What a home opener! Sure, there were some negatives as always but it’s quite obvious that there were more positives that outshined the negatives.
Here’s how I saw the embarrassment of the Bucs vaunted defense–
Running game: Dunn (21/134), Vick (14/127, 1 TD), and Norwood (9/45). Are you sure this is the Bucs defense that was tops in the league last year? Wow. Great scheme and great run blocking.
Breakdown of passes:
Vick: 10/15, 92 yards, 1 TD/1 INT. Breakdown of incompletions are: 3 bad throws, 1 pass defended,and 1 absolutely horrid non-call by the refs. There was really only 2 bad decisions (the throw that Barber almost INT’d and the Brooks INT). Bad throws were limited to 20% of attempts and that’s the goal number. The 1 INT could have been extremely costly had it not been for a bad call by the refs. HOWEVER, I think it’s all even when Vick drops a bomb on Lelie’s head and the only reason it wasn’t caught was because Barber was all over him like a cheap curtain.
Drops (0): None.
Sack responsibility: First sack is on Vick (1). Line held for 4 seconds, delayed LB blitz came and Griffith may have been out of position but the ball has to get out quicker than that. The second is called a sack by Bolden for 0 yards and Vick simply took off. Not really a sack in my opinion. The final sack was on Forney (1). White stunted and caught Forney completely off guard.
Pass blocking: Gotta give big time props to Wayne Gandy. Simeon Rice had 1 tackle and nothing else. Great job. I’d still like to see less pressure but a very solid job done.
Run defense: Last season Cadillac shredded us. This year, the Cadillac looked like a beat up Pinto. Great job.
The pass coverage was better than the stats show. There were a ton of tipped passes and of course, the 3 INT’s (Two by D. Hall and 1 by J-Web). I still wish we didn’t play so much zone but it’s hard to argue the results when you haven’t given up a TD yeet.
D-line got 1 sack: Coleman got the lone sack and without Abe there was an obvious lack of consistent pressure. However, the d-line tipped a lot of passes and definitely made an huge impact on the passing game.
Rossum had 1 kickoff return for 23 yards. 1 punt return for 15 yards. Not a lot of opportunities to make any sort of real assessment.
Koenen missed 4 FGs two of which were blocked and 2 that were just missed.
Kickoffs: Koenen had 3 kickoffs: 2 and 2 to the endzone with 1 TB’s. None of the returns resulted in getting past the 19 yard line of Tampa. Excellent.
Punting: Koenen had 2 punts (55 and 30). Both were inside the 20. Only 10 return yards as well for a net average of 37.5. Excellent job.
Special Teams leading tackler: Beck, Leake and Lowe all had 1 each.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Taking advantage of scoring opportunities. We’ve got to punch it in the endzone more. This one stays from last week
2. Better blocking on FG attempts (3 blocks in two games)
3. Getting and staying healthy
Offensive MVP: Michael Vick
Defensive MVP: Deangelo Hall (4 tackles, 2 INT, 4 pass defended)
Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen (kickoffs and punting)
Goat of the Week: Michael Koenen (field goals)
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: at New Orleans this Monday, September 25th!