History Repeats Itself
The score could have been much more lopsided if Terrell Owens held on to the two touchdowns he dropped, or kicker Owen Pochman did not miss three field goals. It is hard to feel lucky after such a terrible outing, but the blowout that the Bucs avoided will make it easier for them to put the game behind them and focus on next week's game against the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys. The Bucs showed shades of their opening day loss to Carolina by letting Garrison Hearst run wild amassing 117 yards rushing on 20 carries. Reggie Barlow was also successful running the ball averaging over 5 yards a carry. The Bucs' running backs were not able to get going due to the constant presence of 49er lineman in the backfield. The special teams unit was penalized on Aaron Stecker's 4th quarter kickoff return, but they tackled well and blocked a field goal. The problems are mounting like a leaky roof; as soon as one spot is fixed another springs a leak. No one thought that the defense would be the next spot, but that is how it turned out. The offense could not get moving due to turnovers. Brad Johnson ended up throwing 3 picks, 2 of which were his fault. Thomas Jones hurt his chances of seeing more carries when he put the ball on the ground after catching a short pass. Keyshawn Johnson disappeared after dropping a pass over the middle in the first quarter, finishing the game with 1 catch for 4 yards. The one bright spot shining in the game for the Buccaneers was the play of Keenan McCardell who hauled in 3 passes for 119 yards. The bulk of these yards coming off of his 75-yard touchdown that ended up being the only score the visiting team would tally. McCardell is clearly the Bucs' number 1 receiver and will remain just that until Johnson decides he wants to step up and make some plays. The team is clearly frustrated with their performance, but short memories are essential for survival in the NFL. The Bucs will need to get the monkey off their back when they host Dallas next week. The Bucs are still in search of their first home win of the season, not exactly an ideal situation to be in at the end of October. The momentum that would be gained by defeating the over achieving Cowboys will be enough to get the Bucs back on track.
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