A perfect fall day in Cleveland for football on Sunday. The Buccaneers found themselves on the short end of the scoreboard, losing 22-17 to the Browns. It was a game filled with missed opportunities to seal the deal and grasp a much needed win on the road. The Bucs fall to 1-7 at the mid-season point. Yet, the eye in the sky never lies and this is what my eyes saw on the tape:
Mike Glennon finished the game 17-33 for 260 yards 2TDs and 2INT. Overall I thought he played solid. The offensive line gave him the protection he needed to be successful. Turnovers are always a killer for teams. Of the two interceptions, the first was a poor throw and the second was tipped. They both led to Browns points, which proved to be costly. There were two passes in the game that Glennon will definitely want back. The first was in the first quarter when Mike Evans ran a slant-go route and beat the corner badly. Glennon under threw the pass, which surely would've been six. The second was in the very next series where , again, Mike Evans runs a post route and clearly beats the corner with no help over the top and Glennon under throws it again. My expectations are high for Glennon and I feel he needs to make those throws and deliver on the opportunity the Browns defense gave him.
The Oline performance overall on Sunday was an improvement. I saw more consistent play across the board. The offense was lifted early by a solid rushing attack that saw Bobby Rainey get off to a fast start. I thought the line asserted themselves early from the first snap of the game, and that's what I wanted my eyes to see. Pass protection was there when Glennon needed it in those big play opportunities. It was a step in the right direction for the crew collectively and we'll need that consistent play moving forward for this offense to be successful.
WR MIKE EVANS** This game was Mike Evans' coming out party. The young man had his best game as a Buccaneer with seven catches for 124 yards and 2TDs. To be quite honest with you, he could've had over 200 yds and a few more scores. He's been improving every week that he's played and is quickly becoming a major playmaker for this football team.SPECIAL TEAMS
This phase should only help you as a team, but for the Bucs on Sunday it was a huge part of the loss to the Browns. There were three critical mistakes that cost the Bucs dearly. There was a blocked FG in the first series that cost the Bucs three points. Then, there was the offsides on the field goal block team which gave the Browns a first down and led to a TD. Finally, the blocked punt late in the 2nd half that led to a Browns touchdown. Those plays took away from the tremendous defense that the Bucs played throughout.
The Buccaneers defense did everything they needed to do to secure a victory for the team. They caused two turnovers, three sacks, and held the Browns to 50 yards rushing. An area that needs to be improved defensively from this game was getting off the field on 3rd and long. There were two long third downs, one backed up, where the defense needs to shore up and force a punt.
At the end of the day, this Buccaneers team needs to find a way to win a ballgame. It's not about how many games they're out of first place. The team goals at this point need to be more short-minded until they get the results that they need to just win a game. Areas of improvement are visibly on the tape, but the reaping of the rewards have not been delivered.
Photos from the second half of the Buccaneers vs. Browns game.