The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, were riding a two game win streak into today’s final, but looked total out of sync on offense. Josh Freeman making his team leading 9th start of the season completed 16-of-32 passes for 174 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. The ground game disappeared once again and the Bucs finished the game with 38 rushing yards on 23 carries for an average of 1.65 yards per carry. The defense forced two Matt Ryan interceptions, but could not get off the field in the fourth quarter as the Falcons pounded the ball with Jason Snelling. Snelling picked up 131 of his 147 yards rushing in the second half of the game.
Geno Hayes – For the second straight week in a row, the second year linebacker went over ten total tackles and recorded a sack. Hayes finished the game with 12 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 1 quarterback pressure. While the consistency over the last half of the season has been good and Hayes has showed remarkable improvement, he is still missing some tackles.
Corey Lynch – An often seldom used safety has made a huge impact on special teams with since the team signed him, another week and another blocked kick, Hopefully the team works him into the rotation next year or at the very least gives him a chance to over take Sabby Piscitelli at strong safety in OTA’s and training camp in 2010.
Josh Freeman – As we pointed out over the past several days in regards to Freeman’s cold starts early in football games – his problematic interceptions in the second half of games. He continued to struggle against the Falcons completing just 5-of-12 for 31 yards in the first half while also tossing 2 interceptions in the second half. He finished the game with a QBR (Quarterback Rating of 50.9).
Pass Rush – It’s like beating a dead horse when it comes to the Bucs inept pass rush this season, even playing against a patch work offensive line. The team still failed to get pressure with its front four and had to resort to sending a myriad of different blitz looks just to notch one sack.
Game Plan – Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has had far more bad days since being promoted to offensive coordinator then he has good days and begs the question of whether or not he should be allowed to roam the sidelines in the same capacity next season if head coach Raheem Morris is indeed retained for one more season.