5-J.Freeman pass short middle to 24-C.Williams to SL 34 for 3 yards (55-J.Laurinaitis). PENALTY on TB-77-J.Lee, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced at SL 34. James Lee came in late and threw his body at Laurinaitis who was on top of the pile. Good Call, Stupid play. Luckily the Bucs were able to convert a 4th down several plays later on their way to a touchdown. 



After I spent a week applauding the team for appearing to be much more disciplined they go and have an outing like this. It was embarrassing. It is my belief that the score looks much different if we have half of these penalties. A lot of it is attributed to backups starting on the offensive line. They were getting beat and frustrated. One thing is certain, we can't do this again and expect to win. Not against a better team than the Rams.