WORSE: WHOLE DEFENSE
COULDN’T STOP THE “OLD-TIMERS” DOWN IN ARIZONA
Against the Patriots the Buccaneers played pretty well against the rushing attack of Mike Gillislee and Dion Lewis holding them to nineteen carries and 105 yards (5.5 yards/carry) and they did not allow them to get to the end zone, and the 105 yards is right around what the Patriots have been averaging per game this season. The Buccaneers held the entire Patriots team to 23 carries for 113 yards (4.9 yards/game).
Even though Tom Brady completed 75% of his passes (30 of 40) for 303 yards he only managed one passing touchdown which gave the Patriots their first lead at ten to seven, but he also threw his first interception of the season to rookie Justin Evans. Three times the Buccaneers defense was able to stop Tom Brady and the Patriots offense in the red zone holding them to field goals instead of touchdowns, and actually had good red zone defense overall against the Pats holding them to one of four tries (33%).
Now on to the other end of the spectrum from a game the Buccaneers should of won, to a game where they forgot to show up for three quarters and by then it was too late.
The Buccaneers defense was a no show for most of the game against the Cardinals allowing 34 year old “washed up” running back (per the Saints) Adrian Peterson to rush four times for 54 yards (with an amazing 13.5 yards/carry) and a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Closing out the first half with eleven carries for 85 yards and a touchdown with a 7.7 yard/carry average.
Peterson ended the game with 26 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns with a 5.2 yards/carry average which were his highest rushes and yardage totals since November of 2015.
37 year old quarterback Carson Palmer and 34 year old wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald dissected the Buccaneers defense even worse than AP did with Palmer starting out the game completing his first thirteen passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns and the Cardinals scored four touchdowns and a field goal on their first six drives with the fifth drive ending by the end of the half and before the Buccaneers could blink it was 31 to 0. Fitzgerald was targeted the most at eleven and caught ten of them for 138 yards and one touchdown, and the remaining Cardinals receivers were targeted a total of eleven times catching eight of them for two touchdowns.
Granted in the second half the Buccaneers were able to hold the Cardinals a little bit forcing them to punt twice and getting an interception and a fumble recovery, but Peterson’s one yard touchdown run after a Fitzpatrick interception pretty much sealed the game for the Cardinals.
The defense as a whole obviously was not good for the Buccaneers allowing 432 total yards, 272 net passing yards, 160 yards rushing, and five total touchdowns, but their next opponent the Buffalo Bills are 31st in the league in offensive yards per game at 271.6 and seventeen in the league in rushing yards per game (106.6) and only averaging 3.4 yards/carry so hopefully the Buccaneers defense should be able to contain their offensive attack.
There was not much else worse than the Buccaneers defense as a whole in the Cardinals game so I am going to leave it at the worst of the worst this week because I think some of us just want to get over the beat down in Arizona and move on, myself included.