The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to 0-5 on Sunday, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in Mike Glennon's second career start at quarterback. And despite a seemingly good line of statistics for the rookie quarterback, Tampa Bay fans should prepare for an up-and-down season from their rookie signal-caller.
Glennon finished the game with 26 completions on 43 attempts for 273 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw a single interception, which turned into points for the Eagles and turned the momentum of the game.
It was the highs of his two first half touchdowns and the lows of his missed deep throws and interception that should be a sign of what's ahead for the rookie quarterback. Let's take a closer look at what Tampa Bay fans can expect for the rest of the season.
The Highs: Intermediate Accuracy
Mike Glennon completed over 60 percent of his passes on Sunday, making it his second straight game completing more than half of his throws.
That doesn't seem like a high standard, but compared to the play the Buccaneers were getting from Josh Freeman, it's a huge upgrade.
Glennon showed great accuracy on most of his intermediate throws, especially to tight end Tim Wright. In fact, he helped the rookie tight end stand out and post numbers unlike any the Buccaneers had seen since 2011.
Tim Wright's 75 receiving yards are the most by a Buccaneer tight end since Kellen Winslow had 132 at Green Bay on Nov. 20, 2011.— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) October 13, 2013
At least two of the throws to Wright were in very tight windows where only the receiver could grab the ball. On throws under 20 yards, this is something Glennon can do, and he showed that on Sunday.
The Lows: Deep Accuracy
Josh Freeman was among the best in the NFL on deep passes. As Sander Philipse of Bucs Nation pointed out, Freeman ranked very highly in advanced metrics on his deep throws but struggled on his shorter ones.
In fact, he got worse on short throws as his career went on and improved on his longer throws. It's baffling, but it showed that the former Buccaneers quarterback had immense arm talent.
For Glennon, the opposite is true. Glennon was prone to mistakes on deep passes in college, seeing a high rate of interceptions and incompletions on throws requiring more velocity, such as sideline routes and deep throws.
Check out this accuracy map as tweeted by John Pollard of STATS Inc. for a detailed look at Glennon's college accuracy.
Mike Glennon's 2012 Passing Map while at NC State. pic.twitter.com/draSWNAexd— John Pollard (@JPSTATS) September 25, 2013
So far in his NFL career, Glennon has completely whiffed on deep passes. He threw two long balls out of bounds with no chances of being caught during Sunday's game and missed on another deep route in the middle of the field.
The Tampa Bay offense becomes very predictable and easy to defend with no threat of a deep pass. Glennon's lack of accuracy on long throws will limit this offense until he shows improvement.
The Highs: Mobility
Glennon is not known as the best athlete, but he's been able to move around and make some plays with his legs early in his NFL career.
On Sunday, specifically, Glennon was able to roll out and find Vincent Jackson for a good gain. This is a play the Bucs ran with Josh Freeman, so it helps the offense for Glennon to be capable of executing it, too.
Also, Glennon got the team out of a 2nd-and-18 situation with two consecutive scrambles, finding gaps in the Philadelphia defense and gaining big chunks of yards.
Considering Glennon's draft profile at CBS Sports included comments about being a "stationary target," the Buccaneers have to be encouraged by the mobility of the rookie signal-caller.
The Lows: Inconsistency
Just like Josh Freeman before him, Mike Glennon suffers from bouts of poor play and inexplicable decisions.
One such moment came on the final drive of the game for the Buccaneers, when Mike Glennon threw a pass directly to a defender who was reading his eyes and broke on a sideline route. The pass was dropped, but it shows the tunnel vision and failure to consider risk that comes with starting a rookie at quarterback.
And just like his first game against the Arizona Cardinals, Glennon did not perform as well in the second half as he did in the first half. He lacked in accuracy in the third and fourth quarters and didn't do enough to keep his team competitive and maintain a halftime lead.
Glennon is a rookie who is rough around the edges, and as such he does not present a realistic chance to win NFL games on a regular basis. He showed moments of brilliance and moments of disappointment on Sunday against the Eagles, which will continue as he grows accustomed to life in the NFL.