Grading the Performance of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus New York Jets


Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Geno Smith

(7) scrambles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won 18-17. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, the world is not ending after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss to the New York Jets. Yes, the Buccaneers looked atrocious in week 1 but I do believe playoffs are still possible. Next weeks match up versus the Saints is way more important, maybe the team was looking ahead?

Here is how I graded the performances of Week 1.

Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback

Josh Freeman

(5) drops back to pass against the New York Jets during the first quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Offense : D

If someone told me prior to yesterday’s debacle, the Buccaneers would only score 17 points versus the New York Jets, I would of laughed at them. Going into yesterday, the offense was the least of my concerns.

The first drive was an absolute train wreck. Whether the crowd noise was too much to handle (which is a complete joke) or communication between Josh Freeman and Mike Sullivan was interrupted. There is no excuse for what took place on the first drive of yesterday’s game. Usually, the first 14-16 plays are scripted anyway so Josh Freeman should of been able to call a play on his own.

Josh Freeman was wildly inconsistent but should not shoulder 100% of the blame. I though he did quite well avoiding pressure and getting rid of the ball before getting sacked. The play that really turned momentum against the Buccaneers was the interception right before the half. Lavonte David picks off Geno Smith giving us a chance the break this game wide open. Unfortunately, the next drive Josh Freeman air mails Vincent Jackson on a long third down and is intercepted. Josh Freeman had no reason to make that throw. Punt the ball away, and make Geno Smith drive it down the field.

For the amount of money tied up in our offensive line, they should all take a pay cut based on their performance yesterday. Josh Freeman had no time to react in the pocket. The Jets would get great penetration from just a four man rush.  From the start of the game, the line had absolutely zero push. Doug Martin was running into a wall as soon as he reached the line of scrimmage. Yes, I give a good amount of credit to Rex Ryan for refusing to let Doug Martin beat them, but there still should of been better execution. Jeremy Zuttah, who I used to call Mr. Reliable, had his worst game as a Buccaneer. The safety the Buccaneers surrendered on the second drive of the game turned out to be the difference maker.

Is it me, or has Donald Penn looked slower since he lost all of the weight in the offseason? I know it doesn’t sound right but it sure looks like it on the field. Demar Dotson was the only bright spot on the offensive line yesterday. He held his own the whole game versus a solid Jet defensive line. I think we have a keeper at right tackle.

I am going to give Buccaneer veteran Davin Joseph a ” mulligan” for yesterday’s performance. Taking a year off from football, and then getting thrown in the fire Week 1 is not easy for anyone. I really believe Davin Joseph and the rest of the Buccaneers offense would have been better off playing a few more series together in preseason. Look for that to change next year so we can avoid the Week 1 rust.

Defense: B-

Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback

Darrelle Revis

(24) hugs New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan before the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

The arrow is definitely pointing up for the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Going into yesterday, I had no idea how the defense was going to look. Yes, the Jets offense is nothing too special but it was nice seeing the Buccaneers fly around hitting like the glory days (’98- 02′). If you take away some of the stupid personal foul calls on Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron, the Buccaneers would have probably only surrendered 2-5 points yesterday.

The defensive line showed glimpses of pressure, but certainly not consistent enough for my liking. Gerald McCoy only registered 2 tackles on the day, but was an absolute animal all game. I believe Gerald McCoy will end up with 10 sacks if he can stay healthy, he brings it 110% every play.

Adrian Clayborn was another bright spot yesterday. Coming off a knee injury, and few snaps during pre season, Adrian Clayborn really looked like he was at 100%. This is great news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of the lack of depth at the defensive end position. The left defensive end position is going to haunt the Buccaneers all season, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim is not going to cut it. I know he registered the only Buccaneers sack from a defensive lineman, but the lack of consistency scares me. Hopefully, Da’Quan Bowers can step up and fill that role.

If you can take out the one play at the end of the game, the linebackers put on a great performance. The Jets had no chance of sustaining any type of run game. I thought Lavonte David and Mason Foster had one of, if not their best games of their short careers. Both played extremely fast, and were solid in pass coverage.

Jonathan Casillas should start at SAM linebacker next week versus the Saints in my opinion. He has a nose for the ball ( 1 forced fumble) and is underrated in pass coverage.

I was impressed by how comfortable Darrelle Revis looked early in the game yesterday. I think all Buccaneer fans can exhale and relax because Darrelle Revis looked like the Darrelle Revis prior to the knee surgery. Look for him to get tested more next week, when the Saints come to town.

Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron looked like they had played years together. The two penalties were very weak in my opinion, but could serve the Buccaneers well in weeks to come. Every receiver in the N.F.L will take note of those two hits, and be reluctant to cross the middle when they play the Buccaneers.

Special Teams: A

December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers punter

Michael Koenen

(9) punts the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Koenen had his best game as a Buccaneer yesterday versus the Jets. Every kickoff went through the end zone, nearly through the uprights! His directional punting was on point yesterday as well, giving the Jets returners no chance of any type of return. Michael Koenen’s punt that was downed on the five yard line greatly contributed to the Buccaneer’s second touchdown of the game.

Rian Lindell did all that was asked for him. He nailed the pressure-packed field goal in the remaining seconds that put the Buccaneers up 17-15. Unfortunately, it was not enough.

Eric Paige showed a burst on returns the Buccaneers have been lacking for years. I think by the end of the year, he has at least one kick or punt return.

Coaching: F

Isn’t Greg Schiano a disciplinarian?

Sure did not look like it yesterday, 13 penalties totaling over 100 yards is unacceptable .

Do I think some of the penalties were bogus, yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that the sole reason the Buccaneers lost yesterday was penalties.

I place 50% if not more of the offensive struggles on offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. I have never seen a more predictable offense in my life. My brother and I were calling out the play before it even happened.

If Doug Martin is having no success running between the tackles, maybe mix in a toss play? The only successful run plays yesterday came off tackle or on a draw late in the game.

My biggest issue I have with the play calling was the selection on third downs. When the Buccaneers had success, Josh Freeman would hit Vincent Jackson or Mike Williams on some type of slant. Late in the game, for some odd reason, we would try the low percentage back shoulder fade on third down.

I was ready to throw my remote through the television screen.

We got outcoached on Sunday, and it cost us a victory.