Preseason - Lions at Bucs: Film Review Thoughts

As
before www.tampabaybuccaneersteamonline.com ,
I will focus mainly on the starters and backups that are likely to make the
team, so there won’t be anything from the second half in this review. Also,
there are a lot of gifs so I don’t recommend watching it on a phone.The Bucs got
the ball first, and opened with some runs. Barber is running really well. The
starting OL (L to R) was Michael Liedtke, Adam Gettis, Ryan Jensen, Alex Cappa,
and Demar Dotson. So in my opinion they were down three starters. Not ideal.I
want to point out the value of O.J. Howard, and how his athleticism is a
positive matchup for the Bucs:Here Howard lines up to the boundary on Dotson’s
outside shoulder and runs up the seam, right past his man in coverage. Too fast
for linebackers, too big for corners and safeties. Even with a linebacker
dropping back, Fitzpatrick does a good job to get the ball over him. Howard
doesn’t have great length/catch radius but he makes a really good catch here.
The Bucs must make better use of Howard this year; last year he blocked 70% of
the time, and I’d like to see it be more 50/50.The Bucs ended their first drive
with a touchdown. We actually got to see a great angle of the blocking and I
want to highlight it. Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis is good and shoots the A gap
here. Barber takes a step or two toward the LOS, setting up Davis’ angle, and
then Barber’s jump cut makes it an arm tackle. Barber isn’t super athletic but
he’s strong, and a smart runner. Pay particular attention to Dotson and tight
end Antony Auclair because they’re the ones who made this play happen. They
combo block linebacker Devon Kennard, and then Auclair peels off and does a
great job turning out cornerback Nevin Lawson. Dotson pancakes Kennard, and its
six points. Cappa really struggled with both his run and pass assignments in
this game, and if he earns the starting job I would be really concerned with the
RG spot. I also want to quickly point out the miscommunication the Bucs’ defense
had on the Lions’ first offensive drive. Safety Chris Conte is often maligned by
fans, but on this play I don’t think this is his fault; I think it is rookie
Carlton Davis III’s. First, it’s a well designed play, with receiver Kenny
Golladay running a wheel route off of a rub. Now, we don’t really know what the
play call was - all we can do is guess, even when we have access to coaches
film. But if it’s Cover 4/Quarters like the Bucs like to play (meaning the field
is divided into four equal vertical zones down the field), someone would be
responsible for any vertical route down that sideline. The corner who lined up
outside at the LOS at the start of the play was Davis, with Grimes inside.Here
Davis is lined up over Golden Tate, with Grimes lined up over Golladay in the
slot. The two receivers switch, with Golladay going around on his wheel route.
Davis plays this like it’s man coverage and follows Tate. Grimes takes the flat,
Lavonte David has the hook/curl zone, with Conte playing the middle of the field
shaded to the right. Conte does appear to get caught peeking in the backfield,
as he often does, but Davis looks like the only person playing man coverage. And
with Davis in the same area as David and Conte, and him being a rookie, my best
guess is Davis was supposed to switch and follow Golladay. Such are the trials
and tribulations of a rookie. Also, this is exactly what this play is designed
to do Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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, and why communication among defensive backs is so
important. But it may have just been a mental error by Davis.The Bucs need Davis
to win the job, and he probably will, but he’s still a rookie and these plays
are going to happen. Truth to be told, in my opinion the Bucs have had
miscommunication issues on switch calls for years now. But this is what the
preseason is for - making mistakes so you can fix them. After this, the defense
did a good job holding the offense to a field goal.On the Bucs’ second drive,
they lined up rookie running back Ronald Jones out wide to the field side (the
bottom of the screen), which is just awesome. The Lions decided to cover him
with the talented linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and while Reeves-Maybin is a
freak athlete, he’s still not fast enough to cover Jones on this fly route. (I
would like to point out that Reeves-Maybin weighs twenty pounds more than Jones
and still tackled him.) But this is an excellent example of matchup football and
putting players in position to succeed. And of course, Jones caught it! After
this, the offensive line gave up a sack, and Fitzpatrick connected with Evans on
