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Other Week 4 Game Recaps

Week 4 Game Recap: Detroit Lions 13, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

What you need to know

Detroit Lions

The Lions were beneficiaries of strong defensive play and turnovers were key to keeping them in the game. All of their points scored in the game came after turnovers. They scored early in the second quarter, after Jared DeVries recovered a Brian Griese fumble. Jason Hanson made the 44 yard field goal. And after a Griese interception, Kevin Jones rushed eight yards in for a touchdown, his first touchdown of the season. Terrence Holt intercepted Brian Griese in the fourth quarter and Hanson subsequently made a 23 yard field goal.

It was not a pretty picture for the Lions’ offense. They were forced to punt on six of their 11 possessions. And only made two first third down conversions. Joey Harrington was unable to maintain any sort of momentum. The only drive that he even looked remotely sharp was the final drive of the game. He made seven completions and passed for 72 of his 137 total yards on that drive. But when the Lions were in the red zone, he threw three straight incompletions ending the game and a chance to win for Detroit. The first pass was to Marcus Pollard, and was originally ruled as a touchdown, but the play was reviewed and overturned as Pollard did not have possession of the ball until he was out of bounds. Mike Williams came down out of bounds on the second end zone target. And the game ended with Harrington overthrowing Roy Williams.

Widely hailed as one of the most talented trio of young receivers, Roy Williams, Charles Rogers, and Mike Williams were more than quiet. They were covered effectively by Tampa Bay forcing Joey Harrington to check down to his other receiving options. Roy Williams led the receivers with three receptions for 54 yards.

The highlight of the game for Kevin Jones was his eight yard touchdown run. He left the game briefly after his first carry and it was reported that he had been poked in the eye. Jones rushed 12 times for 38 yards and was inexplicably replaced for long periods of time by both Shawn Bryson and Artose Pinner who added a combined additional 41 yards to the Lions’ rushing totals.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cadillac Williams suffered a strained hamstring and did not see much playing time at all in the second half of the game. He had only gained nine yards on eight carries at the end of the first half. Michael Pittman was both a threat rushing and receiving. He made a 41 yard touchdown reception and second leading receiver for the Buccaneers with 6 receptions for 96 yards.

It was a career game for Joey Galloway who was Griese’s favorite target. Galloway saw 14 passes thrown his way. He made a beautiful 80 yard touchdown reception; he caught the ball over the middle and outran the Lions. He did leave the game for a short time in the third quarter to be rehydrated after suffering a cramp.

Brian Griese did throw for 302 yards on 22 completions and his two touchdowns. But what kept the Lions in the game were Griese’s turnovers. He was responsible for all of four of the Tampa Bay turnovers, three interceptions and a lost fumble. All three of the Lions’ scores came after the turnovers.

What you ought to know

QB Joey Harrington, Pass: 15 - 27 - 137 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 12 - 0

Harrington did not find open receivers and was forced to either check down or attempt to run the ball himself. At the end of the first half, Harrington had only completed five out of eight passing attempts for 45 yards. He finished the game with a total of 137 yards on 15 completions. Harrington looked the best on the Lions’ last drive of the game. From the Lions’ seven yard line, he led them downfield completing seven out of 13 passing attempts for 72 yards. But his last three passing attempts into the end zone to Marcus Pollard, Mike Williams, and Roy Williams were all no good. The pass to Pollard was called as a touchdown, but with a review it was overturned as Pollard did not have possession of the ball in bounds. The throw to Mike Williams should have been a TD if Williams had shown better footwork. And the last pass to Williams was just a prayer that had no chance. This was a bad game for Harrington. If Jeff Garcia were healthy, it was bad enough that the Lions would have probably made a QB change.

