Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly vs. the Minnesota Vikings
Josh Freeman did what is now expected of him—winning his eighth come-from-behind victory in his young career as the Buccaneers' signal caller.
Such an improbable feat can only be described as, "Montana-like."
While the Bucs have yet to play a full 60 minutes of football this season, there were times when the team looked like world beaters—holding the Vikings to just three second-half points, and playing an ideal fourth quarter.
This contest featured it all: Good, Bad, and most certainly Ugly. Who made the list?
All Blount wanted was the opportunity to carry the team and take the load off of Freeman's shoulders. Buccaneers' offensive coordinator Greg Olsen nearly abandoned the run in the first half after Blount was gobbled up by the Vikings' defense.
Thank goodness Olsen stuck with the run because Blount was one of the main factors for Sunday's victory – carrying the ball 13 times for 71 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead at the end of the fourth quarter to put the game away for the Pewter Pirates.
Considering he carried the ball five times for five yards in the first half, I'd say that's rather impressive.
Bucs' fans ought to be concerned that Blount is still non-existent when it comes to the passing game, but I'm assuming the organization will ease him into the role.
More specifically, second-half McCoy.
In the third quarter, McCoy set the tone during the Vikings' opening second half possession by stoning Adrian Peterson at the line of scrimmage, then tackling Peterson six yards down the field on second down.
The Vikings committed a penalty and punted soon after.
Although he never got a sack, McCoy pressured Donovan McNabb on several occasions and showed why he's a force to be reckoned with in the middle of that defensive line. As long as he stays consistent, Bucs' fans should be happy with his progression.
Honorable Mention: Geno Hayes and Preston Parker
Hayes was no where to be seen in the first half – as was the rest of the defense. He made amends by forcing Peterson to hold him during a blitz, which received a penalty and would have gotten McNabb sacked, and finished it with blowing Peterson up in the backfield for a three-yard loss.
Parker had six receptions for 98 yards, including a 51 yard reception to the Vikings' 21-yard line.
First half, what? First half offense? First half defense?
No, just "first half."
The Bucs have played with little passion for six straight quarters, and once again looked uninspired stepping onto the Mall of America Field during the first half.
Of the eight quarters Tampa Bay has participated in, they've given effort in two.
The defense allowed McNabb to freely distribute the ball, and even scramble some for marginal gains – including a 13-yard run for a first down on third and 12, which led to a Ryan Longwell field goal.
They struggled to get off of the field, and the defense conceded 284 yards and 17 points in the first half.
The offense wasn't better—gaining 62 total yards. What else is there to say?
620 WDAE "The Sports Animal" personality Dan Sileo interviewed St. Petersburg Times columnist Rick Stroud this morning, who said, "We were told last night that Quincy Black had injured his ankle at some point. I didn't see when that occurred, but I will tell you he was god awful in the first half."
Black received an $11 million dollar signing bonus during the abbreviated offseason, and hasn't even come close to living up to his billing—being benched in the second half for Dekoda Watson, who outplayed Black in every facet of the game.
It may be too soon to say the Bucs made a mistake in re-signing Black, but it's certainly pointing in that direction.
Honorable Mention: First-Half Josh Freeman
Is there a trend here? Freeman looked awful during the first two quarters, double-clutching and being indecisive with the football.
Opposition's Sustained Drives
We covered this; the Bucs' defense is average. Maybe.
The offense can only do so much rallying.
Playing Not to Lose
Oh, this isn't for the Buccaneers. This is for the Vikings.
Memo to Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier: run the football 60 times and it's a ballgame.
Bucs' fans thank you.
Honorable Mention: The Vikings' Mascot
That greasy, biker dude doesn't exactly look like a Viking. He reminds me of a drunk, hefty, biker dude.
Up Next: Atlanta Falcons
The season's far from over and there was significant improvement from Week 1 to Week 2, but it's a very unfinished product.
Tampa Bay has to stay consistent and produce for four quarters. Come out flat against the Atlanta Falcons, who rallied to a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Buccaneers are quickly back under .500.