Buccaneers Stat Shot: Analyzing Week 6 against vs the Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 15: Adrian Peterson #23 of the Arizona Cardinals runs through a tackle by Vernon Hargreaves III #28 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 15: Adrian Peterson #23 of the Arizona Cardinals runs through a tackle by Vernon Hargreaves III #28 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers struggled to make any progress Sunday. The desert doesn’t look to kindly on the Bucs.

That’s two years now the Buccaneers traveled down to Arizona only to get thoroughly embarrassed by a team which, quite honestly, is inferior to Tampa in most aspects.

What in the world was that? Seems like year after year the Bucs are expecting to make the step forward and so far, that step hasn’t landed.

Plain and simple, I’m not sure anyone got on the plane. The play calling was bad, defense was asleep and Vernon Hargreaves III is still struggling mightily (understatement).

With the Panthers losing Thursday and the Falcons Sunday, this would have been a perfect week for Tampa to get a win. Unfortunately, they came out as flat as I have ever seen them under Dirk Koetter. This is saying something, because they have had some flat games.

A game like this, it would be facetious for me to pull “Good” out of that mess, so let’s stick to the bad.

The Offense: 31-0 (1st half)

Unimaginative, lacking creativity, and no spark are all good descriptions of the offense yesterday. It’s my strong opinion Dirk HAS to give up the play calling if Tampa Bay is to succeed.

The Buccaneers have all the talent in the world on the offensive side of the ball, and yet, play calling is baffling.

3rd-and-2 at the Arizona 48-yard line:

First problem, Charles Sims is in the backfield. Why? Sims might as well carry a big sign on his forehead that says  “WE ARE GOING TO PASS”.

Why not put Doug out there to at least threaten the run.

Second problem, off the same thought process, why not run it?

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At this point it was 7-0 and he had two carries for 5-yards. Give him the ball and let him pick up the first down. If not, put Doug in to threaten the run and play-action bootleg it, drop it off to Adam Humphries or Cameron Brate for a conversion. Instead the Buccaneers go five wide and the play results in a near sack.

4th quarter…

1st-and-Goal at the 10-yard line. Why is Jacquizz Rodgers in there?

Again Martin should be in there. I would have even accepted Sims. But Rodgers isn’t the guy to have in there, in this situation.

On top of that, the Bucs run the ball twice which results in a net gain of 0 yards and puts them in 3rd-and-goal from, guess where? The 10-yard line.

I don’t understand it. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe Koetter is a great head coach, but I firmly believe he is not capable of wearing two hats at this point in his career. He was a great offensive coordinator, and he can still help scheme, but on Sundays Todd Monken has to get a shot to make the calls.

Look, we all can’t sit here and claim we know the answers, but I will tell you there are many examples like these two which leave you scratching your head, wondering what just happened.

It wasn’t just against the Cardinals. Even in wins, there have been issues with play calling. It seems like now its more obvious, as everything is, when a team is losing.

The Defense: 11.3 (4.6)

Carson Palmer looked like Tom Brady, 11.3 yards per pass? The Buccaneers defense was asleep. The 4.6 represents how many yards the Cardinals had per carry.

Koetter pointed out the defense had trouble with run fits and tackling. Of course the tackle monster – Kwon Alexander – is still sidelined, but either way, the performance of the defense was lackluster.

They weren’t prepared, T.J. Ward made a comment in the locker room about the younger guys treating it as more of a vacation than a business trip. Could this be why the defense looked so lost? Regardless, that was pitiful.

Carson Palmer isn’t a world beater, and although Adrian Peterson still has some gas in the tank, this defense was a top unit versus the run.

As we all saw, and Koetter mentioned, the run fits just weren’t there. The defensive line besides Clinton McDonald, Gerald Mccoy, and Chris Baker got manhandled.

Usually trusty William Gholston wasn’t, and Peterson ran all over the place. They came alive in the second half, but at that point it was too little too late.

Not only was it too late, but the offense was predictable, calling runs and short passes to protect the 31-point lead.

Next: Key Plays from Week 6

Vernon Hargreaves

Hargreves deserves his own paragraph. I won’t stop saying he will improve, but for now, when he’s targeted he’s giving up huge numbers. Couple this fact with the cushion he is allowing opposing receivers and it’s no wonder his season is going so badly.

Of course, what Mike Smith said still rings true, with Grimes on the other side Hargreaves he will be targeted often. He needs to be physical and aggressive.

Koetter said he is “extremely” concerned with his play as he should be. I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face though, it takes time, don’t give up just yet.

This has been an analysis of the stats following the Buccaneers loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6 of the 2017 NFL Season.

Marc Magana can be contacted at his Twitter page to discuss this and any other Buccaneers related topics.

Comment below, on Twitter, Facebook, or email at walkingtheplankpodcast@gmail.com to give your thoughts and opinions!