QB Matthew Stafford

Stafford put up respectable numbers against Chicago, keeping the Lions in the Week 4 game against Chicago throughout the first half. Stafford racked up 221 yards in the first half on 23 attempts, moving the ball well and keeping pace with Jay Cutler and Matt Forte pushing the totals higher on the scoreboard. Stafford could have had an even bigger day but his accuracy leaves something to be desired. His receivers were open on most every attempt, but it was Stafford's errant throws (often too high) that cost Detroit the completion. Late in the game, Stafford was sacked and his knee folded under him, forcing him to leave the game in favor of Daunte Culpepper. Stafford did not return to the game after the injury, but Detroit was likely just playing it safe as the game was already decided by the midpoint of the fourth quarter. It remains to be seen if he will be healthy enough to face Pittsburgh in Week 5.

RB Kevin Jones, Rush: 12 - 38 - 1 (1 targets)

Jones did not find much room to run at all throughout the game. He gained four yards on the first carry of the game. He left the field after that carry; he had reportedly been poked in the eye. Jones spun to gain four yards in the second quarter. After Griese’s interception, Jones was able to rush eight yards in for a touchdown. Jones was not used much in the second half of the game; he only carried the ball four times for a grand total of nine yards. Amazingly, the Lions said there was nothing physically wrong with him; they were looking to just change things up.

RB Artose Pinner, Rush: 6 - 28 - 0, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (2 targets)

In the first quarter, Pinner came in for Kevin Jones for two plays after Jones had been poked in the eye and ran for seven yards and a first down and then made a two yard gain on a lateral catch. He had an eleven yard carry in the third quarter.

RB Shawn Bryson, Rush: 3 - 13 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (4 targets)

Bryson was used sporadically throughout the game. He gained ten yards on a carry near the end of the first quarter. He had a pass go through his hands in the third quarter.

RB Joique Bell

Kevin Smith was nowhere to be found as it appears Bell is the number two back behind Mikel Leshoure. While he didn’t run the ball more than once, he did see some significant action catching it, and he showed some great hands out of the backfield on screens and dump passes. He really showed some light feet for a 220 pound guy, making a few defenders miss and he did a great job staying on his feet when he got hit, though his legs tended to stop moving once he took a solid hit. He’d stay upright, but often stop for a second or so. He got moving again once or twice, but tended to then go sideways and not gain anymore yards.

RB Reggie Bush

After missing Week three with an injury, Bush was back as the main cog in the offense against Chicago. As the Lions passing game struggled for most of the game, it was Bush that fueled Detroit’s early scoring drives. This was the first time in Bush’s career he has gained at least 100 rushing yards in the first half of a game. He was patient at the point of attack in the run game as he found room to make defenders miss at the second level of the defense. Bush’s stutter step and spin moves were effective as he was rarely tackled by the first free defender. In addition to a red zone drop in the passing game, Bush’s most glaring mistake came as he fumbled on a second quarter carry. Detroit recovered the fumble and Bush made his best run of the day on the very next snap. The offensive line opened a huge hole, Bush hurdled a defender down the field, and then it was off to the races. Bush outran the defense to the end zone for a highlight long touchdown. Compared to the first half, Bush was relatively quiet over the final 30 minutes. He had two bigger gains as Detroit was very conservative on offense with a big lead and Chicago turning the ball over with regularity.

RB Brian Calhoun

Calhoun returned one kickoff 18 yards.

RB Jerome Harrison

Harrison did see time in this game, but he was only used as a blocker and only on a couple plays.

RB Stefan Logan

Logan did not see much action on offense in this game. However, he was involved in one potentially big play where he motioned behind Calvin Johnson before the snap. When the play started, Johnson broke down the field, drawing the defense away from the line of scrimmage. Logan broke back for a quick dump-off but the pass was thrown too hard and it went through his hands. Had he come up with the reception, Johnson had cleared out all defenders for at least five yards. Instead, the ball skipped off Logan’s hands and was almost picked off.

