The head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stood up in front of reporters on Sunday afternoon, looked them in the eye’s and said he purposely took a penalty that made his kickers field goal attempt longer. Bruce Arians - “I just took it on purpose. Yeah, he’s better back, that field goal is easier 5 yards back.” That’s how (insert expletive) this team is. We’re doing things differently this week. Let’s take a poke at the coaching that ultimately is to blame for this debacle against an awful Giants team.
Is it really coaching if all of the decisions seem wrong? At what point do we just call it guessing? Or hoping? In the second half of this football game that’s exactly what it felt like. It felt like Byron Leftwich and Bruce Arians were simply HOPING that their team, the same team that had no issues going up 28-10 at the half, could hold on to the lead for 30 more minutes.
Jameis Winston had a couple bad throws in this game and sure the interception was incredibly bad for a 5th year QB to miss that badly but all other instances in this game considered... there is zero reason to completely lose faith and just abandon all things passing like this team did in the 2nd half. Especially looking back on things and seeing that when the team needed it most, Jameis Winston put the ball, a deep ball mind you, right into Mike Evans hands like it was nothing. Why wasn’t this exploited more in the 2nd half when the Giants had no answer for Evans throughout the first half? Awful.
Let’s continue to focus on the offensive side of things for a second and take into consideration the decision to run non stop on early downs and flip flop backs with Barber/Jones when only Jones was having success. Feed the hot hand. Not this staff tho, not so far.
Defensively the play calling followed suit of the offense. Conservative and pathetic. Todd Bowles gets a bit of a pass here only because he’s working with one of the worst defensive back groups in the league when it comes to coverage. That said, this team relied on Shaquil Barrett and Carl Nassib to get anything and everything done. Bowles may have chicken s*** to work with, but he better find a way to make some decent soup out of it.
Bruce Arians... the savior right? Arians taking a penalty to put his kicker further back... is just the pinnacle of stupidity that we have come to know as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The irony looking back is that Matt Gay may have just made the kick if it didn’t have to travel those five extra yards. Way to go coach. Let’s add distance and difficulty to the kick. Why not right? Tampa and it’s history of kickers since Matt Bryant wasn’t “good enough” has been just tremendous. Right? At least the broader NFL media pundits aren’t making fun us right? Oh wait...
This is an absolute joke. Horrendous coaching. https://t.co/vjc0XGXEDz— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) September 23, 2019
Enough of the coaching staff already. Let’s get to the players and some reactions to the work they put in on Sunday.
Let’s just stay on the negative side of things right? Why get positive at this point? Our special teams unit S-U-C-K-S. Bobo Wilson... what are you doing on these kick returns? Twice Wilson caught the ball with room to work and got zero yards. One of those two he got clocked for no reason other than his unwillingness/inability to move his feet. If you aren’t going to gain positive yardage, just take the fair catch and save the possibility of a fumble from contact.
Kicking team’s blocking... or lack thereof. Matt Gay is going to get a ton of blame, deservedly so for missing a chipshot extra point and essentially the game... loser? He should be the hero right now but nope, missed field goal ends the game and frankly ended any bit of fan backing he otherwise would have had sadly. It’s Gays’ fault, but really it isn’t. Earlier in the ball game he had a second extra point attempt blocked but truly, this loss is on the coaching and their unwillingness to put this game away.
By the way, you know things are bad when the people of Land O Lakes are poking fun at you (I reside in LoL, I can say these things).
What is this secondary doing? Vernon Hargreaves III... I love the effort but frankly effort isn’t enough to warrant a starting spot. Hargreaves was the hero last week in what was an otherwise mediocre to bad game coverage wise. This week he and his buddy Carlton Davis was just plain awful. Davis and the penalties are growing old but not nearly as old as them giving up uncontested receptions. M.J. Stewart, I’m sorry but Daniel Jones outruns you, that’s not okay. Jordan Whitehead was probably the best of the bunch but in the end, he’s a run stopper in a throwing league. Mike Edwards had a pass hit him in stride and he couldn’t bring it in, guess that’s why he’s not on offense. The secondary was just awful in this one.
