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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Becht Breaks Down TB-MIN Game

The Buccaneers fell to the Vikings Sunday in a tough overtime loss by the score of 19-13. After watching the game film last night, the eye in the sky never lies. Here are my thoughts on the game:

Offensively, it's been a challenge for the Buccaneers to hit the ground running this season. Starting fast in the NFL is paramount. Being able to establish an identity, especially in the running game, has been an Achilles heel. Fans want to point fingers at the play calling, the running backs, or lack of effort. It's none of these.

Folks, when I played, especially the second half on my career, I knew one thing for sure. Games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage. Now, I can't tell you if there are guys banged up or playing through injuries, but I will say from my experience that if you're on the field, you're expected to play at a high level. Whether it's a missed block, a missed assignment, or just getting beat one on one, the Buccaneers offensive line are not displaying consistent play over four quarters of a game.

Photos from the first half of Buccaneers vs. Vikings at Raymond James Stadium.

Sunday was a perfect example of the first three quarters not setting the tone and tempo against the Vikings defensive line, followed by a strong fourth quarter. This is frustrating, because the O-line shows me that they can play at the high level. It's just not being executed at a consistent enough clip. Every guy up front is taking their turn. Unfortunately, there aren't enough days in a week in-season to be perfect, but there needs to be something this team can hang their hat on week-to-week in the running game and in pass protection. By continuing to put in the hard work everyday and placing a higher expectation on themselves week-to-week, the line can make the difference.

Defensively, the Buccaneers clearly played inspired football on Sunday. Lavonte David in particular had a tremendous day versus the Vikings. It was easy to see he was playing inspired football. Anytime you play against a rookie quarterback, you must find a way to get pressure to him and get him off balance. The sacks weren't necessarily there yesterday but I thought the pressure was placed when needed.

Photos from the second half of Buccaneers vs. Vikings at Raymond James Stadium.

I think you can sum up the entire defense on one thing. When you play fundamentally sound defense for four quarters, you're going to get your chance to take the football away or even win the game. The Bucs chance came late in the 4th quarter when CB Jonathan Banks was presented the opportunity to seal the game with an interception. Head Coach Lovie Smith dialed up pressure and forced Bridgewater to deliver the "golden egg," but Banks failed to make the pick, which most likely would have ended the game. That play has to be made and right now the chips aren't falling the Bucs way. The defense has to find a way to grasp those chances and hold the fort down for the team's struggling offense moving forward.

I'll leave you with this. I know one thing is for sure. The motivation should still be there each and every week because of the fact the team is "STILL" only 2 games out of first place. The question is "can the team dig deep enough within themselves to look at each game coming up as a one game season and lay it all on the line?" The tide can change, but right now the Bucs need to find a way to ride that winning wave.

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