a back-shoulder fade route, but Evans was correctly called for offensive pass
interference. Punter Bryan Anger did a great job putting the ball inside the
five and the special teams unit did a great job downing it. Oh, and I want to
point out that running backs can have bad box score games and not actually play
bad. That still seems to be the case to me with Ronald Jones. On the Lions’ next
possession, the Bucs couldn’t capitalize on some Lions errors like dropped
passes, and couldn’t get off the field on third and long. Not good. Also, that
was definitely pass interference on rookie safety Jordan Whitehead; he made
contact before the ball arrived. It was unfortunate to see the Bucs basically
give up a 90 yard drive, but they did stiffen again in the red zone. And it was
nice to see Vernon Hargreaves III get a pass break-up. Shaun Wilson did a great
job returning kicks in this game.With 10:23 left in the half Jameis Winston came
in. The blocking of the OL (Liedtke, Gettis, Jensen, Cappa, and Dotson) got
noticeably worse the longer the backups were in. On the sack of Winston,
Liedtke, Gettis, and Cappa all got beat, badly. But they got bailed out by a
holding call. Shortly after that, this happened:This is a great play call. Adam
Humphries is more of a short-yardage receiver because he’s quicker than he is
fast, but he’s also more than a willing blocker, and I’ve seen him de-cleat 260
pound defensive ends when he chip blocks. So it’s a great move to have him be
the rub here that gets DeSean Jackson open, and Winston has been dialed in this
preseason. The Bucs need more of these plays; they get an easy read and throw to
an explosive receiver who is open with running room, and they have the players
to make it happen. Winston has done a better job of taking checkdowns when he’s
scrambling. I also love the call of going for it on 4th and inches because it’s
the right call, and Winston did a great job running and then stumbling for the
first down.I want to point out one last play. I recently wrote that the math
shows that if you’re gonna run the fade, then do it back-shoulder or don’t do it
at all. The Bucs tried it first to Evans, and then this to Godwin:That is
unstoppable.On the Lions’ next drive, McCoy was unstoppable and got the 3rd down
sack. I like Jackson running back punts Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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, but not in the preseason. On the Bucs’ next possession, they
went into their two-minute drill. Winston was dialed-in. The offensive pass
interference call on O.J. Howard was a really bad call, and it was a great throw
by Winston but an even better run by Howard. That, and the depth at offensive
tackle stalled this drive. Dotson had been subbed out for Brad Seaton, who gave
up pressure way too easily to Kennard, who hit Winston as he threw. There’s an
argument to be made that the staff should have pulled Winston here. It’s his
fault he’s gone for the first three games, but you don’t want it to be your
fault you lost him for the rest of the season. Regardless, on third and fourteen
Freddie Martino dropped what would have been the first down.Notes and highlights
from the Bucs’ 48-40 victory over the Saints - Tampa Bay’s 48 points matches a
franchise high (three times: vs. Atlanta, 9/13/87; vs. New Orleans, 12/23/01;
vs. Oakland in SBXXXVII 1/26/03).- Tampa Bay’s 529 total net yards are the
second-most in a single game in team history (most: 573 at Minnesota,
11/16/80).- Tampa Bay’s 8.5 yards per play is the second-highest mark in a
single game in team history (most: 9.08 vs. Kansas City, 10/14/12).- The
Buccaneers scored on the team’s first drive of the game, with QB Ryan
Fitzpatrick connecting with WR DeSean Jackson on a 58-yard touchdown pass to
finish off a four-play, 68-yard drive lasting 2:00.- Jackson now has 27 career
touchdowns of 50+ yards, tied with Hall of Famers Terrell Owens and Lance
Alworth for the third-most in the NFL since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger.MOST
50+-YARD TOUCHDOWNS IN NFL HISTORY 1. WR Jerry Rice* 362. WR Randy Moss*293. WR
Lance Alworth* 273. WR DeSean Jackson 273. WR Terrell Owens*27*Hall of Fame-
Tampa Bay scored a touchdown on the team’s second drive of the game, with Ryan
Fitzpatrick rushing for a three-yard touchdown to end a six-play, 71-yard drive
lasting 2:27. Fitzpatrick now has 14 career rushing touchdowns.- The last time
the Buccaneers scored a touchdown on each of their first two drives was against
the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 (11/17/16).- K Chandler Catanzaro made his first
field goal as a Buccaneer on Tampa Bay’s third drive of the game, connecting on
a 33-yard attempt to cap an eight-play, 60-yard drive lasting 3:42.- The last
