Buccaneers vs. Patriots: Live Grades and Analysis for Tampa Bay

Knox BardeenNFC South Lead WriterAugust 16, 2013

Aug 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws the ball during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots defeated the Buccaneers 25-21 in Week 2 of the preseason. Check out the final grades and analysis here.

Tampa Bay - 21 
New England - 25

Game analysis for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pass Offense: Starting quarterback Josh Freeman played very little and backup Mike Glennon made the most of his extra time. Glennon threw for two touchdowns and 121 yards and had two passes of 25 yards or more negated by the officials.

Run Offense: Doug Martin left the game with an injury. Mike James and Peyton Hillis ran the ball well. James gained 5.4 yards, averaging 81 yards per carry. Hillis averaged four yards per carry, gaining 73 yards. The backup running back situation is bright.

Pass Defense: Not only did Tom Brady pick apart the Buccaneers defense, so did Ryan Mallett. The top two New England quarterbacks threw for more than 100 yards and a touchdown, individually. Little pass rush and gaping holes in coverage were the culprits.

Run Defense: The Tampa Bay defense had trouble tackling on Friday and opposing running backs had a field day in the flat as the Bucs had trouble keeping ball carriers out of the second and third wave of their defense.

Special Teams: The Buccaneers had a fantastic time with kick returns. Of their four returns all were more than 24 yards and the unit averaged 38.75 yards per return. Koenen and Derek Dimke did everything well.

Coaching: After trailing 18-7, the coaching staff called plays to score right before halftime, made adjustments in the locker room and took over in the second half. The result was a solid second-half game plan.


First-half analysis for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pass Offense: Josh Freeman completed 2 of 3 passes for eight yards and was constantly under pressure. The offensive line gave up three sacks in the first quarter, and one more in the second. Mike Glennon had better luck moving the ball against New England’s second string.

Run Offense: The offensive linemen weren’t pushing people off the line, in fact Patriots tacklers were in the Tampa Bay backfield with regularity. The only time the Buccaneers moved effectively was on draw plays and screens.   

Run Defense: The Buccaneers allowed New England 4.7 yards per carry in the first half and if that stat doesn’t tell the entire story, it gets worse. Rushers bounced off the defensive line and made it through running lanes that Tampa Bay couldn’t close.

Pass Defense: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed his first 11 pass attempts and threw for 107 yards and a touchdown. He absolutely picked apart Tampa Bay’s secondary and found many ways to capitalize on mismatches against linebackers in coverage. This did not look like a revamped pass defense.

Special Teams: Michael Koenen did a good job punting the football and had ample opportunities to work on his craft. Michael Smith shined with a 63-yard kickoff return in the first quarter.

Coaching: The Buccaneers looked ill-prepared to handle the speed of the Patriots on offense, especially when Brady was in the game. The offense started slow and never got in sync, but a late drive and score restored some momentum.