Breaking Down The Penalties for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Week 2


Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 was really no different from Week 1 when it came to the Buccaneers being flagged. The only difference is that in Week 1 the Bucs clearly lost the game because of the finally penalty, not quite the case here. But that’s not to say a few of the calls made against the Buccaneers were not highly influential in the outcome of the game. There’s one in particular that still has me fired up three days later. But let’s just get right into it.

Penalty #1

1st and 10 at NO 23(No Huddle) PENALTY on TB-M.Williams, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at NO 23 – No Play.

The penalties on Mike are coming far too often in my opinion. He’s a wide receiver, he should not be showing up on the stat sheet with penalties more than maybe once a month, but with Mike he’s been getting them almost every quarter. These are correctable, and they could make the Buccaneers a better team. This one wasn’t too killer because the Saints gave one back, but it could have killed a drive that started inside Saints territory. (Buccaneers scored TD on drive)

Penalty Impact – 3 out of 10

Penalty #2

1st and 10 at NO 25D.Brees sacked at NO 20 for -5 yards (A.Clayborn). FUMBLES (A.Clayborn), RECOVERED by TB-G.McCoy at NO 20. G.McCoy to NO 20 for no gain (J.Evans). PENALTY on TB-A.Clayborn, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced at NO 20. Fumble recovery nullified by the penalty.

As teased earlier, this is the one I can’t get over. I’ve now watched this play 50+ times, and not even once can I see how anyone can see a dangerous or dirty hit here. Clayborn breaks loose and goes after the quarterback, like any defensive lineman would. He gets there, and puts his head into the shoulder of Brees.

Clayborn has to make the tackle, and he has to hit the quarterback hard because that’s how you get the ball out, which he did. The call is another item of proof that the NFL has changed in the worst way. There was no targeting, there was no intent to injure, there was simply a great football play. The penalty nullified a huge play in the game.

The Buccaneers would have had the ball at the New Orleans 20 yard line and likely would have gotten at least three points out of the drive. It also would have been yet another huge play for a defense that is turning into one of the premier units in the NFL. But in this NFL, good defense and “clean” defense are completely separate. (Saints missed FG on drive)

Penalty Impact – 9 out of 10

Penalty #3

2nd and 9 at NO 36(Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to D.Sproles. PENALTY on TB-D.Goldson, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced at NO 36.

Two plays after the brutal call in Clayborn, Dashon Goldson does exactly what the rule is set up to stop. Goldson lowers his head and attempts to impede the progress of the ball carrier with the crown of his helmet. Terribly dangerous for both the runner and the tackler. This is the correct call, and this is how it is supposed to be called.

Poor tackling form is what caused the play. Lucky for the Buccaneers, Goldson’s suspension for the hit was overturned. The fact that it happened right after the bad call on Clayborn, and on the heels of Goldson’s borderline one last week, it looked like the refs were targeting Goldson, but in this case, he did it, and deserved the call. The play occurred on a 2nd down that should have been an incompletion, so the 15 yards and first down were significant. (Saints missed FG on drive)

Penalty Impact – 6 out of 10

Penalty #4

1st and 10 at TB 33PENALTY on TB, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced at TB 33 – No Play.

I am so sick of out of time out delays. How does this keep happening? Garrett Hartley missed a field goal, then FOX went to a commercial break. The Buccaneers had well over three minutes to call the next play. Then they come back from the break and Freeman can’t get a snap off before the :40 play clock runs out. Come on. Can’t happen in New England. (Buccaneers went 3 and out on drive)

Penalty Impact – 3 out of 10

Penalty #5

3rd and 3 at TB 13(Shotgun) J.Freeman pass short right to D.Martin to TB 17 for 4 yards (K.Lewis). PENALTY on TB, Illegal Formation, 5 yards, enforced at TB 13 – No Play.

All five receivers were off the line leaving a tackle on the end of the line. The call is once again on Mike Williams. He is supposed to be a step forward on the line to cover the tackle. It’s the correct call, and it’s either a situation of poor coaching or poor knowledge of the formation by Williams. It turns out wiping out one of Freeman’s better plays in the game converting a third down with an out route to Doug Martin. Instead it turns into 3rd and 8, which they do not convert. (Buccaneers go 3 and out on drive)

Penalty Impact – 4 out of 10

Penalty #6

2nd and 2 at TB 49(Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete deep middle to J.Graham (L.David). PENALTY on TB-A.Black, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced at TB 49.

