NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Under the bright lights in prime time, the Buccaneers faltered again in a 27-24 loss to the Rams. Tampa Bay actually got the ball back well before the two-minute warning, oodles of time for QB Tom Brady to do what he’s done his entire career. But Brady sailed a pass deep on the fourth play of the drive that was picked off, his second pick of the night. It was yet another disappointing performance for Brady and the Bucs. 

“I think that’s a good word: disappointed,” Brady said via the Athletic’s Greg Auman. “I have to do a better job, absolutely. Tonight was very inefficient, didn’t [do] a very good job during the second half. The defense played great, kept coming up with huge stops, getting us the ball back. Offensively, we just couldn’t make the plays that were necessary to be efficient, and we had plenty of chances. We’ve got to get them fixed.”

  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman thinks the most likely outcome is the Buccaneers franchise tag WR Chris Godwin this offseason. 
  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians weighed in on Brady’s interceptions: “The first one he got hit. It looked like he had Chris [Godwin] going right down the middle, stepped up and just didn’t get enough on it with the pressure. The last one was just a misread of the coverage.” (Michael Giardi)
  • Tampa Bay targeted RBs Ronald Jones and Fournette five times with three drops, but Arians didn’t think drops were an issue: “I’d have to look at Leonard. A couple of them were not really good throws, either. RoJo had a drop – we threw the screen a little quick – but no, I don’t think so whatsoever.”
  • Arians doesn’t anticipate taking over the play-calling for OC Byron Leftwich: “I thought he called a good ballgame. We just have to execute better. When guys are open, we have to hit them and we can’t misread coverage….” (Giardi)

Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons faced a multitude of problems on offense against the New Orleans Saints and OC Dirk Koetter was appalled that QB Matt Ryan was sacked eight times.

“First of all, eight sacks is horrendous by us,” Koetter said, via Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We just can’t do that. Most people are going to look at that and think it was all on the O-line. It really wasn’t. There were some coverage sacks in there for sure, where we just couldn’t get anybody open and Matt had nowhere to go. There were a couple of times where we did have somebody open and Matt couldn’t find them, couldn’t see them. And then we had somewhere they just had pressure.”

Panthers

Panthers’ HC Matt Rhule gave QB P.J. Walker the chance to start when QB Teddy Bridgewater was unable but was unwilling to say that Walker was the No. 2 quarterback despite his win.

Rhule added that QB Will Grier could have also played well had he been the one who started on Sunday.

“I haven’t thought about whether he’s the clear No. 2,” Rhule said, via Joseph Person of The Athletic. “I think if Will would’ve played in the game, Will would have played really well. Will was really good last week, as well.”

Walker brought up how supportive Bridgewater was during his start and said that the veteran was being extremely helpful and open on the sideline.

“Every time I came back to the sidelines, he did a great job of showing me what he saw,” Walker said. “He showed me everything from the pictures he saw to what he was thinking, so that helped me just have that same eye from the sidelines as well. Just to have that extra eye out there.”

  • Person notes Panthers LB Tahir Whitehead dressed but played zero snaps. He was replaced by LB Jermaine Carter at middle linebacker, who played 31 snaps and had four tackles. 

Saints

  • Per ESPN’s David Newton, Panthers WR Curtis Samuel would be a strong scheme fit with the Saints. Samuel is slated to be an unrestricted free agent in 2021. 
  • Saints waived LB Chase Hansen.
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