First-Half Blunders

September 25th, 2018

Talks turnovers.

In the first two games of the season, the Bucs forced a few turnovers and it helped result in two wins.

Well, last night the Bucs played terribly sloppy in the first half and that doomed them.

“Yeah, three turnovers in the first half,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter lamented. “We just did so many things in the first half of that game that we haven’t been doing, so many things to beat ourselves. Blown coverage on their first touchdown, three turnovers, multiple misses on protection.

“We’ve been doing a great job in protection and tonight wasn’t as good. Give the Steelers their credit, they got us tonight. I’m really proud of the way we fought. [When] you’re down three touchdowns or three scores at halftime, it’s not easy to come back in this league. We gave ourselves a chance there at the end and just couldn’t pull it off. Unfortunate, but we’ve got to move forward.”

Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick looked truly awful for a good chunk of the first half, specifically the second quarter. Joe knows if America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, pulled the same stunts like Fitz did in the second quarter, specifically his grotesque pick-six, the Tampa police department would have had to call out the riot squad.

56 Responses to “First-Half Blunders”

  1. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    also….R.I.P. Chris Conte, Morning services will be held the 45 yard line before the Bears game where this vicious crime occurred Monday night, our sincerest condolences to the Conte Family, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. PSLBob Says:

    Re Conte: watched the game on TV and one of the ads they kept running was that of a Dback getting burned and falling face down on the turf. When he looks up, it’s Kenny Mane telling him, “that’s going to be on Sports Center!,” to which the player replies “NOOOOO.” Well, after Conte got planted by Pittsburg’s tight end, who took it 75 yards to the house, that commercial is still stuck in my head.

  3. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    Not sure if Grimes is rusty or old, but he looked like a child playing a man’s game.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Knew it would be a loss before the season started. That said, it;s the first couple days after a loss and people need to release their tensions. Hold onto this:

    We are 2-1 in games everyone else, including half the people here, thought we would be 0-3!

    Celebrate that!!!!!!

    In the grand scheme, this game won’t matter so much.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    First game back for Grimes. He’s allowed to be rusty. He was probably the worst CB out there in the game, but it is not like he won’t be better next time.

  6. Robert Says:

    JW couldn’t pull the same thing. he was at home due to assaulting an innocent woman.

  7. snakeplaskon Says:

    I mean …is Koetter still defending Conte? He is thee…..worst player in the NFL…..can’t tackle and gets trucked at least once a game….can’t cover……What exactly do you do here Mr. Conte…..the game changed after that pancake punishment

  8. ChicagoChris Says:

    I’d love to see some additional reporting on Ryan Smith. One thing that really deserves questioning is this coaching staff’s trends for lack of in game adjustments. Grimes played poorly last night….hopefully due to rust…..but given how well Smith played last week…..why not rotate him in for a series or two just to give Grimes a rest? We rotate guards in game….why not here? This is a trend Joe has written about a lot with this coaching staff… RB last season…..sticking with Martin way too long when he was not getting the job done. You KNOW the coaching staff sees it if we do…..why not more in game adjustments?

  9. Guzzie Says:

    We need Rojo to help with run game, Barber is a great story, but not a starting NFL running back, he’s a JAG

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    Fitz conte GMC Grimes Msmith. All need to go . Fitz is not good. He looks way to compromised out there without those wrs he has it could of gotten worse.

  11. Buc believer Says:

    @Robert… putting his hand (allegedly) on a womans knee to make a pass at her is not assault it’s called a dude being a dude. The cabbie err Uber driver wants to get paid so she buy that new double wide trailer for herself and her 3 kids from 3 different guys.

  12. Sarasotabuc Says:

    Stop with the if Jameis did this crap, Jameis DID do this. Remember his first NFL pass-Titans-pick six. What about all the dumbass throws while in the grasp, all the dumbass fumbles. Fitz is human too and he had a bad 1st half and a bad last series. At this point he still gives us the best chance. I believe Jameis can be the future when he grows the hell up, stops the dumb crap in the grasp ( preseason to Godwin) he is still doing and improves fumbles. Enjoy some success from the man giving it to you, we haven’t won in how long?! Quit making the if Jameis did this crap. He didn’t he wasn’t there!! And he did it to himself!!

