The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to 4-10, losing 33-14 to the San Francisco 49ers. This loss assures the Bucs record will be worse than last year’s 7-9 standing. Here are PewterReport.com’s unit game grades.
QUARTERBACKRookie Mike Glennon continued his December slump against the 49ers tough defense. Glennon finished 18 of 34 (53 percent) for 179 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He had a passer rating of just 75.5.
Glennon played fantastically on two drives, gaining almost all of his yards on those. Both of his touchdown passes were perfect, and the Bucs offense looked completely in sync and had no trouble driving down the field. They used the no-huddle in both drives, and Glennon showed tremendous poise.
But other than that, Glennon and the offense looked anemic. On the other nine drives, the Bucs offense gained just 23 yards. Glennon didn’t have the help of a run game, which hurt him, but there were plenty of missed opportunities on his part. He held the ball too long, missing open targets as they came out of their break. He was inaccurate on passes beyond 15 yards. And he just didn’t seem to have any hold on the game aside from those two drives. GRADE= D
RUNNING BACKSThe running game suffered against the 49ers top-notch front seven. Bobby Rainey gained just 27 yards on 11 carries (2.5 yards per carry). Rainey didn’t have much room to run yet again, so it’s hard to pin the running game struggles on him. The Bucs got away from the run game once they fell to 17-0, which is why he only had 11 attempts. GRADE= C-
WIDE RECEIVERSVincent Jackson led the wide receivers with five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Chris Owusu surpassed Tiquan Underwood as the second most productive receiver with three catches for 21 yards, while Underwood had just two catches for 15 yards.
The receivers were able to get open at times, but Glennon was slow to recognize the small windows. There were also a couple plays where receivers were wide open but Glennon either didn’t see them, or made an inaccurate throw. Underwood was wide open on a third down in the third quarter, and Skye Dawson beat a defensive back on a go route but was overthrown by Glennon. There were a couple drops, but overall the receivers’ struggles can be somewhat pinned on Glennon’s performance. GRADE= C+
TIGHT ENDSRookie Tim Wright has added another impressive game to his surprise season, leading all Buccaneer receivers with seven receptions, 82 yards, and a touchdown. Wright showed good hands and displayed speed when he ran past two defensive backs to get wide open in the end zone on his 26-yard reception. GRADE= A-
OFFENSIVE LINEThe offensive line continued their poor season against the 49ers defensive front. They were unable to create any push in the run game and Glennon was under pressure on way too many plays. The offensive line play is extremely crucial to the success of the offense, and when they struggle the Bucs have almost no chance of winning, unless the defense plays exceptionally.
Davin Joseph had another big holding penalty and Demar Dotson had a personal foul although replays showed it was a very questionable infraction. Mistakes like these, along with poor blocking resulting in negative plays, are a big reason why the Bucs struggled so much on offense. When the Bucs were successful, it was because Glennon had much more time to throw the ball. GRADE= D-
DEFENSIVE LINEThe front four actually did a very good job of rushing without the blitz, unfortunately it was against the speedy Colin Kaepernick who escaped multiple sacks and turned them into big gains. But Kaepernick’s success was more due to poor contain and missed tackles once the defensive line flushed him outside of the pocket.
Gerald McCoy had another dominant game and consistently beat double teams to make tackles at the line. McCoy finished the game with three tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. McCoy did have a very costly penalty, an offsides call, that negated a Lavonte David interception.
Adrian Clayborn had the other sack on Kaepernick where he displayed impressive speed, chasing down the quarterback as he tried to escape the pocket. Clayborn also had two tackles and two quarterback hits.
William Gholston has gotten a lot more playing time in the last few weeks and it has really paid off. Gholston led the front four in tackles, eight, and also batted down two passes at the line. His size and athleticism provide Gholston with the potential to develop into potentially a star.
As a unit, the front four was less than successful against San Francisco’s dangerous rushing attack. Frank Gore And Kendall Hunter broke tackles on multiple plays, which was a huge part of the Niners’ success offensively.GRADE= C+
LINEBACKERSFor once, Lavonte David didn’t lead the team in tackles. In fact, he didn’t even lead the linebackers in tackles. Dakota Watson led the team with 11 tackles, a season high for him. Watson had a great touchdown-saving tackle near the goal line, but other than that didn’t make any splash plays.
David was second in tackles with ten, and he also had a forced fumble that went out of bounds. By the standard he has set for himself, David had a subpar performance compared to previous games. He was caught out of position and gave up a big completion on a third down play.
Mason Foster had seven tackles and also didn’t have any impact plays in the game. He was beat on one of Kaepernick’s big runs, even though he was in the position to make a play. That was how most of the game went, players were in position but couldn’t finish the job. GRADE= D+
SECONDARYThe secondary also had a poor game, getting beat consistently by the Niners’ receivers. Barron was beat twice on deep routes by Vernon Davis, one of which resulted in a big touchdown. Barron ended with just two tackles and a pass break up. However after stressing all week how fast Davis was, you have to wonder why the coaching staff had him being covered by a safety one-on-one.
Johnthan Banks regressed after showing improvement in previous weeks, getting beat on the outside and missing tackles. Banks had just three tackles and didn’t make any plays on the ball.
Even Darrelle Revis struggled a bit, missing a big tackle that would have resulted in a fourth down, but instead allowed the 49ers to convert and continue driving the ball in Buccaneer territory. Revis had five tackles, a tackle for loss, and a pass break up. GRADE= D+
SPECIAL TEAMSThe special teams unit didn’t make any positive plays in the game. They did do a decent job of punt coverage, but other than that there was nothing noteworthy.
But probably the worst play of the game came late in the fourth quarter with the Bucs down two scores, decided to try a reverse on a kickoff return that started eight yards deep in the end zone. Russell Sheppard Eric Page fumbled the exchange and the 49ers recovered and returned it for a touchdown, putting the game out of reach.GRADE= D-
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