“The Tackle”

October 23rd, 2012

Not sure how many people were irresponsible yesterday and didn’t do their due diligence as football fans to browse through the must-read weekly Monday Morning Quarterback typed by smartphone-censoring, scone-loathing, cricket-watching, popcorn-munching, Marriott-sleeping Peter King of SI.com.

King broke down in great detail the tackle that will live long in Bucs fans memories when Vincent Jackson, who had a fantastic game for the Bucs, was caught from behind, prevented from scoring on a 95-yard touchdown reception by Saints’ Malcolm Jenkins.

The tackle on Jackson, and the subsequent four plays from hell, kept the Bucs from adding a score in what turned out to be a one-touchdown win by the Saints.

By King’s measurement, Jackson had a good 30-yard lead on Jenkins, who closed the gap in Secretariat-like speed.

I’ve looked up the dimensions of the NFL field, and ran the play over and over about 20 times on NFL Game Rewinds in the wee hours of this morning. This is what Jenkins faced as he turned from covering his man to look at Jackson catching the ball: He was at the far right hashmark on the other side of the field, precisely 27 yards across the field and three yards behind where Jackson was in full gallop. It looked impossible, but Jenkins said he didn’t think of that. “Just, ‘Go as fast you can.’ ”

Right away, you could see he might have a chance. Jackson, who’d been limited all week in practice because of a calf strain, was running at tight end speed. Jenkins, who runs about a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, took a very good angle, from watching the replay over and over. It looked like he aimed to go on a straight line from where he began, at about the Bucs’ 23, to the Saints’ 20. Running at a bad angle here would have ruined him. If he aimed to catch Jackson near the goal line, he wouldn’t be able to contact him in time.

“Vincent Jackson, he’s not slow,” Jenkins said. “I think what affected the play is we were in a regular Cover 2, and they quick-snapped the ball. Roman Harper went for the ball against Jackson, but they completed it, and then nobody’s around. So the first thing is to just run and see what happens.” When Jackson got to midfield, Jenkins was 10 yards to the side and six yards behind. “I saw him start to slow down a bit,” Jenkins said.

Joe was chatting with local scribes right before the game Sunday morning, and all agreed the Saints game was a crossroads game. The Bucs trying to win on the road Thursday is a monster obstacle, as it is for all NFL road teams on Thursdays, thus there is a very real possibility the Bucs could be staring at a 2-5 mark.

Chances of playing in January after losing five of your first seven games are not good at all.

And Bucs fans will look back to those five plays — the Jackson tackle, the three ill-fated LeGarrette Blount plunges up the gut, and Josh Freeman’s naked bootleg to nowhere — as the crossroads of a crossroads game.

17 Responses to ““The Tackle””

  1. flmike Says:

    You are delusional if you thought the Bucs would be going to the playoffs this season. Lets have some perspective here, they were a 4-12 team last season coming off a 10-6 season coming off a 3-13 season, and they absolutely quit on their totally overmatched and under-witted head coach and staff. Coming into this season, there were and still are major questions about our QB and many of our key positions and you still think they would be a playoff team, what would ever give you that idea?

  2. SensibleBuc Says:


    Joe’s consistently posted 6-10 as his prediction for the year…and I wholeheartedly agree with him.

  3. k_bassuka Says:

    Who cares about that play? The only reason why we lost the game was because of bad coaching, ie. Rushing only 3 linemen over and over even when Brees continuously gashed the defense on those situations (disregarding that when they rushed 4 or more on 3rd and long we had more success).

    Not to mention the bonehead head coaching blunder trying to pull a bush league play to draw the opposition offside during the FG try. And Yes Joe it doesn’t matter how much you like Schiano or not he was at fault for allowing that stupidity to happen at that point in the game, just like you use to blame Raheem for those kind of blunders Schiano needs to be held accountable for it.

    The reason we lost the game was because of the head coach rookie mistakes, hopefully he learns from them and we get to win some more games…

    Go Bucs!

  4. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    So is Chris Chase today? Peter King or Joe?

    I would not be surprised if Pete King reads JBF when he wants to get Buc sentiment. He could have even used JBF as an unamned and uncredited source, acting as if this is his idea alltogether.

    In a game where the refs ruined the game winning TD, took it away and caused the loss, I would have bet 10 out of 10 times that this week’s storyline would be about that dumb call, and perhaps a mass uprising to get the NFOL to change the “push out” rule.

  5. flmike Says:


    “Chances of playing in January after losing five of your first seven games are not good at all.”

