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Drive Analysis for Game 11 vs Chicago Bears

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Within 30 minutes, the possibility of making the playoffs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became that much more improbable. The Atlanta Falcons lost on Sunday and the New Orleans Saints lost on Monday night. The Bucs could not hold their part of the bargain to slowly climb back into the playoff race by gaining a win in the NFC South division.

NFC South

W

L

T

Atlanta Falcons

4

7

0

New Orleans

4

7

0

Carolina Panthers

3

7

1

Tampa Bay Bucs

2

9

0

What I mean by 30 minutes, I meant the second half of the game against the Chicago Bears.  Here is the box score per quarter to reveal the debacle slowly.

Scoring by Quarter

Team

1

2

3

4

T

TB

0

10

0

3

13

Chi

0

0

21

0

21

Defense

If one did not watch the game and simply looked at the box score, then one would be led to believe the defense faltered in the second half. Since this series is about drive analysis and usually the pattern found with scores are long drives. Let us inspect what did transpire by way of drives for the game.

Bears Offense vs TB Defense

Qtr

Drive

Plays

Yards

Result

40 + yard Drives

50 + yard Drives

60 + yard Drives

70 + Yard Drives

80 + Yard Drives

1

1

3

8

Punt

2

9

26

Fumble

2

3

3

7

Punt

4

7

14

Missed FG

5

3

8

Punt

6

8

6

Punt

7

0

0

End of Half

3

8

6

58

TD

1

9

3

3

Punt

10

1

13

TD

11

4

15

TD

12

4

19

Punt

4

13

5

17

Punt

14

3

2

Punt

15

3

5

Punt

Total

15

62

201

13

0

1

0

0

0

From the box score, we know all the scoring done by the Chicago Bears were committed in the third quarter. When we look for the total long drives, we see only one long drive and the Bears scored a touchdown on that long drive.The other two possessions that were scored upon were short drives of 13 and 15 yards. This would mean that the offense or special teams gifted the opposing team great field position. (It was the offense and that information will be revealed later in the article.)

Take another look at that chart above. Aside from drives 10 and 11, the defense presented a very dominant showing. The defense induced nine punts and one fumble. Of those nine punting situations, five of them were of the three-and-out variety.

Now, Let us take a look at this game when compared to the previous games. In this perspective, we will be thoroughly impressed.

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

Chi

15

62

201

21

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

Totals

130

760

4081

278

11

9

9

7

9

1

46

Avg

11.82

69.09

371.0

25.27

1.00

0.82

0.818

0.64

0.818

0.09

Percent of drives over total number of drives

8.5%

6.9%

6.9%

5.4%

6.9%

0.8%

35.4%

This overview chart of all of the games played by the Bucs' defense reveals that the defense has a two game pattern of improvement. The yards allowed is the lowest permitted all season. Lovie Smith predicted that he would take his defense over any divisional offense in the preseason and these past two games are great steps to that vision becoming true. We will continue to track this defense and its improvements to prove that the improvements are here to stay rather than be a flash on the season.

As for this past game against the Bears, the Bucs' defense performed at a very impressive level. Unfortunately, the Bears were gifted two possessions within the Bucs' 15 yard line which lead to two touchdowns and the game.

Offense

Truthfully, I do not know where to begin, but I will post these bits of information to set up this section of the article: four turnovers (2 fumbles and 2 interceptions) and 1 for 3 in the Red Zone, in respect to scoring touchdowns.

TB Offense vs Chi 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

12

39

Int

2

6

46

TD

1

2

3

3

6

Punt

4

3

3

Punt

5

5

13

Punt

6

12

74

FG

1

3

7

3

-4

Punt

8

3

-8

Punt

9

5

-7

Fumble

10

1

0

Int

11

6

73

Fumble

1

4

12

5

24

Punt

13

8

51

FG

1

14

4

9

Downs

15

1

-2

End of Game

Total

15

77

317

13

1

1

0

2

0

0

A third quarter we all want to forget. I added breaks in the chart to isolate the third quarter. Drives 9 and 10 directly lead to the Bears having a very short field to score a touchdown. The turnovers occurred in the Red Zone. And the ensuing offensive drive, we fumble it away at the Chicago 32 yard line.

