It’s too bad that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t choose to wear their throw back uniforms Sunday against the New York Jets. As someone who has followed the Buccaneers since 1976, I’ve witnessed some horrible football in my life.Sunday was some terrible football. While there were positive moments coming away on Sunday, but the majority of the game featured a team that was undisciplined, unorganized and played chaotically for most of the contest. This is not what I would have expected from a Greg Schiano led team at the start of his second season.
Adam Scehfter tweeted that Geno Smith became the first rookie quarterback to throw for over 250 yards in his first career start since the 1970 merger on Sunday against the Buccaneers.
The tone for the Buccaneers afternoon was set early, on the first drive as a matter of fact. During the first drive, the Buccaneers call time out at 13:05 due to a communications issue with QB Josh Freeman‘s helmet. After the time out, Tampa draws a delay of game penalty. How does that happen when the team doesn’t even huddle up after the time out. Then, before running another play, Tampa calls another timeout. Freemen is then sacked at 2-20. On 3rd-30, a false start on Demar Dotson leads to a 3rd-35. Even that play winds up with an illegal motion penalty which is declined. Tampa punts.
Tampa was playing against a rookie quarterback who looked horrible in the Jets third game of the preseason. It was Geno Smith outplaying veteran Josh Freeman. If Freeman is on a 16 part interview for his job next season, he failed the first portion.
Sure Freeman connected with Mike Williams for a nice touchdown pass later in the first quarterback. His supporters will point to the drive in the fourth quarter where he led the Buccaneers into field goal position and the lead with 34 seconds to go. But where was he the rest of the game? Mostly absent. What was the dust up about between Donald Penn and Freeman in the fourth quarter? For most of the game, Freeman did not appear to be in command of the Bucs offense, once again illustrating his lack of consistency.
Second year back Doug Martin found the endzone once on Sunday but was largely ineffective. Martin struggled in the preseason and finished the afternoon with a 2.7 yards per carry average. If you take away his 17 yard run, Martin finished the day with 48 yards on 23 carries.
The offense finished the afternoon with just 12 first downs on 59 total plays, and converted 6 of 16 third downs.
The defense doesn’t get a pass here either. Memo to Leonard Johnson who made a stop later in the game while running around the field flexing like Hulk Hogan. Did you not commit two key defensive holding penalties? Stop the flexing, just do your job. Free agent acquisition S Dashon Goldson was a wildman in the secondary, but he better start to learn where he can and cannot hit a player as he drew two costly personal foul calls.
The personal foul penalty called on Lavonte David might have been questionable but David should have known he couldn’t touch Smith out of bounds.
The expensively rebuilt secondary surrendered 256 passing yards to a player that never threw a pass in a regular season game prior to Sunday. Geno Smith finished with more passing yards than Josh Freeman and logged a higher passing rating.
It was a game the Buccaneers should have won. This was supposed to be a team which progressed from last year. Instead, it looks as if it has regressed. It looks as if it has regressed all the way back to 2011. 13 penalties are unacceptable. A rookie puts up 256 yards on the new,revamped secondary. How many yards do you think Drew Brees and Tom Brady puts up in the coming weeks?
The schedule is not the Buccaneers friend this season. I realize it has been just one game of a 16 game marathon but Buccaneers fans were expecting to see much more yesterday.