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Bucs 18, Rams 17


THE GOOD

LeGarrette Blount
The Bucs found their starter: he was pillaging through Rams tackles 11 times for 72 yards and his most amazing run, which featured about 8 broken tackles, was called back due to an unnecessary block in the back.

Conner Barth’s 35-yard, 38-yard, 39-yard, and 53-yard Field Goals
This dude single-handedly kept them in the game.

Josh Freeman’s “Game Managing”
While he had a pretty good day against a good defense, he was only able to get them to paydirt the one time they absolutely needed him to. Say what you want about how disappointing it is when a drive stalls but a lot of it isn’t Freeman’s fault and he has avoided the mistakes that have lost football games for a lot of quarterbacks across NFL’s history. Freeman now has 5 4th quarter comebacks in his 7 wins.

Mike Williams’s Huge Catch
While you were probably screaming “get out of bounds”, Williams had a better idea: bring the ball to the 1. He goes out there, plays physical and has that same swagger as Freeman. He is staying on pace to have an undeniably great rookie season and, despite his youth, is the one wide receiver that gets the most separation.

E.J. Biggers
This guy is a spark plug and had a pretty decent game blanketing people. Also of note, Cody Grimm lighting up the Rams’ Danny Amendola on a kick-off return.

THE BAD

3rd Down Conversions
5/15 vs. St. Louis’ 7/14

Penalties
You expect a guy like Steven Jackson to have a big performance in a big road game like this. I thought a lot of what Jackson did was simply veteran moves and unrivaled athleticism. If the rushing yardage was understandable, the 92 yards from 12 penalties is not.

Pass Rush
It got there some times but only 1 sack (with a forced fumble) is not what you expect at this point in the year, not that Bradford is easy to bring down.

LOOKING AHEAD

Tampa Bay heads to 3-3 Arizona against a rejuvenated Big Red defense that has been forcing turnovers, getting sacks and is stingy in the red zone. They will likely face undrafted rookie Max Hall and, as long as Freeman avoids throwing at Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and as long as they do a little more with their dysfunctional offense than Arizona does with theirs (and they had a pick and lost four fumbles on Sunday), the Bucs could head into their showdown in Atlanta November 7th with the division on the line.


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3 Responses to “Bucs 18, Rams 17”

  1. Greg says:

    I’m VERY excited about the Bucs this year. I think our coach is trying to take the pressure off the players and onto himself declaring his team the best in the NFC. Bottom line – This team has a shot to make the playoffs….a first in a while down here in Tampa. No matter what happens this year this team has taken a huge step forward! They have a great QB-WR combo in Freeman-Williams that will only age like a fine wine together……if they could just FIND THAT RB we may actually have something here!

  2. Chris Bach says:

    I think they’ve FOUND THAT RB in LaGarrette Blount. 🙂 We probably need to see two more weeks like Sunday, when he was #2 in yards per rush among NFL running backs with 10 or more carries.

    I agree with your exclamation point about them taking a huge step forward. Even at the end of last year, the linebackers, wideouts and even Josh Freeman weren’t at the level they are at now. I’d even say this team may have a better shot than the Garcia-led team in ’07 which was mostly out of the playoff game against the Giants. You have to go back to the ’05 group that was robbed by the refs to find a Bucs team this promising.

  3. Russ Loede says:

    You mean, LeGarrette?

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