To be fair, the Raiders tried to give the win to the Bucs; one of histories most penalized teams now has the distinction of having the record. No team in the history of the NFL had more penalties called on them than the Oakland Raiders yesterday. 200 yards of penalties accepted on 23 flags, and according to game announcers and ex-NFL players, not a one was a disputable call. Each Flag was a bonafide rule violation; and there could have been more.
But in the end it wasn’t the Raiders penalties that gave the win away, it was the Bucs defense, or lack thereof at the worst times. It was bend but dont break most of the day, but the Raiders QB Derek Carr threw for more yards on the Bucs than any QB ever has. 40 of 59 for 513 yards, and he carved up the Bucs secondary with precision passes that mostly went to Amari Cooper and his 173 yards on 12 catches.
For the record…thats more yards than Jameis threw for. Inaccuracy has been his shadow since coming out of Florida State, and it was never more apparent as the game plan seemed to call for endless bombs downfield, the last of which was one foot in front of Mike Evans. Most of them however fell yards ahead of the receivers, and clearly if the deep ball game is going to be part of the Bucs repertoire, Jameis needs to spend this next offseason working on accuracy, which IS something that CAN be learned/trained, contrary to some knuckleheads in message boards.
Oakland had a good gameplay for the Bucs offense, taking out Mike Evans it was clear the Bucs other weapons were not as dangerous, although Russell Shephard is starting to look like a good compliment as a no.2 or perhaps 3 receiver. Another brilliant game plan of Raiders HC Jack Del Rio was the throwing of the Touchdown to Donald Penn, who scored many TDs here. Unfortunately Donald, your “That’ll show ’em” partially went on deaf ears; it would have been sweeter if the coach that cut you, and the rest of the O line, was on the field. Somewhere Josh Freeman had to see that highlight and feel good too!
It may not have had an effect on the game, but Roberto Aguayo is not an NFL kicker, not this year. If the Bucs really want to compete this season, they need to bring in a kicker who will give them a realistic chance to make field goals. Aguayo missed another extra point yesterday, and for those on twitter who pointed out that his wasn’t the only missed extra point on the week (at the time Ryan Succop had a miss for the Jags on Thursday Night Football) that point is irrelevant, as the point produced by conversions is absolutely not so. It forces the offense to go for 2 Pt conversions more often, leaving points on the field. Mike Nuggent missed one in London too, in a tie game where Washington’s kicker missed a Field Goal as well.
24 kickers lined up in week 8 to kick, and 17 of them made all of their kicks. One of them missed two kicks (Janikowski; Oakland) both outside of 50 yards. Only 2 missed extra points; Nugent missed one of each!
But a lot more can be said about the defense, where Chris Conte continues to struggle in coverage, and the Bucs defensive line, finally getting back to strength with return from injuries, is still missing many pieces and a few more dominant draft picks. You can see the future that Noah Spence has when he comes around and nails the QB from the side!
This is NOT a hopeless cause; this is about one draft and one or two more free agents away from turning Tampa Bay into a winning football team. The days of the Bucs being dominated as losers are pretty much behind us. The offense still needs a few things, mostly time for the offensive linemen like Donovan Smith to fine tune his craft even more; Ali Marpet the same. Find a dominant left guard or get Sweezy out of the tub; the makings of a dominant O line is not that far away.
When it came down to it, the offense had the ball at their 40 in OT ready to put the game away. It could not get a first down, and now Jacquizz Rodgers is probably out for a few weeks, meaning the running game may fall into the hands of Peyton Barber the rookie from Auburn who bought a house for his homeless mother.
Speaking of home, the Bucs are now still winless at home in 2016, and 3-16 in the last 19 games; the Raiders are 5-0 on the road. Now after exhausting themselves for 80 plays, the Bucs defense will have to try to slow down another offensive powerhouse the Atlanta Falcons in only 4 days.
John Lynch will have his name and number put up in the Bucs ring of honor. Until we find the next John Lynch, could we maybe not retire that number just yet? I mean, just in case ole no.47 wants to roam Ray Jay one more time?