Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons

October 9th, 2022

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The frustration kept building inside Rich McKay during the elevator ride down from the owner’s suite.

By the time McKay reached the Atlanta locker room, his anger boiled over as he slammed the door with his game program. Arthur Blank had a look of disbelief after the Bucs held on for a 21-15 triumph against the gritty Falcons.

With a 21-0 advantage after three periods, the Bucs were on their way to a laugher — before things turned serious. Two touchdown drives and a 2-point conversion pass triggered anxiety for Buc Nation — and there was plenty of time left for another Atlanta possession.

Then came two flags, both controversial and both critical. The first came as Tom Brady’s third-down pass to Chris Godwin fell incomplete.

Atlanta’s best defensive back, A.J. Terrell, was called for defensive holding.

That was the appetizer.

The main course came three snaps later as Grady Jarrett wrapped up Brady for a third-down sack at midfield with 2:56 remaining. It appeared to be a form tackle as both Jarrett and Brady spun to the ground.

It looked like the Bucs would have to punt. Not quite. The yellow flag was tossed for roughing the passer as Falcons coach Arthur Smith swore a blue streak on the sidelines.

When I asked Smith if the Falcons received a fair shake from the officials, he took the high road, saying he needed to coach better.

Sitting right behind me in the interview room, Blank seethed.

Referee Jerome Boger had this to say to pool reporter Greg Auman after the game: “What I had was the defender grabbed the quarterback while he was still in the pocket and unnecessarily throwing him to the ground. That is what I was making my decision based upon.”

His “decision” stinks. It was an awful call, an indefensible call.

And although there was no guarantee Atlanta would have won the game, the visitors deserved better.

As chairman of the Competition Committee, McKay isn’t in the habit of criticizing officials. Understood. As president of the Falcons, he can’t believe what he just saw.

For three quarters, the Bucs were in complete control. Then they relaxed, failing to believe the Falcons were capable of mounting a comeback. It’s a lesson worth noting as Tampa Bay prepares for a road matchup against the 1-4 Steelers.

Here’s how the Bucs improved to 3-2 and assumed sole possession of the division lead.

* For the second consecutive game, Tom Brady threw 52 passes. The good news is Brady was sharp once again, spreading the ball to seven different targets. The bad news? A 45-year-old man is once again on pace for more than 700 pass attempts.

* Leonard Fournette was outstanding, averaging 4.0 yards on 14 carries and catching 10-of-11 targets for an additional 83 yards. He reached the end zone as both a runner and a receiver to pace Tampa Bay’s 420-yard attack. “He can do it all,” said Mike Evans. “Leonard was a beast.”

* The protection in front of Brady has been phenomenal, given the overhaul up front. The phantom roughing call against Jarrett nullified what would have been Atlanta’s only sack and Brady was hit just four times.

* How did the Falcons crawl back into this game? The Bucs paved the way by going 3-and-out on their three subsequent possessions after opening a 21-0 lead.

* On their second drive, the Bucs faced fourth-and-inches from the Atlanta 15. They wisely disdained the chip-shot FG try, but Fournette was stopped for no gain off left guard. Has Byron Leftwich forgotten just how successful Brady has been on QB sneaks? Let the man work his magic, please.

* As expected, Marcus Mariota did very little through the air. He was sacked five times while throwing for 147 yards, but he hurt the Bucs with 61 yards on the ground. This defense should have been more honed in on Mariota’s exceptional scrambling skills.

* Here’s a legitimate question: what the heck is going on with Julio Jones?

* Brady’s 25-yard completion to Mike Evans down the left sidelines in the second quarter was a terrific play on both ends. The pass was expertly arched and Evans made a gorgeous fingertip grab. Two great players showing how it’s done.

* Just when it appeared the Bucs would play a complete game, they lost their mojo. With a 21-0 lead against a team with Mariota under center, the ending should never be in doubt. Todd Bowles is still seeking that killer instinct he’s been preaching about.

