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The Setup
Bucs went with a rookie QB (Mike Glennon) and benched Josh Freeman. They had lost their third in a row; this time to the Pats by the lop-sided score of 23 - 3. In doing so, their offensive point total for the three games followed the pattern of 17, 14 and 3 points per game. It wasn't pretty, and local fans were beginning to scream for Coach Schiano's head. There were some suggestions that the move to Glennon was made in "heavy consultation" with the Tampa Bay front office and designed to buy Schiano some time. . The top-line difference between Glennon and Freeman figured to be that Glennon was less experienced and less mobile, but had a cannon arm. We fully expected the Bucs to come out Sunday like a pack of caged rats and that the Cards had better fasten their seat-belts.

The Lede
Late Card Comeback Nips Buccos

The Bottom Line:
(After their anemic offense and spotty defense allowed them to fall behind 10 - 0 by half-time, the Cardinal defense kept Tampa Bay within spitting distance long enough to (with the help of a few big plays catch them early in the 4Q, gain a narrow lead and hang on at the wire to secure the win. Cards fly home a .500 (2 & 2) football team. Tampa Bay falls to 0 & 4.

Game Recap

1st Quarter
  • Cards received. TB on the KO. Cards went 3 & out. Bucs returned punt to their own 34 and moved to their own 45, where J Bell sacked Glennon for minus-11 yards. Punt was out of bounds art the Card 30. Cards again went 3 & out. Punt was muffed at the Cardinal 49 recovered by McCoy and returned to the Card 41. Short passes by Glennon moved the Bucs to the Cardinal 8, where Glennon hit Mike Williams for a Buc TD. Bucs 7 - Cards 0.

    TB on the KO. A false-start call on Winston contributed to AZ's third-straight 3 & out. Punt was returned to the Buc 31. Bucs moved across midfield, where their drive fizzled and it was fair caught at the Cardinal 18. Cards went 3 & out for the 4th straight time. Punt was downed at the TB 21 and Demps gained 14-yards around right end to end the quarter.First Quarter Score: Bucs 7 – Cards 0.

2nd Quarter
  • An encroachment penalty on Campbell helped sustain a TB 7-play possession that ended with a punt from the AZ 47 which resulted in a touchback. Plamer finally got the Cards off the 3 & out schneid with a +13 yard completion to Ellington followed by a 25-yard Ellington run off right tackle. But the drive fizzled, and we punted from (4th & 4 at the) TB 38. Fair catch at the TB 14. They picked up a 1st down but then lost 7 of those yards on negative yardage from 2 unsuccessful Martin runs Punt went out of bounds at the CArdinal 41. Cards went 3 & out ( 5th time thus far). Punt was out of bounds at the Tampa Bay 7. They reached the Cardinal 32 with a prolonged 13-play drive, but Lindell was forced to boot a 50-yard FG (on 4th & 13) Longest gainers were completions to M Williams and Wright (for +13 and +15 respectively) and a 15-yard roughness call on Y. Bell. Bucs 10 – Cards 0.

    0:27 left in the half. TB on the KO. Cards went 3 & out (for 6th time this half). Punt was downed at the TB 24. Glennon took a knee. Halftime Score: Bucs 10 – Cards 0.

3rd Quarter
  • (Crunch time - Bucs could use the opening drive to ice the game). KO returned to the TB 21. They made it to the Cardinal 38, but a delay of game flag on Glennon derailed the TB drive. Punt was downed at the Cardinal 8. Palmer then engineered a 14-play drive which came to an abrupt halt at the TB 15, when his deep pass intended for Floyd in the end zone (into double coverage) was picked off by Banks. Drive drained 7:33 off the clock Best that can be said is that at least the Buc offense was denied the ball for 7:33. Bucs took over at their own 20 and Dockett immediately took a 15-yard flag for "taunting." But a grounding call on Glennon forced the Bucs to punt from their own 21. A TB penalty on the punt helped move the ball to the Cardinal 44. A scramble by Palmer helped us move to the Buc 33, but Palmer's pass intended for Fitz was picked off by Revis. Bucs took over on their own 23. A questionable horse-collar call on Dockett helped them move to their own 41 as the quarter ended. Third Quarter Score: Bucs 10 – Cards 0.

