Championship Clock Management

December 13th, 2020

Joe has to give a standing ovation for how the Bucs handled the end of the first half.

Bravo! It feels like a lifetime ago that Bucco Bruce Arians called back-to-back timeouts (against the rules), and took penalties to set up Matt Gay for a miss.

Today, the Bucs were magical before halftime. It was true championship-caliber stuff.

After the Bucs scored late in the second quarter to take a 14-6 lead, the Vikings started a new drive on their 25 yard line with 44 seconds left and timeouts in their back pocket. Thankfully, the Vikings passed on first down and threw incomplete. They ran on second down and the Bucs pounced after the no-gain play; they called their second timeout with 35 seconds remaining.

The Vikings threw incomplete on third down, punted on fourth down, and Tampa Bay started at their 28 yard line with 21 seconds remaining and one timeout in the bag.

Brady threw for 9 yards to Cameron Brate over the middle and quickly called timeout with 15 seconds left. Joe hated the short throw, but the Bucs played it perfectly.

On the next play, Brady went back over the middle to Antonio Brown for 16 yards and the Bucs hustled to spike the ball and somehow got it done with a second left on the clock. That only happens when you practice effectively. Then the Bucs threw the prayer to the end zone from the Minnesota 47 yard line and got the pass interference call on a perfectly thrown ball to Rob Gronkowski.

The wise move came next, a field goal with no time on the clock to take a two-score lead, 17-6, before getting the ball back to start the third quarter.

That’s how you freakin’ close a first half!

Beautiful stuff, the kind of sequence the crushes the spirit of an opponent and certainly makes your fans and players believe in the coaching.

17 Responses to “Championship Clock Management”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    The clock operator is the real MVP. you know what I’m talkin bout.

  2. lambeau Says:

    Simply good football–sad that BA doing it is cause for such astonished celebration.

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    This was one of the most baffling wins the BUCS franchise has ever had……..period.

    The Bucs ain’t going far once they play a real team that won’t give the game away like the Vikings did today.

  4. JimmyJack Says:

    Great eye on how we destroyed Minnesota with 20 ticks left. When we doubled down to start the second half we put the game out of reach. Then Minny helped to go on a 11 minute drive. LoL. It feels nice to have Scotty running free and a QB who can hit him for a quick score.

  5. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Huge win but from an X’s and O’s stand point…..

    Remember when the offense that was supposed to be “explosive”?

    Remember when the “secondary was fixed”?

    You know your pass defense is broken when you have Ross Cockrell (a guy whose been passed around from team to team) starting on your defense.

  6. Godlovesbucs Says:

    The bucs d forced the field goals. Also forced the vikings to be a fairly 1 dimentional team (after the firat quarter, cousins was forced to throw and wasnt very successful. The offense was ok, but did plenty enough to win. Succop made all of his kicks. Tampa played a good (not great) game against a team the won 4 of their last 5 and knew they NEEDED to win to go to the playoffs.

  7. Todd Says:

    The Ghost of Tampa Bay partied too hard last night. Or maybe has been consuming too much carbon dioxide…possessed the wrong team’s kicker.

    Thank goodness for small favors.

  8. Coburn Says:

    Was trying to figure out why they had such an issue with the pass interference.. was thinking… Seems awfully hard for Gronk to make any real play for the ball when one defender pushes him back into the other and he’s sandwiched… If it’s not then what is? Clearly interferes with any effort to go up and get it

  9. Coburn Says:

    Actually was also tired of hearing how good white is and later actually said he was so good at coverage.. was like uh… As a fan of this team no.. no he’s not. That’s his major weakness

  10. RICHARD weeks Says:

    TheBucsAnthem, Enjoy the win ! Cry when you wet your bed later tonight.

  11. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    I think the MVP for that drive right before the half was the ref who threw the PI flag. It just looked like a normal Hail Mary to me. I certainly didn’t expect the yellow hanky to come flying out.

  12. Coburn Says:

    Eh putting myself in geonks shoes.. would be pretty darn hard to make a play for the ball when one defender pushes you back into the other and you’re sandwiched without his head even turned around. Was actually wondering why announcers had an issue with it, other than refs always seem afraid to actually make the call in those situations

  13. Christos Says:

    I have to disagree about the clock management and Arians and his staff have done many mistakes in that department. In the TD drive on 1st and goal Rojo run for a couple of yards at the 7yd line with 58 seconds left. Arians called timeout and that was a bad decision. You can call it if you want but when you are in the 7yd line you not leave 50 seconds to the other team to make a drive. Let 20 seconds at least to run. Why you make it possible to leave so much time to Minesota there is no reason. Dont judge a decision only from the outcome. Yes Minesota did not do nothing and the Bucs got the ball back but you left them with an opportunity of 45 seconds and 2 TO. That is bad clock management. And it happens in many games. The team still seems a little of. Congrats on the win Go Bucs.

  14. ModHairKen Says:

    The decision to kick the FG with zero on the clock was coaching discipline at its finest.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I agree completely….we called a needless time out and left Minn with 44 seconds and time outs at the end of the half……we should have milked the clock….

    It made no sense to me that we called a time out…..I actually thought it was called by Minn to preserve some time after our score.

    We got lucky they didn’t score and we got the gift FG….

    So, it wasn’t any genius time management…..

  16. BucHeart Says:

    Christos is right. It was actually very poor clock management on the td drive. Bucs should have and could have completely drained the clock but chose to leave 50 seconds on the clock for Minnesota to have another drive before half. Baffling.

  17. JEFF Says:

    Dewey Selmon…totally agree. Even Aikman commented on it. I kinda expected it to be talked about today a little more (especially since it involved Brady) but haven’t really heard anything