Since I didn't get to watch the game this weekend, I can't comment on the actual X's & O's this week, but I can comment on this: I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF BRATKOWSKI'S BULLSHIT PLAY CALLING & LEWIS FALLING ON THE SWORD FOR HIM.
Following the game on my iPhone thanks to ESPN’s Game-tracker on my drive home from Virginia Beach, for three quarters, it looked like things were going pretty well: a couple of nice long scoring drives, but it didn’t look like I was missing anything too dramatic outside of the TO TD, and Benson's performance. Then we get to the fourth quarter, and "SQUIRREL!"
First of all, Lewis’s excuse that they were being aggressive is complete horseshit, and the media needs to call him out on this. The play calling speaks for itself.
Starting with the second drive of the forth quarter, Bengals ahead 21-14, starting on the Bengals’s 6 with 8:51 to play: 1-10, Benson run; 2-6, Benson run; 3-1, Benson run; 1-10, Palmer 4 yard pass to TO; 2-6, Benson run; & 3-2, Leonard run for a loss of two yards. REAL AGGRESSIVE PLAY CALLING ASSHOLE.
Bucs get the ball back on starting on their own 20 with 4:51 left in the game. Zimmer forces them into three downs and out, and the Bengals get the ball back starting on their own 41 with 3:17 left to play. They are only 60 yards away from ending the game with a statement, or if they can just get a couple of first downs and we walk off the field with another unconvincing win.
Brat comes out guns blazing on first down: Benson up the gut for zero yards; 2-10, Benson off LT for a 2 yard gain.
Before I go any further, if you are attacking the Bucs to end the game by being aggressive as Lewis claimed, you don’t come out with two running plays most likely against eight men in the box. I am assuming the Bucs put eight in the box since they most likely knew the Bengals were going to try to run out the clock (please correct me if I am wrong about this). If you are aggressive, you come out and call a play action pass to take advantage of the defense looking for the run. I would have been 100% in support of being aggressive and taking this risk because it could have put the game away with one play. Instead, the Bengals were basically running against a wall that our OL is not good enough to break through. Forget the idea that we were averaging over 6 yards a carry for the game, it doesn't apply when the opposing defense stacks the deck to shut down the run. Sure enough, we tried to run out the clock and we weren't able to move the ball against a defense looking for it. REAL AGGRESSIVE PLAY CALLING ASSHOLE.
Next play is a false start on Gresham, pushing it to 3rd & 13 with 2:28 to play. From the highlights, the Bucs bring out what looks to be their dime package. Brat decides to still go for the first ignoring the potential disaster. Unfortunately Palmer doesn’t check down into his favorite laizze fare running play that has probably only netted us 10 yards in the past three seasons. Sure enough Palmer forces the throw into tight covereage and its behind TO. Results in 7 points for the Bucs.
This had to be the stupidest play call I have ever witnessed, second to Belicheck’s crazy forth down play call a couple of years ago. This “aggressive” play is nothing but a culmination of his incompetent decisions. You don’t throw the ball when the Bucs are expecting it, have their dime package on the field, and there is less then two and half minutes to play with only a seven point lead. In this case, there is too much to lose so do the always unsuccessful draw play and punt the ball to make the Bucs drive 80+ yards with less than 2 minutes left.
Ironically, it was only a couple of weeks ago that I called for his head because Bratkowski was too conservative against the Ravens and it almost cost us the game. I would have been perfectly fine with that approach Sunday.
If you want to be aggressive and attack the defense, then DO IT WHEN THEY AREN'T EXPECTING IT! Unfortunately, Mike Brown is not going to mess with his hand picked staff and this dumb ass is staying put to make my Sundays suck.
I would accept a Brian Billick hiring over continuing with this asshole, and from the looks of it TO would tend to agree since it sounds like he doesn’t like Brats route trees either. The video's cut right to the good stuff. My favorite part is his statement that he's been around some "great football minds"...the implication being he's not exactly seeing the same thing from his offensive coaching here.
TO trust me, we feel your pain.