time the Buccaneers scored on each of their first three drives was against the
Indianapolis Colts in 2015 (11/29/15).- On the ensuing Saints drive, DE Vinny
Curry recorded his first sack as a Buccaneer, dropping Saints QB Drew Brees for
a seven-yard loss on third-and-four, forcing a New Orleans punt.- The Buccaneers
scored their third touchdown of the first half on the team’s fourth possession,
a nine-yard touchdown pass fromRyan Fitzpatrick to WR Chris Godwin. Godwin now
has two career touchdown catches – both against New Orleans, in consecutive
games.- Following Godwin’s touchdown catch, Tampa Bay’s defense stepped up, with
CB Vernon Hargreaves forcing a fumble from Saints RB Mike Gillislee, which was
recovered by S Justin Evans and returned 34-yards for a touchdown. It is the
second forced fumble of Hargreaves’ career and the first fumble recovery and
first touchdown of Evans’ career.- On the opening possession of the second half,
Tampa Bay drove 57-yards in nine plays, lasting 3:36, with Chandler Catanzaro
connecting on a 36-yard field goal.- Ryan Fitzpatrick threw his third touchdown
of the day in the third quarter, connecting with WR Mike Evans on a 50-yard
touchdown to end a four-play, 74-yard drive lasting 2:10.- Evans finished the
game with seven catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. It is his 14th career
100-yard receiving game, matching Kevin House for the second-most such games in
team history.- Tampa Bay has two passing touchdowns of 50+ yards in today’s
game. The last time they have done so was in 1998 against Green Bay (12/7/1998;
62-yard touchdown catch Bert Emanuel & 64-yard touchdown catch Jacquez
Green).- On the ensuing possession, LB Kwon Alexander forced a fumble from
Saints WR Michael Thomas, which was recovered by CB Ryan Smith.- Over the past
three seasons (2016-18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hoodie
, Tampa Bay’s defense has been one of the best in the NFL at
taking the ball away, ranking fourth in the NFL in takeaways, third in forced
fumbles and leading the league in fumble recoveries.NFL MOST TAKEAWAYS
(2016-18)1.Baltimore Ravens 642.Kansas City Chiefs59*3.Philadelphia
Eagles584.Tampa Bay Buccaneers575.Arizona Cardinals49**Does not include Week 14
gameNFL MOST FORCED FUMBLES (2016-18)1.Arizona Cardinals38*1.Dallas Cowboys
38*3.Tampa Bay Buccaneers364.Carolina Panthers33*4.San Francisco 49ers 33*Does
not include Week 1 gameNFL MOST FUMBLE RECOVERIES (2016-18)1.Tampa Bay
Buccaneers272.Kansas City Chiefs25*3.Oakland Raiders23*4.Baltimore Ravens
225.Dallas Cowboys 21*5.Carolina Panthers21*5.Philadelphia Eagles215.San
Francisco 49ers 21*Does not include Week 1 game- Tampa Bay’s sixth touchdown of
the game came when Fitzpatrick threw a 36-yard score to DeSean Jackson to end a
six-play, 65-yard lasting 3:07. Jackson now has 51 career touchdown catches and
Ftizpatrick now has 178 touchdown passes.- Jackson finished the game with five
catches for 146 yards (29.2 avg.) and two touchdowns.- Fitzpatrick finished the
game going 21-of-28 for 417 yards (14.89 yards per attempt) with four touchdowns
and no interceptions, for a passer rating of 156.2. He also added 36 rushing
yards and a rushing touchdown.- His 156.2 passer rating is the second-highest
single-game mark in team history.HIGHEST PASSER RATING (Single Game – Team
History, Min. 20 Att.)1. Craig Erickson vs. Indianapolis, 9/11/94158.32. Ryan
Fitzpatrickat New Orleans, 9/9/18 156.23. Trent Dilferat New Orleans,
11/7/99151.54. Brad Johnsonvs. Minnesoata, 11/3/02 148.35. Shaun King vs.
Minnesota, 10/29/00 148.0- His 14.89 yards per attempt is the highest mark in a
single game in franchise history.HIGHEST YARDS PER ATTEMPT (Single Game – Team
History, Min. 20 Att.)1. Ryan Fitzpatrickat New Orleans, 9/9/18 14.892. Vinny
Testaverdevs. Green Bay, 9/13/9214.523. Jameis Winston at Carolina, 12/24/17
13.594. Craig Erickson vs. Indianapolis, 9/11/9413.045. Josh Freeman vs. Kansas
City, 10/14/1212.62- His 417 passing yards are the fourth-most in a game in team
history and marks only the sixth time that a player has eclipsed 400 yards for
Tampa Bay.MOST PASSING YARDS (Single Game – Team History)1. Doug Williams at
Minnesota, 11/16/804862. Vinny Testaverdeat Indianapolis, 10/16/884693. Josh
Freeman vs. New Orleans, 10/21/12 4204. Ryan Fitzpatrickat New Orleans, 9/9/18
4175. Brian Griesea Chicago, 9/21/08407- Players making the Buccaneers debut: DT
Beau Allen, K Chandler Catanzaro, DE Vinny Curry, C Ryan Jensen, DE Carl Nassib,
DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DT Jerel Worthy- Players making their NFL debut: LB Jack
Cichy, CB Carlton Davis, CB M.J. Stewart, S Jordan Whitehead, RB Shaun
Wilson
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