Originally posted on Buc Stop  |  Last updated 11/13/11

All season long the Bucs could hang their hats on their ability to recover and make adjustments in the second half. The Bucs have so much faith in their second half ability they wasted a FG opportunity at the end of the first half to go for it on 4th and 2 but failed. The defense held and Connor Barth nailed a 55 yard FG to put the Bucs right where they wanted to be: down by 13 with a half to play. 

The odd number was thanks to a blocked extra point when the Texans scored on the very first play from scrimmage. It was the first time the Bucs defense completely broke down when it came to tackling a opposing player. Later in the half, Arian Foster took a pass and zipped and zapped right through the Bucs defense like it wasnt even there.

But the Bucs were able to hang their hats on the fact they were doing what they set out to do: hold the Texans to a low rushing total. Indeed, both the Houston Backs combined for 54 yards total rushing at halftime.

Only problem with this grand master plan, is these second half comebacks dont always happen. The Bucs came out in the 3rd quarter and let Houston run all up and down the field. Houston added 125 more rushing yards in the 2nd half, and by the time the fourth quarter even started, the game was out of reach 30-3 no matter what nonsense the Bucs offense put together in the final period.

What the Bucs need to realize is that its not cute anymore. No one wants to hear about how the team fought until the end. No one cares anymore than Josh Freemans passing numbers look good after the 4th quarter is finished, they wait too late, and were not amused any longer. Do it in the first quarter, or the second, and you may change the fan's minds. Besides, like the San Francisco game this season, it's not a given you WILL be able to come back in the second half.

Once again the Bucs were out First Downed in the game by almost double, and the defense simply cannot stop anyone anymore. The losses arn't even close, and unlike 2010 we cant look back at the year and say "What if" ...those losses were wins, because it doesnt feel that way. It feels more like the wins this season were lucky to have turned out in the W column at all. 

The Bucs front office had every right to decide to continue doing what got them to 10-6 in the first place: drafting young talent. But that young talent has not matured at all, and things that work when you win do not work when you lose. This year, the Bucs youth is the problem, not the solution. All the Bucs ills, too many penalties, discipline issues, are a direct result of their youth, not coaching. 

Albert Hanesworth ended up with more tackles today than he has had all season with the Patriots. Perhaps the Bucs will see the need next year to augment this teams mistakes and shortages at certain positions that have not been addressed in the draft.

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