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Drive analysis for Buccaneers vs. Browns

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Game 8 Offensive and Defensive drives against the Cleveland Browns.

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finding new ways to lose as the Cleveland Browns have dealt the Bucs their seventh loss in eight games for the 2014 season. A few plays could have changed the outcome of this game from all three aspects of game play: offense, defense, and special teams. Out of the eight games played, only two were blowouts that the Bucs could not overcome.  Of the six losses, two were taken into overtime.  And of the six losses, four of those games the Bucs blew a fourth quarter lead.

Note: All stats are from ESPN.com

Defense

I have read that the defense is improving game after game. Let us look at drives and point results to see if there is improvement or just a feeling of improvement.

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

Totals

94

563

3242

223

7

6

8

5

8

1

35

Avg

11.75

70.37

405.25

27.88

0.875

0.75

1

0.62

1

0.12

Percent of drives over total number of drives

7.4%

6.4%

8.5%

5.3%

8.5%

1.1%

37.2%

The Bucs look as though they did give up fewer yards, but they allowed one more long drive against the Cleveland Browns than they did against the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, the Bucs' defense allowed an 80 yard drive against them. The points allowed also increased from 13 to 22 points. Interesting.

Now, let us look closely at the drives in this game alone and see what is there to denote.

Browns Offense v TB Defense

Quarter

Drive

Plays

Yards

Result

40 + yard Drives

50 + yard Drives

60 + yard Drives

70 + Yard Drives

80 + yard Drives

1

1

8

46

FG

1

2

5

14

Punt

3

5

10

FG

2

4

1

0

INT

5

3

2

Punt

6

8

54

FG

1

3

7

11

80

TD

1

8

3

3

Punt

9

3

-2

Punt

4

10

7

57

INT

1

11

2

35

TD

12

8

25

Punt

13

4

5

Downs

Total

13

68

329

22

1

2

0

0

1

The Bucs' defense created two interceptions in the game, including one that stopped a 57 yard drive in its tracks!  Then if you noticed the 80 yard drive, that was the Browns' opening halftime drive. I like the turnovers being created.  I like the three 3-and-outs. But it is those long drives that drive the stakes on the scoreboard. The last drive of the half had the Browns driving 57 yards for a field goal, which started on the Browns' 21 yard line. The half ended with the Bucs 10, Browns 9. And then the very first drive of the 2nd half, the Browns drove 80 yards for a touchdown. The score was now Bucs 10, Browns 16.

The last touchdown given up was set up because the special teams allowed a punt to be blocked.  Yet still, the Bucs' defense allowed a touchdown instead of preventing one or reducing the damage into three points.  At the Bucs' 35 yard line, if the defense would have forced a 3-and-out, then the Browns could have attempted a 53 yard field goal attempt.  Or they could have sacked the Browns' QB to push the field attempt further backs.  Instead, it allowed a 35 yard touchdown pass.

While the yards given up per attempt had improved, the Bucs gave up one more long drive than the previous game.  Take that 80 yard touchdown away and the Bucs would have their second win: Bucs 17, Browns 15.  And then take away that 57 yard FG drive by the Browns at the end of the first half then the score could have been Bucs 17, Browns 12.  The Bucs' offense had nothing to do with the debacle of those two long drives as both drives started around the Browns' 20 yard line.

There may be more activity defensively, but it sorely lacks the production of preventing the other team from scoring.  Do not mistake activity for achievement.  The Bucs' defense is still allowing long drives.

Offense

Let us put out some quick stats.  In the passing game, Glennon was 17/33 (51.5%) for 260 yards (7.9 average), 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and 2 sacks.  The running game had 113 yards rushing on 26 attempts, for an average of 4.3 yards.  The passing game, although not great, posted similar production to that of Cleveland's passing production, but the Bucs' running game was far better.  Yet, the Bucs lost.  Let us look at the overview and see how a Glennon lead offense has regressed.

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

Totals

91

473

2411

136

6

4

7

4

6

1

28

Avg

11.38

59.12

301.4

17.00

0.75

0.5

0.875

0.5

0.75

0.14286

Percent of drives over total number of drives

6.6%

4.4%

7.7%

4.4%

6.6%

1.1%

30.8%

The offense put up more yards in this game than the last game versus Minnesota.  On a yard per play average, the Bucs have had the best outing since game 2 against the Rams. There were two more long drives in this Browns' game than last game, but the offense only put up 3 more points. Let us investigate this further.

TB Offense vs Cle 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

11

67

Blocked FG

1

2

7

36

Missed FG

3

5

23

Int

2

4

8

80

TD

1

5

2

-5

INT

6

7

42

FG

1

3

7

6

38

Punt

8

3

45

TD

1

9

3

8

Punt

4

10

4

-5

Punt, Blocked Punt

11

4

16

Punt

12

5

30

Downs

Total

12

65

375

17

2

0

1

0

1

0

As we can see, the offense and long drives stalled in the second half. We see two interceptions, but we also see a blocked field goal, a missed field goal, and a blocked punt. All those miscues are part of the special teams.

The Bucs, as a team, rushed for 113 yards for the game. 96 of those yards came in the first half. In the second half, the Browns adjusted to the run defense and the Bucs' offense could not. While we were almost moving the ball at will in the first half, the second half the offense was nearly shut down. All of the interceptions were in the first half, but even then the Bucs still had the lead at the end of the half.

Conclusion

This game was such a shame.  Both the offense and defense improved, incrementally. The defense still allowed more long drives and the offense stalled in the second half, despite scoring a touchdown and putting the Bucs back into the lead. The special teams literally broke our backs from the first drive to the penultimate drive. Even then, the Bucs' defense could not secure the win and allowed yet another fourth quarter lead to slip away.

We all recently discovered that quarterback Mike Glennon will be replaced with Josh McCown. I do not comprehend the move. My basis is structured upon Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier being defensive guru's and Lovie touting the importance of his game plan is as follows in the following order: 1) defense, 2) special teams and 3) offense. This game is the fourth game where the defense has coughed up the lead in the fourth quarter. Actually, they coughed up the lead twice in the second half.

I would like to see Lovie put his special teams coach on blast.  To have the special teams screw up so amazingly this late into the season after having problems in previous games, one cannot be terribly happy.  But Mike Glennon, you sir are serving as the scapegoat even though the loss was a collective effort.  You did not play well, except you were not the only one.