Upon Further Review - Week 2 Buccaneers @ Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Preston Parker #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers advances the ball while E.J. Henderson #56 of the Minnesota Vikings attempts to stop the play at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 18, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)

Upon Further Review provides one final look at the Bucs-Vikings Week 2 matchup.

 

A new feature with SBNation Tampa Bay is Upon Further Review - where we go back and watch the TV Feed and try to glean a few more details you might have missed the first time through the game.

Let's face it - during the football game your eye is on the football, wondering what will happen next and who will make the big play. Once the game is over and you go back to review the game, you can actually analyze it with a much more critical eye and perhaps see things that in your emotion and excitement you might have missed the first time around.

Here are our thoughts after re-watching the Buccaneers and Vikings Week 2 matchup:

Quincy Black Needs to Sit

Two weeks down and Quincy Black has turned in two terrible performances for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While he certainly wasn't the only player to struggle in the first half, Black seemed to have a hand in each major gain the Vikings achieved in the first half. Be it a miss tackle, over pursuing, getting faked out on play action, blowing a coverage or just reacting too slowly to the play developing in front of him - Black seemed to be a weak link that the Vikes continued to attack over and over.

So when Quincy Black went down with an ankle injury and Dekota Watson played in the second half - you could see the dramatic improvement in the defensive performance.

We're not saying the Bucs benefited from Quincy's injury but whether his injury contributed to his performance or not, it's pretty obvious that Black is not playing his best ball right now and may need to take a seat until he can physically or mentally be ready to perform up to the big contract the Bucs gave him this past off-season.

Mason Foster is becoming a Factor

While rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster made his share of mistakes on Sunday, you're beginning to see flashes of what made the Bucs so excited about him. 

Foster was all over the football field, finishing with 10 tackles, 1 sack and a forced fumble.

He also left the game twice with various aliments and during his absences, the defense was gashed for big plays.

Partly due to the injury to Quincy Black, we saw a lot more of Foster on the field during passing situations and he held his own (although he was penalized for pass interference on one play). 

While the Bucs have been extremely disappointed with the play of their linebackers, Foster is improving rapidly and becoming a bright spot on the defense.

This just in...Adrian Peterson is pretty darn good.

There were several times during the game on Sunday where the Bucs appeared to do everything right. Everyone was in their proper lanes, they were in position to make plays and Adrian Peterson would do this hop, skip, thingy he does and he was off to the races. 

Those of you concerned with how the Buccaneer defense played against Peterson, don't be. While there's going to be some tests in the running game (starting this week with Michael Turner) no back the Bucs will face the rest of the season will be as good as Adrian Peterson.

During the telecast commentator (and Buc Legend) John Lynch said the Bucs' goal was to keep A.P. to just 4.0 yards per carry. They didn't quite get there are Peterson finished with 120 yards on 25 carries (4.8 yds per carry).

If you want to worry about the run defense - worry about how Toby Gerhart rushed for 36 yards on 2 carries and caught a screen pass, then raced 42 yards like a mini-Mike Alstott.

That shouldn't happen.

Mike Williams and Regus Benn aren't Clicking with Josh yet

If there was any area of the Buccaneers where growth was stunted by the NFL lockout, it's their passing game. Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn both have made some highlight reel plays already this season but those plays are few and far between. For the most part, they were invisible on Sunday. 

Williams had one catch for -4 yards and had a touchdown reception wiped out on Benn's motion penalty (he moved to early during a multiple shift). Benn also dropped a key third down pass in the first half when the Bucs offense desperately needed to generate some offense.

He did rebound late by making the big 25 yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter (his only reception of the game).

For the season, Benn has 5 receptions for 52 yds and a score while Williams has 5 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.

They are fifth and sixth respectively on the Bucs' receiving list. For the Bucs to be a playoff caliber football team, these two need to be among the top 3 on the team.

The lack of production certainly can be attributed to the Bucs' inability to sustain drives - but the two go hand-in-hand. To sustain those drives, Benn and Williams must be factors.

It's not from lack of effort, both players are giving their all during the games. I think right now both players are a bit mystified by the coverages they are seeing run against them. Williams was expected to garner much more attention this season and that's certainly been the case in the first two games - but there's been a few opportunities when he's been one-on-one. He has to win those matchups.

Benn is the Bucs' only true deep threat. He needs to be able to get himself behind the secondary and present a good target for Josh Freeman.

Preston Parker, Dez Briscoe and Kellen Winslow, Jr. have helped pick up the slack for the Bucs' dynamic duo but sooner or later for Josh Freeman and the offense to be successful we need to see these two make an impact.

Freeman's Comebacks

It's truly a blessing for the Buccaneers to have a quarterback the caliber of Josh Freeman. A true leader whom his team truly trusts and believes in - an extension of his firebrand head coach. If the Bucs are in the ballgame in the fourth quarter, you've almost come to expect Freeman to make the plays to win the game.

However, the reason why 8 of Freeman's 13 career victories are 4th quarter comebacks is because his team is not doing the job in the three other quarters of the football game.

You can only comeback so many times before you run out of time. It happened to them last season in games against Atlanta and Detroit and has already happened in their home opener.

I don't know if it's going to take running no-huddle to start the game or running the football for the first fifteen plays - whatever it is, the Bucs must find it or they'll continue to bang into the glass ceiling that is the NFL post-season.

Final Verdict

The rally over the Vikings masked some serious concerns with the Buccaneers - namely, the team's inability to get off the field on defense and sustain drives on offense at the beginning of games. Whether it's preparation or concentration - something is broke. You can get away with that (most times) against a team like Minnesota but against the top flight competition coming up on the Buccaneers' schedule - it's not going to fly.

And with that...we put week 2 to bed. On to the Falcons....

 

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