Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Patriots

October 4th, 2021

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If you squinted hard enough through the raindrops, you saw a gritty Bucs victory against a team Bill Belichick was determined to vanquish.

No style points should be awarded to Tampa Bay in Foxborough, but when the skies cleared, only Arizona had a better record in the NFC.

Imagine if the Bucs were playing well.

Through four weeks, the Bucs have yet to put together a complete football game. The pre-Brady Bucs used to play their guts out and still come up short. That’s why this 3-1 start is rather encouraging, despite a slew of injuries that threatens to sideline key players for a while.

It was nice to see the pass rush and the ground game come to life, overcoming a pedestrian game by an understandably nervous Tom Brady.

In the end, Ryan Succop made his field goal and former Buc Nick Folk doinked his as the Patriots tumbled to 1-3.

Rookie Mac Jones was poised under pressure, but Tampa Bay’s third-down defense, a weakness through three games, allowed only 2-of-9 conversions as the Bucs reeled off 20 more snaps than New England.

Here’s how the Bucs held on for a 19-17 triumph in a matchup NBC Sports hyped like the second coming of Ali-Frazier I.

* The two best Bucs on the field were Leonard Fournette and Joe Tryon. Fournette accounted for 138 yards from scrimmage while Tryon tormented Jones with two sacks and four QB hits. He’s still learning the nuances of NFL line play, but Tryon’s athleticism and instincts are the real deal.

* Shaq Barrett lived up to his vow, showing up as a force all evening. He dropped Jones once, added two hits and would have been credited with a first-quarter forced fumble if officials didn’t overturn their original call of a Jones completion to Jakobi Meyers.

* The offensive line, one unit which has avoided injuries, enjoyed a solid night. Brady was sacked only once and hit only three times. Most of his 21 incompletions weren’t the result of throwing under duress. Fournette ran behind some big holes and when the creases were small, he put his head down and ran with power, breaking tackles.

* Belichick quickly came to the same conclusion virtually every other opposing coach reaches against the Bucs — you can’t run on these guys. Eight carries for minus-1 yard kind of says it all. It was the fewest rushing yards allowed by the Bucs in franchise history.

* Devin White is still searching for his groove, but his blitz up the middle forced Jones into floating a pass that was tipped by Ross Cockrell and intercepted by Antoine Winfield Jr. White appreciated the opportunity.  “Coach Bowles got back to being really aggressive,” he said. “When we get aggressive, we can do a lot of good things. I am just thankful that we are not playing so much Cover-2 and not playing soft. We are getting after the quarterback and stopping them.”

* Bowles had to do something to change the dynamic. Through four games, the Bucs have allowed the most completions and passing yards in the league. No team has yielded more TDs through the air. That’s what happens when opponents throw 47 times per game because they can’t dent your rush defense.

* Yes, Donovan Smith, that was holding.

* Despite only two practices, Richard Sherman didn’t look out of place in the Buc secondary. Yes, he’s 33, and yes, he faces some legal issues, but Sherman is a savvy pro who figures to log a lot of snaps going forward.

* Covering Antonio Brown is a nightmare. The way Brown gets in and out of his breaks is textbook.

* Here come the Dolphins, right on time. Miami has topped 17 points once in four games and the Dolphins rank 31st in points and yards. Opponents are completing passes at a ridiculous 73.7 percent rate against the Bucs, so it’s time to hunt against Jacoby Brissett.


40 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Patriots”

  1. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Alot of Tryon’s production was a result of Vea’s disruptiveness.

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    Don’t take the Dolphins for granted.

  3. SlyPirate Says:

    Davis, SMB, Dean, Winfield (likely) will be out for the next game. They’ll be starting Cockrell, Delanie, Sherman, Whitehead, Edwards.

    Expect the Bucs to be in high scoring shootouts until after the bye.

  4. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I was glad to escape with the W. If we can weather the storm in the secondary, the secondary might be better with Sherman in it than we were last year. The same goes for JPP being, Tryon is getting valuable experience. And with Brady here, somehow we come out on top of these grudge matches that we used to always be on the other side of the score.