Awful play by Ahmad Black. In my iteration of the rules (don’t worry, full post explaining them is on its way) Black would have been ejected from the game. As bad as Goldson’s hit earlier in the game, which was clearly illegal, was this one is 10 times worse. Black’s intent on the play is to injure Jimmy Graham. He targets his head, he hits a defenseless receiver, and he clearly used his helmet as a weapon. Absolutely moronic play. Listen to the podcast, Leo and I weren’t happy with Schiano’s response to the play either. The play set up a first down for the Saints at the the Tampa 34. Simply can’t have it. (Saints turned ball over on downs on drive)

Penalty Impact – 6 out of 10

Penalty #7

4th and 2 at TB 2(Field Goal formation) G.Hartley 20 yard field goal is GOOD, NULLIFIED by Penalty, Center-J.Drescher, Holder-L.McCown. PENALTY on TB-L.Johnson, Defensive Offside, 1 yard, enforced at TB 2 – No Play.

Best penalty you will ever see a player take. We had one of these last week where Josh kicked the ball out of bounds, but this one makes even that penalty look dumb. First, on a field goal attempt from the two, players should take every chance they possibly can to block the kick. Why? Because if the penalty is called, it would be marked off for less than a yard and the kick would be attempted again. But what happened on this play is even better. Leonard Johnson jumps offside, but doesn’t block the kick. Three points New Orleans. But wait, Sean Payton decides to gamble and go for it. And even though the Buccaneers defense only had 10 players on the field, they stopped the Saints on 4th and inches. This penalty saved the Buccaneers 3 points. (Saints turned ball over on downs on drive)

Penalty Impact – 7 out of 10 (In a positive way)

Penalty #8

2nd and 9 at TB 27J.Freeman pass deep right to V.Jackson for 73 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty. PENALTY on TB, Illegal Formation, 5 yards, enforced at TB 27 – No Play.

This one was actually in the running for “The Play.” What a massive call this one was. It was flagged for illegal formation because Demar Dotson was not covered by a receiver. The player that was supposed to be covering him was Tim Wright. Wright comes in motion across the line and is supposed to wind up on the line of scrimmage. He does not, and because of it, he and Vincent Jackson are both off the line. This is pee-wee stuff. Either Jackson needs to be a step up, or Wright must get his rear end back to the line. Schiano and Sullivan are to blame.  (Buccaneers turn ball over on drive)

Penalty Impact – 9 out of 10

Penalty #9

1st and 10 at NO 38D.Brees pass incomplete deep left to K.Stills. PENALTY on TB-M.Barron, Defensive Pass Interference, 37 yards, enforced at NO 38 – No Play.

Boy is this a close one. The contact occurs a little before the camera gets to the play during the normal broadcast. But on the All-22 film you can see where the contact Barron was flagged for occurred. Barron gives Kenny Stills a bit of an arm bar, but it does not impede the receivers progress in any way. Was the act a penalty, yes, but they result of the act did not warrant a call. I see why it was called, but it’s one that should be let go. This appeared as if it would be a huge call in the game as it went for 37 yards. But Mason Foster had other thoughts. (Saints turn ball over on pick-6)

Penalty Impact – 5 out of 10

Penalty #10

3rd and 7 at TB 22(Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left intended for J.Graham INTERCEPTED by M.Foster at TB 15. M.Foster for 85 yards, TOUCHDOWN. PENALTY on TB-G.McCoy, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced between downs. Penalty on TB-J.Casillas, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, declined. The Replay Assistant challenged the runner broke the plane ruling, and the play was Upheld.

Here’s one that I really don’t care about. Both Gerald McCoy and Jonathan Casillas are called for excessive celebration. Why don’t I care? Because they were legitimately super excited about the play. I don’t care how disciplined you are, when you are that amped about a play, avoiding excessive celebration in the NoFunLeague is nearly impossible. Should they be smarter, yes. But seriously, you were jumping around like a lunatic watching the play too, so give them both a break. (Penalty marked off on the kick off, kick returned to the Saints 30)

Penalty Impact – 1 out of 10

All in all, penalties were a major problem yet again for the Bucs. However, these ones did not affect that game nearly as much as the Jets game. This being said, if not for the poor call on Clayborn and the procedure call on Tim Wright, the Buccaneers likely would have had 14 more points. Further proof that this team is good enough to be winning games, they just have some dumb mistakes to clean up.