Buccaneers vs. Falcons: Live Game Grades, Player Analysis for Tampa Bay

Caleb Abner@cjabshypeContributor IIIDecember 30, 2012

Buccaneers vs. Falcons: Live Game Grades, Player Analysis for Tampa Bay

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    22-17 Bucs (Game Over)

    Though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are out of the playoffs and the Atlanta Falcons have clinched home field and a bye week, there wasplenty of intensity in this 1 p.m. ET NFC matchup.

    The Bucs lost five straight, and the Falcons were still trying to earn respect from the national media, so neither team let up for one second.

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


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    Overall Grade: B+

    Josh Freeman had a pretty good game, by most standards. There were some completions he left on the field. His completion percentage (54.3) remained characteristically low, and the yardage as average. Still, he did what was asked and the Bucs won.

Running Backs

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    Overall Grade: A+

    Doug Martin was a pretty huge factor in the Bucs victory. The rookie ended his record-breaking season with a 160 yard showing, including a 40 yard touchdown run. His burst and agility were highlighted by his performance.

Wide Receivers

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    Overall Grade: B-

    This group was average as a whole. Mike Williams scored the only receiving touchdown, and led the team in receiving yards, with a mediocre 65. Vincent Jackson had only three receptions, but showed off his stuff on a 27 yard reception. Tiquan Underwood caught two passes for 27 yards and was the target of Freeman’s lone interception. He was partially at fault, as he did notcome back for the ball, allowing Asante Samuel to undercut him.

Tight Ends

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    Overall Grade: B

    While Dallas Clark didn’t have his greatest game as a Buc, Luke Stocker just might have. The second year pro racked up three receptions for fifty yards, each in critical situations. Good run blocking Stocker.

Offensive Line

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    Overall Grade: B

    Overall, an average day for the offensive line. The pass protection was great. Freeman was not pressured that much, but that was  partially because of the number of roll outs and bootlegs the Bucs ran. The run blocking was inconsistent as a whole. Late in the game especially, the O line failed to generate a push at the line of scrimmage. 

Defensive Line

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    Overall Grade: A

    The D-line deserves a huge amount of the credit for keeping Matt Ryan below 250 passing yards, as the pressure on the edges provided by Michael Bennett and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim forced him into errant and inaccurate throws. The run defense was stellar, and besides for two runs of 16 and 17 yards respectively, the Bucs only gave up 32 rushing yards total.


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    Overall Grade: A

    This unit was lead by Mason Foster, who totaled a team-high 11  solo tackles. Lavonte David recorded a sack and five tackles of his own. Good coverage by this group.

Defensive Backs

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    Overall Grade: A-

    The defensive backs did not really shine until late in the fourth quarter, when they made some crucial knockdowns, but overall they did fairly nicely for themselves.  Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez were each kept under 60 receiving yards. Ronde Barber and EJ Biggers led with four solo tackles each.

Special Teams

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    Overall Grade: A

    Connor Barth hit all three field goal attempts and Dekoda Watson blocked a punt. Nice day at the office.


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    Overall Grade: A

    The Bucs knocked off the top seed in the NFC.


    What a great way to end the first year of the Greg Schiano era. 

    The first of many.