In a day where the offense showed up for a while, Bobby Rainey had a great game while Mike Glenon was hit and miss.
Oniel Cousins let his presence be known on the first play by allowing the defensive end to blow past him. He did not play terribly in the run, fortunately, yet if Anthony Collins doesn't return soon then Mike Glennon is going to be roughed up more than he has been.
Gerald McCoy looked fantastic. He had his hand in three sacks, and the first of the game came after exploding over Cleveland's center, knocking him down, while laying the wood on Hoyer.
Mike Glennon's turnovers were awful. On the first, Mike Evans beat Joe Haden on a deep post. Glennon under threw the ball, and Haden tipped it to Donte Whitner who returned it half of the field. Evans was behind the defense and could have gone for six, which made the pick even more upsetting. The worst was yet to come, though, as Glennon threw a pass about six feet over Evan's head into Tashaun Gibson's hands. Vincent Jackson took him down at about the ten with a diving swat at his legs, saving what could have been a big return.
Glennon had a few nice sideline throws to Evans. I thought Vincent Jackson was conspicuously absent for the most part and was struck with disbelief as he had almost ninety yards toward the end of the contest. Evans jumped out of the screen by playing extremely well with two touchdown grabs and over a hundred yards.
The special teams was miserable in several ways as it has been the entirety of the season. Tampa's first kick was blocked, and their second fell heartbreakingly short at 55 yards. When it was Cleveland's turn to kick from about the 8 yardline they used a hard count to get Tampa offsides for an easily converted 4th and short. This led to a Terrance West touchdown on a swing pass. On top of it all the Browns blocked a punt after a Tampa interception midway through the fourth, which led to another touchdown for Cleveland.
Alterraun Verner disappointed this afternoon. After driving on a route and dropping an interception in the first quarter, he got burned a few times. On a 3rd and 16 in the fourth quarter even the announcers were discussing the advantages of a slant when you're backed up to your own endzone. Immediately, Miles Austin gets inside of Verner on a slant and runs about twenty yards for the first. Verner swiped for the ball instead of going for the tackle, which would have set up a fourth down. Finally, he gave up the go ahead score by chasing Taylor Gabriel upfield, just to let Gabriel get by him downfied for a touchdown.
It might be unfair to pick on Verner, because Tampa's passing defense as a whole has played poorly all season. When the pass rush doesn't move the quarterback it seems like first down is frequently the result. The draft come May should involve a safety and pass rusher.
On the bright side, Bobby Rainey payed very well. While unable to get into the endzone he eclipsed the century mark and caught a few passes for additional yardage. He also had an outstanding pickup in pass protection early on. Charles Sims is going to have to outplay Rainey to get a large portion of the carries.
With Tampa trailing by five Glennon hit Evans on an out route on a 4th and 1. The play was called back due to offensive pass interference, which looked an awful lot like Evans engaging in a five yard bump. The subsequent 4th and 11 went nowhere and the Browns ran out the clock.
Next week the Falcons come to Tampa in what we can only hope is a better showing than their last meeting. We might get our first look at Charles Sims, and maybe even a division win.