The Tampa Bay Bay Buccaneers will host the Washington Redskins today at Raymond James Stadium. The game will be broadcast on Fox, starting at 4:25 p.m. ET.
The 1-2 Redskins, led by the electrifying Robert Griffin III, and the 1-2 Bucs are both looking to snap two-game losing streaks.
Hooray for parallelism!
Here we will be providing live game grades for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, updated each quarter.
The Bucs put up a ferocious second half effort, but ultimately their slow start on offense damned them in this one.
Final Score: 24-22 Redskins
Overall Grade: B
Q4 Grade: A-
Yep. Stepping into his throws.— Stephen White (@sgw94) September 30, 2012
Couldn't have put it better myself.
Josh Freeman in the fourth quarter:
6/8, 112 yards
Q3 Grade: B
To put the Bucs back in the game, Josh Freeman made two absolutely gorgeous passes. One was a 65 yard strike to Mike Williams, the other was a seven yard touchdown to Vincent Jackson.
Q2 Grade: D
Freeman did not fare so well on the first drive of the second half. Facing three straight blitzes, he couldn't make anything happen, especially when he missed a wide open Mike Williams on 3rd and five.
The interception was just ugly. It was an errant throw to V-Jax that should not have been attempted. Sure, Freeman was under pressure, but Jackson was simply not open.
Let Free throw deep. Just see what happens. Having him throw it quick and short is just not working.
Q1 Grade: A
Josh Freeman is looking extremely accurate after a game where he completed only 10 of 28 attempts.
Josh Freeman already has 64 passing yards, and he has just passed Steve DeBerg for fifth place on the Bucs' all-time list in that category.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) September 30, 2012
He is 8/9 for 64 yards.
Overall Grade: B+
Q4 Grade: A
Tommy points abound to Vincent Jackson (two receptions of 54 and 22 yards, respectively) and LeGarrette Blount, who pounded the rock into the end zone on a two yard run.
The offense was near immaculate in the second half.
Q3 Grade: B+
Mike Williams has been the Bucs MVP today.He leads the team with four receptions for 115 yards, including a 65 yard beauty on a Freeman deep ball, putting the Bucs in the red zone for the first time this game. What was it I said about throwing deep?
Q2 Grade: C-
The run blocking continues to be poor, while the pass protection is breaking down as well. How can any one expect Josh Freeman to convert a third down if he doesn't get more than a second to make a throw?
With that said, Doug Martin is impressing with an amazing effort. Take his 10 yard run on a draw, for example.
Or his other big run.
Cool direct-snap play to Doug Martin works perfectly, as the rookie gets the left end for a gain of 17 into Washington territory.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) September 30, 2012
Q1 Grade: B
The offensive line still looks good in pass protection, but the run blocking has left much to be desired. A 20 yard run by Doug Martin was reversed after a holding call on center Jeremy Zuttah.
So far, five players have receptions. They are Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Doug Martin, and DJ Ware.
Overall Grade: C
Q4 Grade: C+
That trick play was a forward pass. I measured with a ruler on my TV screen. Terrible call by the real refs, could've ended up costing Tampa the game.
Luckily, a few brilliant defensive stands kept the Bucs in it. The key moment was 2nd down, Michael Bennett sack on RG3.
Unfortunately, they saved their worst for last, letting the Skins move the ball 56 yards on their final drive.
Q3 Grade: B-
Bucs pass rush is virtually non-existent today. Completely night and day from last week.— Buccaneers News (@PewterReport) September 30, 2012
Spot on... until the Bucs sacked RG3 at his own one yard line.. Then, of course, they get called for roughing the passer, after barely bumping the rookie quarterback.
Q2 Grade: C
Just bring back the replacement refs already.
Just kidding, but the Mark Barron hit on RG3 should in no way have been a penalty.
