When we're good, we're very very good but when we're bad, it's ugly
Another late night for us Bucs UK fans on Sunday and a disappointing one it was too. As I said last week you have to appreciate how far this team have come under Coach Schiano but that doesn't necessarily make losses like Sunday's at Mile High any easier to take.
Coming into the game I thought Peyton Manning and his set of top class receivers would have a field day and although the score says otherwise Manning didn't put up really big numbers. What Manning did do was pick on the Bucs main weakness...it's corners.
In recent weeks young Johnson has made some nice plays, a couple of picks etc and has looked like he could be a player. But then you see him exposed against a top receiver and a top QB. As John Lynch said repeatedly in commentary he got burned early and got "grabby".
He gave up a few pass interference penalties and once Peyton smelled blood he went back to the well time after time. Johnson's play so far has been typical of a lot of the young talent for the Buccaneers this year, namely inconsistent.
The main downside of "Next man up" is that the next man is almost always less experienced and less talented than the man he's replacing. Demar Dotson had a torrid night in Denver but if fully fit chances are Dotson wouldn't be a starter on this team. The Tampa replacements this year have done phenomenally well to keep our unlikely play off push on track.
Probably the biggest exponent of the inconsistent play at present is our very own franchise QB. Freeman has been mercurial at times year but he has also had games where he looks like he's feeling the pressure of being this Franchise's leader. Sunday was a microcosm of this.
A nice drive ending in a TD to the newly reinvigorated Dallas Clark was followed by a success of missed opportunities down the field and wildly over/under thrown balls. These off the mark throws have blighted Freeman of late and although he has been making big plays to, in the main Vincent Jackson, you can only think what might have been had Freeman's play been more consistent for 60 minutes of play.
The Bucs are very much in the wild card hunt at present and with an offense that has potentially to be as explosive as it does who knows what is possible but one thing is for sure if the Buccaneers don't become more consistent in their play a big improvement might be all we achieve this season.