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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' third-down troubles continue vs. 49ers



TAMPA -- The Bucs' recent struggles on third downs were back again Sunday, with only one conversion in 10 third downs against a tough 49ers defense in Sunday's 33-14 loss at Raymond James Stadium.

The Bucs' lone third-down conversion came on a third-and-1 pass late in the third quarter, and despite putting themselves in position for more manageable third downs, Tampa Bay missed on every other opportunity, as well as two fourth-down attempts.

Quarterback Mike Glennon struggled on third down, completing just 3 of 8 passes for 20 yards, 8 coming on the conversion to receiver Chris Owusu. On three third-and-7 plays, he missed twice and threw for a 5-yard gain, and he also missed on a third-and-4 and took a sack on a third-and-3. San Francisco's run defense was stout enough the Bucs didn't attempt a third-down run the entire game.

"They have great players, and when we were in those third-down situations, I just went through my progression," Glennon said after the game. "With the style of defense they play, we just had to get completions and kind of play that kind of game. We knew it was going to be tough to throw the ball down the field."

The Bucs entered the game ranked 31st in the NFL in third-down conversions, including just a 24 percent mark in the previous five games. Without third-down conversions, Tampa Bay had just 50 total offensive plays, their third time in four games with 50 or fewer; San Francisco dominated in the time of possession, holding the ball for 39 minute, 50 seconds, while the Bucs had it for just 20:10.

"We've got to execute on those critical downs," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said.

[Last modified: Sunday, December 15, 2013 6:35pm]


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