  13. Fartman Says:

    The pick six I think was the only interception that was his fault

  14. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Tom Jones , Tampabay Times, makes a good case in his column today to start Jameis next week

  15. Tampabucfan88 Says:

    @robert look the last year the way we played our is the same thing u were complaining about last year please think before u speak

  16. Horse Liver Says:

    Joes – so true. Lots of excuses being made for Fitz, including one dude I know who is actually serious when he says “None of the picks were Fitz’s Fault.”

    Wow. Really?!

    Yes, there are people taking that position. If it were Jameis the cries to cut him now would be at cacaphonic levels.

  17. Lamarcus Says:

    Tom Jones even switching his gears because he know Fitz should even be near the starting the depth chart.

    To top off the embarrassing night. There where clowns in the stands where chitting looking beards and how could they put those on the children like that. Freaking embarrassing

  18. Darin Says:

    Not sure why Conte is getting all the hate. He didnt blow the coverage. Gota tackle that guy low tho. Vance has done that to alot of guys. The guy outweighs conte by 65 pounds. He got beat on the tackle, it happens. That play didnt lose the game. Keep ur head up Conte, just not when trying to tackle Vance.

  19. Lamarcus Says:

    Tom Jones even switching his gears because he know Fitz should even be near the starting the depth chart.

    To top off the embarrassing night. There where clowns in the stands where chitting looking beards and how could they put those on the children like that. Freaking embarrassing.

  20. Lamarcus Says:

    I mean Fitz should NOT be near the starting depth

  21. Robert Says:

    if jameis wasn’t coming back next week we would have won that game.

    the fix was in.

  22. NewTampaChris Says:

    The first half last night was truly horrific. I’m not exactly sure how the Steelers didn’t score in the second half, as my mind is filled with images of Conner running through gaping holes.

    But in the big picture, Fitz has given us five great halves of football out of six. He’s earned the next start, especially because the Bears are playing great defense and Winston will have very limited practice reps before Sunday.

  23. Dewey Selmon Says:

    The same people that are making excuses for Grimes being rusty are clamoring for Winston to start on a short week.

  24. PSLBob Says:

    Key takeaways:

    1) Godwin had a really bad night, and the game likely would have had a different outcome had he made the plays and not fumbled.

    2) The defensive backfield is still porous. We need a new scheme Mike Smith.

    3) Still no running game.

    4) Turnovers killed us. Fitz’s interceptions were not all his fault, but the pick six was all on him, and that hurt bad.

    5) Fitz had a chance to pull it out at the end and failed. I think Jameis would have delivered.

    6) Jameis starts Week 6 against Atlanta after the bye week.

  25. Lord Corn Says:

    1 terrible pick 6 – on Fitz
    1 turnover in red zone – mostly o line fault
    1 really bad sack in red zone that took is out of FG range – both Fitz and line
    2 other turnovers on promising drives

    All in one half. That’s why we lost. Thought besides Grimes/Conte/Stewart most the D played decent. Too many blown big plays tho

  26. Tc Says:

    Conte’s new name is whiff. Should have taken Derwin James. Winston should start the falcons game.

  27. Eric Says:

    Absolutely true Joe, and if Jameis had played the same game he would not be given credit for the second half rally.

    It would be deemed “padding stats at garbage time”.

    That being said, looks like we got a hell of a passing team, but mediocre or putrid in other areas.

    Not sure that plays out to much success over a long NFL season. But they are fun to watch for sure

  28. Eric Says:

    BTW, interceptions are part of pro football. Big Ben had a horrid pick in the first half , throwing late across his body.

    However, he used the same technique to pick up key first down to run out the clock. Hes been using those type of school yard plays his whole career. As do most of the great QB’s – most of whom throw a healthy dose of picks.

    The great ones take it right to the edge.

  29. JD Says:

    Chris conte needs to be released as well as Mike Smith. Both have had 3 years to show us what they have and consistently let us down game after game. Chris Conte is a joke of a safety and find it so funny when other bucs fan defend this trash can on the field. Mike Smith has had less then 10 good defensive games called in 3 years so far. Please why can’t front office see to the obvious.