RB Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith was active in Week 4, showing surprising resilience after sustaining an injury to his shoulder last week. He was expected to probably miss this contest as recently as three days before the Chicago game but he showed his toughness just by being able to go for this game. Smith did not have a big game as the Bears' front seven keyed on him, but he did just enough to keep the offense balanced in the first half of the contest. Smith averaged under two yards a carry but did punch the ball over the goal line twice against Chicago. Despite several missing starters for Chicago they had little trouble hemming in the Detroit running game. Once the game got out of hand in the fourth quarter, Smith's contributions were minimized as the Lions dropped back to throw deep most of the time.

WR Roy Williams, Rec: 3 - 54 - 0 (6 targets)

Williams’ first target went right through his hands. He made his first reception with less than two minutes left in the first half for 34 yards. The pass was underthrown, but Williams was able to adjust to make the catch. Roy Williams made a 14 yard catch right at the sidelines with less than a minute in the game. He was targeted with Harrington’s last pass of the game in the end zone, but was overthrown on a terrible pass. Williams never had a shot at making a play on it.

WR Mike Williams, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (4 targets)

Williams made his first reception for two yards in the second quarter. He made his second reception of 11 yards in the fourth quarter to gain a third down conversion. At the end of the quarter, Williams was targeted in the end zone, but was out of bounds when he came down with the reception. It would have been a great catch, but there are lots of receivers in the league who would have shown better footwork and come down with a completion and touchdown there.

WR Kevin Johnson, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (5 targets)

Johnson was targeted too high in the first quarter. He was called for offensive pass interference. Johnson made both of his receptions during the Lions’ last drive of the game. His second catch made a first down conversion on fourth down.

WR Charles Rogers, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (2 targets)

Rogers saw his first target and catch in the game for 15 yards late in the fourth quarter. He missed a reception that would have been for a third down conversion with less than two minutes left in the game. It was thrown behind him, but he should have been able to make the catch.

WR Ryan Broyles

Broyles was targeted just once late in the game. He had a brutal drop as he was wide open heading towards the sideline and the ball went off his fingertips. He was clearly upset about it, but was not targeted again. Clearly he still has a ways to go before he is ready, though with Titus Young’s struggles and inconsistency, he may need to step up his efforts to get into sync with Stafford.

WR Kris Durham

Durham was the primary outside receiver opposite of Calvin Johnson with Nate Burleson out of the lineup. Durham and Matthew Stafford was the strongest connection for the Detroit passing game, making big plays down the field and in the red zone. Stafford missed Durham early down the sidelines, but was sharp on his targets after that point. Durham made a tough slant reception in the red zone and was tackled at the one-yard-line. In the second half, Durham’s two receptions were rare bright spots as Detroit’s offense stalled on most drives.

WR Calvin Johnson

Johnson was inactive for this game with a back injury.

WR Golden Tate

With Calvin Johnson limited and the run game non-existent for all but the final minutes of the game, it was the Golden Tate show for the Detroit offense against the Jets. Tate routinely beat single coverage with sharp-breaking short routes. Making plays after the catch is Tate’s staple and his highlight play, in addition to breaking wide open on third downs throughout the game, was a smoke route late in the game. After squaring up to the defensive back near the line of scrimmage, Tate ran over the defender running back-style and nearly scored on the red zone reception. The Lions ultimately scored a touchdown on the drive to go up for 14 points in the fourth quarter. Without Joseph Fauria in the lineup, the shell of Calvin Johnson, and a sputtering run game, Golden Tate was a key factor to the Lions road victory against the Jets this week.

WR Troy Walters (2 targets)

Walters scored a key touchdown for Detroit when he capped their five play, 80 yard drive with a beautiful 15 yard reception in the back right corner of the end zone. He had to stretch out to make the catch and somehow was able to get his feet down before crossing the end line. It was initially ruled incomplete, but the play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was reversed. He also returned two punts for eight yards.

