With the Bucs recently completed loss to the Cowboys, Tampa is now 1-3 on the road, and 4-0 at home. Our main problem on the road is our inability to score in the redzone, instead taking field goals in crucial moments. We lost to the Saints by 4 on the road, lost to the Broncos by 3, and followed that up with a 4 point defeat today to the Cowboys.
One touchdown and 5 field goals in our last two road games will not get it done in today’s NFL. This Bucs squad is solid up and down, extremely deep, and capable of making a big run through the playoffs but home field advantage is not an easy thing to obtain in the NFL, and without winning on the road, you have no chance of doing it. The Bucs need to find a way to improve on their 28th ranked red zone scoring offense, an offense which I’m sure is probably dead last in road red zone percentage.
Random thoughts from the game:
- The Cowboys defense came out and had a good day against the run holding us to 48 yards on the ground, and 262 total yards.
- The game was truly decided by the refs during the last drive of the first half. We got called for a horse collar on third down, an illegal contact penalty on a ball that was horribly thrown by Brad Johnson, and a ridiculous Personal Foul on Cato June on a play where Marc Colombo dropped a hammer on June after the play was over and June got into his face. A real travesty in retrospect.
- I think I mention this every week, but Barrett Ruud is a machine of tackling. The guy is so solid in the middle of our base D. He combined for 5 solo and 7 assisted tackled today.
- Gained Adams with two big sacks, and with each passing week is looking harder and harder to defend against.
- Rookie Aqib Talib had a great defensive play late in the game, deflecting a well thrown ball from Brad Johnson to Terrell Owens that would have gone for about 50. Talib never turned around, but read Owens’ eyes perfectly and put his hands up at exactly the right time.
- Antonio Bryant is firmly entrenched as Jeff Garcia’s favorite target. He had 7 catches today.
- I was a little perplexed as to why with the Cowboys inability to move the ball in the first half, that we tried a 51 yard field goal with Matt Bryant. I could even see on the television that it was windy, and Josh Bidwell is just so good at pinning opponents inside the 10. The Cowboys subsequently put 3 points on the board.
- Brad Johnson looked horrendous. I know they picked up the W, but it might be time to take a look at Brooks Bollinger if Tony Romo can’t go next week.
- Jeff Garcia took a beating today, but had a fairly efficient day, and did a good job of getting rid of the ball right before getting sacked numerous times.
- If I haven’t mentioned it already, we’re not going to do shit if we can’t score TD’s on the road.