Buccaneers Backslide, Fall To 49ers 33-14
By Max Luckan
In case you were not aware, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still bad. The team is not even close to contending for a playoff berth anytime soon and they have been inconsistent all season long.
On Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, the Bucs never were able to take the lead and the game was never actually close. The offense struggled, and the defense just could not stop quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers definitely deserved this victory as they moved to 10-4 on the season, and the Bucs definitely deserved the loss. They now have a 4-10 record on the year and time is running out for head coach Greg Schiano after the 33-14 loss.
Quarterback Grade: D+
All of a sudden, Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon is beginning to show tendencies of former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. The main tendency that Glennon is expressing is a lack of accuracy, something that is supposed to be one of Glennon’s strengths.
He finished completing only 18 of 34 passes for 179 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Glennon had been good at not turning the ball over, but he is also beginning to look like Freeman in that regard, which is concerning for the Bucs. Overall, Glennon’s performance was actually pretty awful, especially when looking at his play over the past three weeks.
Offense Grade: D+
For practically the entire first half, Tampa Bay’s offense was unable to get anything going. All in all, they only scored 14 points against the 49ers, and could not run the ball at all. As mentioned, Glennon struggled for most of the game and running back Bobby Rainey only managed 27 yards on 11 carries.
Wide receiver Vincent Jackson did catch a touchdown pass, as did tight end Tim Wright, but those were the only two scores for the Bucs on Sunday. The offense appears to have regressed over the last two or three weeks. The Bucs will continue to lose if they can’t score points.
Defense Grade: D+
Obviously it’s never a sign of a solid defensive performance when a team allows 33 points to their opponent. That was the case for the Bucs defense on Sunday against the 49ers, a team whose offense isn’t overly explosive.
However, Kaepernick was able to make many plays using his legs against the Bucs, which kept drives alive. Furthermore, San Francisco also had relatively good field position for much of the game. This week, the Bucs were not able to force any turnovers, something that they have been able to do for most of the season. The Bucs allowed 376 yards of total offense and 33 points, and that certainly warrants the D+ grade.
Special Teams Grade: D+
There was not much to complain about regarding the Bucs special teams unit on Sunday against the 49ers until the fourth quarter, which is when Tampa Bay tried to get creative in the return game. Kick returner Eric Page handed the ball off to Russell Shepard on a reverse play. Shepard proceeded to fumble the ball, which led to a San Francisco touchdown and ultimately put the game out of reach. It was a horrible call by the coaching staff, but the execution was even worse.
Punt returner Michael Koenen wasn’t outstanding and kicker Rian Lindell did not have much work to do at all.
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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.