Flat Start By Offense Won’t Cut It In BaltimoreNovember 21st, 2010
To avoid getting clotheslined by good teams on their Race to 10 — think Baltimore, not San Francisco — the Bucs and Greg Olson are going to have to figure out how to get the offense going early in games.
Today wasn’t their day in that regard — again.
The Bucs’ opening drive in San Francisco delivered 16 yards and a first down, followed by what should have been two 3-and-outs, except the Bucs decided to make the bonehead call of the day with an ill-disguised fake punt that saw Micheal Spurlock rollout on 4th-and-2 and attempt a throw to a covered Earnest Graham.
The defense bailed out the Bucs early, forcing a turnover on a crushing hit by Geno Hayes on the 49ers first possession. Then Micheal Bennett’s sack led to a 3-and-out the next time the stymied Niners got the ball. And a sack by Al Woods and a tackle for a loss by Roy Miller got it done on the third possession.
Game balls to the entire defensive line. Joe can’t say that enough. It was as if the Niners were in shock because they couldn’t run the ball.
Joe knows the pounding early running by Blount sets up a lot offensively later in the game, but it seems like the Bucs are ripe to fall behind early against quality opponents, or at the very least lose the critical field position battle.
Joe remembers the Bucs falling behind 14-0 in Atlanta, and a similar start in frigid Baltimore will take a miracle to overcome. Frankly, Joe’s not sure what the solution is other than the defense continuing to make plays.