WR Titus Young

Titus Young is starting to take over the #2 receiver slot from Nate Burleson. His size and physical skills make him an excellent complement to Calvin Johnson and Stafford frequently treats Young as the same type of ‘my ball’ type of receiver. In this game, Young was quiet until the 4th quarter. Then, when the Lions were making their big comeback, he was targeted several times on some key plays. At the start of the 4th quarter, Stafford hit Young on consecutive passes of 13 and 19 yards, the first being a quick curl route and the second being a deep crossing route over the middle. Both passes drew more attention to Young, leaving Calvin Johnson to work one on one and score on the very next play. He was also targeted later in the quarter when the Lions were in the red zone and trying to tie the game up. Stafford went for him in the end zone, but the ball was overthrown and Young interfered with the cornerback. Look for Young to continue to emerge as the #2 WR for the Lions as the season progresses.

TE Marcus Pollard, Rec: 2 - 5 - 0 (4 targets)

Harrington checked down to Pollard when his receiving options were covered. Pollard fumbled the ball late in the second half; Bryan Kelly knocked the ball out of his arms. Harrington overthrew Pollard in the end zone in the fourth quarter. At the end of the fourth quarter, Pollard had a 12 yard touchdown reception call reversed, because the official said that he was out of bounds when he had possession of the ball.

TE Casey Fitzsimmons, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets)

Fitzsimmons saw his only target and reception in the fourth quarter.

TE Eric Ebron

Ebron saw a career-high in snaps this week as Joseph Fauria missed the game against the Jets. Brandon Pettigrew was not a threat to Ebron’s passing game work and the rookie saw four targets, third-most on the team, catching three of them. The lone missed connection between Ebron and Matthew Stafford came with Ebron as a split-out receiver against a defensive back. Ebron worked deep down the sideline, but Stafford’s pass was off-target against tight coverage. Ebron carried a defensive back for five yards after the catch following a quick hitch late in the first half. On his highlight play, Stafford threw a strike to Ebron, who was well-covered on a red zone seam route, as Detroit raced out to a 17-3 lead with that touchdown.

TE Will Heller

TE Will Heller saw several looks from Matthew Stafford in Week 4, particularly in the red zone. Heller ran down the seam and worked the intermediate depth routes, getting open a few times against Chicago and highlighted by a 14-yard touchdown over the middle of the field. Heller's numbers may have peaked against the Bears simply because he is the second tight end and a distant one at that considering that Brandon Pettigrew was targeted 10 times against Chicago. Don't chase his fantasy numbers.

TE Brandon Pettigrew

Rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew was open often down the middle of the field against Chicago, but fellow rookie Matthew Stafford's inaccurate tosses in his direction cost him a huge fantasy game. Pettigrew grabbed four of the 10 targets that were directed towards him against the Bears in Week 4, which bodes well for future weeks for his fantasy numbers. Detroit faces Pittsburgh next week, a team that has had issues this season with big tight ends.

PK Jason Hanson 2 - 2 FG, 1 - 1 XP, 7 points

Still suffering from a sore hamstring, Hanson was able to make two field goals of 44 and 23 yards.

DET Rush Defense

Detroit was very effective in shutting down the run. Their stated game plan was to shut down Cadillac Williams and they were very successful in doing so. Williams was held to 9 rushing yards in the first half and a total of 13 yards on the game, though he did not play most of the second half after straining his hamstring. They held Tampa Bay to a total of 69 rushing yards. The Lions sacked Brian Griese twice in a row during Tampa Bay’s first drive of the game, holding the Buccaneers to a field goal. They recorded an additional sack to bring the total to three. Kalimba Edwards forced a fumble from Brian Griese that was recovered by Jared DeVries.

DET Pass Defense

The Lions’ pass defense gave up two passing touchdowns on plays that accounted for 121 of Griese’s 302 passing yards. But strong defensive play was what kept them in the game until the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. Brian Griese was intercepted three times and had a fourth interception negated by a holding penalty.

