The Play That Ended The Bucs Playoff Hopes

November 29th, 2011

Titans wide receiver Damian Williams celebrates his game-winning touchdown catch.

Now as Joe pointed out yesterday, what killed the Bucs was the drive of death, when LeGarrette Blount was pounding the ball down the throats of the Titans and, sadly, the yellow hankies began filling the air. That doomed what very likely would have been a game-winning drive.

But Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean believes the play that clinched the game was Matt Hasselbeck’s touchdown pass on fourth-and-two that gave the Titans a fourth-quarter lead and killed the Bucs, all but putting their playoff dreams on ice.

Yet when Hasselbeck rolled to his right on the critical fourth-and-2 play with 3:08 left in Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers, there was a big problem. The defense had sniffed it out, and neither of his primary targets was immediately open.

The Titans then turned “uh oh” into “oh my!” in a dramatic win that kept their 2011 season alive. Hasselbeck found Williams in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, giving the Titans a 20-17 lead that soon became a 23-17 victory.

“One thing our coaches talked about this week was finding a way to win the game,’’ Hasselbeck said. “It wasn’t pretty — it was pretty ugly at times — but we found a way to win.”

The Bucs did sniff out the play… initially. But what the Bucs weren’t able to do was snuff out Hasselbeck. He had so much time to throw the dude could have ordered a pizza and had the thing comped because it arrived late.

The thing is with the Bucs in their current state, when the offense is less than stellar as it has been, the defense has to play damned near perfect football for the Bucs to win. The Bucs were decent on defense Sunday (16 points allowed and a defensive touchdown), but not good enough to overcome the offense shooting itself in the proverbial foot.

Granted, the Bucs have invested a helluva lot in recent drafts on the defensive front and Gerald McCoy and Brian Price were not on the field during that play. Still, when the Bucs needed a pass rush with postseason hopes on the line, it didn’t happen.

Yes, the Bucs need to play almost perfect on defense for the team to win. Joe’s not entirely sure the current defensive roster is capable of that kind of a lockdown game.

17 Responses to “The Play That Ended The Bucs Playoff Hopes”

  1. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    Come on, Bucs. Get it together. The season isn’t over. 9-7 Lets do it!

  2. Meh Says:

    How many of our sacks are out of the pocket? Not many. We either sack really, really fast or the opposing qb has tons of time. The problem is the secondary can’t maintain coverage. We get basically no coverage sacks.

    We need corners and linebackers badly. Between the draft and free agency we need to somehow come up with two corners, two linebackers, and a safety.

  3. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    Did you listen to Sileo this morning? What was he saying about Raheem’s house going up for sale? Caught the last end of it.

  4. JSmalls Says:

    If you really think about it, the offense needs to play near perfect for this team to win. It’s hard to say which side of the ball is worse.

  5. Tampa2 Says:

    Our Defense didn’t just get bad this last game. It has earned the right to be ranked 31st during the whole year. Isn’t that supposed to be the HC’s area of expertise? The play that Ended any Chance of the Bucs winning
    when the Glazer boys hired an amateur to be the Head Coach. And like any other kid that was handed a Ferrari before he even got his drivers license, Morris has wrecked our team. I can just imagine Cam Newton licking his chops at the prospect of his lowly Panthers playing against the Bucs Defense next week. But isn’t that our HC’s area of expertise????

  6. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    Well, Jack Del Rio just fired, so maybe change IS coming….

  7. Snook Says:

    Our playoff hopes were over weeks ago.

  8. macabee Says:

    Yes, change is coming and deservedly so, but it may not be the change you envisioned. I have searched the Blogosphere far and wide and I have not found any national media with Morris on the hot seat. Locally, Joe Henderson of the Tampa Trib and Rick Stroud of the SPT suggest that if the Bucs continue to implode, he may be. There are 6 coaches on hot seat – Caldwell/Indy, Sparano/Miami, Spagnuolo/Rams, Todd Haley/Chiefs, Del Rio/Jags (fired this morning), Norv Turner/Chargers, And possibly Reid, Shanahan, and even Coughlin. For all of you that think the few high profile coaches out there are going to pass on all of those franchises to come to Tampa – the home of no FA where coaches come to die, as Joe sez put down the bourbon. Be forewarned, Morris may be gone but you may get a carbon copy that is desparate enough to sign up for the Glazer/Dominik Austerity Program. Thomas 2.2 has convinced all of you that firing Morris is a panacea – just get rid of him and all of our problems will be solved. Well I’m going to sit tight and watch what happens. This is a movie I’ve seen before!