Loudest boos I've ever heard at Raymond James. Mark Barron BLOWS up RGIII, flagged for unn roughness. Me? Wish my son form tackled like that— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) September 30, 2012
A defensive pass interference on Ronde Barber gave Washington 32 free yards, as the pass was seriously overthrown.
I don't know how the defense has any chance of slowing down RG3 if they can't tackle him, but they have to make more of an effort.
Also, these missed tackles are devastating. On the Alfred Morris touchdown run, both Eric Wright and Ronde Barber missed him at the line of scrimmage.
Q1 Grade: C
On the Redskins first drive, Gerald McCoy stuffed Alfred Morris in the backfield, and Mason Foster deflected a pass. Pretty nice start.
Then on their second drive, they gave up two consecutive runs for 21 yards total, then a 24 yard play action pass from RG3 to David Young. A few plays later, Mark Barron misses a tackle on tight end Fred Davis , allowing a 26 yard reception.
As we have seen over the last few games, the Bucs have tendency to give up big plays. Which is just what they did when Pierre Garcon recovered an RG3 fumble in the end zone.
The Bucs defensive line has to start dominating the Skins O-line, or else they'll never stop Washington.
Overall Grade: A
Q4 Grade: A
Michael Koenen has been on fire today, averaging 46.2 yards per punt, and has put the Skins inside their own 20 several times. One of the most important of these punts was the beauty with around four minutes left.
Roscoe Parrish made a critical eleven yard punt return with 3:50 left, moving the Bucs from their own 24 to their own 35.
Connor Barth took the lead with his 26th consecutive field goal, but ultimately it was not enough.
Q3 Grade: B
To start the second half, the Michael Koenen kickoff traps Washington at their own 10.
Beyond that, there's not too much to say.
Q2 Grade: A
Gee willickers, Barthman!
Barth pushes the streak all the way to 24, with a 57 yard field goal.
You read that right.
Conor Barth is Pro Bowl caliber but few will even notice unless the Bucs start winning more— Stephen White (@sgw94) September 30, 2012
Again, Michael Koenen put the Redskins within their own 20.
The Buccaneer kick return game has been nonexistent... Literally. They have not retuned a kickoff yet, instead letting them bounce into the end zone.
Q1 Grade: A
Michael Koenen pinned the Redskins on their own 10 yard line with his first punt of the game. Roscoe Parrish forced a missed tackle or two on a nine-yard punt return, on his his as a Buccaneer.
Not to be outdone, Connor Barth extended the NFL's longest active field goal streak with his 23rd consecutive FG, a 50-yard beauty.
Overall Grade: C+
Q4 Grade: A-
New Buccaneer game plan for the rest of the season.
Throw it deep.
Of course, on third and short, they throw a screen pass that loses them seven yards, forcing a punt. I haven't counted the exact numbers, but I'd bet that at least 40% of third down plays have been screen passes this season.
Greg Schiano should be lauded for his half time adjustments, but burned at the stake (metaphorically) for his poor play calling during the first half.
The Bucs offense needs to start playing like their behind in the fourth quarter more often.
Q3 Grade: B+
Running less was a good start, but now that Greg Schiano might actually be letting Freeman throw risky passes, the Bucs could have a dangerous offense.
For most of the game, the passing game was contained to short, quick throws.
That looks to have changed, especially after Mike Williams' 65 yard reception.
Q2 Grade: D
I believe I said cutting down on penalties was imperative today. Bucs already penalized five times for 67 yards and are down 14-3— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTrib) September 30, 2012
For a guy who preaches discipline, Schiano has done a pretty crappy job of eliminating penalties.
We're still not seeing Freeman take any shots deep.
That needs to change.
Q1 Grade: B
I guess Greg Schiano finally realized that it's not a penalty to attempt two passes in a row. He is actually letting Freeman pass the ball, and is not trying to run the ball on every single down.
The defense sell needs work, but most of the problems are due to player errors, such as missed tackles or biting on play fakes. Still, the coaches had a chance to fix that, as those things should be worked on during the week.