Buccaneers sink to last in NFL in total offense
Tampa Bay’s struggles on offense haven’t shaken the Buccaneers’
confidence in rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.
Coach Greg Schiano on Monday reiterated his belief that the
third-round draft pick is making significant strides, even though
the sputtering Bucs (4-10) slipped to last in the NFL in passing
and total offense following a 33-14 loss to the defending NFC
champion San Francisco 49ers.
While Glennon posted modest numbers, completing 18 of 34 passes
for 179 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, the Bucs were 1
for 10 on third-down conversions for the second time in three weeks
and gained a season-low 183 yards.
Despite winning four of six games following an 0-8 start, the
offense has posted its four lowest yardage totals of the year while
going 2-2 over the past month.
Schiano said some of that can attributed to the caliber of
defenses Tampa Bay has faced, including Sunday against San
At the same time, he was encouraged that the Bucs were able to
pull within 20-14 on the first play of the fourth quarter against
the 49ers, who dominated the rest of the way to win
”Anything that I say can and will be prefaced with: `We didn’t
do it well enough to win,’ So certainly I’m not satisfied,”
”But you have to look at these things objectively, grade the
guys out, and say: `OK, we need to be better here. This is good
enough to win. This isn’t good enough to win.’ That’s how we’ll
Almost all of Tampa Bay’s offensive production came on a pair of
drives in which Glennon ran the two-minute offense. The Bucs
marched 80 yards in the final two minutes of the first half to trim
a 17-0 deficit to 10 points, then went 92 yards to pull within six
on Glennon’s second TD pass with 14:54 remaining.
Tampa Bay didn’t get an opportunity to make it any more
The 49ers took the ball and held it for the next 10:27 before
kicking a field goal. Eric Page fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and
San Francisco’s Kendall Hunter scooped up the loose ball and dove
into the end zone to make it 30-14.
The Bucs, who had hoped to make it a fourth-quarter game, wound
up running just eight plays after pulling within six points –
turning the ball over downs on one possession and throwing a
fourth-down interception on their final offensive snap.
”If we want to be the team that we say we want to be, we have
to learn how to win the tough games. The game came down to the
fourth quarter and we didn’t finish,” defensive tackle Gerald
McCoy said. ”We had them where we wanted them, it was 20-14, all
we needed to do was get the ball back and they went on a 10-minute
drive. The defense can’t allow that. That’s happened too many times
this year and we have to do better.”
One recurring problem has been a lack of consistency in the
running game. The Bucs were limited to 39 yards rushing Sunday,
with Bobby Rainey averaging just 2.5 yards carry while gaining 27
on 11 attempts.
Injuries have been a factor, too.
Running back Doug Martin, a Pro Bowl selection a year ago, is
out for the season, as is receiver Mike Williams, who’s missed
eight game yet is still fourth on the team in receptions.
”We have some inexperienced guys playing, but I don’t believe
in this league that’s ever an excuse. … You’ve got to find a way
in all three phases to win games, no matter who’s playing,”
Sunday’s loss dropped Glennon to 4-7 in 11 starts. Since putting
together the best performance of his career during a 41-28 victory
over Atlanta on Nov. 17, his production has slipped gradually. The
past three weeks he’s thrown for 180, 90 and 179 yards with six TDs
and four interceptions.
Still, the rookie doesn’t believe his play has regressed.
”No, (we’re) going against one of the top defenses in the
league,” Glennon said after Sunday’s game.
”As an offense we knew we were going to have to get the game
into the fourth quarter, and we did that. Going against that kind
of team you just have to be on top of your game … throughout the
course of the game,” he added. ”Give them some credit, that was a
great drive by them in the fourth quarter, 10 minutes, and they
played really well. When you play against a team like that, we have
to execute throughout the course of the game.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org