Key Defensive Blunder

October 11th, 2020

Sean Murphy-Bunting inexplicably turned the wrong way and fell asleep as the Bears converted a key third down to set up their win.

After watching the All-22 film of Thursday’s gut-punch loss in Chicago, Joe is amazed by how many opportunities the Bucs had to win the game.

One over;ooked critical play is outlined in Joe’s screen shot above.

The Bears couldn’t do much on offense and it was 3rd-and-9 with 1:54 remaining and the Bucs leading by two points. The Bucs lined up in soft coverage (Why? They don’t play soft coverage well!), and Sean Murphy-Bunting gave Bears receiver Anthony Miller a huge cushion. Despite Bears QB Nick Foles looking directly at Miller as the receiver broke outside, Murphy-Bunting turned inside and seemingly lost track of everything.

The short completion went to Miller and Murphy-Bunting was six yards off him when he caught the ball. Six!!

Miller easily beat Murphy-Bunting to the sideline and the first down marker. First down Bears, and the clock is stopped.

What a massive play that was. If Murphy-Bunting just keeps the play in front of him and wraps up, the Bears are looking at, say, 4th-and-2 on the Bucs-44 with the game on the line.

Of course, that Bears drive, which became the game-winner, was set up by the Bucs’ sad-sack, 3-and-out drive of 11 seconds that featured Tanner Hudson missing a block on the opening run for a loss, Ronald Jones not catching a short pass and a third-down throw into the ground to Tyler Johnson.

It was as if the Bucs ran out of gas and will to close the game.

72 Responses to “Key Defensive Blunder”

  1. Tim Says:

    I feel like the coverage was soft most of the game. Gave me flashbacks to the past few years where the DBs were always 10 yards off the receiver. That type of coverage happens every game im sure. But for whatever reason it just stood out to me Thursday.

  2. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Why set up defensively to concede a first down with the game on the line? The ghost of Mike Smith has apperaed to many times this year. I have screamed at the TV many times during Mike Smith’s time as DC for the DBs to not concede a first down just because of positioning. I am sure Joe you remember in the 80’s how the prevent defense was in vogue. Time after time, teams that were shutting a team down, would go into the soft prevent defense and suddenly the other team would move the ball and score. The only thing to me the prevent defense did was prevent you from winning. Psychologist have said it goes against the nature of a defensive player.To be passive instead of agressive. Todd B is known for press coverage, so why has the prevent defense made a resurgence in Tampa Bay? GO BUCS!!!!

  3. unbelievable Says:

    Way too much soft coverage (again).

    Way too many running backs running wide open in shallow to intermediate routes.

    SMB definitely had his roughest game of the season.

  4. Bobby M. Says:

    In general….I dont that there are many options due to how Bowles likes to utilize the safeties for blitzing schemes. Other then Davis, the other guys are getting burnt over the top consistently, the only option is to instruct them to keep everything in front of them….so they soften up in coverage.

    My impression is the secondary as a whole drank a tad too much of their own kool-aid and rely way too much on the pressure forcing the play to accelerate. It always seems they are positioning to jump routes but keep ending up getting smoked for long plays.

  5. thunderchunyPA Says:

    Joe(s) Someone needs to ask Bowles why in the hell he keeps dropping Shaq and JPP in coverage. PFF shows that Shaq has allowed 7 for 7 for almost 100 yards in coverage? WHY drop your BEST and ONLY pass rushers?

  6. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    We never should have been in that defensive set with the game on the line. Soft coverage without knowing the down and distance for the first. If our secondary has the trust of the staff like they say they do especially while playing mediocre receivers this should never happen.

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Jamel Dean blew 2 opportunities for interceptions in the 4th quarter- 1 would’ve been a pick 6. And the refs bailed out the Bears on the BS late hit call on Barrett against Foles. Murphy- Bunting has a tackling problem as well, but I wouldn’t blame him for that play – I’d blame the scheme.

  8. Craig Says:

    That was just one of myriad problems. The Bucs CBs are all bump and run guys, that was what Mike Smith couldn’t figure out. Now we are stuck in deja vu all over again.

