Review of Dak vs the Buccaneers


With Dak's return not to far off, I was curious about what went so wrong in the game against Tampa Bay. The offense was terrible and only managed to score 3 points. So I went to the All-22 to try and review the passing plays by Dak in the game. Here's what I found.

The Plays

Drive 1 (Starting on DAL 14) (0 penalties):

  • 1st and 10 (DAL 14) -€” Schultz ran a short route, about 4 yards, that ended with defenders on either side of him. Dak threw low and to the outside, tempting one defender to make a play on the ball. Schultz caught it and was able to turn up-field for another 3 yards before the other defender brought him down.
    • Protection was good. Dak had a clean pocket.
    • Result: 7 yards
  • 2nd and 18 (DAL 20) -€” Houston was able to get ahead of his man on a slant and Dak threw a good pass away from the defender to help him get downfield and extra 6 yards after the catch.
    • Dak had a little pressure, but he was able to get the ball off without any contact.
    • Result: 11 yards
  • 3rd and 7 (DAL 31) -€” Lamb ran up the middle and had a window after cutting to the outside. Dak threw a low ball to protect Lamb from the Safety.
    • Dak had a clean pocket. No real pressure.
    • Result: 16 yards, 1D
  • 1st and 10 (TAM 42) -€” Lamb looked like the WR with the best chance for a catch on this play. The throw looked good, but the defender cut underneath Lamb and was able to bat the pass down.
    • The pocket was collapsing around Dak with little room for Dak to move.
    • Result: INC
  • 3rd and 8 (TAM 40) -€” Defenders gave Brown good bit of space underneath on this play. He was easily able to make a catch 5 yards downfield and had enough room for a relatively easy 1D.
    • Zeke was also open on a shallow route to the right, and might have been able to get just as much, if not more. Lamb also looks like he might have been getting open at the end of the play, but pressure likely wouldn't have allowed Dak to get it to him.
    • Good bit of pressure on the play. Dak got a little contact after the throw.
    • Result: 9 yards, 1D
  • 2nd and 11 (TAM 32) -€” WR screen to the outside fell apart. It looked like Dak was leading Lamb to the outside, but Schultz stepped back to block a defender, preventing Lamb to make the catch. Either Schultz needs to get more push on that block or Dak needs to throw it shorter, maybe both.
    • No pressure on this play.
    • Result: INC
  • 3rd and 11 (TAM 32) -€” Schultz was covered pretty tightly and the throw was high and behind. Schultz might have caught it if it was thrown to the outside, but he wouldn't have gotten a 1D.
    • Lamb was deep, and might have had a shot at a TD, if Dak had thrown it to him instead.
    • The pocket was collapsing tightly around Dak, but he didn't have any actually contact.
    • Result: INC 4D

Drive 2 (Starting on DAL 25) (1 penalty):

  • 2nd and 8 (DAL 27) -€” Dak tried to fit the ball into a tight window for Lamb, but he needed to get it a little higher to get over the defenders. The throw was a good choice, though, and could have been a 20+ yard gain.
    • No pressure on the play
    • Result: INC
  • 3rd and 8 (DAL 27) -€” Not sure what was going on for this play. Turpin was kind of open on a deeper route. Maybe Dak didn't trust him. Dak could have hit Zeke on the right side, but I don't know that he would have gotten the 1D. Instead he opted for Schultz, but then hesitated before throwing it at Schultz's feet. I'm not sure if a defender hit Dak's arm as he threw. That might be a reason.
    • Dak got pressured, getting hit from behind as he was throwing.
    • Result: INC, 4D.

Drive 3 (Starting on DAL 10) (1 penalty):

  • 2nd and 9 (DAL 11) -€” Another throw where one defender tried to make a play on the ball, but Schultz still got it and a couple extra yards before going down.
    • No pressure.
    • Result: 5 yards
  • 3rd and 4 (DAL 16) -€” Dak threw the ball a little behind Lamb as he crossed the middle of the field. Lamb had to turn his body to attempt the catch. The ball was catchable, especially for a #1, but not as easy as it could have been. It looks like Dak was trying to keep it away from the defender that was crossing over in front, looking for the pick. Dak had a little more room to work with and could have gotten Lamb a better ball to catch, but he erred on the safe side at least.
    • Some pressure on this play, with Dak getting shoved from behind after the throw.
    • Result: INC, 4D

Drive 4 (Starting on DAL 26) (1 penalty):

  • 1st and 10 (DAL 26) -€” Lamb ran off the line and shoved his defender 10 yards back so that he could catch a wide-open pass. It would have been a 20 yard gain.
    • Dak rolled out right and took a hit after he threw the ball.
    • Result: -10 yards for OPI
  • 2nd and 15 (DAL 21) -€” Easy short throw to Houston before anyone else really had a chance to get open. Not sure why that was called here. Houston didn't have any realistic chance of getting a 1D. Best chance would have been Brown (I think), but that would have taken more time.
    • No significant pressure
    • Result: 5 yards
  • 3rd and 10 (DAL 26) -€” Dak was trying to get out of the pocket, but ran into another defender as he was exiting the pocket. He forced the ball to Brown, who was covered. Very bad decision by Dak.
    • Houston's defender peeled off to cover Brown/scramble by Dak. Houston was very open down the sideline for a big gain. If Dak had more time to scan the field, it could have been a big gain.
    • Dak got flushed out of the pocket and met by another defender. He got shoved right after he threw the ball.
    • Result: INT

Drive 5 (Starting on DAL 24) (1 penalty):

