Halftime is a break in the action for a game, but it’s still an important time when it comes to determining the result of the final two quarters. For the second game in a row, the Buccaneers soundly lost while in the locker room, and it showed on the field.
In the first half, the Buccaneers were successful at getting Vincent Jackson and Tim Wright open on short to intermediate routes, while mixing in Doug Martin to good effect. The offense had its most impressive half of the season, and the Eagles seemed to be on their heels.
But in the locker room, both teams made a similar decision. For one team, it worked perfectly. For the other, it took them out of a successful gameplan.
They started to throw the ball deep. (H/T to Bleacher Report for the GIF)
Chip Kelly and the Eagles took their shots down the field against the Buccaneer safeties, who were creeping up the field to defend the potent running game for Philadelphia. That’s why Johnthan Banks was alone on Riley Cooper for the first long touchdown pass, and why DeSean Jackson was all alone behind Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron for the second.
The Buccaneers also chose to throw the ball deep, and it exposed Mike Glennon’s weakness since entering the NFL. He has yet to place a sideline deep throw in bounds, and he brutally missed a deep route down the seam. He’s been awful on go routes so far in his NFL career.
So the Buccaneers were unable to take the top off of the defense, and the safeties crept up the field more and more and it limited the Bucs options in the running game and the passing game.
Both teams decided to focus more on deep passing. For Chip Kelly it was a wise use of his talented receivers against a cheating defense. For Greg Schiano, it was a stubborn insistence upon doing what he thinks will help this team win.
His 1-10 record in the last 11 games should be an indication that he doesn’t really know what helps the team win. Today was yet another example.