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    Its a bucs life.

  10. Bird Says:

    Ndog just announced on instagram he is going vegan

    He will not eat another piece of meat unless its jameis’

  11. ModHairKen Says:

    Let it go. It’s over. It’s a loss. I feel like the Parental Coach: “We all see it. We all see it.”

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sure, that was a key play…..but there were many… in golf…..a bogey on a short putt on hole 3 counts just as much as any other shot late in the round….

    An error is an error….Sure, we shouldn’t leave it up to the refs to make a game-deciding call…..but we did….most games hinge on one crucial play.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I think d white and smb either free lance or don’t know the playbook

  14. Casual Observer Says:

    Good story and comments. They have got to learn from this poor type of coverage. If not, they aren’t going anywhere in the post season – except home.

  15. Tbbucs3 Says:

    It’s clear the Bucs are not going to be a tier 1 team like we expected in the offseason.

    The Bucs right now are in that tier 2 range similar to the Bears, Raiders, Rams and Cardinals.

    At this point I’m just hoping to squeak into the playoffs. 9-7 is very possible and 10-6 if we can get our act together.

  16. Beej Says:

    I remember that play, was furious when I saw that we were lining up 10 yards+ off when they only needed 9

  17. Dbbuc711 Says:

    I was cussing my head off. Could not believe they left that much cushion.

  18. EA Says:

    So many blunders on all 3 phases, it’s like they were trying hard to lose this game.
    When is the Bruce Arians confidence poll coming? He doesn’t have mine.

  19. Buczilla Says:

    Still hurts.

  20. bojim Says:

    This should be a wake call. Gotta stop these things. Green Bay will make them pay if not.

  21. Tompa Says:

    Not looking forward to Rodgers and the pack with all these injuries.

    Could get real ugly with these tough games coming up.

    I have zero confidence this team can stop the Packers.

  22. Will Says:

    I felt like they go into a soft coverage every 3rd down. I’m not sure of the rate but if bet we’re pretty high when it comes to giving up 1st Downs when we have a team in 3rd down situations. Murphy is having a tough time right now and I swear Dean comes into a come not focused until he gets beat 1 time then he’s ready to play. And I’m with everyone else here wondering why Shaq is in coverage so often. Especially in a crucial situation QBs need to know he’s coming can they handle the pressure.

    On to Green Bay lets hope we’re healed up and ready to go!
    GO BUCS!

  23. Ndog Says:

    But I thought Brady’s tremendous practice habits and leadership was going to keep this from ever happening?

    That’s what coach liar told us???

  24. IE Buc Says:

    When is Parnell Motley going to get his shot?

  25. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    That picture is surreal. It loooks like SMB is using Lavonte David’s broken compass.

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    What team has Aaron Rodgers performed worst against in the NFL (QB rating – min 4 starts)?

    That would be… the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    His record is 2-2 with a 84.4 QB rating, but is just 1-2 in Tampa, with 6 INTs.

    Rodgers is also the p—y who complained about the grass at Ray Jay being too hard.

  27. Tompa Says:


    Dude stfu you pathetic P O S

    My word you are a total cry baby. ITS QUITE SAD.


  28. AtlBuc Says:

    I think the plays that killed us on defense are the same plays that have been killing us for years. We just cant seem to stop the pass to the running back out of the backfield!

  29. Mike C Says:

    Wow, watching the f$#% falcons and the stinking pathers, smh falcons are a complete dumpster fire.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with Tim & Unbelievable that the Bucs were playing soft coverage way too much. And yes, that defensive play was very significant.

    But not nearly as significant as that ‘roughing the passer’ call on Shaq. We had them (Bears were 3rd & 19 at their own 16 yd line and Foles deep pass was incomplete so the Bears would’ve surely punted), and that call with 4 mins left in the game gave the Bears new life. They punted on that series anyways, but got enough yardage before punting that we ended up with the ball at our own 16-yd line. The rest was history.