* The Bucs did a lot of things well Sunday before faltering. By the time they assumed a 21-0 lead, they owned a 371-118 advantage in yards and had converted 8-of-11 on third down. They shouldn’t have needed a blown call to secure the victory, but they rule the NFC South. Now they need to play like royalty.

Ira loves that lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles!

32 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons”

  1. BuxfaninTX Says:

    I disagree about the OL a little….. Grady Jarrett owned Luke Goedke today

  2. David Says:

    Nice wrap up.

    They have plenty of time to keep improving in order to peak towards the end of the year heading into the playoffs

  3. BuxfaninTX Says:

    I disagree about the OL…. Grady Jarret owned Luke Goedke today

  4. Coburn Says:

    One thing not mentioned besides that bad Jarrett call and the lack of PI before that. The two horrible spots on that turnover on downs

  5. Spdefdan Says:

    Its on Leftwich the worst offensive coordinator in the NFL. We need to let him go let Brady call the plays Leftwich just gets in the way terrible predictable play calling. Straight bumb!

  6. #8 Says:

    Dookie ref calls go both ways and did. Recentcy bias is real.

  7. Zzbucs Says:

    I agree with your point in Refs calls Ira. But Also would be fair say about Two PI zebras did not call against the Bucs. The second being VERY clear against Miller.

    Bucs still looking fon an ofensive identity they do not have.

    Julio Jones situation is just a bad taste joke.

    My biggest cocern now is injuries on the defensive backs.

  8. ClwJB Says:

    Thankfully we have a couple piñata’s in the next two games – we aren’t there yet

  9. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Irv the apologist…commiserating with TurnCoat McKay and BlankCheck…who’s racking up divorces and losses after the 28-3 gag of a lifetime. What a funny trio.

  10. Bucsfan13 Says:

    The OL has been awful. You need to include hits and hurries. Goedeke has been worked every game.

  11. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    The Bucs wisely passed up points, in a game they eeked out? You’re kidding, right? How can you watch football for a living and think that?

  12. Buccos Says:

    I saw Goedeke pancake his man on one occasion. No one owned Goedeke. He plays with an attitude.

  13. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Turncoat McKay?

    You must be new here.

  14. firethecannons Says:

    antoine winfield was held which allowed Falcons to score–what about that–just as wrong if not worse. Miller should have gotten at least one pi call–what about that? I do not want to hear the visitors deserved better. No they got a loss because they played krap football for most of this game. Not even going to read the rest of this just stupid article.

  15. Old School Bucs Says:

    I disagree that it was a blown call. It is clear the refs are calling the whip it tackle on the QB this year. It was called on Tua, and again in the morning game between giants and packers! You will see it again this year. You can bank on it! Good win for the Bucks, even though the D didnt play 4 quarters! Bowles will get that fixed in the D, and you can believe Brady will not tolerate taking the gas off early. His whole career in NE says he knows about playing 4 quarters!

  16. Bucs Win Says:

    Sage, with all due respect, I have been going to Bucs games since 1992 and I have seen so many BS calls against the Bucs it ain’t funny. So F McCay, F, F Blank and F the Falcons.

  17. steele Says:

    I’m sick of the NFL eliminating basic football. Those sacks are absolutely clean and ordinary. If you’re the sacker, and you have the QB on that side, and the QB is still up and squirming, what are you supposed to do to bring him down, if you can’t do that spiral throw? Is the sacker supposed to give up and let go? It’s also a conventional wrestling takedown. If done forcefully, yes, you have the Tua, but that’s football, ladies.

    Jarrett, Tom’s friend going all the way back to the magic Super Bowl game (in which he gave Tom a lot of trouble), didn’t even do it hard, from what I could tell.

  18. Winny Testaverde Says:

    SkidMarkBuc Says:
    October 9th, 2022 at 8:42 pm
    Turncoat McKay?

    You must be new here.

    Nah…not new at all. He was golfing/laughing it up in 2003 ( in season no less ) with The FalCone brass to secure a job. I get it that he and Gruden didn’t get along. He stunk it up as the FalCone personnel guy and was kicked upstairs. So yeah…TurnCoat. OffTheMark Buc knows though…

  19. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Old School. Agree. The whip tackle is done in the NFL after Tua. Form tackle Irma? Grab and sling is a form tackle ? Can’t figure Irma out. Maybe the Fowlcons will hire him.

