Lopsided score made things easy on the Saints’ defense

Published: December 17th, 2012
By Bucs Beat Feed

Bucs tight end Dallas Clark didn’t take a bow for catching eight passes in the Bucs’ loss to the Saints on Sunday, more than any player on either team.

It just wasn’t something to celebrate, Clark said.

The reason he seemed the go-to target for quarterback Josh Freeman: Because that’s what the Saints were giving Tampa Bay’s offense.

With the score already 24-0 by halftime, the Saints predictably went to a deep zone coverage, one that kept everything in front of the defense and prevented the deep shots the Bucs have executed so well this season.

“It’s just a product of them being up by so much and playing the typical 2-minute type of defense that they’re going to show,” said Clark, who finished with 42 yards. “They’re just not going to get beat deep and (instead) give up everything underneath. That’s why a lot of stuff deep was not available.”

That kind of deficit made the Bucs predictable on offense, permitting the Saints to employ smart tactics.

“You had to take a lot of checkdowns and a lot of things underneath,” Clark said. “That’s exactly what they wanted: to keep me inbounds and milk the clock. It just got lopsided in such a hurry that that was our only shot.”

The Bucs’ longest pass completion of the game was a 24-yard hookup between Freeman and Mike Williams.