The Entire Buccaneers Front Seven
There were so many candidates for losers that I chose to condense them into two big groups, instead of our usual three.
The entire Buccaneer defense should be ashamed of themselves after that game. To allow the Arizona Cardinals – one of the league’s worst rushing offenses – and an ancient Adrian Peterson to run all over you is nothing short of pitiful. No disrespect to Peterson, who looked legitimately rejuvenated, but in the year 2017 he is not a player that you should be allowing to run for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Even with Kwon Alexander out of the lineup again there is no excuse for what happened. The Arizona offensive line is among the worst in the league this year and has struggled every single week of the season – until today. The Bucs pass rushers managed to get home just twice, once from Clinton McDonald and another from Gerald McCoy. The combination of successful rushing attack and soft coverage allowed Carson Palmer to pick apart the Bucs defense at will.
Defensive coordinator Mike Smith and head coach Dirk Koetter
The men in charge of the defense and offense have to bare some of the criticism for that calamity we witnessed. How much is tough to say, but Mike Smith’s defense in year two is too often reminiscent of the disaster that he was hired to fix. Blown coverages, missing outside containment, and getting shook by washed up running backs all reflects poorly on the Bucs coordinator.
I don’t believe that the scheme is broken, and few defenses work without a significant edge threat, but they’re yielding enough yards to make me pause and consider whether Mike Smith is the right guy. If he can’t get things turned around with Kwon Alexander back in the line-up the Bucs will need to ask themselves some serious questions in the off-season.
As for Dirk Koetter, he has to get a lions share of the blame. His play-calling has been called into question, and his offense has been far too inconsistent this season given their talent. Koetter’s players will still run through a wall for him, but it’s fair to question whether Koetter needs to concede the play-calling to his offensive coordinator Todd Monken. To Koetter’s credit he managed to get Ryan Fitzpatrick going somewhat with Jameis Winston on the bench, but after the game he took all the blame for the loss and said he did a horrible job preparing the team.
Who were your winners and losers from the game, Buccaneer fans? Sound off in the comments below with who you agree with and disagree with!