1. Ever since Josh Freeman was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, fans have debated whether or not they think he is a franchise quarterback. In 2010, he certainly looked the part. Last season, Freeman struggled and people starting to doubt his skills. This offseason, Freeman lost over 25 pounds and appeared more dedicated than ever to being a quality signal caller in this league. But so far, the results this year have been a mixed bag. Freeman has looked good at times, but he was putrid against Dallas. He completed just 35 percent of his passes and had just 110 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Granted the pick wasn't Freeman's fault, but he just isn't seeing the field well and is struggling to make throws. Maybe its the play-calling. Maybe is the new system. Maybe Freeman just isn't as good as people initially thought. Whatever it is, the Bucs go as he goes and Freeman must improve for the Bucs to have a successful season.
2. Defensive end Michael Bennett is certainly playing like a man that wants a long-term contract. The fourth-year veteran out of Texas A&M was a restricted free agent and signed a one-year deal worth $2.74 million in the offseason. This mean Bennett will be free to hit the open market after this season is done. But the way he is playing so far, the Bucs may want to lock him up long-term before the price tag goes up. Good, young pass rushers rarely hit free agency and when they do they usually get paid top dollar. Against Dallas, Bennett was a mad man and wrecked havoc on Tony Romo. He had two sacks and forced a fumble. In three games this year, Bennett has seven tackles, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one pass defensed. If he keeps it up, Bennett is going to be one rich man.
3. Bucs fans have every reason to be disgusted with offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan's play-calling on Sunday. It was predictable, vanilla, and dull. It also did nothing to help Freeman and company. Sullivan stuck with the run for too long after it proved to be ineffective and didn't attack Dallas' secondary until there was less than three minutes to go in the game. At that point, the Bucs were down by nine points, yet Sullivan still called for a run on first down. In a game in which the defense caused three turnovers and held Dallas to just 16 points, the offense disappointed and didn't come through when it needed to most. Sullivan is a big reason why.
4. Why isn't running back LeGarrette Blount getting more carries? I know Doug Martin is the more exciting player and he was a first-round pick in April, but he hasn't been that effective so far. Against Dallas, Martin averaged just 2.8 yards per carry. And that included a 17-yard scamper. Martin is the better overall back, but would it really hurt to sprinkle in Blount every now and again? He had just four carries against the Cowboys despite gaining 11 yards on his first tote. Giving Blount a little more work will keep Martin fresh and probably help him break some more explosive runs.
5. One can't help but be amazed by the turnaround in Tampa Bay's run defense from a season ago. Last season, the Bucs were ranked dead last in the league and gave up over 153 rushing yards per game. Through three games this year, the Bucs are the league's best at stopping the run and their performance against Dallas was impressive. The Bucs held the talented DeMarco Murray completely in check, limiting him to just 38 yards on 18 carries (2.1 YPC). Tampa Bay's defense has certainly had its issues this season – mostly defending the pass – but the defensive staff has to be commended for the way they have turned this unit into a dominant run-stopping machine.
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