Buccaneers Fall Just Short


Photo by: MRQ / Icon SMI

It was a similar situation for the Buccaneers as the rush defense was tremendous but the pass defense was shredded once again.  Matt Ryan went for over 350 yards in the air with his main target being Julio Jones for over 140.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise as the injury riddled secondary was without starting corner Eric Wright and Atlanta has several weapons in the passing attack.  In previous games the offense picked up the slack by lighting up the scoreboard.  This contest was a bit different.  The offense was solid, but they started slow.  At the end of the day the didn’t have enough time to compensate for the slow start and lost a close one 24-23. The big difference in this one was that Doug Martin didn’t have an out of this world game.  He finished with a couple of scores, but just 50 yards on 21 carries.  His two scores were both from one yard out in drives led by Freeman.  The QB started slow, but ended hot.  He had a few drives that could have been continued on completions, but missed when he needed it most.  That was devastating in the end because Tampa Bay had a great shot at winning this game.  Josh Freeman did show a lot of poise in the second half on most plays, but you really want him to make some more plays when it matters most.  Martin isn’t always going to have big games, especially when defenses are planning around him, which was the case today.  That is when Freeman needs to put the team on his shoulders and win the game. If The Bucs were to have won this game it would have been huge in the playoff stretch.  Instead, they sit at 6-5 and stuck in the middle of a huge group of wild card contenders.  To their advantage, Seattle did lose today as well and New Orleans is currently trailing in a tight one with San Francisco in the second half.  They still stand at a great position, but the schedule does not get any easier.  In fact, next week they have another very tough challenge in Denver.  Peyton Manning is having an MVP level year with his new team.  They came away with a tight win over a poor Kansas City team.  Tampa’s defense is likely to go through struggles again, so it will be up to the offense to rebound in a big way.

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