Young Bucs throttled by veteran Saints team 31-6 as youth every where was exposed. Whether it was miscommunication between quarterback Josh Freeman and his corps of young inexperienced receivers or the Bucs young defensive tackles being driven out of their gaps and totally washed out of plays it should not surprise anyone just how out of sync the second youngest team in the NFL looked against the defending champs. Its all about growing pains as the Bucs must first learn to crawl before they can walk.
Quincy Black – Accounted 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss a forced fumble and a tipped pass that led to Cody Grimm’s second interception in as many weeks. Black was a one man wrecking crew on defense and was clearly the star of the defense against the Saints.
Ronde Barber – Barber broke the record for consecutive starts in the NFL by a cornerback. By starting his 172 consecutive game, against the Saints. Barber finished the game with 8 tackles and was used as the weakside linebacker in sub packages to get five defensive backs on the field against the aerial assault of the Saints.
Robert Malone – Malone who was signed just this week punted three times for a gross average of 45.7 yards and a net of 40 yards. His first punt was a beauty that was downed at the Saints six yard line. He had 2-of-3 downed inside the 20.
Penalties – One of the least penalized teams through the first five weeks of the season. The Bucs committed five penalties against the Saints.
Aqib Talib – Talib who surrendered a 41-yard touchdown to Lance Moore on a go route in the first quarter on what can only be described as lackadaisical effort on his part. He has given up four long touchdowns in his four starts this year. It’s been feast or famine in coverage with Talib and has some invoking memories of Rod “Toast” Jones.
Run Blocking – Who entered the game averaging 103.5 yards per game largely due to the exploits of Freeman and the 61-yards from Graham last week managed to open zero holes and is consistently being pushed back. The amount of times that right guard Davin Joseph is 3-yards in the backfield on running plays and Donald Penn is lunging as he falls to the ground is like watching pee wee football players.
Run Defense – Its one thing to allow established NFL running backs with a pedigree to run wild, but when you allow Chris Ivory and undrafted rookie from tiny Tiffin University to gash you for 158-yards on 15 carries for a 10.5 yard per carry average it’s really bad.
Pass Rush – It’s almost comical at this point, only if it wasn’t so sad at the Bucs inability to generate any kind of pass rush. The lack of pressure and the inconsistency to which the front four get any type of push or penetration has become pathetic at best.