Football is nothing more than an Americanized version of an ancient Gupta game: chess. Formulating strategy, positioning players, and attacking weaknesses. The Bucs the past 2 weeks have lost their games of chess in horrid melt down fashion, especially the last game against the Cowboys. Last week’s offensive play calling was among the worst I have ever seen in the Bucs game and trust me, that is saying something.
To add further salt to the wound Adrian Clayborn, one of the shining jewels of the Bucs D, is out for the season. The Bucs strength going into the season was the offensive and defensive lines. With losses of Davin Joseph and Adrian Clayborn, the lines are no longer the defining strength of the Bucs. Particularly sad when Schiano’s grand scheme was to have aggressive, control the line of scrimmage defense and an effective ground and pound game.
The defense has been an unexplained quagmire. The rushing D is the best in the league, the passing D is the worst. Now, without Clayborn, where does the D go from here?
But to be honest, the defense has held up their end of the deal. Even in the Giants game there were key 3 downs that, if converted, would have sealed the Bucs fate at 2-0 going into Dallas. The Bucs terrorized Tomy Romo and took an explosive Dallas offense down a couple of levels. But then, cue the failed ground and pound attack.
If Freeman was given more freedom to throw the ball and he threw it on downs that weren’t predictable as 3rd and 8, 10, and 12 then we might see some more action from V. Jackson. If the Bucs did not come to every first down with the pre-set plays of Run, Run, Run or Pass (which is NOT an exaggeration. Let me throw this quote at you. “I just don’t get it.” – Troy Aikman after the Bucs ran it on 3rd and 9 in the 4th quarter when TRAILING to Dallas on their OWN side of the field. Now I know what a Kansas City Chief fan feels like.) then they might be able to find the endzone more frequently and grab points instead of punts. Is it panic time in Tampa? Was the first game only illusion now that we see Cam heading into a sophomore slump and that Carolina’s run D is horrendous? I hope not. But, reality bites.
After the game against Dallas, G Carl Nicks said it’s not panic time and not time to give up. We got a whole season. I hope he’s right. I hope the Bucs rally and I hope Schiano and Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (who mentored Eli Manning for years) can come up with more complex play calling. I would suggest a Cross Route or some Play Action every now and then. Until I see the Bucs offense evolve into something a little less pathetic than Andy Dick, I am going to give the game to the opponent.
With the loss of Clayborn and the amount of the time the Buc’s D will inevitably be on the field, I don’t like the match-up against red hot RGIII. It will help if Pierre Garcon doesn’t play, but I think that would only infuriate fantasy owners and not impact the game on Sunday afternoon. I hope the Buc’s prove me wrong on Sunday, but I have no choice but to give my prediction:
Forgive me Buccaneers.
About the Author
Written by Daniel Stewart
I have worshiped Buccaneer football since the age I was collecting Pokemon cards.