Every morning after the Bucs play, editor Josh Hill gives you a dose of analysis with the gift of hindsight, breaking down the good, the bad and the horribly ugly from yesterday’s game. Grab a warm glass of milk and get ready to take your shot of The Morning After Hill.
Bucs 7, Titans 30
Well that wasn’t as fun as the last game. Before we even start, I need to get the obligatory ‘it’s only the preseason’ out of the way because at the end of the day, that’s the truth. Nothing that happens in these four games can really be taken too seriously. But since the Bucs are so out of shape when it comes to being a contender, setbacks aren’t fun to see.
That’s what we had last night with the Bucs dissolving their strong opener by getting dominated by Chris Johnson and the Titans.
It was reported before the game that Johnson was going to see an increased workload and that was exactly what happened. Johnson played into the second quarter, scoring touchdowns from identical lengths on both occasions. Johnson was held in check for the most part but he did bust loose for those 14-yard touchdown runs, so that sort of cancels everything else out.
There was very little on Friday to be proud of so let’s do this.
Things actually went pretty well on defense for the first three series. Tampa forced two three-and-outs with those defensive stands being sandwiched between an Ahmed Black interception. The best part was, the Bucs were able to stop Chris Johnson on those first three series before allowing him to punch in a touchdown form 14-yards out on the fourth drive of the game for Tennessee. on the second and third drives, the Bucs secondary was able to stop the passing attack of the Titans. The offense looked good during this stretch too with the Bucs scoring on their second drive of the game. LeGarrette Blount looked good until he injured his groin and it was great to see the Josh Freeman-Mike Williams connection make an appearance. There’s work to be done, but things weren’t a total failure the whole way through on either side of the ball.
The quarterback play on both sides of the field wasn’t all too impressive last night. Josh Freeman went 4 for 10 for just 21 yards but he did connect with Mike Williams in the endzone which was nice to see. Jake Locker was pretty much a non-factor thanks to the Bucs defense, going just 4 for 11 and throwing for the same total that Freeman did. Things got worse for the Bucs after Freeman left the game. Dan Orlovsky followed up a decent Bucs debut by going 1 for 5 and throwing an interception. Orlovsky totaled up just 6 yards passing which pretty much tells the whole story. The running game suffered from this lack of production through the air, and LeGarrette Blount’s injury didn’t help either. The night was a total and complete failure on offense and that’s not something that will sit well with Greg Schiano. The comparison of the night was to compare this Bucs team to the Raheem team against an opponent they’ve now both played. But while Bucs fans were hoping for a vast improvement and instead they saw more of the same.
After the third drive on defense for the Bucs, things started to go downhill. Chris Johnson scored from 14-yards out and started the blowout ball rolling. It could be argued that the Bucs played a one quarter game, because as soon as the second started, Blount went down with an injury and the defense couldn’t stop a thing. Chris Johnson scored his second touchdown and although the Bucs kept the Titans out of the endzone beyond that score, they still let the Titans into field goal range on a regular basis (3 of 5 drives to be exact). Bironas went 2 for 3 when given the chance to kick but the Bucs still let the Titans into scoring situations on 80 percent of Tennessee’s second half drives. The offense was stagnate as well, turning the ball over on two straight drives after going three-and-out to open the second. Actually, the Bucs ran one play in-between turnovers, so that really put the game in a nutshell. Overall the Bucs defense allowed the Titans into scoring situations on 42 percent of their drives while the offense only got into scoring position once. That’s right they went 1 for 13 — that means the Bucs only got into scoring position on 7 percent of their drives.