Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Post-Game Grades, Analysis for Tampa Bay

Caleb Abner@cjabshypeContributor IIINovember 25, 2012

Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Post-Game Grades, Analysis for Tampa Bay

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    24-23 Falcons Win

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced off against the division rival Atlanta Falcons in a matchup with major playoff implications and lost.

    The 6-4 Bucs are vying for a wild-card spot, while the 9-1 Falcons seem to have the playoffs all but locked up.

    This slideshow will provide you with game grades and analysis for Tampa's quarterback, offense, defense and special teams each quarter.

    Here we go.


1 of 5

    Overall Grade: B

    Q4 Grade: B-

    The quarterback didn't get enough help from his offense, and ultimately could not do enough to eke out the win.

    Q3 Grade: B-

    Freeman might need to let some of the juice drain out of his biceps. He had three straight overthrows on receivers open in the end zone around the 8:00 minute mark. But with his last drive of the third quarter, his accuracy returned and then some. Hashtag streaky.

    Q2 Grade: INC

    Josh Freeman needs an offensive line who can keep him off the dirt. Or at least an O-line who can avoid stupid holding penalties. Otherwise, there won't be much to report on.

    Q1 Grade: A

    I don't think we've seen Josh Freeman so accurate over the middle of the field in a long time. His first three passes were darts right between the hashmarks. What he did on the bootleg was beautiful, sending the ball to where only Tiquan Underwood could catch it, but at the same time hitting the receiver in stride.


2 of 5

    Overall Grade: B-

    Q4 Grade: C

    The offensive line just stopped giving Freeman anytime to show in the fourth quarter, not even letting him have the space he needs to step into his throws.

    Q3 Grade: B-

    Not a good day for Donald Penn. John Abraham has been giving him hell.

    Good day for Tiquan Underwood. The one guy who Freeman has actually been able to connect with today. The former Rutgers man has 73 yards on four receptions.

    Q2 Grade: C

    What comes up must come down. The right side of the offensive line can gone to crap. A 42-yard pass to Doug Martin ended up being negated by two penalties on the right side, then on the very next play Josh Freeman takes a sack. 

    Q1 Grade: A

    The offensive line has come really begun to mesh in recent weeks. Today is as good of an example of this as any. We're seeing some fantastic run blocking, in addition to some decent pass protection. Of course, having Doug Martin pound the rock doesn't make the O-line's job anymore difficult.


3 of 5

    Overall Grade: C-

    Q4 Grade: D

    The Bucs gave up yardage quick during the Falcons first drive of the 4th quarter, but almost made a nice goal line stand until a horrendously-wrong pass interference call on third down gave Atlanta a first down.

    On the Falcons final drive, the defense just couldn't get off the field when the team needed it to, leaving the offense with just ten seconds to try and score.

    Q3 Grade: C-

    Leonard Johnson covering Julio Jones is just unfair. That is all.

    Q2 Grade: C+

    Do the Bucs have anyone who can cover Tony Gonzalez? So far, the future HoF tight end 43 yards on three receptions. But then again, giving Matt Ryan enough time to throw so that his receivers can get open is not helping. 


    What happens when you don't pressure him. RT @ajcfalcons #Falcons QB Matt Ryan is 9 of 9 for 90 yards. #atltb12

    — AP (@ap575) November 25, 2012




    — Scott Carasik (@scar988) November 25, 2012


    Such is the reaction of a hardcore Falcons fan after Ronde Barber intercepts Matt Ryan for 28 yards. 


    Q1 Grade: C

    The Bucs run defense may have met their match. Jacquizz Rodgers is small enough to make guys miss (he's only 5'6''), and strong enough to break tackles. On his first run, he just shrugged both Mark Barron and Lavonte David off and continued on for 20 yards. 

Special Teams

4 of 5

    Overall Grade: B-

    Q4 Grade: C-

    Chalk up another touchback for Michael Koenen, his 47th of the season. Gnarly (in a good way). Also gnarly (in a bad way) is the Bucs kickoff coverage team. Seriously, they let Jacquizz Rodgers run from seven yards deep in his own end zone to the ATL 36-yard line.

    Q3 Grade: C

    Hey Bucs, ever heard of kickoff protection? Because getting stuffed at your own 14 yard line does not help your offense.

    Q2 Grade: B

    Once again, not too much to talk about. Connor Barth did nail a field goal, so there's that. Falcons kicker Matt Bryant hooked a 22 yard attempt wide left, but the Bucs can't really take credit for that, can they?

    Q1 Grade: B

    Not a lot to say about special teams, which is most likely a good thing. LeQuan Lewis had a 22-yard punt return, while Jacquizz Rodgers had a 30-yarder, after starting 10 deep in his own end zone. He could make it a very long day for the Bucs special teams.


5 of 5

    Overall Grade: B

    Q4 Grade: B

    That was absolutely the perfect time to call the corner blitz. It was third down,  no one left in the backfield to block, press coverage... you get the picture. It leads to a strip sack and a Buccaneer field goal. 

    Unfortunately, the coaches couldn't find a way to stop the Falcons run game on their final drive or a way to get touchdowns instead of field goals.

    Q3 Grade: A

    Nice job by the coaches to rally the defense. Moving on from a one-play touchdown drive to a 3-and-out is a testament to the motivational power of the Holy Sci.

    Q2 Grade: C+

    Mike Williams takes a pitch and underthrows a pass to Vincent Jackson, who catches it. Announcers call him Doug Williams.

    — Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) November 25, 2012


    Ignore the "Doug Williams" part, and you have another example of Mike Sullivan's creative play calling. What Barnwell didn't mention is that the pass was good for 28 yards. Still, the goal line play calls leaves much to be desired. As does the defensive play; the zones are too damn soft!

    Q1 Grade: B+

    Great offensive playcalling. Tampa Bay is spreading the field with receivers, creating run lanes, and always using a variety of formations. I'm not so sure about the defensive play calling.