    That call allowed the Bears to run over a minute off the clock & improved their field position a bunch. Long yardage penalties like PIs or Roughing the Passer are killers.

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    Why do you dopes constantly get triggered by an obvious troll? It’s just remarkable to me people again and again get so angry, it’s just silly, and frankly anyone triggered again and again by obvious trolls deserve to be trolled. Just low IQ nonsense.

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    Well our defense did give up 6 points the whole second half. Call me crazy but I thought we had an offense that was capable of destroying a 6 point 2nd half effort 16 weeks per year.

    To me this team is the reverse of the 2002 Bucs. The 2002 defense said just get them 20 points and they will take care of the rest. With this team if we can hold our opponent to 20 or less the offense is expected to win us the game.

    19 points is simply unacceptable to me. And yes, my first finger gets pointed to Brady. Especially when he had the ball in his hands with a chance to win on last posession. He wasnt brought here to lose those types of situations.

  33. Kgh4life Says:

    This coaching staff consistently talk about putting players in position to succeed, however, the last couple games says otherwise. Why play off coverage when the strength of your CBs is man to man?

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    JimmyJack – The 2002 defense, which gave up 12 points a game, said the offense needed to put up 17.

    If the 2002 offense would put up 20 a week they’d have been considered the greatest team in history, instead of just one of the greatest defenses (and top pass defense) in the history of the league.

  35. Wesley Says:

    Pass coverage still blows.

  36. Howard Cosell Says:

    Nice to see Gruden rolling in Las Vegas.
    Howard is a fan of Gruden!
    Gruden will submit further proof this season that he is a HoF coach
    and was hamstrung by team Glazer circa 2004-2008

  37. Pelbuc Says:

    No need to watch the Packers slaughter the Bucs in all 3 phases. Well ciached and disciplined teams don’t lose the Bears game. BTW, anyone see what Gruden has done with the raiders in the same time BA has been with the bucs?

  38. Ndog Says:

    I love that I am considered a troll when I’ve been saying the same thing for the past 5 years. The only difference is you guys no longer have just one person to blame.

    Watching you scramble to call me different things is pathetic. How about you prove me wrong? Oh that’s right your can’t cause I’m right.


  39. Soggy Says:

    Chucjy is the MAN.. looks like we still have the Gruden Curse..

  40. Soggy Says:

    Correction CHUCKY

  41. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Yes, the defense looked bad on this play (and others, with Shaq in coverage), for sure. The D still held them to a field goal and gave the offense some time to work with at the end.

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Ndog – ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  43. Dano407 Says:

    Soft coverage= Easy 1st downs.

  44. Rod Munch Says:

    The Falcons have fired Quinn – didn’t even wait until Monday to do it.

    So who is the new HC, is it Dirk or Raheem?

  45. Loubucfan Says:

    Lovie 2.0 out there!!

  46. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    NDog, I’ve already named the game “Revenge of NDog”. Don’t push your luck. We are still to see Famous Jameis play a down.

  47. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    BTW, has anybody in Tampa even noticed the cancellation of games starting up in the NFL? No? Take a look.
    Someday maybe one of the Joe’s might notice it.

  48. Bird Says:

    You guys realize ndog‘s farts have not made noise in years

    Now do you understand his connection with jameis?

  49. Jmarkbuc Says:

    We blame you Ndog

  50. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    OMG Dak Prescott with a Vita Vea leg, only worse. That was hard to watch.

    On a more happy note, how about that Fitzmagic?!?!

  51. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    LFG Rays!!! No more trashcan lids!!!

  52. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    @Rod Munch
    This is the first I have heard of Quinn’s firing, but can you blame the Falcons ?
    Carolina had their way with them, at their home. They are 0-5.
    I would like to see Raheem get the job before Koetter, because he did so much, with so little, when he was here in Tampa.

  53. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    3 straight bad games for SMB.

  54. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    bucsfaninOregon Says:
    “BTW, has anybody in Tampa even noticed the cancellation of games starting up in the NFL? No? Take a look.”
    All kabuki theater designed just for wiling dupes like you–useful idjuts who won’t put 2+2 together no matter how many times it is shown to you.

