Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Jones' Two Cents on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Dallas Cowboys game

Looking back at Sunday's Bucs-Cowboys game.

Numbers of the day

9-8-23: Watching Sunday's game, didn't you get the feeling the Bucs were purposely trying not to score? From the start of the third quarter until the two-minute warning, the Bucs had nine first-down plays. Despite trailing that entire time, the Bucs ran the ball on eight of them. And it wasn't as if the Bucs were having success or wearing down the Cowboys. Those eight runs produced just 23 yards, the longest being only 5 yards.

Think about that last drive when the Bucs were down by two scores with less than three minutes left and they started with a running play. Can you imagine Drew Brees handing off the ball in that situation? Tony Romo? Eli or Peyton Manning? Any decent QB in football? Even Tim Tebow?

There are only two explanations:

1. Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan gets a bonus for every running play.

2. Sullivan and coach Greg Schiano don't trust Josh Freeman as far as they can, well, throw him.

Best opening act

In 16 games last season, the Bucs scored on the opening possession only once: a touchdown in a 41-14 loss to the Jaguars. This season, the Bucs have scored on their opening possession in all three games, with two touchdowns and a field goal. Now, if they could just figure out how to score the rest of the game.

Worst officiating (continued)

I hate to keep picking on the replacement officials, but they keep finding new ways to bungle calls and, potentially, games. One blown call Sunday cost the Bucs a touchdown. A quick whistle blew dead what would have been a Bucs fumble return for a score, prohibiting what would have given the Bucs a 14-10 lead in the third quarter.

Both teams had beefs with the officials, and the Bucs can hardly pin the loss on a referee when they treated the end zone as if was a nuclear waste dump. Still, can we please get the real officials back?

The best of Troy Aikman

Three quotes about the Bucs offense from Fox analyst Troy Aikman during Sunday's game:

"There's just not a lot of creativity on offense."

"They have shown nothing on offense."

And, the best for last: "I don't know what they are trying to do."

Three things that popped into my head

1. The Cowboys turned the ball over three times, committed 13 penalties for 105 yards, rushed for 38 yards, allowed four sacks and scored only one touchdown. If you can't beat them on a day like that, when can you beat them?

2. Even more disturbing than the Bucs' insistence on running was their inability to do so. The Bucs rushed for only 75 yards against a Cowboys team that allowed 182 yards rushing a week ago to Seattle.

3. The bad news: The Bucs could be 3-0 but are 1-2. The good news: Seeing as how they don't appear to be crazy about their current quarterback, they're in the early running for USC's Matt Barkley.

Final thought

We're not going to discuss kneel-downs for another week, are we?

Comments
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

TAMPA — Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has always been generous with his time, staying after practice to work with younger players. That should be a real added benefit for first-round pick Vita Vea.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"That's my M.O.'' Mc...
Updated: 10 hours ago
The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

TAMPA — Only three players in NFL history have posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons in each of his first four years seasons: Randy Moss, A.J. Green and the Bucs' Mike Evans.RELATED: More Bucs coverageBut by Evans' standards, 2017 was "proba...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Why interceptions are up at One Buc Place

Why interceptions are up at One Buc Place

TAMPA — If the first few days of OTAs are any indication, the Bucs secondary could be much improved.Completions may be down, interceptions should be up.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"A lot of interceptions,'' coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday' afte...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Two high draft picks that could earn starting jobs signed four year contracts with the Bucs Thursday.The team signed Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team's first-round pick.Terms of the deal were not released, but Vea  is expected to r...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet questioned the legality of the NFL's new  policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if t...
Published: 05/24/18
Licht promotes three in Bucs’ scouting department

Licht promotes three in Bucs’ scouting department

The dust has settled from another NFL draft, and Bucs general manager Jason Licht has made three promotions in his scouting department as a new year of player evaluation begins.Byron Kiefer, entering his 14th season with the Bucs and fourth as a nati...
Published: 05/24/18
NFL’s new anthem policy requires players to stand on sideline or remain in locker room

NFL’s new anthem policy requires players to stand on sideline or remain in locker room

ATLANTA — The NFL and the owners of its 32 teams enacted a new national anthem policy Wednesday designed, they said, to compel players to stand if they’re on the sideline for the playing of the anthem prior to a game."Clearly our objective as a leagu...
Published: 05/23/18