  9. NickinMelbourne Says:

    Tired of hearing the defsense played well on Sunday when they gave up 190 yards to the worst rushing team in the NFL. Really??? Decent???? Not in my book. This defense will stink until we get a coach who can get 11 guys flying to the ball like the old Buc ball Ryan Nece talks about. The mentality just isnt there and what it really takes is DISCIPLINE!!!!!!!! We have none with Raheem.

  10. Snook Says:


    Was Gruden on the media’s hot seat when he was fired in January of 2009? Nope. So shove the “Raheem isn’t on the media hot seat” argument up your Raheem hole.

    As for firing Raheem solving all of our problems? No one’s saying that. It just solves the problem of having this incompetent guy as our head coach. 3 years have passed and the defense is WORSE today than it was when Gruden was fired. That’s all you need to know.

  11. knucknbuc Says:

    Wouldn’t mind us getting Del rio as a D coordinator and picking up todd haley to be oc. Doubt it will happen but we can dream. Honestly all you people asking for a change most likely aren’t going to get it. Morris had the youngest team with no offseason to speak of. And don’t give me this 49ers talk either. When you look at their team their actually quite veteran heavy so they could pick up a new system no problem. Im willing to see what else Raheem has as 1 more year as head coach, but hes gotta give up the d coordinator position and get a new offensive coordinator.

  12. macabee Says:

    Snook, the thing that I really like about you is that you always take the bait (pardon the pun). You acknowledge the similarity between the Gruden firing and the possible firing of Morris. My point exactly in my original post. What kind of coach did you get following Gruden? Be careful what you ask for! You’re a perfect foil for the point I was trying to make. Not surprised! Never met a fish that could read! lol.

  13. Snook Says:


    What a dumb post. So we as fans should be careful in what we ask for because when they fired Gruden they failed by hiring Raheem?

    Maybe in your world. But in my world, I’m sick of watching NOTHING changing after 3 years. Just like I was sick of NOTHING changing under Gruden. No improvement year to year.

    I wasn’t a fan of Gruden’s and I’m not a fan of Raheem. What’s your point?

    You said we “may get a carbon copy” if we fire Raheem. Huh? Only if the Glazers go out and hire an inexperienced safety from Hofstra to coach an NFL team. They hired Raheem because they knew they’d be eating Gruden’s salary through 2011. Period. Now that Gruden’s off the books, they’ll go get a real head coach.

  14. Snook Says:

    “Yes, change is coming and deservedly so, but it may not be the change you envisioned.”

    Any change is better than the head coach that is Raheem Morris. You couldn’t find a worse head coach. Full of cliches and excuses, can’t discipline, can’t coach defense, can’t handle adversity.

    I’ll take ANY head coach/DC/OC over Raheem. That’s how bad he is.

  15. Eric Says:

    The question is will the bucs get caught flat footed like they did in 08 and fire the coach after the better candidates had been hired.

    Gonna be a lot of competition to get somebody good, if they even have the guts or inclination to pull the trigger on Raheem.

    This will require 2002 type determination, grit, and a willingness to spare no expense from the Glazer Boys.

    In other words, were screwed.

  16. Patrick Says:

    They should’ve asked Monte Kiffin to be the coach when they had the chance. He probably would’ve stayed instead of going to Tenessee.

  17. Joe Says:


    They should’ve asked Monte Kiffin to be the coach when they had the chance. He probably would’ve stayed instead of going to Tenessee.

    Monte had made up his mind long before Chucky was jettisoned.