The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have tons of money invested in tackle Donald Penn, and guards Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks. Nicks has yet to make his 2013 debut with the team due to an infection in his foot, but Joseph and Penn did play.
And they were a part of an offensive line that was simply not good enough to win a football game.
The New York Jets deserve credit, as they have a solid front seven which caused the Buccaneers headaches all afternoon. But a highly paid and allegedly immensely talented bunch of players should be able to handle that sort of challenge.
Doug Martin had literally zero room to run all day, and battled admirably for the few yards he did gain. He found himself hit and swarmed in the backfield over and over, and it was because the line was getting pushed around and not creating gaps to run, but rather holes for Jet defenders to rush through to get to Martin.
Josh Freeman also felt the heat thanks to the line’s poor play, as he was sacked three times and threw an interception that was the result of his usual inability to handle pressure. He was forced to scramble and hurry throws all day because his line couldn’t keep him clean.
The Buccaneers won’t reach any goals they’ve set for themselves this year if the line continues to play as it did. Frankly, I hope Donald Penn is upset on the sidelines after that performance, because he and his cohorts have a lot to be frustrated about.
The offensive line has to be better for the Buccaneers moving forward. Josh Freeman needs time, and Doug Martin needs room to run. Otherwise, this offense gets predictable and bad in a hurry.