True story. I was so disgusted by the 30 minutes of the Bucs game I actually took a shower at half time to get the first-half stink off of me.
I mean it was ugly. Perhaps the worst first half I’ve seen in years (until the Broncos/Raiders game).
Steven Jackson got his yards. Sam Bradford threw two TDs. The pass rush got to Josh Freeman. Each Tampa drive was one step forward, two steps back.
Even the one good play where Tampa forced a fumble and recovered on the Rams’ 6 yard line was killed by two penalties and a sack.
And this is a big “BUT”…
The Rams made the same mistake the Browns and Bengals made… they let the Buccaneers hang around.
And for the 5th time in his career, Josh Freeman completed a 4th quarter comeback victory.
THE DARK CLOUD
One word… PENALTIES. 12 for 92 yards? That doesn’t even count the 46 yard run negated by an “illegal block in the back”. And how about the bone-headed personal foul on the final drive that could have cost the team the game?
In the Bucs defense, most of the penalties were called on the offensive line which was playing with two backups. Still, those penalties were drive killers.
In fact, let’s add the offensive line (backups or not) to the “Dark Cloud” this week. Where is the pass protection? The Rams were getting to Freeman through the entire first half, he was sacked 3 times, hit 7.
THE SILVER LINING
One name… LeGarrette Blount. After weeks of telling us he was finally going to play, Blount got on the field and dominated. 12 carries, 74 yards (again, not counting that 46 that called back). But these weren’t some sissy runs. He was pounding, grinding and crushing out each yard. As I said on twitter, it’s time to park Caddy as the starter and give Blount the brunt of the workload.
It also wouldn’t be fair for me not to give some credit to the defense. After a dreadful first half, the D-line turned it on in the second. Steven Jackson, who had 74 yards in the first half, only had 36 in the second. They got pressure (albeit only 1 sack) on Bradford and made the stops when it was needed.
Ronde Barber also played big. He was all over the field… and was a key part of stopping the run game today.
Once again Josh Freeman shines in crunch time. He still looks lost at times, but when it matters most he find a way.
VIEW FROM MY COUCH
Look, it was an ugly win. I think most of them are going to be like that this season. That’s what you get from a young team with a lot of holes.
Now, the challenge is to string together two good halves, stop the mistakes (especially the penalties), and continue to improve the D-line.
If they can do that… I’ll do my part and shower earlier.
What do you think?
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About the Author
Written by Justin Chechourka
Born and raised in California, I inexplicably became a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan. Now I bleed red and pewter. The best part of being a Bucs fan in California... I never have to worry about blackouts.