  5. Brandon Says:

    Into the 3rd quarter, the Bucs had a 3:1 pass to run ratio. This is a huge reason for our struggles on both sides of the ball. We CAN run the ball but we are choosing not to… running the ball does so much for a team. Time of possession, sets up play-action, wears down a defense, sets up other plays, moves the chains, keeps your own D off the field, keeps your D fresh… but we are choosing NOT to run the ball. This is a huge problem… and is not the same identity the team had in the final eight games of 2020. This needs to be fixed or we will not be playing far into the post season.

  6. Medicated Pete Says:

    Richard Sherman playing the whole game tells Pete how badly we needed him.

    Pete downloaded Ira’s last podcast where Joe #2 had a colossal meltdown….saying Bucs should NEVER run the ball again while Brady is here. Pete will listen to that podcast for the next 20yrs as pure entertainment

  7. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Agree with Alan Bucsfan…Vea does not get enough credit for our pass rush and sacks. He routinely not only ties up two OL he drives them back into the pocket giving Bucs pass rushers a better shot at a flushed out QB.

    Agree with Ira that DW45 hasn’t really found his groove yet. He’s played well enough but not GREAT enough. He’s more talented than his current production, which is not bad just saying DW needs to be the straw that stirs our drink and the most disruptive defender on the field. Tonight the most disruptive defender was Judon by far. He’s what DW45 can be when he returns to form.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    Donovan Smith looked absolutely pathetic out there. Mathew Judon is not a short player and Smith was blocking him up around his head the whole game. How fat and out of shape do you have to be to not bend your knees at all in pass pro and give zero effort in the running game? That is a lazy POS. Joe can defend him all he wants, bit that is a very low effort player.

    Fournette gained yards, but my god is it painful to watch him jitter bug all over the field. I’ve never seen an NFL running back play dead as easily as Fournette doesn’t literally every time he gets wrapped up. It just honestly makes me sick to watch. I don’t ever want to see anybody post again that he is a power back. Clifton “Peanut” Smith had more guts.

    If Devin White played as good as he talked he would be All-Pro. Physical specimen, yes. Instinctual player, not yet. All that speed and energy sometimes gets in the way of him just making smart plays. He definitely still has some growing pains to go through before he is a complete football player.

    Brady needs Gronk. Gronk on the field allows Brady to go off script and kill defenses on choice routes. He has no chemistry with Brate or Howard.

    The next 5 or 6 weeks won’t be pretty. There’s just too many injuries to allow this team to go out there and look polished. This feels so much like the beginning of last year again, especially on offense. You’ve got Brady, 44 years old, staring at his wrist play book trying to spit out what ever Leftwich is feeding him through the helmet microphone, and the offense just looks clumsy.

  9. Mexican Buc Says:

    Brady was out of sync all game, thanks god the defense play a lot better, even if they still ate a lot of yards through the air

  10. Medicated Pete Says:

    Give Brady the week off vs Dolphins. They’re horrendous & we play 5 days later on Thursday Night

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    When you have only 8 run attempts…..there are going to be Bucs with few stats…..Vea had no tackles & Suh just 1……

    As far as Sherman is concerned……thanks, Ira……the Joes don’t really appreciate Sherman’s effort…..he played 98% of the snaps…..lead the team in tackles…..recovered a fumble…..

    We got him for peanuts and he’ll only get better than last night…..he probably is still wearing the same clothes has he did to his trip to Tampa last week…..give the guy a break!!!

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One other thought….for all those clamoring for a trade for a CB….

    We really don’t have many players we can spare……Maybe Rojo….Maybe Stennie……
    We need our future draft picks to replace aging players…

    Lets try to hang in until the bye….I think JPP, Dean & perhaps SMB will be back.

    Our offense is OK….although they didn’t look so good last night.

  13. Winny Testaverde Says:

    The chance of Brady taking the Dolphin game off is equivalent of Pete becoming pill free and fully lucid. I wouldn’t trust Gabbert vs the Dolphins…or the Rough Riders…or even the Crimson Tide in a “spot start”.

