Josh Freeman Didn’t See Mike Williams In TimeNovember 26th, 2012
It will be a play that could haunt the Bucs for a calendar year.
The Bucs, as Joe pointed out yesterday, left way too many points on the field. At least nine points by Joe’s recollection and perhaps as many as 12.
There was the Mike Williams pass to Vincent Jackson down to the Dixie Chicks-3 which the Bucs could not pound in. There was the E.J. Biggers forced fumble on Matty Ice in Falcons territory. The Bucs could only muster a field goal from it.
Then there was missing Mike Williams.
It was early in the second half and Williams, along the right sideline in the end zone, was so alone he could have been an orphan.
And Josh Freeman missed him. Missed him badly, nearly putting the football in the seats he overthrew Williams so much.
Freeman, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune documents, was kicking himself over that play after the game.
Freeman was initially looking for Tiquan Underwood on an underneath pattern and by the time Freeman went through his progressions, his overthrown pass for Williams sailed out of bounds, forcing the Bucs to settle for a field goal and a 13-10 advantage.
“There were a few,” Freeman said of Tampa Bay’s missed opportunities against the NFC South leaders. “Obviously, there’s the one on the right sidelines going to Mike. (Cornerback) Asante Samuel fell off and I was initially trying to get it to Tiquan. In hindsight, we had an opportunity and didn’t capitalize. Asante is really good at baiting you.”
Teams that miss those plays are on their couch watching playoff games in January; the playoff teams make those chances, of which the Bucs had plenty.
Is there a reason to jump off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge this morning? Of course not. The Bucs showed they can go toe-to-toe with the squad that owns the NFL’s best record.
Letting this game slip off the hook, the Bucs have now afforded themselves scant wiggle room if they are to be playing into January. Any more than one more loss, and it will likely be time to start researching April’s draft.