Bucs Blow Late Lead


Photo by: Joe Rogate/Icon SMI

Nobody had great expectations for Tampa Bay this year.  But, there they were, just 15 minutes left in the game and holding onto an 11 point lead over the defending Super Bowl Champs.  They blew the lead, but they shouldn’t dwell on this loss.  Sure, it still stings, but  this was a hard fought game.  Even when the comeback was in full swing, Freeman and the offense fought back with a 41 yard strike to Mike Williams.  Impressive to say the least, despite the Giant’s injury depleted secondary.

Some concern still rests with this team.  They rely heavily on rookie Doug Martin, but he didn’t play great today.  The Giants have a solid front seven, so some blame goes to the play calling.  Martin rushed a hearty 20 times and managed just 66 yards.  He did manage a TD, but those aren’t feature back numbers.  Blount on the other hand, did not touch the ball.  I don’t get it honestly, but I won’t doubt the coaching staff just yet.

An exciting development was the connection between Freeman and Jackson.  The top wideout had 128 yards receiving, displaying his big play ability.  The bad news was the 2 picks that Freeman threw.  He was buried last year because of turnover problems.  They won last week because the ball wasn’t coughed up.  Freeman threw his first two interceptions this year, but hopefully this won’t be a sign of things to come.

The defense limited the run well, which was aided when Ahmad Bradshaw was sidelined with a neck injury.  Rookie David Wilson was surprisingly ignored even after the starter went down.  Eli Manning looked bad in the first half, throw three interceptions himself.  He looked unstoppable in the second half, and the fourth quarter especially.  He finished with  510 yards in the air and 3 scores.  The corners need to work on their coverage skills as Cruz and Nicks had their day with the secondary.  Nicks had 10 catches and 199 yards, Cruz had 11 catches for 179 yards.  Even Martellus Bennett got into the action with 5 catches for 72 yards.  That is some pretty spotty defense.

Tampa enters next week with the last ranked passing defense in the league.  Of course that is inflated after giving up over 500 yards yesterday.  Still, they will have their hands full with Tony Romo in Dallas next week.  They will need to figure out their secondary woes or could have plenty of trouble stopping Dez Bryant and Miles Austin next week.

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