  14. SB~LV Says:

    All they have shown me is a .500 team so far…so much on both sides of the ball are either not clicking or misfiring . Still need to keep working on running the ball. Boy did RoJo completely fail on pass blocking on one particular play. BA did not put him in again until late in the game. It boggles my mind RoJo does not have a clue how to block, it’s not like he is afraid of contact because he gets pounded as a running back. The guy fundamentally DOES not know how to block another player.

  15. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Sherman recovered a fumble yesterday, and will only get better!

  16. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    What I don’t get – and maybe Joe can help – why didn’t we try to get the first down instead of trying to score with just under 2 minutes left? If we get the first down, we could have run the clock down to almost nothing and either scored a TD or kicked a closer FG with only seconds left.

    Even if AB catches that TD, NE gets the ball back to drive for the win either way.

    Confused. Please help.

  17. geno711 Says:

    My takeaways.

    Never been a Donovan Smith hater and still not; But he allowed most of the pressures. 5 pressures allowed by him. So although Marpet, Wirfs, Jensen and Cappa did their jobs, I believe D Smith was not only the weak link on pass protection but was the weak link on running plays to his side.

    Richard Sherman looked a little worse than average by my eyes but not horrendous. Stats showed he allowed 9 out of 9 completions for 100 yards but I guess not 9 out of 9 for 150 or 180. I expect that he deserves a game ball for playing all but 1 defensive snap and also deserves the most thorough massage and cold water bath to help the ridiculous pain he will be going through this week.

    Disagree with Brandon on running the ball. Teams win in different ways and we are at our best when Brady passes the ball to many different players and I think our offensive line is better at pass blocking than run blocking.

    I love the fact that we are the best rush defense year in and year out. There is clear satisfaction that on a 3rd and 1 or 2, knowing that an offense does not even try to run against us Or on a 4th and 1 they punt the ball.

    This feels like a Brady win. He had his worst statistical completion percentage as a Buc and definitely missed some passes but he always had his head in the game and we always had a chance to win. I find now with him that I am not always 100 percent convinced we will win in the 4th quarter but it is a good 80%. A nice feeling to have with him back there.

  18. Buczilla Says:

    Good stuff Ira!

  19. R.O. Says:

    A lot of players “success” is because other players are winning their matchups. Duh..

  20. Craig Says:

    Bowles needs to dial up more bump and run coverages.

    Opposing QBs are going to, mostly, rely on a lateral passing game. It is almost the only way to get the ball out quick and the D-line isn’t going to slack back off.

    The bump and run will give enough disruption to make the QB pull the ball down because of pressure.

    I excuse Brady, the game was more about emotion than any other game. He will be back stronger, because of some closure, and will be a laser from now on.

    Fournette put his best effort of the year out last night, it was good to see.

  21. DoooshLaRue Says:


    Good observation on the OL but don’t be afraid to let the Durable Donnie hate flow.
    It’s easy when you see that he just doesn’t give a f&@k.
    How about the 2-3 plays where he didn’t even attempt to block the DE?
    I mean really, 15 million for that?

  22. Steven007 Says:

    74, a touchdown gets us up by 5 and forces New England to try to get a touchdown, not a field goal to win. We actually did well keeping them out of the end zone. Only 16 points. I don’t disagree with trying to run the clock down a little bit more before the field goal but at least one of those long passes could have been caught. Regardless, I’ll never cry about a w. This is a team not firing off all cylinders but yet still 3-1. Plenty of room for nitpicking, but not much room for complaint.

  23. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Thank goodness we have the Dolphins next. We still have a lot to sort out. I love that we are 3-1 considering all the injuries.

  24. Sparky Says:

    @74 Bucs Fan …that guy covering AB was cramping and limping. It was as close to a guaranteed TD as you can get from the 35 yard line. I do agree that trying for the first down would have been the smart thing, but I understand why TB went for it.

  25. Richard Dickson Says:

    Teams don’t run on us because they don’t have to. If they can move the ball on us in the air almost at will, why bother handing off?

  26. D-Rome Says:

    Mac Jones was more poised in the pocket than any QB the Bucs have ever had prior to Tom Brady’s arrival. He’s going to be the real deal and very good for a long time.

