Bucs Game Grades

January 12 – Tampa Bay was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night by the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-9. Once again, the Buccaneers relied on K Martin Gramatica's leg for points while their offense sputtered. Tampa Bay's defense could only keep the game close for so long before Philadelphia's offense took over. Buccaneer Magazine hands out grades based on the Pewter Pirates disappointing performance against the Eagles.

QUARTERBACKS

QB Brad Johnson Completed 22-of-36 passes for 202 yards and threw four interceptions. Johnson completed over 61 percent of his passes against the Eagles, but threw costly interceptions while trying to make things happen on an ineffective offense. Johnson was hampered by an ineffective running game, incapable receivers (not Keyshawn Johnson) and Philadelphia blitzes. Late in the fourth quarter, Johnson threw an interception that Damon Moore returned 59-yards for a touchdown to add insult to injury. Johnson wasn't provided much time to throw, and had one of his worst days as a Pewter Pirate.

*Tampa Bay's offense could only convert 5-of-12 third downs.

GRADE: D+

RUNNING BACKS:

RB Warrick Dunn Dunn rushed 11 times for 29 yards (2.6 avg.). Dunn's longest rush went for 9-yards. Bucs offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen called short passes to Dunn like as if his playbook was broken record, and he caught eight passes for 37 yards.

FB Mike Alstott Alstott rushed 12 times for 32 yards (2.7 avg.). Alstott's longest rush was a 15-yarder, and although the A-Train this type of game had his name written all over it, Alstott was not much of a factor in the running game, but in a type of a game that had his name and playing style written all over it, Christensen didn't call his number enough. Alstott hauled in five passes for 32 yards.

*Tampa Bay's rushing attack mustered just 63 yards rushing against Philadelphia's defense.

GRADE: C-

WIDE RECEIVERS:

WR Keyshawn Johnson Johnson hauled in three passes for 75 yards, including a huge 46-yard reception at the end of the first half to set up a Tampa Bay field goal. Johnson struggled to get open due to other receivers not taking coverage away from him.

WR Jacquez Green Green caught two passes for 15 yards. Green hauled in a big third down catch to give the offense a first down, but other than that, he didn't help the offense out at all. On a Johnson pass into the end zone in the fourth quarter, Green made CB Troy Vincent look like the receiver while Vincent intercepted the pass. Green made a poor effort for the football.

GRADE: C-

TIGHT ENDS:

TE Dave Moore Moore caught one pass for 13 yards in the first quarter, but after that, he was not heard from again.

GRADE:

OFFENSIVE LINE: Tampa Bay's offensive line allowed just one sack, but Philadelphia's defensive line consistently pressured QB Brad Johnson. Bucs RT Jerry Wunsch was called for holding and LT Kenyatta Walker struggled against Pro Bowl DE Hugh Douglas. Walker allowed a sack and was called for a false start penalty. Tampa Bay's offensive line had problems picking up Philadelphia's blitzes and for obvious reasons-they didn't have enough people on the line to pick up the amount of defenders Philly was sending.

GRADE: C-

DEFENSIVE LINE:

DE Simeon Rice Rice had a phenomenal game against Philadelphia. Rice sacked QB Donovan McNabb two times and recorded seven tackles (four solo, three assists). Rice played well against the run and the pass. Rice caused a fumble in the fourth quarter, but Tampa Bay's defense could not recover it.

DT Warren Sapp Sapp recorded five tackles.

DE Steve White Recorded one sack, three tackles (three solo) and forced QB Donovan McNabb out of bounds twice before he could scramble up the field.

DT Anthony McFarland McFarland recorded three tackles (two solo, one assist).

DE Marcus Jones Jones didn't record a tackle against the Eagles.

*Tampa Bay allowed Philadelphia to rush for 148 net yards on Saturday night, and the defense had problems containing McNabb and Philly's rushing attack.

GRADE: D+

LINEBACKERS:

ROLB Derrick Brooks Brooks led the defense in tackles with nine, but had a rather quiet game.

MLB Jamie Duncan Duncan didn't have a great game against the Eagles. He recorded six tackles (three solo, three assists), but had trouble containing McNabb.

LOLB Shelton Quarles Recorded eight tackles and had a nice open-field tackle on Eagles RB Correll Buckhalter to knock the Eagles out of field goal range.

LB Al Singleton Singleton recorded one tackle.

*Tampa Bay allowed TE Chad Lewis to catch four passes for 60 yards and one touchdown.

*Tampa Bay's defense had a less than stellar game in terms of tackling.

GRADE: C-

SECONDARY

FS Dexter Jackson Jackson appeared to set a tone on the Eagles opening drive by intercepting QB Donovan McNabb, but Tampa Bay's offense could only get a field goal. Jackson was called for a personal foul (late hit) on McNabb later in the game, but the call appeared to be questionable. Jackson was also covering TE Chad Lewis in the end zone when Lewis hauled in the touchdown. Jackson recorded three tackles.

CB Brian Kelly Kelly recorded two tackles and made a very impressive pass breakup in the third quarter.

SS John Lynch Lynch had a disappointing game tackling and recorded five tackles against the Eagles.

CB Donnie Abraham Abraham recorded four tackles and had trouble containing Philly's wide receivers.

CB Ronde Barber Barber made two tackles and had a quiet game against the Eagles. Barber did, however, rattle McNabb on a blitz late in the game.

*Tampa Bay's secondary allowed McNabb to complete 16-of-25 passes for 194 yards and throw two touchdowns. McNabb also rushed for 57 yards on four carries.

GRADE: C

SPECIAL TEAMS:

K Martin Gramatica Gramatica drilled 3-of-3 field goals, and proved to be Tampa Bay's only offense on Saturday night. In an interesting note, Gramatica was trampled by the ABC camera cart as he was warming up on the sideline right before coming onto the field with :02 left in the first half to attempt a field goal. The cameras filmed Gramatica limping, but he was still able to kick and make the field goal. Backup K Doug Brien was inactive for Saturday's game, so he couldn't come into the game and kick for Gramatica.

P Mark Royals Royals had a rough outing in terms of punting the football. Royals punted five times and averaged just over 41.0 yards per carry.

KR Aaron Stecker Stecker returned four kickoff for 91 yards (22.8 avg.).

KR Frank Murphy Murphy returned two kickoffs for 47 yards (23.5 avg.).

PR Karl Williams Williams returned three punts for just 10 yards. Eagles P Sean Landeta did a nice job of not allowing Williams much time to field punts and run.

GRADE: B


Copyright 2001 Buccaneer Magazine/BucMag.com

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