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Buccaneers vs Redskins: Day-After-Game Reactions

Koetter retakes play-calling as the offense puts forth it’s worst game for the season.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Many things went wrong in this ball game, led by turnovers at the quarterback position. The defense held Washington to 16 points and while that is a ground breaking performance given the ineptitude shown up until this point by that unit, it still managed to disappoint as the group managed zero sacks against a broken Redskin offensive line. Kicking woes continued and frankly it’s to the point where no kicker is better than THIS kicker.

An offense that couldn’t score accompanied by a head coach who took back the play calling headline this ball game.

After firing his defensive coordinator and watching that very defense continue to get smoked, Koetter turned to taking away play calling from Todd Monken who had the offense putting up record breaking numbers for a franchise that historically was built on defense. The result? The worst offensive output of the season as the team failed to reach the end-zone in this game despite several trips around and inside the 20 yard line. Where did it go wrong? Why does something always go wrong?

Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled with turnovers in this ball game tossing two passes to the defense and fumbling another. The first pick came on the opening drive with the team storming down the field as Fitzpatrick sailed a pass to the goal line where Josh Norman made a great adjustment to intercept the poorly thrown pass. The other two turnovers came in the 2nd half as the offense struggled to close out drives for 6. There’s little reason to believe Jameis Winston won’t regain the starting role this coming week. Fitzpatrick isn’t the future, Koetter needs a spark and Jameis is his last hope of saving his job for another year.

Peyton Barber had himself a good game and it left myself wanting to see more of him. Barber took 13 carries for 61 yards and added a 5 yard reception on his lone target. Shaun Wilson and Jacquizz Rodgers took another 3 carries for 7 total yards. Rodgers was used heavily in the passing game, taking 8 receptions for 102 yards but he had the ball punched out from behind on a big gain that turned the ball over via a fumble that killed another positive Buccaneer drive. Shaun Wilson received 3 targets, catching just one of them while losing 4 yards on the play.

Mike Evans struggled with a couple drops and just couldn’t get his game going once Josh Norman took over covering the Buccaneers top wide out. Chris Godwin led the way catching all 7 of his targets for 103 yards. Evans looked frustrated throughout the game as Norman was all over him, quite literally a time or two for that matter. DeSean Jackson was utilized a bit more and targeted far more frequently in this game and the distribution as a whole to the top three wide outs was solid as the trio saw a combined 21 targets. The screwy line in this one is the lack of targets and snaps for O.J. Howard (played 65% of the teams offensive snaps) as he was only targeted twice in this match-up. Howard has been downright unstoppable this year and seeing him get 2 looks (1 catch for 15 yards) and play such a reduced amount of snaps where he was in blocking on a good portion is frustrating to say the least. With Koetter firmly on the hot seat, the next head coach that this franchise looks to needs to be sure that they themselves, or the coordinator they hire to call plays, understands how to utilize all of the vital weapons on offense.

The offensive line wasn’t as bad as they have been lately but still gave up a pair of sacks including a sack fumble of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Peyton Barber had a good game on the ground and some of that can be credited to some decent lane openings but at the same time, it’s hard to forget Barber’s 3 yard run in this game where he was hit 5 yards deep in the backfield thanks to the left side of the line getting demolished. The group as a whole has been downright awful and certainly are not doing much to help two turnover prone quarterbacks staying upright.

The defense did more than enough to help this team win but still managed to disappoint.

Starting up front, this defense just isn’t getting it done. The horses were there for the Buccaneers front to wreak havoc on a decimated Redskins offensive line that had three starters out. The team managed 3 sacks yet the group never seemed to get consistent pressure on Alex Smith. Vita Vea, Carl Nassib and Gerald McCoy each notched a sack. It simply wasn’t enough to give the Redskins any reason to worry as Alex Smith was able to get enough offense going to score a passing touchdown which turned out to be more than enough on a day the Bucs offense fell on their faces. The group up front did manage to hold down the run game led by Adrian Peterson outside of a pair of big runs (18 and 15) from Peterson and Bibbs.

Lavonte David led the team in solo tackles and could be seen flying about the field and playing with great intensity. It’s tough watching this current group thinking of what could have been had the team been able to trot out a healthy Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith. With those two out and David left to shoulder the load it’s just been a bad overall group to watch.

The defensive backs held their own against a struggling Redskin skill group out wide. Justin Evans racked up a ton of assisted tackles in this game but the story in the end continues to be the defenses inability to create turnovers, let alone defend passes in general. This wasn’t going to be an easy task against a quarterback like Alex Smith who doesn’t take many chances as is, but at some point the defense has to get lucky and grab an INT right? Maybe not.

Not Special Teams.

At this point I refuse to use his name but the kicker has got to get the boot. Making 33% of your attempts is awful, couple that with the fact that one was within 30 yards and it’s downright disgusting. It’s time to bite the bullet, admit giving said kicker that much money was a bad decision and go get some kid off the street. Any kid.

Final reactions.

This is a cursed franchise. From the kicking woes, to the defense, to the turnovers all the way down to the awful personnel and overall coaching decisions... this is a cursed franchise. It’s time to sacrifice coach Koetter and possibly general manager Jason Licht and start from scratch yet again. This team finds ways to get beat time and time again and the head coach is ultimately the man responsible when all things are failing. One person at the very least feels Koetter/Licht stabbed a former coach in the back, maybe the proverbial knife should come back and cut the chord on this regime next?