By Max Luckan
In the offseason, the changes on defense were made. After Week 3, the change at the quarterback position was made. And what’s next for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? A head coaching change?
The Bucs started off the game against the Philadelphia Eagles quite well and even held a 17-14 lead late in the second quarter. But that’s when Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and the offense took over. LeSean McCoy did most of the heavy lifting on the offensive side of the ball for Philadelphia, but Foles played extremely well for the second straight week, as the Eagles were able to hold off the Bucs 31-20. And the Bucs now sit with a record of 0-5 and are looking for answers.
Quarterback Grade: B+
In his second career NFL start, rookie quarterback Mike Glennon was rather impressive, completing 26-43 passes for 273 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Glennon’s only real mistake was the interception on a pass intended for wide receiver Tiquan Underwood. It was hard to tell whose fault the interception really was, however.
Glennon threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Vincent Jackson and showed some poise in the pocket. He kept the Bucs in the game for the most part, but just wasn’t able to muster an almost impossible comeback late in the game. But overall, so far so good for Glennon in his first two starts.
Offense Grade: C
Tampa Bay’s offense was truly average against the Eagles on Sunday. Coming into the game, the Bucs were ranked 31st in the NFL in total offense, while the Eagles were ranked 31st in the league in total defense.
On Sunday, the Bucs finally scored two offensive touchdowns, which is a positive since they managed only one offensive touchdown in the previous 12 quarters. While the Bucs gained 351 yards on offense, they only scored 20 points against a bad Eagles defense. Running back Doug Martin managed 67 yards on 16 carries, but it was clear that the Bucs missed wide receiver Mike Williams who missed the game with a hamstring injury. Still, slowly but surely Glennon and the offense appear to be finding some type of rhythm.
Defense Grade: C-
Surprisingly, the Bucs defense didn’t play all too well against the high-powered Eagles offense on Sunday. The defense allowed 425 total yards and 31 points. Many yards and many points were to be expected given the explosiveness the Eagles have on offense, but still, Tampa’s defense could have played much better.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis forced a fumble, which was the defense’s only turnover, but other than that, the defensive performance was just average. Of course, linebacker Lavonte David played another spectacular game and he continues to get better every week. The defensive line also managed two sacks, but Foles engineered a solid win for the Eagles.
Special Teams Grade: B+
The special teams unit did its part for the Bucs against the Eagles. Kick returner Eric Page had a couple of solid returns that gave the Bucs excellent field position; however, the Bucs were unable to take advantage of the good field position.
Punter Michael Koenen punted the ball five times, but was unable to pin the Eagles inside the 20-yard line. For the most part, the Eagles also had decent field position, which they were able to take advantage of a couple of times.
Bucs kicker Rian Lindell, who has struggled at times this season, seems to have found his rhythm, connecting on two more field goals against the Eagles. Unfortunately for the Bucs, the special teams play hasn’t compensated for the struggles on offense.
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Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.