The week three Thursday Night Football matchup wasn’t much of a contest. In the first quarter alone, we realized the Atlanta Falcons were a vastly superior team to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay couldn’t hold onto the football and starting quarterback Josh McCown struggled to get the offense into a groove. Needless to say, few were too surprised by the end score of 56-15 in favor of the home team Falcons.
While it wasn’t a very entertaining game from a competitive standpoint, it was still an interesting one in regards of how bad the Buccaneers looked. Head coach Lovie Smith said that his team was a total “no show” in this one, and that pretty much sums it up. There are a few things to take away from this game, though, so let’s break them down:
The Buccaneers May Have a QB Controversy
Josh McCown was terrible. After committing some pretty boneheaded plays in the first two weeks of otherwise competitive football games, McCown was at his worst in the first half of this one, as he completed just five of 12 passes for no touchdowns and an interception. After looking like a new quarterback last year in Chicago, McCown has quickly shown us all that he is exactly the journeyman backup passer we thought he was. Due to leaving the game with a thumb injury, McCown gave way to second-year passer Mike Glennon. Glennon wasn’t a whole lot better, but it’s possible the Bucs could make a permanent change to Glennon with the team now in an 0-3 hole.
Doug Martin’s Job is Probably Safe
There was some minor speculation that starting running back Doug Martin could soon be in a time share with backup Bobby Rainey, or that he could lose his startin gig, altogether. After all, Martin ran for just nine yards on nine carries in week one, while a knee injury kept him out of week two, as well as this TNF matchup. Lucky for Martin, Rainey didn’t build off of his impressive week two, as he coughed up two fumbles and didn’t help Tampa Bay offensively in the first half. Martin should safely return as the team’s feature back if he’s ready to go the next time they play.
Get Vincent Jackson the Dang Ball!
Jackson certainly hasn’t wanted for targets this year, as he racked up 11 in this contest as Tampa Bay came from behind all night. Unfortunately, a large amount of passes that have come his way through the first three games have either been late or woefully inaccurate. A massive target that can make plays on the ball from anywhere on the field, there’s no reason Tampa Bay’s passers can’t find a way to get him the ball more. If the Bucs want to turn this suddenly horrid season around, they’ll have to find a way to figure it out.
Atlanta’s Offense is Pretty Good
This is stating the obvious, while the Tampa offense certainly helped by giving the Falcons the ball several times. Still, the Bucs defense isn’t bad and Atlanta moved the ball with ease. In the end, 56 points is 56 points. More importantly, this felt a little bit like a statement game after the Falcons scored just 10 points on the road last week against the Bengals. In two games at home, Atlanta now has 93 total points. Visiting teams should take notice moving forward.