    Sure sounds like he’s talking as if the Bucs are a playoff caliber team, with that line…

  6. Bucnjim Says:

    Its sad we have to nit pick a guy who just broke the Bucs all time record & we have three ex Bucs piling on. Very low class if you ask me! I’ll be ANYTHING this guy was out there playing hurt the entire game and really struggled just to run the 95 yards in pain. It’s not his fault the Buc couldn’t get ONE yard in four plays. Of course now he wishes he could have finished, but that was an incredible play and everyone here is acting like fools. If you want to blame someone; blame Blount for not having the drive or want to get a yard. Any other running back on the team including Lorig could and would have gotten foward movement in three tries.

  7. UK_Buc Says:

    Ok, let’s look at the number.

    From what is above, VJ went from the 26 to the “99” – so travelled 73 yards.

    MJ was three yards back, at the 23 (so travelled 76 yards vertically), and as 27 yards across (horizaontally). Pythagoras rule suggests he travelled abpout 80.65 yards.

    So the effective start was only 7 yards, and VJ is about 35-40lbs heavier….for me, it is not surprisimng at all that he should be caught.

    And for everyone complianing, if you want a speedster at WR, fine, lets get someone like DeSean Jackson in….but i guarantee you this team’s WR production will be worse off overall. Yes, VJ isn’t a burner because of his size, but without that size, he wouldnt be half the player he is.

  8. Mavsmoney Says:

    I believe this play sums up the season thus far. It seems in crucial moments we are just not as mentally tough as our opposition. Luckily, we are ten times tougher than last year and seem to be getting tougher every game. I feel like we are only a few rookie mistakes away from being 6-0. I don’t think enough fans remember just how bad it was last year. Games are finally exciting again!

  9. Mavsmoney Says:

    “MJ was three yards back, at the 23 (so travelled 76 yards vertically), and as 27 yards across (horizaontally). Pythagoras rule suggests he travelled abpout 80.65 yards.”

    I was wondering when someone was gonna break out the calculator. I’m with you man.

  10. lightningbuc Says:

    “Not to mention the bonehead head coaching blunder trying to pull a bush league play to draw the opposition offside during the FG try.”

    Huh? They shifted the line to possibly better block the kick. They have already blocked one punt and Watson whiffed on another, so the schemes they are using are working. What was bush about that? The same exact play was run weeks before without a flag.

    I agree the coaching was suspect throughout the game, but nothing was “bush”.

  11. Warren Brown Says:

    Joe…this one is over man…just let it go. I feel like you are repetitively rubbing salt in my open wounds. I need time to heal.

  12. Macabee Says:

    To be fair, Jackson had a calf injury and could not run at full speed. He started to slow down considerably as he approached the end zone. He knew Jenkins was coming because he had looked back and saw him closing. He simply couldn’t go any faster and decided to protect the ball. A reasonable question could be why he didn’t switch hands and use his right arm to fend Jenkins off. That’s hindsight considering all the things that could go wrong with that exchange.

    Contrary to what is being said Jenkins is no speed demon. He was drafted in the 1st round as a CB out of OSU. As a result of his combine time in the 40, he was changed to FS and still is. Jenkins time at his combine was 4.53, but Jackson had a faster combine time of 4.46. Jackson was clearly slowed by an injury.

    I give Jackson credit for getting the Ball to the 1yd line. By the way that was the longest pass play without a touchdown in 40 years or since 1972 according to NFL Network. The problem was not getting the ball into the end zone with a 1st down on the 1. Jackson had a career day!

  13. SensibleBuc Says:


    You’re reaching just a touch. I’d say the Joes were HOPING for a playoff run out of nowhere like 2010 at the beginning of this season but actually EXPECTING a losing one.

  14. Snook Says:

    I’m with the group here. Why is it such a surprise VJ got ran down?

    Its not a big deal and doesn’t warrant 4+ posts about it. I was surprised VJ wasn’t tackled sooner to be quite honest.

    The true travesty was the 4 play calls that followed.

  15. bucsnbeer Says:

    Thanks to UK buc for saving me some time.. a 30 yard lead it was not.

  16. BucFan20 Says:

    Still on that damn play and No TD. Look. The Special Teams Screwed Up NEXT! SPROLES SCRORES. He BLEW past our defense. If our Defense had done what they did to us on that stop we would have sung as we have many times before. We would have said our Defense rose up and made the stop. Not said their Offense sucked. They did what OUR defense should have done to Sproles. But They Did NOT. So in turn guess that means our Defense sucks. Not they were just better on that series.
    Anyone expect Morris was going to take us to the Super Bowl in his first year? Anyone who even thought that we were going this year was high as hell on something.

  17. OAR Says:

    ….and then satan added the alpabet to math!