4th Quarter
  • Four plays later, the Cards got their first break of the game. The snap to Glennon was aborted & recovered by Shaughnessy. Cards ball at midfield. A23-yard completion to Housler helped set up a 42-yard Feely FG. At least we're within a TD of tying. Bucs 10 – Cards 3.

    11:16 on the clock. KO returned to the TB 16 (Moch on the tackle). It looked as though our defense had held the Bucs to 3 & out, but a fake punt (from the TB 25!!!!) gained 22 yards to the TB 47, but the defense held them to 3 more downs and they punted from just past midfield. Touchback. Cards took over on their own 20.

    6:03 on the clock. Pass interference penalties on TB and AZ on two consecutive plays set up a Cardinal punt from the TB 49. Punt was downed by Bethel at the Buc 7-yard line. This turned out to be a huge play - on the second play from scrimmage, Glennon's pass intended for Jackson was picked off by Peterson and returned to the Buc 13. On the very next play, Palmer hit Fitz (who ran a gorgeous route) in th end-zone for a 13-yard game-tying TD.. Bucs 10– Cards 10.

    3:06 on the clock. Demps was nailed by Bethel at the TB 10 (another huge play). On the 3rd play from scrimmage, Glennon was sacked for minus-9 by Moch (welcome to the NFL). Koenen had to punt from his own one. Peterson returned it to the the Tampa Bay 38. 1:56 to go. On the first play from scrimmage, Palmer hit Jaron Brown down the left sidline at the TB 19. Goldson's helmet to helmet spear added another 10. Cards ball on the Bucco 9 yard line with 1: left. Cards used up three TB time outs before Feely booted home the 27-yard game-winner with 1:33 left on the clock. Cards 13 - Bucs 10

    Game not over. TB on the KO. 1st Down: Incompletion. 2nd Down: Completion to wright for +13. 1st Down at the 33: Glennon to Ogletree for +8. 2nd Down at the TB 41 with 0:56 left: Glennon's pass intended for V Jackson was intercepted by Peterson to end the Tampa threat. 2 knees Game over. Final Score: Cards 13 - Bucs 10

Game Stats

  • Palmer threw 21 completions in 38 attempts for 248 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions.

  •  20 of our 58 total offensive plays were running plays.

  • Mendenhall carried 12 times for for 21 yards. Ellington gained 29 yards in 4 attempts.

    Total Cardinal team net rushing yards were 56.

    Total Cardinal team net passing yards were 240.

    We only gave up one sack.

    After being shut out in the 1H, Fitz wound up leading all Cardinal receivers with 6 grabs, followed by Floyd (5) and Ellington (3) & Mendenall (3).

    We gave up three takeaways - one fumble (Mendenhall). Palmer was picked off twice..

    Dockett was credited with 3 sacks. Acho had one.

    Karlos Dansby led the Cards with 9 tackles, followed by Jefferson, Brinkley and Y Bell (each with 7) and Mathieu (6).

    Y Bell and Moch each had one sack.

    Peterson had two picks.

    Cards hit with10 penalties.

    Third Down Efficiency (1 for 13) was awful once again.

    We lost Time of Possession: 34:05 to 25:55

  • Bright Spots

    The defense in the 2nd half.

    Ellington (again)

    Jaron Brown's clutch grab.

    One sack by the O-line.

    Shaughnessy' (gets his hands up on rush)

    Y Bell (as a blitzer and tackler)

    Moch (nifty inside move)

    Bethel (a field-position machine covering punts and KO's)

    Zastudil (When you match up his punts inside the 15 with Koenen's touchback, it was a field-position difference-maker).

    Jefferson (Nothing specific - just solid play from a a rookie starter at FS).

    The Dark Side

    • Palmer's decision-making errors are still too high (Both picks were throws that shouldn't have been made).

      Powers and Y Bell are both physical tacklers but leave room for improvement in their coverage techniques

      Levi and Winston (both penalties and whiffs).

      Mendenhall's ball protection.

      Third down conversion percentage is lower than whale excrement.

    Last Word:
    We're 2 & 2 coming off a 2-game road trip. We did it with a 4th quarter comeback, with our defense keeping us in the game long enough and setting us up with just enough big plays to enable the offense to just barely put us over. It's a start.
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    Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012