QB Brian Griese, Pass: 22 - 39 - 302 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0

It was an up and down day for Brian Griese. He did complete 22 of his 39 passing attempts for 302 yards. He threw a 41 yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman. And then to open the second half, Griese threw an 80 yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway who outran the Lions’ defense to score. He keyed in on Joey Galloway targeting him 14 times in the game. A number of Griese’s incompletions were due to his receivers simply dropping the ball or having it go through their hands. But Griese was responsible for all four of the Tampa Bay turnovers that kept the Lions in the game. He fumbled the ball at the beginning of the second quarter. It was the first fumble that the Buccaneers have lost all season. Griese also threw three interceptions. And a fourth was called back because of a holding penalty against the Lions.

QB Mike Glennon

The Cardinals pulled out a textbook game plan for starting a rookie quarterback. They ran the ball a ton with Doug Martin, while giving Glennon easy half-field reads. Basically, they cut the field in half for Glennon, only asking him to go through one or two progressions to his left or right. Most of the routes they dialed up for Glennon were simple, short throws. Glennon actually played remarkably well in his debut. He threw his first career touchdown pass to Mike Williams late in the first quarter. Williams beat Cardinals' corner Jerraud Powers on a slant. Powers played man, but was in soft coverage. This provided for an easy throw and catch that was uncontested. Glennon showed he's ready for the big time on the play with a veteran move. At the snap, he quickly looked at a receiver running a crossing route underneath the formation which caused the safety to bite, leaving Williams wide open after he beat Powers inside. Glennon's mechanics proved to be on another level compared to Freeman's. His footwork on three, five, and seven step drops was impeccable. He stepped into virtually every throw. He showed a quick release with good accuracy for most of the game. Despite having limited reads and short progressions, he did a good job of getting through them at the right pace and then checking down. The Cardinals caught on to the Bucs' game plan, however. They began jumping routes and playing tight press man coverage because they knew most of the calls coming in for Glennon were short, quick passing plays. Glennon started to come unraveled in the fourth quarter. On his first of two interceptions, he threw the ball too late on an intermediate crossing route for Vincent Jackson. The issue on the first interception was timing. Jackson snapped off the square in route coming open for a moment, but Glennon waited a hair too long. This allowed Patrick Peterson to recover and cut in front of Jackson for the pick. Timing routes were Glennon's most difficult throws on Sunday, which is expected. As the season progresses, so should Glennon's ability to hit receivers with better timing. Peterson picked Glennon off a second time to seal the game with one minute to go. Glennon actually made the correct read. The Cardinals were in zone coverage. Vincent Jackson ran an out route from the slot and only had a linebacker running underneath him. Glennon attempted to throw over the top of the backer, but sailed the pass because of immense pressure from the Cardinals defensive line. Frostee Rucker got to Glennon and crushed him into the turf just as he released the floater. Peterson found himself in the right place at the right time for his second interception of the game. The Cardinals sacked Glennon twice, but even under pressure, Glennon made smart decisions. On the first sack, the Cardinals sent a few linebackers through the A gap. Glennon had no shot of making anything positive happen, so he ate it and took the loss without doing anything foolish. On the second sack, the Bucs were backed up deep in their own territory. Glennon wisely made sure he wasn't in the end zone before succumbing to the sack. We've seen many highlights of rookie quarterbacks stepping on the end line or taking unnecessary safeties. This awareness from Glennon is something not every rookie displays. Unfortunately, Glennon wasn't allowed to check into different plays at the line of scrimmage often on Sunday, and it made life difficult for the Bucs offense. The Cardinals walked a safety up to the line of scrimmage on numerous plays. Instead of checking to a pass, they tried to execute the designed run play with no luck. Overall, his debut had many positives. Specifically, his mechanics and decision making are above average for a rookie signal-caller.

RB Cadillac Williams, Rush: 11 - 13 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)

The Lions were focused on stopping Williams and they were successful in doing so. He gained 12 yards on his first carry up the middle. But at the end of the first half, he had only nine yards on eight carries. Williams had a pass go through his hands late in the second quarter. He added five rushing yards on two carries in the second half, but was taken out of the game after suffering a strained hamstring.

