The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Start to the Season

The Good: There wasn't much that was good, but there was a couple of things...

1. Tyler Smith: Tyron Smith's injury left that position open, and while Jason Peters may make things easier there, it was still going to be awhile and leaving questions about how well Tyler Smith would do at Tackle. All things considered, he did rather well, and was probably the only sign of consistent good play on the offensive side of the ball.

2. Red Zone Defense: The defense gave up a lot of yards and a lot of opportunities for the Buccaneers, but out of five appearances in the Red Zone, the Buccaneers only managed one touchdown. Against a squad with Tom Brady as QB and are loaded at WR with Evans, Goodwin, and Jones... ONE touchdown allowed is impressive

The Bad:

1. Dak: Nothing really worked for him tonight... On a plus side, one may argue he made decent decisions on where to go with the ball, particularly in man coverage, and he did have the one big QB run... but outside of that, there really wasn't anything good that came. You can know where to go, but if you continually throw behind or ahead of the receiver or hold onto the ball too long behind an offensive line you know is shaky, you're not going to do well. To add injury to insult... he hurt his had in the fourth quarter.

2. The Offensive Line Outside of Tyler Smith: While Tyler Smith had a reasonably good night, the rest cannot be said about the rest of the line. There were false starts, going downfield, and holding penalties, and then there were just missing blocks, often coming right up the middle.

3. The Defense Between the 20s: Some of this wouldn't matter... and if the offense had done better, it'd probably be overlooked, but it's something that plagued the team all night long. The Buccaneers only had a handful of drives in which they didn't score points, and all were in the second half, and even there, there were few of them. Fornette had his way with the defensive front gaining over 100 yards and 6 yards per carry... and that's just the running back... and with the running game. The pass defense wasn't any better, as Brady was largely allowed to do what he wanted between the 20s.

4. Penalties: New year... same old dance. Too many penalties, and many of which coming from the offensive line, which in turn put an offense that struggled to go anywhere behind the chains.

5. Catching the Ball: Granted, Dak wasn't great and had a fair number of passes off target, but there were still plenty of passes where the ball hit the receivers in the hands, and it was dropped. One can argue that the pass should have been better, but if the receiver can get his hands on it, it SHOULD be caught. Particularly when it's Lamb, the only good receiver we have.

6. Injuries: First McGovern goes down on the first drive... and that probably helped contribute to the rest of the line's woes. Then Dak goes off with an injury to the throwing hand in the 4th quarter... and according to the NFL website, will require surgery... see: Dak needs surgery -

The Ugly Start to the Season: And this was an ugly start. No one looked particularly sharp, even on the Buccaneer side, but it was particularly ugly for us. People were slow, Dak had no connection with anyone but Schultz, and penalties often put us behind the chains to where running the ball wasn't an option. Outside of one interception and a handful of plays, the secondary really wasn't in a position to defend any pass and seemed out of sync with each other. The defensive front couldn't stop the run to save its life and just about everything looked bad... To a great degree, it's something that comes from the fact that the starters played 0 snaps in the pre-season. And while someone may argue, "but injuries could happen!" And yes, injuries COULD happen. It's football, if you don't want to get hurt, retire. Risk of injury comes with the game and some competitive atmosphere helps get everyone in sync. "Playing it safe" only leads to nights like tonight where practically everyone comes out sluggish and some people get hurt anyway.

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