Broncos limited Bucs passing game

US PRESSWIRE

Denver's defense took away the deep ball from Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 13, something that Tampa Bay didn't expect to happen.

Josh Freeman certainly didn't play his best game in Week 13, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to 6-6 on the season, losing to the Denver Broncos, 31-23.

Freeman finished the game just 18-of-39 passing for 242 yards, with two touchdown passes and an interception to his credit. Freeman's rating for the game was an underwhelming 72.8.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Williams credits Denver's defense and game-planning for limiting Tampa Bay's aerial assault:

"When you have corners playing 15 yards off of you and bailing, it's hard to connect on those. They're just bailing out there and then there's a linebacker underneath you, so you can't say, ‘I'll just hit the short pass.'

"I mean, they game planned too. Maybe they've seen us hit the deep ball and said, ‘We're not giving up the deep ball today.' They don't ever bail like that, but they did (Sunday)."

Denver's defense currently ranks sixth in the NFL against the pass, allowing just 211.8 yards per game through the air. Running isn't easy against Denver either, as the Broncos held Doug Martin to just 56 yards on 18 carries, good for an average of 3.1 yards per carry.

Tampa Bay will look to get its passing offense back on track in Week 14, when the Buccaneers play host to the lackluster Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia's passing defense has been much maligned as of late -- so Freeman and the Tampa Bay offense should have a good game on Sunday.

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