GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Buccaneers weekly goal on defense: hold their opponent to 19 points – or less. For the game.
That goal was out the window against the Cardinals on Sunday before three minutes were gone in the second quarter.
“We just came out flat,’’ cornerback Brent Grimes said in the wake of the Bucs 38-33 loss. “It was like we weren’t ready to play.’’
That much was obvious. The bigger question is, why were the Bucs not ready to play?
“I don’t know,’’ Grimes said. “But we have to figure it out. I mean, you never want to put anything like that on film.’’
Aside from their obvious lack of energy, what the Bucs put on film on Sunday was a lack of execution of football fundamentals.
When they sit down on Monday to review the film of this game what they’ll see are a lot of missed assignments and a lot of missed tackles.
That’s what allowed Adrian Peterson to run for 134 yards and two touchdowns on his fifth day in a Cardinals uniform.
.@AdrianPeterson to the HOUSE!
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2017
Do you really think the Cardinals beat the Bucs with a bunch of exotic run plays they’ve never seen before? If you do, think again.
“Adrian did what he always does,’’ Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “He found a hole, found a one-on-one and found a way to win it.’’
It wasn’t hard. Peterson runs hard and in the end, he simply ran harder and with more passion than the Bucs did.
That’s what’s disturbing. The Bucs knew what they were going up against in Peterson, but it’s almost as if they didn’t believe it.
It’s as if they thought perhaps Peterson might be rusty or that the slow start he had in New Orleans was the beginning of the end for him.
It’s almost as if they expected to see a player who’d lost his burst and his cut-back and bounce ability.
If that was the case they found out quickly they were wrong but not quickly enough to keep it from becoming an issue.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of issues, the play of the Bucs secondary has become one. Or still is one.
Sure, Grimes had a nice pick in the game but not before Carson Palmer was allowed to complete his first 14 passes.
The details of how badly Vernon Hargreaves was beaten again aren’t out yet but those numbers will be ugly yet again.
The only consolation Hargreaves has after this one is that, for once, the performance everyone else turned in was just as ugly as his.