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Colts 10, Buccaneers 7
The first half has been anything but stellar for the Bucs who found themselves trailing the Peyton Manning-less Colts 10-0 at one point. Connor Barth missed a field goal and the offense couldn’t get the gears moving.
Something called Curtis Painter got the first touchdown of the game on an 87-yard pass to Pierre Garcon that exposed the one time the Bucs defense had a bad cover scheme.
The theme of the first half for the Bucs was (as it always seems) defense as the unit would come out and stop the Colts except on the one occasion. Adrian Clayborn flew threw the Colts offensive line on the Colts second drive to slam the door shut. The secondary also managed to keep the Colts weapons in check with the obvious exception if the Garcon touchdown.
There were two troubling things that occured in the first half, one being the Bucs fault and the other the officials.
For starters the Offense has had an incredibly hard time getting out of the gates against a terrible Colts defense. Mike Williams has under 50 yards and the only touchdown (like last week) came one Josh Freeman QB sneak after the Colts went up 10-0. LaGarrette Blount had a few good runs, but nothing too spectacular. All the good plays offensively for the Bucs have come on one drive and that needs to change if Tampa wants to win.
The other issue is the sheer number of flags that have been thrown by this penalty happy refereeing crew. A ridiculous amount of flags were thrown against both sides including one that nullified a 62-yard Arrelious Benn touchdown pass. Anything and everything from block in the back to illegal catch to delay of game to a horse collar have been called and it’s only halftime. I understand protecting players but taking the physicality out of the game isn’t healthy and it frustrating on both sides.
The Bucs need to stop giving the refs an opportunity to throw the flag even if half the time it’s not their fault. It’s killing their momentum and it’s not going to extend drives. After a slow start the Bucs offense finished the half with two nice drives and need to continue that into the second half. The defense has been very impressive and have given the offense plenty of scoring chances that have gone fruitless. Josh Freeman needs to start getting into gear (like we saw at the end of the half) and the Bucs need to put point son the board to turn this into the game we all thought it would be. Mistakes on the offense have come from sloppy execution (See: Mike Willams sideline pass) (See: Connor Barth missed field goal). These must be corrected if Tampa wants to win this game. If not it’s going to be a long night and week if the Bucs lose.
This has been The Pewter Plank Halftime Report. Check back after the game for the Postgame Report and check tomorrow morning for The Pewter Plank Recap on Pewter Plank Radio Network.