Third Down Inefficiency Killing BucsOctober 1st, 2012
Yes, one could go all Skip Holtz and try to make an argument that, but for one play in each of the Bucs’ three losses, the Bucs would be undefeated.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and if Rachel Watson wasn’t married, Joe would be coming home to her each and every evening.
Results. That’s what counts in the NFL. This isn’t horseshoes or hand grenades. There is no such thing as “almost,” just wins and losses, no gray areas here.
This is not lost on Alan Dell. The Bradenton Herald columnist wagged a finger at Bucs coach Greg Schiano, and indirectly at quarterback Josh Freeman, for not producing better results on third down, despite a bevy of weapons. This is sinking the Bucs, Dell believes.
The comeback started when the restraints were taken off Freeman either by himself or Schiano.
Despite the heroics at the end, the Bucs are far from a finished product and can’t be excused for creating their own problems. They had 10 penalties for 107 yards, some of them significant and showed why they are last in third down efficiency converting only three of 12 third down opportunities.
“Because you lose at the end you fail to finish, but we really didn’t do a bunch of stuff before that to put us in a position to win,” Schiano said. “We had penalties, we didn’t play smart, we didn’t create takeaways. Like most teams in the NFL, it’s going to be tight ball games and we need to find a way to win.”
Joe thinks people should temper any excitement over the comeback by the Bucs. Sure, it showed some character, but if skittish Redskins place kicker Billy Cundiff doesn’t leave nine points on the field with three missed field goals, there is no comeback to discuss.
If Cundiff made just two of those three makeable field goals, there is no comeback.
The Bucs played terribly in the first half. Solving that hole the Bucs dug themselves into is what the coaching staff should strive to resolve during this bye week.