  30. Broy34 Says:

    Can we ever lose a football game without fire this guy bench this guy. We lost. Plain and simple. Teams have bad games. It happens. Fitz played jjst like jameis last night. Wby you ask? Because just like jameis he had ZERO help around him. No running game poor blocking and constant pressure. Nobody took tjat into consideration when they were crowning fitz. Jameis HAS NEVER had blocking the way fitz did in games 1 and 2. Fitz was on the ground all night. And the defense was on the field all night. Lost in this game was tbe emergence of carlton davis. That dude was lights OUT. Lights out. He locked Antonio brown down. Stewart played well. Where was Ryan Smith. Either he played incredibly or didnt play at all. Grimes was the weak link and so help me god if whitehead didnt earn a spot after the second half shutout… last thing. Everyone wants to can Mike Smith yet he made wonderful adjustments. Just needs to blitz more

  31. Mike Johnson Says:

    They will be running that Conte Stampede forever in the annuals of NFL History and commericials. It was like an Rhino running over a stationary pig. Again it was our Defense. Could not get off the field.You can win some shootouts. But our Defense will be our failing this year.The Offense will score. Like I’ve always repeated here..What good is 40 when your opponebt scores 41? And please stop giving our Defensive Coordinator Smitty endless breaks. Its time for the Glazers to fire this has been!

  32. Godeep66 Says:

    JBoo who?

  33. onetrickpony Says:

    I am assuming, that Chris Conte isn’t from FSU ?

  34. Reality_43 Says:

    All you red bearded unicorn lovers are coming back down to earth today I guess. That pick 6 looked like something a backup journeyman would do.

    Loved Jason Witten saying Jameis might be there at 2:30am.

    2-1 Good job Fitz.

    Bring on Jameis and let’s fly.

  35. Gambelero Says:

    I thought all three interceptions were Fitz’s fault. Maybe Evans sat down in the seam in the zone too soon, too late or should have kept going, but that pass was airmailed to nowhere. The tipped pass was a poor decision as well. He also threw right at a defender several times, but they dropped it.

    Jameis was playing lights out in the preseason with Monken calling the plays. He’s been working out like a madman and watching tons of video on the Bears and KM. Give Jameis the ball and let Fitz be a first mistake backup.

  36. Mort Says:

    We are 2-1. That’s on pace for 11-5. Not saying that’s how we will end up, just food for thought.

    Also the loss is to an AFC team. Pretty low as far as tie breakers go.

    The sky is not falling. There is much work to be done however.

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    So fricking tired. In a distrubing kind of way I miss the old awful Yucs. When they got down by 3 scores you could go to bed early at halftime. Not this team, I had to stay up til the bitter end because y’all know we can score in a hurry.

    Can’t stand when a team beats itself but gotta love a team that won’t quit.

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    And it seems to me like everybody is getting all worked up and bothered at a excessive rate.

    Yep it was a garbage way for the team to show up for it fans in Prime Time. But it puts an emphasis on Sundays game and will give us a great teast. Good teams rebound from a loss with some urgency and go handle their businees and earn a W.

    Let’s see how good this team is!!!!!

  39. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Glad to finally see the Bucs make some meaningful half time adjustments as opposed to last year. The defense shut out Pitt in the second half, and the offense came to life. This season is looking brighter already.

    Just wait until we get Allen, Unrein, Vea etc back on defense.

  40. JimmyJack Says:

    Gamberlo…….The only Int that Fitz maybe gets a pass on is the one to Mike Evans that’s a debate.

    You can look and try to make an excuse for the other two but Fitzpatrick absolutely has to take some playing for those. He was confused and bewildered throughout the whole first half trying to figure out where the pressure was coming from. He just never could figure it out and suffered for it highlighted by the picks……….. And yes some of this is on the offensive line of course but Fitzpatrick still has to see where the pressure is coming from and be more decisive.

    Kudos to the staff for adjusting at halftime. If you notice the pressure was still coming but for the most part Fitzpatrick was making better decisions and working his way through out the pocket better because you seen it coming and knew where it was coming from.

    Yes the offense of line has to do better but the quarterback also has to do better reading the pressure. You could throw a little blame to the play-calling for not mixing in a running game. you have to say the coaching staff looked a little unprepared the deal with the pressure.

  41. JimmyJack Says:


  42. GrafikDetail Says:

    exactly! but all i’m hearing is how it’s everyone’s fault except Fitz for those INTs he throwed last night

  43. pro43pro Says:

    Why is no one talking about the biggest blunder of the game…at the end of the 1st half, why not run it 2 or 3x and not give Big Ben 2 minutes to drive down the field and score? That is what really cost us the game. We would have gone into halftime either down 13 or less rather than 23 points. Coaching needs to get better and stop abandoning the run before the game even starts

  44. Godeep66 Says:

    Why is no one talking about how terrible Grimes played. He was horrific. Even looked like he was afraid to make a tackle.