    “The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries… We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
    ~ David Rockefeller

  55. Dapostman Says:

    Pretty funny.

    Not as funny as the FSU WR lining up backwards or that time two Florida offensive guys were blocking each other but still pretty funny none the less.

  56. Dapostman Says:

    This is why when I was coached youth sports that I never drafted a kid with a hyphenated name. The Mom was too involved and the kid was soft.

    I’ve seen it a hundred times.

  57. Dapostman Says:


    You’ve triggered the WDS crew. If you continue to pop their Brady bubble I don’t know what they will do.

  58. Bill M Says:

    Reality bites hard. Way too many stupid penalties. A head butt and two 15 yard penalties ? He should have been benched. Hard to overcome stupidity. Same guy gets at least one dumbass penalty every game. Defense played well enough to win. The offense sucked. Including Brady. Another loss coming soon against the Packers. This is not a disciplined team. Dreadful game to watch. BUCS BEAT THEMSELVES.

  59. adam from ny Says:

    did they really can quinn?

    did blank bounce balls off his chin?

  60. Ndog Says:

    I wonder if it would be better to have the NFLs leading rusher or Howard?

    Licht is such an idiot.

  61. adam from ny Says:

    raheem the wet dream will get a 2nd shot at mediocrity…haha


  62. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I see the spilled milkers are crying about draft picks again…I’m sure some of you bonebrains wanted a RB over Chris Godwin.

  63. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Still a very young secondary. It’s not like they are in year 5 and still making bone head ints, err, mistakes.


  64. SOEbuc Says:

    Bowels played Smitty zone the entire first half turning short catches into big yards. Was not pleased.

  65. Bucsfan951 Says:


    Dalvin cook? The guy who has started in 32 of a possible 64 games?

    50% games started in his career 😂😂😂

    Oh man, some people are complete idiots!!!

    Oh look, he’s hurt again in this hawks game!

    Such a moronic statement!


    Dumplings and crown served tonight!!!!

  66. Rod Munch Says:

    PFF reported shortly after the game this afternoon he was fired – others are saying he’ll be fired tomorrow, so it seems like it’s a done deal. If Rich McKay is getting back in charge of running things I’d assume Raheem will be the head coach, although with as bad as that defense has been it’s hard to pick him over Dirk. But what are you going to get from Dirk? The guy is a good OC and a terrible HC, at least Raheem has some upside as HC.

    Or maybe they just put the special teams coach in charge as a rebuke to the entire team – or maybe they just don’t have a headcoach and install an app so everyone on Twitter can pick their next play.

  67. Rod Munch Says:

    Yeah, more confirmation, the coach and GM are fired, Rich McKay is filling in as a GM and will hire whoever he’s going to hire, which again should mean Raheem gets the job. Unless he doesn’t.

    Also, thanks Vikings, you pricks.

  68. adam from ny Says:

    atlanta got off to the same start last year too…

    then in the second half of the season they had like the best record in the league…

    like a 1-7 first half of the season…

    then finished 7-1

  69. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Dapostman Says:
    “Not as funny as the FSU WR lining up backwards or that time two Florida offensive guys were blocking each other but still pretty funny none the less.”

    Thanks for the reminder. Had to go watch again for the LOL!

  70. Ndog Says:

    951 so let me get this straight you are ripping Cook for being hurt COMPARED TO OJ????

    Bro I try to be nice but come on you can’t be serious can you???

  71. The Coroner Says:

    Yep. Same old Bucs.
    Key injuries will just make it worse.

  72. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Only an idiot would give an injury prone rb, who has only played in 50% of games, a fat contract. But some posters think that’s a good move. Shows you how stupid ppl can really be.

    Next 5 year contracts between cook and oj

    Cook: 5 yrs, $63 million with $26 mill guaranteed with cap hits of 5,12, and 14 million dollars over the next 3 years.

    Oj: $6 million for 2021 which is the 5th yr option (not looking good with his Achilles injury)