What the Bears offense did that the Bucs offense could not do was score touchdowns in the Red Zone. Instead, Tampa settled for two field goals. With three tall receivers in Vincent Jackson, Magic Mike Evans, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the field, I do not comprehend how we do not score touchdowns at all in the Red Zone. This can be pinned on the quarterback or the offensive coordinator, possibly both. I recall one third down Red Zone play where McCown threw into what looked like triple coverage, but it was triple coverage because I had just seen three wideouts all in the same vicinity in the end zone. That does not include the checkdown running back just in front of that group. Simultaneously, the tight end broke towards the sidelines at the five yard line. I will repeat, it was third and goal.

There were four long drives of 40 yards or more and the Bay's offense mustered up 13 points. The Bucs' defense did force one turnover to give its offense great field position at the Chicago 46 yard line. That turnover resulted in a touchdown for the Bay's offense. Even though the Bucs' offense scored six more points, they left eight points off the scoreboard. Those eight points could have tied the game.

Just for kicks and giggles, I just wanted to put a McCown v Glennon in respect to drives. It is abbreviated, but one could easily scroll up to see connections.

TB Offense vs Opposing Defense

Team

Drive

Plays

Yards

Offensive Scoring

Long Drives (40 - 90 yards)

Car

11

55

279

14

4

McCown

StL

9

54

372

17

5

McCown

Atl

14

57

143

7

1

McCown/ Glennon

Pit

10

66

365

27

4

Glennon

NO

11

55

274

24

3

Glennon

Bal

12

69

379

17

5

Glennon

Min

12

52

224

13

2

Glennon

Cle

12

65

375

17

4

Glennon

Atl

9

76

334

17

4

McCown

Was

9

48

294

20

3

McCown

Chi

15

77

317

13

4

McCown

Totals

124

674

3356

186

39

Avg

11.27

61.273

305.09

16.91

Percent of drives over total number of drives

31.5%

Note: First Atlanta game, Glennon engineered that lone long drive.

Out of the 39 long drives, McCown is the owner of the most long drives by one over Glennon at 20 long drives over six games.  Glennon had five starts, but came in at the end of the Atlanta game. The Bucs offense has nine drives of 80 yards or more.  f those nine drives, Glennon was at the helm, including one 90 yard drive.

Now let us look at points scored on offense. Under a McCown led offense, he operated the offense to score 81 points in six games; he did not score in the first Atlanta game. With a Glennon led offense, the offense was able to generate 105 points in five games started and in the second half of the first Atlanta game.

There are reviews that describe how McCown makes the offense look more fluid when he returned to the starting position. While Glennon does look awkward, his production on the field often gets dismissed.

Conclusion

For the second game in a row, the defense had an impressive performance. The offense faltered miserably despite the defense keeping them in the game. Going 1 for 3 in the Red Zone as well as allowing four turnovers where two of them set up the Bears in the Red Zone aptly describes the ineptness that is called the Buccaneers offense.

Even though the playoffs seem like far-fetched idea, watching the growth of the defense should have Buc fans giggling with glee to see the vision that Lovie Smith portrayed coming to fruition. The previous games where they had blown leads in the fourth quarter are no longer present, at least in these past two games.

For some unknown reason, I feel a lot more comfortable losing due to a lack of offense than a lack of defense. On defense, that's where we laid a lot of eggs in respect to Lovie Smith, Leslie Frazier, Clinton McDonald, Michael Johnson, Alterraun Verner, and Major Wright. I do not like losing, but as a Buc fan losing because the offense has failed, but the defense did not is a norm. There is comfort in that.  Kind of like pumpkin pie doused with whipped cream after eating a huge Thanksgiving meal, you know you should not indulge yourself, but it is what is always done year after year.

On offense and special teams, I think both coaches are showcasing why they either should remain after the season.  Also, should the Bucs remain in a zone scheme?  The only player I know meant for the zone scheme is third round running back Charles Sims.  Finding enough personnel on the offensive line to fit the zone scheme might take longer than going back to a power scheme, especially when one wants to make the run game the focal point of the offense.  This year, the team is projected to have a rushing yard total of 1344 yards (based upon 924 yards in 11 games).  Gone for the rest of the year is fullback Jorvorskie Lane and that injury may hamper the run game more.  Last year, the offensive line was terrible, but helped the rush game gain 1612 yards.