  45. VaTom Says:

    I’m no Fitz appologist. But he looked FAR from awful. He also wasn’t getting a bunch of help from his team. I don’t mind the argument Jameis should play and that Jameis is the future. But Fitz looked no worse than MOST of Jameis’s playing time with the Bucs. And although Fitzy certainly made mistakes I personally don’t feel (currently) that he’s always on the cusp of throwing the game away. I do feel that way with Winston. He needs to mature. What’s his record with the Bucs again? What’s Fitz’s record with the Bucs again? Play the proven player. And like Raheem used to say, tolerate him til you can replace him.

  46. JimmyJack Says:

    Really pro43pro? Please tell me your joking or misjudged that……….I can’t stand this fricking coach botching every end-half. This isn’t even funny anymore every fricking week he effs it up. Every fricking week for the past 3 seasons almost.

    Unreal dude…….Just like this team with short yardage situation I’m just gonna come to the conclusion that the coach doesn’t care about that part of the game ….It’ll just be easier. I’m not going to sit here getting mad at this team for the same exact things every single week after week after week after month after year after decades.

    This guy will never have his teams contend without the little things being important.

  47. JimmyJack Says:

    Va that’s a good point……Fitz was looking rough but his team didn’t do much to pick him up. It was just a downward spiral.

    It sure as heck doesn’t help your defense either and the offense looks like it’s tripping over its own two feet every Drive…….You can’t see momentum but it is real

  48. JimmyJack Says:

    I wonder what the Buccaneers practice is like today? Times like these were Champions really dig in.

  49. Godeep66 Says:

    Off day

  50. Eric Says:

    Final score is deceiving, steelers sat on the lead.

  51. Rod Munch Says:

    Punting from the Steelers 36 when you know the game will be a shootout and you know your defense stinks, that’s almost as dumb as punting with 2:40 left after your QB has gotten hot, thrown for over 400 yards and your defense hasn’t done anything to stop the Steelers all night.

  52. pelbuc Says:

    SarasotaBuc, I couldn’t have said it better myself. JW has had lots of picks and fumbles. We tend to forget quickly who was responsible for Bucs winning the first 2 games and if Godwin holds on to the ball and our vaunted D would have just played average we wouldnt be talking about JW. He’s an emrassment to this franchise and these idiot owners and GM somehow wont let him go.

  53. ufour20 Says:

    The play calling was completely different (hint:conservative) this game. What happened to bombs away?! Our pass protection was horrible, the receivers didn’t always get separation and what a crappy game for Godwin.

  54. SOEbuc Says:


    “Not sure why Conte is getting all the hate. He didnt blow the coverage. Gota tackle that guy low tho.”

    You know who’s good at tackling guys low? Whitehead

  55. Nick Says:

    My problem came at the end of the first half. We had the ball and were marching down the field for a nice damage control touchdown, with the bucs due to receive the ball again starting the 3rd quarter. The stage was set for a great comeback. Instead the offense craps their pants, a forgivable offense considering their work this season. A penalty within the ten yard line and two back to back incomplete passes stopping the clock with less than 2 minutes. We kick a FG for a very hard earned 3 points, but failed to manage the clock properly at the end of the drive. Why leave a white hot Steelers offense with roughly 2 minutes and all of their timeouts. The offense should have tried runs or high completion rate plays like screens or plays in the flats to leave no time on the clock. Fail #1.

    They compound the error by immediately going into a prevent shell defense with no intentions to contest the ball. I remember thinking to myself what kind of message does it send to your team to work so hard for 3 points, then immediate surrender 3 points to the other team by design? But the Steelers blew right through the prevent defense that didn’t even stop an out route allowing essentially another free timeout and punched it in for a demoralizing 7 points to end the half. That was a huge moment in the game, that they ultimately could not overcome regardless of the great effort in the second half to do so.

  56. WillieG Says:

    “Joe knows if America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, pulled the same stunts like Fitz did in the second quarter, specifically his grotesque pick-six, the Tampa police department would have had to call out the riot squad.”

    Some of us have been complaining about JW being a turnover machine since he’s been here. Joe has to admit JW makes bone headed mistakes and takes unnecessary chances with the ball, like ass passes. Fitz made 1 ONE bone head throw. There is absolutely no comparison.