  27. alton d green Says:

    74 bucksfan. you nailed it. If I remember right, we had 2nd and 8 and Brady threw it into the end zone. I said WHAT THE HELL, we only needed 8 yds. Then he did the same thing again. I thought my head would explode. If AB caught the second one??? If a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump its but

  28. buxszntkt Says:

    @ 74 BUCS fan, I bet you that was BA’s call. You saw Brady speak with BA and BL just before returning to the field for both of those throws.
    I am sure Brady would have been very happy going for a first down.
    BA had to No RISKIT NO BISCUIT those downs.
    I bet BA thought they will never expect the touchdown throw, and Brady to Brown is pretty good odds, except when its friggin pouring.

    I don’t think Brady was happy with that plan but went along with it. I’m certain he would have preferred something more conservative and with the momentum likely would have kept us moving.

  29. D-Rome Says:

    Alot of Tryon’s production was a result of Vea’s disruptiveness.

    True. There was one highlight where Vea moved two offensive linemen by himself and gave Tryon a gap to the QB you could fit a car through.

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    geno- We are too imbalanced of an offense right now and a run game would help open things up a bit.
    40+ pass attempts is too many! If we can EFFECTIVELY run the ball, this offense will explode, IMO.

  31. BA4President Says:

    Joe, any shot of us trading our 2022 first round draft pick to a 1-3 team for a decent cornerback? It would be an “all-in” move for sure.

    The 1-3 teams outside our division are Vikings, Eagles, Giants, Texans, Colts, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots (unlikely), and Steelers.

    Xavien Howard, James Bradberry, Adoree Jackson, Joe Haden, Byron Jones???

    We would have to overpay I imagine as any GM on the hot seats is worried more about winning now, plus they know we’re desperate.

  32. firethecannons Says:

    Tom Brady is certainly glad the last two weeks are over. Rest today and sort it out tomorrow, play our game next Sunday, an early game.
    impressed with the run game last night, playoff Lenny looked fantastic!

  33. JimmyJack Says:

    Medicated Pete Ive probably listened to all the Bucs podcasts. Most are so bad I cant listen to anymore………But the point is Ive listed to a lot and Im hear to tell you when Joe has a meltdown, 100% bar none, it is the greatest most entertaining content you will ever hear on a Bucs podcast………I say Joe needs to start working on a best of show with all of hit best meltdowns. I would probably give it 100k clicks just by myself.

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    Agreed with the D.Smith critism. The guy in noting but average. Probably below average. If we need money over the offseason Im looking to bring in another tackle.

  35. matthew veal Says:

    Ira the game was unwatchable and I cut it off. The league is insane about penallies. I get that most everyone cheats as much as they are allowed to, but lesser stuff needs warnings that can be resolved on the repeat offense, and retaliation must be allowed. Flow is way better than fits and starts

    Celebration 2 or 3 times, then a dq.

    More fun will bring more viewers, more bets since that’s part of it, more sales from advertising, etc.

    Ira use your power for the fans . ended up doing dishes, so wife happy, but come on, fun is harder to find these days, help us out

  36. godlovesbucs Says:

    74- I think the rationale is when you have single press coverage on AB you let him do what he does 90% of the time, especially when you are down in a low scoring rainy game. It was very rare that he lost track of the first one and dropped a catch (even if it was difficult) on the 2 shots.

  37. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Many times BL gets the blame for the playcall….when it’s Brady that makes the decision…..I am quite certain that those 2 passes on 2nd & 8 & 3rd & 8 were Brady decisions……not his firs read…..

  38. PassingThru Says:

    Biggest take away: The Bucs need CBs in the worst way because the CBs are playing in the worst way.

  39. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    What was up with the refs respotting the ball a yard ahead to tie the all time passing record? That was weird.

    I have noticed with Mike Evans he never seems to get the defensive pass interference calls. Defenders are mugging him all day. But if he pushes off automatic flag.

    Brady seemed amped up in this game. Throwing bullets at guys in the rain. Sometimes before thier head was even turned. Who ever said Brady lost his zip was wrong. Lol. Sometimes floating his passes that was probably the rain also. You would think with torrential rain the running game would become a focus for any offense.

  40. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey Joes, you got some tech gremlins on here.