Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (91) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won 18-17. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Placing the Blame: The Buccaneers' Offensive Line Was Not Good Enough Against the Jets

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.

They didn’t.

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.

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  • RussMillerWY

    I agree that’s the story of the game besides the penalties. Zuttah’s premature snap cost them a safety that was ultimately the difference in a game the Bucs should have dominated based on supposed roster talent. A lot of players who are seasoned veterans looked just plain lost on offense, particularly on the line. There were numerous screen passes that failed because the Jets easily absorbed the Buc blockers, too. It was baffling to see the Bucs return to that play over and over again when it never succeeded, even resorting to it more than once on third downs. The worst thing about that play is that the line is so committed to blocking for the screen receiver that pass protection is unable to hold back the rush long enough for any quarterback to find a secondary receiver downfield. It’s either throw it to the covered receiver and take the loss on that side of the field, throw it away, or take the sack. Sherman’s initial plans failed, then he stubbornly refused to experiment new things. Both the offensive coaches and the players seemed embarrassingly dense and slow-witted throughout the game, as if on the verge of passing out from heat stroke. Except for McCoy, Jackson and Revis it was lame, lame, lame, lame, lame until the final insipidly lame penalty. No sell-out anytime soon for these bumblers.

    • Rodney Smith

      Totally agree. Can’t put this one on Josh.

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  • Karen Melanson Hartman

    It seems as though that has been the underlying issue for the second year straight. Defensive minded Coach Schiano beefed up the defense , but defense alone win games. DB’s are beating us allowing the pocket to collapse forcing Josh into pressured passes. We’re not the only team suffering Offensive line woes , but we have capable players that are being stifled. I certainly believe that our OLine has neded revamping & need more firepower here in order to have high scoring games ,,