Linebackers were on and off all game with Lavonte David being the target on a couple missed plays. Kevin Minter is doing what we all expect as a reserve who has been thrust into action with number one pick Devin White sidelined.
The defensive front did their job as run stoppers speaking of Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea and Will Gholston. Sadly this is a passing league and those three did nothing of the sort to stop the pass.
Carl Nassib and Shaquil Barrett... these two deserve their own sections because frankly they were in a different league than the rest of the defense on Sunday. Barrett is well over the pace to become the teams single season sack leader with a team record 8 in three games. Warren Sapp held the prior first three game record of 5.5. Barrett has single handedly ended multiple drives this season for the defense. Defensive MVP talks would be including him right now if the rest of this team could get their heads out of the rear ends. GREAT JOB Barrett! Now onto the offensive side of the ball...
Jameis Winston came this week and truly had a very good game. Winston had a few passes he’d like back, namely a 3rd and 3 pass to Breshad Perriman (why are we targeting Perriman on a crucial 3rd down anyway?) and an errant throw to Mike Evans that sadly was not in the same zip code which in turn went for an interception. Those two throws aside and this was a tremendous game for Winston. Any quarterback who throws for 375+ yards and 3 touchdowns should end the day with a win. Instead, Buccaneer fans watched a Giants player walk it off eating a “W”.
Ronald Jones did his part to help put this team in a position to win as well on Sunday. It’s a shame that the drives dominated by his play were regularly ended with other backs on the field. Jones was given one carry more than Peyton Barber yet the results couldn’t have been further apart. Jones on 14 carries finished with 80 yards included a 25 yard run while Barber struggled to get anything going, ending his day with 13 runs and 48 yards. Jones also took his lone reception for 41 yards up the sideline. Maybe more of that would be a good thing coach? I don’t know.
Pass game wise, things looked pretty good when Leftwich decided to give it a go. Mike Evans was absolutely unstoppable in this football game. For some reason, the offensive coaches decided to stop forcing Evans onto the Giant defense in the 2nd half until the final last ditch effort of a drive. Evans finished with 190 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns but only one grab in the 2nd half. Not the best of game plans it would seem. O.J. Howard finally showed some signs of life in this one too as he added 3 catches for 66 yards.
Time for the offenses Achilles heel... the offensive line. The line gave up four sacks in the game, repeatedly got abused on the edges (looking at you Demar Dotson) and just isn’t good enough to get the job done. Jameis Winston had a few instances in this game where pressure was immediately in his face. In the first half, the team did a good job getting the ball out and arguably no play better showed this than the screen to Ronald Jones. For some reason though, the second half game plan went away from EVERYTHING that worked in the first half. Alas, that’s coaching for you.
How do you expect fans to believe in this team when staff after staff seems to make the same decisions? Going conservative when you don’t have top talent on defense ISN’T THE ANSWER. Going full out run out the clock to start the 2nd half DOES NOT WORK. I’m not an offensive genius by any means, but it would seem relevant to utilize the highest paid/invested unit more than the unit that has received the least amount of money and draft picks invested. That would mean throwing the ball more. In a league built to reward those who throw, the Buccaneers seem somewhat content running and stopping the run over passing and stopping the pass.
It’s crazy sad that the best thing in Sunday’s game for the Giants was the Buccaneers knocking Saquon Barkley out of the game. With Barkley in the game, the Buccaneers defense was able to hone in on the top threat, a running back, who the Giants ran the offense thru. Once Barkley exited the game and the Giants were forced to throw, the Buccaneers all of the sudden had no answer to the greatness that is/was rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Let that sink in Buc fans, the top threat on the opponents offense got hurt and THEN the defense couldn’t stop it’s opponent.
Last reaction (over-reaction?). It’s time to scrap kicking and start going for it on 4th in short in field goal situations. While we are at it, go for two all the time. Kickers are cursed here so why not? What else can we say? #ItsABucsLife