By Kyra Hallett
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shined at times this season, but so far it has been a disappointment. With the Bucs showing glimpses of a winning team at times, they have the capability of playing like that all the time.
In the preseason, the Bucs were .500, winning every other game including beating the New England Patriots in Week Three of preseason. With the Bucs only winning one game so far in the regular season, in Week One versus the Carolina Panthers, the Bucs are on a three-game losing streak. The bye week could not have come at a better time, as the team needs to regroup and remember what their mission is for the season, to win.
The team as a whole has worked well with one another. They don’t show a lack of communication or a lack of confidence in one another, but they have struggled to put points on the board. The most points the Bucs have scored in a game is 34, and that came in the disappointing loss in Week Two versus the New York Giants.
Quarterback Josh Freeman has thrown for 790 yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions and has a passer rating of 75.3. He is ranked as the 30th quarterback in league. Freeman’s number one receiver has been Vincent Jackson, who has 304 yards with two touchdowns on the year and is ranked as the 18th receiver. Running back Doug Martin has 247 yards and one touchdown for the season; he’s ranked 17th for rushing stats. The Bucs are ranked 29th in total offense.
The defense is a different story. Defensive end, Micheal Bennett is tied for 9th with 4 sacks on the year. Defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy, is tied for 20th with 3 sacks. Linebacker, Mason Foster is tied for 12th with 36 total tackles. The Bucs as a total defense is ranked 29th.
For special teams, the Bucs have been excelling. Kicker Connor Barth is tied for 5th in field goals and the team is tied for 6th overall. Punt returner Roscoe Parrish is ranked 33rd. Kickoff returner Arrelious Benn is ranked 17th.
The Bucs’ offense has been the thing that has been holding the team back. The coaches seem to be pushing the run game but they have not been getting the yards they need to win. When Freeman gets deeper in the game and throws the long ball, that is when the team comes on strong. They need to get Freeman throwing more and earlier in the game to give the offense a chance to put the point on the board. When the Bucs do run, the offensive line needs to make holes for the running backs. When the backs run, they usually are running up the middle and into a wall. The running backs need to try and run outside and maybe do a few trick plays. One trick the offensive is missing this year is the wildcat. That play would usually include back-up quarterback Josh Johnson but he is now with the UFL. He signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers earlier this year but was cut when they trimmed their rosters during the preseason.
Each week, the coaches have been working on things that went wrong in the previous game and how to handle the upcoming game. They need to continue to do that and tweak here and there to make the team the best they can be.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Bucs news, see CBS Sports Tampa Bay.
Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.