RB Michael Pittman, Rush: 5 - 30 - 0, Rec: 6 - 96 - 1 (6 targets)

Pittman was busy throughout the game as both a receiver and a rusher. He carried the ball twice during the first quarter, on the first carry he was stopped at the line of scrimmage, but he gained 11 yards on his next carry. He also made a nine yard reception, but it was short of the first down and Tampa Bay was forced to punt. During that same drive he was called for a face mask penalty that resulted in a loss of 15 yards. Pittman scored at the end of the second quarter on a 41 yard reception. Pittman finished the game with 30 rushing yards on five carries and he was the second leading receiver for Tampa Bay with six receptions for 96 yards and his touchdown.

RB Earnest Graham, Rush: 4 - 15 - 0

Graham saw all of his carries in the fourth quarter in relief of Williams and Pittman.

RB Mike Alstott, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (4 targets)

Alstott did not have any rushing carries, but he made two receptions for a total of 7 yards on his four targets.

RB Doug Martin

Martin, who the Buccaneers deemed worthy of their first round pick in 2012, put his skills on display against the Redskins, even if he did not stuff the stat sheet. The aptly-named Muscle Hamster toted the rock only eight times for thirty-three yards and chipped in two catches for nine yards. Martin actually came in third on the Buccaneers in targets against the Redskins, with five. His limited usage in the run game prompted Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano to cite game flow as his reasoning for capping Martin’s touches against the Redskins. Still, Martin flashed why Tampa Bay values him so highly. In the ground game, he showcased quick, agile feet in letting plays develop, with tackle-breaking ability and up-the-field vision. He had an impressive nineteen yard run called back on a holding penalty. Through the air, Martin proved a valuable outlet for quarterback Josh Freeman, making his way to the flat several times. Martin’s skills in pass protection were also on display on Sunday. Better days for the rookie from Boise State are yet to come.

RB Bobby Rainey

Rainey’s highlight play came on a useless 16-yard reception on a 3rd down and 31 yards to go. The entire Pittsburgh defense was protecting against a long pass for the first down and willingly let Rainey catch a check down pass from Glennon over the middle and scamper for 16 yards. Rainey was largely ineffective on Sunday against the Steelers averaging 0.5 yards per carry on only four carries. He did have the nice reception out of the backfield, but it’s clear that when Martin is healthy, Rainey will only be used for a quick spell here and there as evidenced by his pedestrian 6 touches.

WR Joey Galloway, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 7 - 166 - 1 (14 targets)

It was a career high game for Joey Galloway. He made two receptions to open the game for Tampa Bay and he gained a combined 36 yards. He made a 20 yard reception that helped to set up Michael Pittman’s touchdown. During the first drive of the third quarter, Galloway made an 80 yard touchdown reception, it was thrown over the middle and Galloway simply outran the Lions’ defense to score. After making a 12 yard reception near the end of the third quarter, Galloway suffered a cramp and left the game for a while to get rehydrated.

WR Michael Clayton, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (5 targets)

Clayton was targeted in the end zone, but was out of bounds when he made the catch. He made a six yard catch for a third down conversion in the first quarter. Clayton was the target of Griese’s third interception. He did not make another catch until the fourth quarter.

WR Ike Hilliard (2 targets)

Hilliard drew a defensive pass interference penalty for the Buccaneers. He was the target of Griese’s second interception.

WR Mike Evans

Evans hauled in his first touchdown pass of his professional career against the Steelers on Sunday. From the 7-yard line, Evans was matched up one-on-one with a Steelers’ corner back. At the snap, Evans fought hard to the outside running a fade route to the back pylon. Glennon lofted the ball, but didn’t get enough on it for Evans to be able to high-point the ball. Instead, Evans had to fall to his knees as the ball passed between through outstretched arms of the defender. Evans hauled the ball in and maintained possession as the defender crashed down on to him. Evans longest grab of the day came on a 9-route he ran against man coverage. At the snap, Evans and his defender sprinted down the left sideline hard. Glennon lofted a ball to Evans’ back shoulder. The ball was thrown extremely high and seemed to come straight down into Evans arms whose entire body was practically out of bounds aside from his feet. Glennon’s lone interception came on a long ball to Evans in which he came up lame with an undisclosed leg injury. Evans did not re-enter the game, be sure to check his status.