  • 1st and 10 (DAL 37) -€” Brown's route stopped midfield about 20 yards out. Dak threw the ball on the outside. I assume the intent was to let Brown catch the ball, loop back around and use the defender's momentum against them, but it looks to me like the defender got to brown a little early and knocked him down.
    • Some pressure, Dak got knocked to the ground after he threw the ball.
    • Result: INC
  • 2nd and 10 (DAL 37) -€” Good throw by Dak, but good play by the defender. Dak threw an accurate ball to Lamb between 3 defenders, but one managed to come from behind and get a hand on the ball.
    • Not much pressure
    • Result: INC
  • 3rd and 10 (DAL 37) -€” Lamb was getting open on a deep route, but pressure got to Dak too fast for the route to develop.
    • Dak was hit as he threw.
    • Result: INC, 4D

Drive 6 (Starting on DAL 20) (1 penalty):

  • 1st and 10 (DAL 33) -€” Dak rolled out to the right and hit Pollard for a gain of about 4 yards, but play was negated by Holding Penalty.
    • Little pressure during roll out.
    • Result: Holding, -5 yards
  • 2nd and 10 (DAL 33) -€” Dak threw to Pollard for a 4 yad gain. Zeke was open up the seam for a 1D. Lamb was open on the left side for a huge gain/TD. Not sure if this was just designed to go to Pollard or if Dak got too antsy to look at other reads.
    • Some pressure, but no real contact.
    • Result: 4 yards

Drive 7 (Starting on DAL 25) (3 penalty):

  • 1st and 10 (DAL 25) -€” Bad throw by Dak. Brown was fairly open on the sideline, but Dak just missed high.
    • No pressure
    • Result: INC
  • 3rd and 16 (DAL 19) -€” They caught Tampa offsides, so Dak took a shot to Houston. The ball was thrown behind, to the outside. Houston was almost able to scoop it up as he fell, but he couldn't quite get it. Not sure if Houston should have stopped sooner or if Dak should have put it a little farther out.
    • No pressure
    • Result: INC
  • 3rd and 11 (DAL 24) -€” Dak fit it in to Schultz, who was immediately tackled by 3 defenders. Good throw, good catch.
    • No pressure
    • Result: 14 yards, 1D
  • 1st and 10 (DAL 38) -€” Roll out right, short pass to Schultz
    • Not much pressure.
    • Result: 5 yards
  • 2nd and 10 (DAL 38) -€” Lamb came across the middle of the field and managed to catch the ball in stride and turn up field for a few extra yards.
    • Not much pressure. The pocket started to close around Dak.
    • Result: 13 yards, 1D
  • 2nd and 16 (DAL 45) -€” Dak finds Schultz going across to the left sideline.
    • Some pressure, but no one touched Dak.
    • Result: 13 yards
  • 4th and 2 (DAL 41) -€” Dak takes the snap and almost immediately fires it to Houston. The LB seems to read this play easily and makes it there in plenty of time to swat the ball down.
    • No pressure
    • Result: INC, Turnover

Drive 8 (Starting on DAL 14) (0 penalties):

  • 1st and 10 (DAL 14) -€” Dak made a good throw here without being able to step into it, he floated it out to Brown near the sideline.
    • Lot of pressure here. Dak might have hit his hand once here.
    • Result: 22 yards, 1D
  • 1st and 10 (DAL 36) -€” Dak threw the ball into the ground towards Lamb. Lamb was covered and wouldn't have been able to make a catch regardless of placement. Not sure if he was trying to get it to Lamb or throw it away. Probably better that it went into the dirt.
    • All the other options look to be covered up as well
    • Dak faced significant pressure up front and he looked off-balance when he threw.
    • Result: INC
  • 2nd and 10 (DAL 36) -€” Good ball thrown underneath to Brown who got some good YAC on the play.
    • A lot of pressure up the middle again. Looks like Dak hits his hand on a helmet on this play as well.
    • Result: 13 yards, 1D
  • 1st and 10 (DAL 49) -€” Screen Pass to Elliot. Good pass by Dak, but blockers couldn't get the blocks, and Zeke got hit immediately.
    • Pressure as expected on a screen.
    • Result: -3 yards
The Evaluation

The overall level of play from the offense was way less that expected. There was a mixture of good plays by the defense and miscues by the offense, and sometimes it is hard to tell which are which.

The Offensive Line struggled in this game, as we expected. Dak faced pressure pretty regularly and it wasn't uncommon for a defender to come after Dak nearly unblocked. I think that has been cleared up a lot in the past few weeks. Penalties and negative yards were also a killer with one of the drives having 3 penalties.

The receivers were shaky as well. There were way too many plays where all of the WRs were covered. Dak often threw balls that gave them a chance, but they were not able to come down with that. I'm not sure how much to blame the receivers or if we should give credit to Tampa. Either way, I don't think many lived up to expectations this game.

Dak was off for several throws. The interception being a key one. He also had a few throws that were just off the mark, either high or low. Overall, though, he usually put the ball in the right place. Especially later in the game, Dak seemed to get warmed up and into the swing of things. I think it had to do with having no play time in preseason. We've seen it throughout Dak's career that he tends to do better further into a game, and he put together some longer drives. Outside of the first drive, Dak didn't have many good drives in the first half:

  • 14 plays, 54 yards
  • 3 plays, 2 yards
  • 3 plays, 6 yards
  • 3 plays, 0 yards
  • 5 plays, 13 yards

But in the second half, he seemed to start putting it together:

  • 5 plays, 10 yards
  • 9 plays, 34 yards
  • 3 plays, 2 yards
  • 11 plays, 44 yards

I believe that Dak can come back and get up to speed with the offense. He can definitely take it further that Rush, and he's shown that he can run a high scoring offense.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.