ReFo: Bucs @ Falcons, WK3
Well that was ugly. A divisional rivalry that has seen some fiery contests in the past bore witness to one of the most embarrassing beat downs in NFL history as the Atlanta Falcons bullied the seemingly overmatched and underprepared Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As good as Atlanta were (and they were very good) the real story is how bad the Buccaneers looked. Ill disciplined and seemingly lost on defense, you start to feel if Lovie Smith can’t fix these guys then who can? With no Gerald McCoy they lacked punch up front and are now reeling after a fully earned 0-3 start. Where do they go from here?
Will examine that and more with our performances of note.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Performances of Note
Dane Fletcher, MLB (+1.6)
Breakdown: It wasn’t easy finding something nice to say about the Buccaneers, but in amongst all the horror of last night one player did ask a question of the coaching staff. Fletcher has put Mason Foster under some pressure with a couple of big plays that you just don’t get from the man currently penciled in as the starter.
Signature Play: Q1, 57 second left. Devonta Freeman is swatted away like a fly as Fletcher sacks the quarterback
Evan Dietrich-Smith, C (-4.4)
Breakdown: When you’re new to a team first impressions can mean a lot. “EDS” hasn’t exactly made the best of starts to life as a Buc and this outing was one that will draw the fans ire. Two frankly stupid penalties for late hits after the whistle, two terrible snaps, an inability to handle Paul Soliai on the bullrush and very little good run blocking.
Signature Stat: Was flagged for three penalties all last year and two in this one game.
Dashon Goldson, S (-3.1)
Breakdown: Even after his heads up play to stop a fumble bouncing out of bounds Goldson looked frustrated and it’s easy to see why. He was out of sync with the rest of his defensive comrades the entire game and whiffed on three tackles. A safety who doesn’t inspire a safe feeling.
Signature Stat: First safety to allow two touchdowns into his coverage this year.
Atlanta Falcons – Performances of Note
Devin Hester, WR/ KR (+3.4 combined)
Breakdown: Maybe we all wrote Devin Hester off a little too soon? He looks to have found a new lease of life in Atlanta and had three big returns (two called back and one that went for a touchdown) while contributing on offense. His end around owed a lot to the blocking but as a receiver he put a nice move on Alterraun Verner to draw a penalty and picked up a nice completion on a wheel route.
Signature Stat: Is averaging 2.63 Yards per Route Run during three games with the Falcons. His career best in this regard was in 2007 when he had a 1.87 score (on only 37 targets).
Paul Worrilow, LB (+4.8)
Breakdown: While Worrilow will never get confused with Luke Kuechly or Patrick Willis, he is the kind of find the Falcons’ front office can pat themselves on the back about. This was him at his best. Stripping Bobby Rainey for a fumble and showing some pass rushing skills with two pressures (one of which where he put Logan Mankins on his backside), that kind of playmaking doesn’t go unnoticed.
Signature Stat: Allowed all five balls thrown into his coverage to be complete but for only 23 total yards.
Robert Alford, CB (+4.3)
Breakdown: We’ve been singing the praises of Desmond Trufant through two games, but tonight it was all about Alford who caught the eye with a feisty display. Sure he gave up a touchdown (with more than a hint of offensive pass interference about it) but he also broke up two balls and allowed just one other to be complete. Not bad work against Vincent Jackson who he was chiefly lined up against.
Signature Play: With 11.30 to go in Q3 Alford covers the go route of Vincent Jackson, turning around to locate the ball and swat away.
PFF Game Ball
So many contenders but only one can win out. In the end it was a night where Devin Hester made plays rushing, receiving and returning and for that he’s getting it.