The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-0, thanks to some outstanding defense in the fourth quarter. Raheem Nunez Roaches had a critical third-down stop on Cordarrelle Patterson. Mike Edwards intercepted Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan twice and took both picks to the end zone to give the Bucs the final margin of victory 48-25.
Edwards becomes the third Buccaneer in team history to get two interceptions and take both to the end zone in a game. Ronde Barber and Dwight Smith are the other two.
Recently Dropped on the Border Fuel Shop: Click to grab the Prescott Tee!!
Arians talked about safety Mike Edwards and his ball hawk mentality:
He’s just a ball hawk. He always has been since he’s been here. He finds the ball. Guys were hollering at him, Get outside, get outside. He suckered them right into it. He knew exactly what he was doing. Mike’s a good football player.
Tom Brady also talked about the defensive play in the fourth quarter to help the Bucs win the game:
The defense made some huge plays. That’s the great thing. Fourth-quarter, three-point game and they make a huge stop. We went down there and scored, which was good. Then a few big turnovers, so that was great to see. Offensively, we grinded out and found a way, but obviously, we all wish we could have done some things to be more productive. It was a good team effort.
The Buccaneers quickly jumped out to a 14-0 as Tom Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski on two touchdown passes in the first quarter. And The Bucs were well on their way to a blowout win, or so we thought when the wheels started coming off.
As bad as the defensive effort was through the first three quarters, the Bucs defense played lights out in the fourth quarter to help the Bucs secure the win.
With Bucs leading 14-0, Falcons running Cordarrelle Patterson scored on a ten-yard touchdown run to cut the Bucs lead in half 14-7. What was concerning was that Patterson went untouched into the end zone as the Buccaneer defenders could not being down
The defense exhibited poor tackling through the first three quarters. As we get deeper into the season, however, coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles have to be concerned about poor tackling. They must get this corrected.
It’s hard to say anything negative about the secondary play as they come up big when it counted. But for most of the game, the overall play of the secondary was not very good. It was plagued by poor coverage and poor tackling.
While we are talking about the defense, the Bucs were able to get pressure on Matt Ryan, but time and time again, Ryan would slip out of what looked to be a sack and make a play to keep drives alive for the Falcons.
The Bucs defense, however, was only able to get Ryan one time. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had the only sack for the Bucs.
Offensively, Tom Brady and company seemed to be in mid-season form. Brady threw five touchdown passes, two each to Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski and one to Chris Godwin. Brady now has nine touchdown passes in two games, and that is the most touchdown passes he has thrown in the first two games to start the season in his career.
Bruce Arians was happy to get the win but unhappy with the overall play:
I’m obviously happy with the outcome. I’m not happy with the way we played. Loved the start, then we get lackadaisical. I like the start of the second half. Then we get lackadaisical. That’s not going to work next week. I think we have to learn from this. It’s always better learning from winning. I like the way we finished the game.
The Bucs ran for 82 yards as a team, with Leonard Fournette leading the Bucs with 52 yards; moreover, Ronald Jones continues to test the patience of coach Bruce Arians, as he missed a block in a blitz by Atlanta that caused Tom Brady to be sacked, stalling a Buccaneer drive.
Jones is an excellent north, south runner; that’s it. He still struggles in various blocking schemes and catching the ball out of the backfield. It just makes you wonder when Arians will say enough is enough, and Jones will go the way of Jameis Winston.
The play of the offensive line was somewhat alarming as Tom Brady was sacked three times. I don’t think I saw Brady get hit as hard all of last season as he did against the Falcons. If this trend continues, it will be tough for the 44-year-old Brady to get through the season.
As good as the offense has been this season, Tom Brady thinks they can be better which is bad news for the rest of the league.
What I think and I’m sure other guys feel the same way is I think we can do better. I do. I think we have the opportunity, the way the games are flowing, and the opportunities we’re getting with the ball we can maybe have even more opportunities.
The stupid penalties continue to be a cause for concern—the majority of those on the defensive side of the ball. Last week against Dallas, the Bucs had 11 penalties for over 100 yards. On the other hand, this week against the Falcons, nine penalties for 83 yards. Improvement? Not really.
In his post-game press conference, Arians also talked about next week’s opponent and the effort it will take to beat the Los Angeles Rams: “We haven’t played for 60 minutes yet. That’s what we talked about in the locker room. We’re going to have to play for 60 minutes to beat the Rams.”
And it will undoubtedly have to start with a much more consistent effort on defense.
–My offensive player of the game. Quarterback Tom Brady 24/36, 276 yards, and five touchdown passes.
–My defensive player of the game. Safety Mike Edwards. Two interceptions returned for touchdowns, four tackles, and three passes defended.