Buccaneers just keep on winning, top Cardinals 38-35

THE GOOD

The Play-calling
Greg Olson kept the Cardinals defense on its toes by balancing run, pass and play-action. You’d probably not want to have eight drives end in turnovers and punts but Freeman had arguably his best game of the season, throwing for 278 yards, his highest total in a game in which he doesn’t throw a pick.

The Poise
Freeman made an uncharacteristic late mistake in taking a sack that knocked the team out of field goal range and Blount’s fumble proved costly, but this task was not too difficult or too intimidating for the young Bucs team on the road. They’ve now tied a franchise record with 8 straight road games. Maybe Raheem is onto something.

The Defense
They made several turnovers that required teamwork to execute. The Geno Hayes TD return was huge. Now, they did allow the Big Red offense to put up and points and Derek Anderson was in a giving mood late as he twice threw into triple coverage for Fitzgerald. That said, the corners hustle, make plays, and this week, Aqib Talib won them the game.

THE BAD

Nearly Costly Turnovers
It’s probably an anomaly or just Blount’s youth but ball security is even more a factor in the red zone.

LOOKING AHEAD: This Sunday will be the true testing ground. There were things the Bucs could have done differently that would have narrowed the gap a little in the blow-out losses to New Orleans and Pittsburgh. I think they are getting better from week-to-week. As I said in my preview, Arizona has playmakers with bad decision-making. Whisenhunt put the ball in the hands of his fourth-string RB who fumbled and Derek Anderson made some bad reads. The Bucs gave up 396 yards of offense but forced four INTs and lead the league with 14 this year. The Bucs did what they needed to do to win. This next week, they can show they belong in the Super Bowl discussion with a win in Atlanta.


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