Josh Freeman can't lead comeback victories every week

It looked like Josh Freeman was about to add another page to his rapidly bulging book of last minute victories, but, in the end, Raheem Morris will have to answer questions about why he didn’t put the ball in Freeman’s hands. 

Trailing 27-21, the Bucs moved the ball, with some help from a pass interference on Falcons safety William Moore, all the way from their own 9 into the red zone in the fourth quarter. They had a first-and-10 from the Falcons 11 with just over five minutes to play and Morris chose to run the ball four straight times. The Falcons stuffed LaGarette Blount on fourth-and-one from the 2 and escaped with a victory over their divisional rivals.

The choice of plays is questionable on two fronts. The Bucs, outside of Freeman scrambles, had not done a very good job running the ball all afternoon, while they’d thrown for a pair of touchdowns. Freeman has made it clear that he’s their best player and you’d like to let that player decide if you win or lose when you’ve got the ball in that position.

The other question has to do with why Morris pulled out all the stops at every other point in the game before playing conservative late. With the score 27-21, Morris felt comfortable trying an onside kick at the end of the third quarter. Micheal Spurlock had just returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and Morris obviously felt it was worth going for broke in that spot. He also called a fleaflicker on the play that drew the aforementioned pass interference, so why not a little more aggression when his team was knocking on the door at the end of the fourth?

We don’t want to totally ignore the Falcons here, since they clearly helped cause the questions for Morris by shutting down the run with their backs against the wall in the final moments of the game. They got two early touchdowns from Michael Turner, a solid game from Matt Ryan and, like so many other Tampa opponents, seemed to be well in control before the game got uncomfortably close late.

Close and lost are worlds apart, obviously, so the Falcons should feel good about holding on for the home win. They have a lot of talent on offense, the defense has proven to be opportunistic and they aren’t beating themselves in games no matter how many chances they have to do just that. It might not sound like much, but that goes a long way in the NFL this season.

They are now 6-2 and a half-game up on the Saints in the NFC South. They get a short week to prepare for the Ravens on Thursday night and a win there would go a long way toward making their case for being the best team in the entire conference.

10 responses to “Josh Freeman can't lead comeback victories every week

  1. You are right . Freeman should have taken it in. What ever happened to going over the top ? He is a huge guy could have made that ply himself. I lay this loss all on the coaching.

  2. You can’t lay this loss on the coaching. Had they not gone for that onsides kick that was short by a fraction of a yard (not exactly the kickers job to recover balls), the game would have been out of reach. 4th down, blount had been bowling people over for positive yards. I 100% defend Raheem’s decision and stand by the fact that he is quickly becoming one of the premier coaches in the league. If it’s anyone’s fault, Blount should have stuck with the play that was called, jumped the pile for the yard using his athleticism as opposed to bouncing it to the outside, getting stuffed AND fumbling. Back off Raheem.

  3. Whoa ! Did I mention any names ? I takes more than one man to coach an NFL team. I still say that the fourth and inches play could have been called better for what was on the line. Let’s get ready for Carolina. GO BUCS.

  4. Yup they lost but they’re getting pretty exciting to watch. We have the 1 – 7 Panthers coming in this coming week. Shouldn’t it be a sold out game?

  5. You forgot to mention that Blount missed the hole entirely. If he had gone between the Center and the Guard he would have walked in.
    The Bucs look sooooo much improved though honestly who cares. The youngest team in football is showing much promise for the future!!

  6. The Bucs have never failed to convert a 4th down on 4th and short when Freeman does a QB sneak. The problem is, Olson rarely calls for it. I don’t get it and I never will.
    You got a giant for a QB and all you need is for him to get a foot? I dont care if the Falcons expect it or not, in that situation Im calling a QB sneak every freakin time and I’ll be happy to live or die by that call.

  7. That was on Blount not the coaches the hole was there he just missed it! And to top that off he was tackled by one man, a 197 lb safety. That should never happen with a back his size on a 4th and less than a yard.

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