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Buccaneers vs. Washington drive analysis

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Game 10 Drive Analysis: Tampa Bay v Washington.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won their second game in 10 attempts facing the Washington Redskins.  This time around, they won it in a very convincing fashion as they lead from start to finish.  Or did they?

Note: All stats from ESPN.com

Defense

Let us compare this game against the Redskins to the rest of the games we have played.

Opposing Offenses vs TB Defense

Team

Drive

Plays

Yards

Offensive Scoring

40 + yard Drives

50 + yard Drives

60 + yard Drives

70 + Yard Drives

80 + Yard Drives

90 + yard Drives

Total

Car

11

71

317

20

2

0

1

0

0

0

3

StL

8

64

343

19

1

0

1

1

1

0

4

Atl

13

67

570

42

1

1

1

1

2

0

6

Pit

11

75

375

24

0

0

1

1

1

1

4

NO

13

89

522

35

1

0

2

2

1

0

6

Bal

13

67

448

48

0

3

0

0

2

0

5

Min

12

62

338

13

1

0

2

0

0

0

3

Cle

13

68

329

22

1

2

0

0

1

0

4

Atl

10

64

317

27

1

1

1

1

1

0

5

Was

11

71

321

7

3

1

0

1

0

0

5

Totals

115

698

3880

257

11

8

9

7

9

1

45

Avg

11.50

69.80

388.0

25.70

1.10

0.80

0.9

0.70

0.9

0.10

Percent of drives over total number of drives

9.6%

7.0%

7.8%

6.1%

7.8%

0.9%

39.1%

Without noticing the offensive scoring, this game similar to previous game such that the yards given up are similar and the number of drives 40 yards or longer are exactly the same at five long drives.  The biggest difference is that team only gave up only seven points.  So this is what it means to "bend, but don't break".

Redskins Offense v TB Defense

Qtr

Drive

Plays

Yards

Result

40 + yard Drives

50 + yard Drives

60 + yard Drives

70 + Yard Drives

80 + yard Drives

1

1

1

0

INT

2

6

25

Punt

3

3

4

INT

4

9

43

Punt

1

2

5

6

-12

Missed FG

6

7

40

Fumble

1

7

5

79

TD

1

3

8

10

46

Missed FG

1

9

6

20

Punt

4

10

8

19

Punt

11

10

57

End of Game

1

Total

11

71

321

7

3

1

0

1

0

In the first half, the defense created three turnovers! The defense did allow five long drives of 40 yards or more, but allowed only seven points to be scored all game. One of the long drives occurred when the game was already in its waning minutes with the game already out of reach for the Redskins, 27 - 7. The other three long drives were a punt, a fumble, and a missed field goal.  Hence, only two of the five long drives had the potential to score, but only one of the two were the Redskins able to capitalize upon them.

The Bucs were able to put a tremendous amount of pressure on the ‘Skins as the team piled up six sacks for 40 yards loss. Two of those sacks came at the fifth drive. The Bucs' defense stopped the RGII and company at the Bucs' 45 yard line to force a punt.  Unfortunately, punter returner Marcus Thigpen muffed the fair catch that lead to a fumble at the Bucs' 17 yard line. Then at the 10 yard line, with the Redskins driving on 2nd down, Gerald McCoy sacked RGIII for a 10 yard loss. Afterwards, Jacquies Smith jumped into the sack party with a 9 yard loss to tack onto McCoy's sack. This placed the ball on the Tampa Bay 29 for a 47 yard field goal attempt. Kai Forbath, who was on the Bucs' roster in 2012, missed his first field goal of the game.

Although the final score looked like a blowout, there was a tentative moment in the game that the Bucs' defense may yet wilt once again. At the end of the first half, the Bucs' gave up a quick touchdown as they allowed 79 yards on 55 seconds. That cut the lead by 6 as the score was Bucs 13, ‘Skins 7.  Then Washington's first possession in the second half had them driving to the Tampa 26 yard line. With 3rd down and two yards to go for RGIII lead offense, the Bucs' defense sacked him for a six yard loss. This forced a 50 yard field goal attempt for Forbath. He would miss his second of the game here. There will be no wilting for the defense and it gave the Tampa offense great field position at the Bucs' 40 yard line.

Now a little caveat: Washington lost its starting left tackle, Trent Williams, on its second possession of the game and RGIII not only missed wide open receivers for easy touchdowns, but also missed open targets as he was not able to recognize the blitz fast enough.

