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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Who Is to Blame for the Loss Against the New York Giants?

Sep 16, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib (25) breaks up pass intended for New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Caleb AbnerContributor IIISeptember 18, 2012

The secondary. 


I just nailed it. 

The secondary should receive the bulk of the blame for the 41-34 loss at Met Life Stadium. 

Compared to the secondary, the play-calling was excellent. 

In reality, the play-calling was subpar.

But nothing could possible be worse than the secondary, mainly the cornerbacks.

After extensive game review, I tallied the amount of times each Buccaneer blew a coverage that led to an avoidable completion and the yardage lost from the slip-up.

The results were not pretty.

By my count, Aqib Talib gave up five easy passes of five, 40, 23, 11 and 50 yards, respectively, including one touchdown. Mind you, these were not all during the "all-out blitz" phase of the game in the fourth quarter, which left the cornerbacks on an island. No, several of these were routine coverages that Talib just blew.

Brandon McDonald should also be the targets of fans' ire. He gave up four receptions for 87 yards, and while Aqib Talib (sort of) made up for his mistakes with three great defended passes, McDonald didn't knock away a single throw. His lone interception came on an uncharacteristic mistake by Eli Manning  

In total, 286 of Eli's 510 passing yards could and should have been avoided if certain Bucs had actually played at the level they are paid to play at. 

Take all the shots you want at the defensive line that pressured Manning on barely a fifth of his 50-plus drop backs (12 pressures by my count), but the Giants QB was able to get the ball off relatively quickly because his receivers were getting open with constant ease.

Unless the coaches do something about this secondary, 2012 will be another long year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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