The Bucs fall to division rivals New Orleans in the Superdome - 11/6/2011
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday October 16.
Ntohing beats a win in on national TV in front of a sold out crowd!
By Tom Krasniqi
It was that kind of night from Landover, Maryland. Brett Ratliff was starting at quarterback. Mike Smith was the starting tailback. These were not your father’s Buccaneers out there for the final preseason game on Wednesday night against the Redskins. Hell, they weren’t even your in-laws’ Bucs.
The first half was tough to watch if you’re a Bucs fan. With 2nd and 3rd stringers playing the whole way, there were plenty of mistakes. The offensive line did a poor job of run blocking as well as pass protection. Ratliff did not have much time to throw as he was sacked 5 times in the first half. Starting guards Desmond Wynn and Jamon Meredith did not help their cause with their play but they weren’t alone. The line could not open holes for Smith and Mossis Madu. The Bucs had just 3 yards rushing in the first half and Ratliff was 7 for 11 for 70 yards and an interception. Bucs trailed 16-0 at the half.
Things did not get better in the second half. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was picked off by Bucs safety Sean Baker. But Ratliff gave it right back when he tried to hit Tiquan Underwood deep and the pass was picked off by Richard Crawford. Cousins had a 48-yard completion to Brandon Banks and that set up a 15-yard TD run by Roy Helu to make it 23-0 Washington. Helu had two touchdowns on the night as the Bucs gave up 228 yards rushing and 459 total yards.
It’s difficult to draw conclusions from the final preseason game where the backups played the whole way. However, there is growing concern about the lack of depth on this team and that will have to be addressed in the coming days. All NFL teams must get down to the 53-man roster limit by 9pm on Friday. The Bucs finish up the preseason at 2-2 while the Redskins wrap up exhibition play with a 3-1 record.
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