How The Bucs Finished As Real Winners

The Bucs finished the 2014 season with a 2-14 record. It is a poor record indeed and are technically one touchdown under :10 seconds away from finishing 1-15. But a lot was riding in their season finale against the New Orleans Saints and they came through as winners.

The Bucs finished the 2014 season with a 2-14 record. It is a poor record indeed and are technically one touchdown under :10 seconds away from finishing 1-15. But a lot was riding in their season finale against the New Orleans Saints and they came through as winners.

Proudly leading 20-7 at the half, the Buccaneers decided to put in some of the reserves. Easily accused of an attempt to tank the game, the personnel moves allowed for Drew Brees and the Saints to mount a comeback.

So what was key to Tampa Bay clinching the first overall pick in the upcoming draft? A couple of them actually.

First, Buccaneers cornerback Leonard Johnson was overmatched by Saints wide receiver Marques Colston. But the Bucs defense was at a clear disadvantage from the snap.

As you can see below, Tampa Bay had nearly everyone up near the line of scrimmage on a third-and-8 for New Orleans.

After the snap, two receivers ran seams while Colston ran an underneath route (circled).

As Colston makes the catch, you can see how the the two nearest receivers -- one depp while the other on an out -- cleared their defenders out of the way. Perfect route against man coverage.

From there, it allowed for Colston to head on into the end zone and score what would become the game winning touchdown for New Orleans.

However, what sealed the deal for the Buccaneers was the safety on Josh McCown. As you can see in the following screenshot, rookie lineman Kevin Pamphile was beat right off the snap by defensive end Junior Galette. Pamphile had no shot at stopping the veteran’s swim move.

While many are upset at the Bucs second half collapse, they came out as real winners Sunday afternoon. They will now look forward to the NFL Draft where they hold the first selection and potentially draft their franchise quarterback. Hopefully.

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