WR Vincent Jackson

The mercurial former Charger proved to the home crowd that breaking the bank for him was worth it. One of the NFL’s deadliest combinations of size, speed, and athleticism, Jackson roasted the feeble Redskins secondary for exactly one hundred yards on six catches, including a seven-yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman in which he simply out-muscled double coverage. He made the highlight reel on Sunday when he burned Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall on an isolation route, streaking downfield to haul in a beautiful pass from Josh Freeman for a fifty-four yard gain. Jackson led all Buccaneers receivers with eleven targets. He actually could have had a much bigger day given those targets, but, as Jackson is wont to do, appeared out-of-sync with quarterback Josh Freeman in the first half. He also caught a twenty-two yard pass from Freeman in the red zone, but got tackled two yards short of the goal line. Still, as a notorious feast-or-famine receiver, Jackson ate well on Sunday against the Redskins. 

WR Louis Murphy

Murphy came out of nowhere to lead the Buccaneers in receiving yards on Sunday against the Steelers. Murphy caught a crucial pass with 20 seconds left in the game. The Bucs lined up in 10 personnel (1RB 0TE 4WR), Murphy split out wide to the top of the formation. At the snap, Louis Murphy raced down the sideline and cut towards the center of the field on a post route. The inside receiver ran a streak and the two defensive backs got tangled up as the receivers routes crossed. Murphy hauled in the pass and rumbled down to the 5-yard line. That catch set up the game winning score. Throughout the game, Murphy lined up in a WR stack often. The Bucs would line up two receivers one in front and one in back instead of side by side. The Bucs tended to run Murphy in an angle route out of this formation where he would start to the outside as if it was a streak or wheel route and come back hard over the middle in a crossing route. Murphy caught most of his passes on this designed route.

WR Sammie Stroughter

Stroughter caught a screen pass and did a good job running after the catch, but was otherwise neglected in the game plan.

TE Anthony Becht, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (4 targets)

Becht was targeted during the Buccaneers’ first drive, he was open but he dropped the pass. He had a second target go right through his hands in the second quarter.

TE Alex Smith, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets)

Smith was called for a false start penalty on the Buccaneers’ opening drive. He made a seven yard reception in the second quarter.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

ASJ saw a healthy seven targets on the day, but only reeled in three of those passes. The Bucs tried to take advantage of Seferian-Jenkins’ size by isolating him as a flanker to one side of the field. One one of his three receptions, ASJ ran a 10-yard hitch and posted up right at the first down line, shielded the defender with his body and pulled in the pass. He also ran an out route and fought with a defender to keep the ball in his possession. ASJ does a tremendous job of shielding a defender from making a play on the ball, then he is basically uncontested or draws a penalty.

TE Luke Stocker

Limited upside because of Winslow but he looks good and is developing nicely. He is a big target for Josh Freeman and despite having Winslow in front of him he is managing to find catches and show up on the stat sheet. Most of the time you gloss over back up TEs and think they are primarily blocking tight ends but Stocker is showing some real potential and he is a guy to keep your eye on with Winslow’s health record in the NFL.

PK Matt Bryant 1 - 2 FG, 2 - 2 XP, 5 points

Bryant converted two extra point attempts in the game. He made a 43 yard field goal in the first quarter, but missed a 46 yard field goal attempt in the third quarter.

TB Rush Defense

The Buccaneers held the Lions to a total of 91 rushing yards. Both Ronde Barber and Simeon Rice recorded sacks on Joey Harrington.

TB Pass Defense

Joey Harrington was held to 137 passing yards, 72 of those during the Lions’ last drive of the game. And the Lions’ receivers were held in check throughout the game. Brian Kelly forced a Marcus Pollard fumble that was recovered by Ellis Wyms.

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