In Atlanta, a season of promise has gone from bad to worse to, based on the assessment of Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, inexcusable.
McCoy has called the Falcons out publicly for loafing on the uncanny scramble by Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, which picked up 20 yards on third and 19 when the Bucs trailed by three with less than three minutes to play.
“Go back and look at the play and look at Jameis’ speed, and how he was playing, as opposed to look at the Atlanta Falcons and the speed they were playing at,” McCoy said on the Buccaneers Radio Network, via JoeBucsFan.com. “That had thought he was down, guys walking around, jogging to him. Even when he started running again, guys were just jogging, ‘Oh, we’ll get him down.’ And Jameis was running for his life. You could just see the difference in how he was playing opposed to how the other team was playing. I mean, you just, we want it, man.”
Here’s the play. While not all Falcons were half-assing it, three stood out. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn essentially quit on the play after it appeared Winston was down. Linebacker Paul Worrilow, who opted for a shoulder blow instead of an effort to wrap up Winston in the initial attempt to tackle him, got up and slow-motioned toward Winston as he picked up the extra yardage he needed. Also, linebacker Justin Durant, who tried to apply a blow to Winston in the initial pile-up, stutter-stepped toward Winston as he got the final few yards.
It’s a bad look for what was a good team, at least through the first five games. And if it continues, there’s no way that a team that once seemed to be a look for the postseason will get there.