  20. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Why the hell is Ira along with all these TV journalists complaining about the “blown” call by the officials with the roughing the passer call on Falcons Jarrett against Brady, YET NO TV JACKASSES TALK ABOUT THE NON-CALL DPI’s WITH SCOTTY MILLERS ROUTES TODAY!!

    I don’t wanna hear a peep and whining about that missed call when Miller gets CONSTANTLY MUGGED on his deep routes like every week and IM STILL WAITING FOR A FREAKEN CALL TO BE MADE!!!

    I have zero remorse for that call against Jarrett cuz the refs sure as hell owed the Bucs some calls today…..

  21. Jeremy Canada Says:

    That RTP was a garbage call. But the missed calls on PI this call were even worse. Make up call. Bucs gotta keep their foot on the gas

  22. LakelandSteve Says:

    BucfaninTx, Jarrett did not own Goedeke today. He beat Goedeke twice as far as I could tell. There were plenty other times Goedeke blocked him including some nice blocks on running plays. The sack/non sack on Brady towards the end of the game was not on Goedeke, Jarrett started on the other side of the line and looped around the other side to Brady. I think Brady had to hold the ball longer than he liked because of coverage and tried to scramble but Jarrett got him.

  23. Buccos Says:

    I turned to the people in the stands next to me and said,”that was a make up call” on Brady. The second Scotty Miller no defensive pass interference no call was so obvious that my mom could have called it. So I definitely believe in the make up call. The better team won the game. And I am so excited to see Godwin balling again. He had a great first half and then they quit using him and the offense fell apart in the 2nd half.

  24. adam from ny Says:

    actually yeah – on one scoring play of the falcons:

    no one is really talking about it, but look at the replay…

    antoine winfield was seriously held…and if i’m correct, smb was also held – and you can see it in the replay if you choose to view it..2 holds on the one play that went uncalled…

    there were multiple holds on buc defenders allowing that touchdown…

    check it out – if you didn’t see it

  25. Hodad Says:

    Get used to that call Ira, call it the Tua tackle. D linemen won’t be able whip a QB to the ground with force. The tackle on Tom was the same tackle used to take Tua out of his game. Just like a D linemen can’t land on a QB with force, now the whip to the ground tackle with force will be called. The Tua tackle.

  26. John_boat Says:

    Reffs on that Brady train. Bs call. We will see come Jan 8th. That roughing the passer was hot garbage.

  27. Winny Testaverde Says:

    John”motor” boat his man cans…FalCone Fan hanging his hat on a revenge game…since 28-3 gagger…this is all they have to root for. Should be rooting for losses to better their draft pick…unless Super Mariota is the QB answer ( he probably isn’t ).

  28. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    Let’s face it, the officiating is terrible all around. And I thought the home plate umpires in MLB were bad. (which they are)

  29. orlbucfan Says:

    I’ve followed the Bucs for 43 years, and I’ve seen plenty of non-called BS. I’ve also seen where those non-calls have caused injuries to Buc players, and ended/shortened their careers. The officiating has been a problem for a long time. I have no sympathy if the zebs blow a call against a opposing team cos the Bucs are long past overdue for those mistakes. There’s so much money made gambling on these games that I doubt it will ever get fixed.

  30. garro Says:

    Ira..come on man!
    Maybe 3 of 5 of our o-line are playing well or consistently. Hainsey is improved a bit. Brady has done miraculous job of not getting killed.

  31. garro Says:

    I’m laughing my ass off here…McKay is pissed about the flag football rules he put through on the rules committee! What an ass!

  32. garro Says:

    So what is a “legal” tackle on a quarterback? Can’t hit the knees, can’t center him up (your body weight will land on him) high is a no no (helmet to helmet) can’t off center with the shoulder (you might incidentally “sling” him)? I know! Just ask him nicely to fall over and then touch him gently.