Have they completely thrown in the towel with 15 games still to play? I don’t understand what is wrong with some fans, analysts or so-called ‘experts,’ but this certainly got my blood boiling.
Against the Jets, sure, quarterback Josh Freeman was not at his best. He finished with a rating of just 67.9 after throwing for 210 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 15 for 31 passing.
Running back Doug Martin also struggled to get going, rushing for just 65 yards on 24 carries. Had it not been for his long of 17 yards, Martin would have finished with a measly 2.1 yards-per-carry average.
However, when we look at the stat sheet and examine just how the Bucs lost themselves the game, one particular trend comes alive. Keep in mind, had it not been for the bonehead penalty of Lavonte David with just seconds remaining, the attitude toward Tampa Bay might be completely different than what it has been this week.
The Buccaneers gave the Jets five first downs due to penalties. That can be easily fixed. Aside from those penalties, the Bucs’ defense held New York to just 7-18 on third down. On the contrary, the Bucs were just 6-16 on third down themselves. They didn’t help themselves in that area on either side of the ball.
People, this defense has the potential to be one of the best in all of football. Regardless of what anybody says, having Darrelle Revis, Mark Barron and DaShon Goldson in your secondary will always bode well for a team’s chances to win any game.
If the Bucs can limit these petty penalties and play a little smarter on third down, we’ll be having a totally different conversation about this team next week. One game, let alone the very first game of the season, does not tell all. It’s a long season. Settle down, and step away from the panic button.