The Lousy Three-Man RushOctober 21st, 2012
Joe was banging his head against the wall after the Bucs’ decision to go with a three-man rush on Drew Brees in the first half on two key third-down plays.
First it was the Bucs leading 21-7 early in the second quarter. The Saints had a 3rd-and-10 on their own 20 yard line. The crowd was going nuts. And the Bucs sent only three to rush Brees with no luck. Brees relaxed in the pocket and fired a 13-yard strike to Lance Moore over the middle.
First down. And the Saints march down for a score.
OK. It didn’t work. But then the Bucs came right back to it.
On the next Saints drive, again the Bucs had the Saints in 3rd-and-long, this time from their own 36 yard line following a Lavonte David four-yard tackle for loss and the Bucs faithful going wild. And there came that heinous three-man rush again with Brees hitting Lance Moore for 16 yards and a first down. Then the Saints scored on a bomb — and ugly tackling — on the next play.
Tie game, 21-21.
Then AGAIN, with New Orleans with 3rd-and-long early in the third quarter, the Bucs went back to the three-man rush. And you guessed it, Drew Brees had time to pump and let good ol’ Lance Moore settle into space for a 35-yard gain.
Joe’s not sure what was being missed by the defensive coaches, but it was inexcusable. Pressuring Brees was working far better than the three-man rush, yet the Bucs chose to give Brees the precious gift of time and got burned repeatedly.