Tampa Bay Buccaneers Front Four: Where Were They?
Maybe they should put pictures of Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller, Michael Bennett and Adrian Clayborn on a milk carton this morning.
If there was one over-riding problem in Sunday’s 41-34 heartbreaker of a loss to the New York Giants, it was the play of the defensive line, or in this case, the lack thereof.
Eli Manning was never sacked, in fact, not sure he was ever touched and he was certainly never knocked down until the game’s controversial final play when he went to kneel down and Greg Schiano made sure that his dogs weren’t called off, in fact, the Bucs defensive front plowed into the unsuspecting Giants offensive line and in turn Manning took his only tumble of the game.
That set off a expletive-laden tirade by Giants coach Tom Coughlin when he caught up with Schiano after the game. Talk about a guy who was extremely pissed off. That was Coughlin, who was red-in-the-head and gave Schiano a piece of his mind.
Other than that, the defensive line did little to bother Manning in the previous 59 minutes, 50 seconds.
The stat sheet tells a woeful tale: Gerald McCoy, two tackles; Roy Miller, one tackle, Michael Bennett and Adrian Clayborn combined for NO tackles. That bears repeating — Bennett and Clayborn combined for NO tackles.
Therein lies the major problem. No pressure from the front four forced the Bucs to blitz too often. Sure it worked for 30 minutes but you’re not going to fool a quarterback like Eli Manning for 60 minutes. Manning knew what was coming in the second half and took full advantage of the situation. He threw for 510 yards, the most aerial yardage the team has given up in the history of the franchise.
The front four that played so well against Carolina, was missing in action Sunday.
The Bucs go back to the drawing board. They face Tony Romo and the Dallas offense next Sunday. This same Dallas team that stunned New York in the opener, was dominated by the Seattle Seahawks Sunday.
Good news for the Bucs.