Offense

Although the final score reflects 27 points scored by the gentlemanly swashbucklers in all whites save the pewter pads, the offense accounted for 20 points. It is not really an explosive output considering we have been putting up 17 points in three of the previous four games.  Here, let me show you:

TB Offense vs Opposing Defense

Team

Drive

Plays

Yards

Offensive Scoring

40 + yard Drives

50 + yard Drives

60 + yard Drives

70 + Yard Drives

80 + Yard Drives

90 + yard Drives

Total

Car

11

55

279

14

1

1

2

0

0

0

4

StL

9

54

372

17

1

0

2

2

0

0

5

Atl

14

57

143

7

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Pit

10

66

365

27

1

0

1

0

2

0

4

NO

11

55

274

24

1

0

0

0

2

0

3

Bal

12

69

379

17

0

2

1

1

0

1

5

Min

12

52

224

13

0

1

0

1

0

0

2

Cle

12

65

375

17

2

0

1

0

1

0

4

Atl

9

76

334

17

2

0

0

1

1

0

4

Was

9

48

294

20

1

0

1

0

1

0

3

Totals

109

597

3039

173

9

4

8

5

8

1

35

Avg

10.90

59.7

303.90

17.30

0.900

0.400

0.800

0.500

0.800

0.100

Percent of drives over total number of drives

8.3%

3.7%

7.3%

4.6%

7.3%

0.9%

32.1%

The offense produced only three long drives, but scored 17 points off of all three drives. What is amazing is that the team only had 48 plays in nine drives, but scored more points than the Atlanta game. Allow me to say that Mike Evans had an offensive explosion, but our offense did not explode in respect to offensive scoring for the past few games. Scoring 20 points, which is only three more points than the previous three out of the four games, is not an explosion. Let us inspect the game drive breakdown.

TB Offense vs Was Defense

Qtr

Drive

Plays

Yards

Result

40 + yard Drives

50 + yard Drives

60 + yard Drives

70 + Yard Drives

80 + Yard Drives

90 + yard Drives

1

1

7

15

FG

2

6

32

Punt

2

3

6

43

FG

1

4

5

14

Punt

5

1

0

End of Half

3

6

6

17

Punt

7

4

60

TD

1

8

5

80

TD

1

4

9

8

33

Punt

Total

9

48

294

20

1

0

1

0

1

0

Scoring per Quarter

Teams

1

2

3

4

T

TB

10

3

7

7

27

Was

0

7

0

0

7

First half offense had 24 plays for 104 yards. In the second half, the offense had 24 plays for 190 yards.  Here is one more frightening stat, the Bucs' defense outscored the Bucs' offense in the first half. Second year cornerback Johnthan Banks had a pick six off of a tipped ball; Bucs' defense 7, Bucs' offense 6 at the half. One of those field goals in the first half was also gifted by the Bucs' defense as Danny Lansanah came up with an interception at the Redskins' 29 yard line.

In the second half, the Bucs scored two touchdowns and gained 190 yards. Wait, let me rephrase that statement: In the second half, Mike Evans scored two touchdown passes and gained 140 yards. It seems as though our young D'artagnan of the Dunkaneers is rising to the top to save the realm. While Bucco Bruce may never be allowed to return, seemingly the NFL will not allow the use of two different helmets due concussion related items, is it possible to come up with a new hero... say the "Dunking D'artagnan"?

Conclusion

Head Coach Lovie Smith likes to say he wants his teams to start fast. The defense did show up very quickly producing two interceptions in three possession drives, both interceptions resulting into points for the team. Then they held Washington from doing any serious damage on the scoreboard. The offense was still quite pedestrian until the Redskins missed a 50 yard field to gift the offense great field position in the 3rd quarter. Then enter the Dunkaneers' Dunking D'artagnan to save the day and put the game away.

Still, I urge caution.  The Bucs' secondary got beat twice, but fortunately RGIII was not accurate for the game. The defense gave up 155 yards rushing, or 5.0 yards per run. The offense is still starting up slow.  Forbath missed two field goals for Washington. I thought the Bucs, as a team, made the turning point at the Pittsburgh game. Fool me once, shame on me.  Fool me twice...

Next week's game against Chicago has some great story lines with Lovie and Josh McCown going back to Chicago. Then factor in division games in play as Atlanta faces off with Cleveland and the Saints welcome the Ravens. Quirky info about the Falcons, all of their four wins come at the expense of the NFC South. Carolina has a bye. This season could be the marathon towards mediocrity race to represent the NFC South. If you are reading this, then you have already purchased your ticket long ago.  And if the Bucs represent the South for the playoffs, then I need to go purchase a ticket that predicts the Bucs will win the Super Bowl. Oh wait... I already did that this past February.