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Bruce Arians explains Bucs blitz on Cooper Kupp capture

Cooper Kupp broke as a result of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary on Sunday to set up a video game-winning subject aim that despatched the Los Angeles Rams to the NFC championship match.

The decisive last offensive perform left lots of thinking what just the Bucs were wondering on defense. 

Why did the Buccaneers blitz?

With 27 seconds remaining and no timeouts, the Rams essential a significant achieve from their personal 44-yard line to have any hope of ending the 27-27 match in regulation. As an alternative of dropping back again in a zone to protect the deep ball, the Bucs gambled on a blitz, leaving defenders in 1-on-one particular coverage with protection Antoine Winfield Jr. dependable for defending football’s most effective receiver. 

Kupp did what he’s accomplished all year. He sprinted previous a backpedaling Winfield on a post route and hauled in a perfectly placed Matthew Stafford deep ball more than the major of the Bucs secondary. The 44-garden gain established up a chip-shot subject intention from Matt Gay to acquire the game and close Tampa Bay’s period.

Arians blames execution, conversation

Following the video game, head coach Bruce Arians defended the participate in connect with. But there appeared to be problems in communication and execution. Not everybody who was meant to blitz did.

“Some guys failed to blitz,” Arians told reporters. “I really don’t know if we failed to get the phone — it was an all-out blitz. We ought to have gotten a ton of stress.”

Arians didn’t name names. But linebacker Lavonte David appeared to miss the blitz memo. He verified with reporters that there was a communication difficulty on the engage in.

“It can be an regrettable predicament,” David said. “Some individuals acquiring the call, some individuals didn’t. It is what it is. … It sucks to get rid of in that manner following battling again.” 

What the tape displays

Graphic assessment reveals that 6 Bucs defenders blitzed Stafford whilst four dropped again in male protection. David, in the meantime, played in a shallow zone with no Rams receivers nearby. The Bucs essentially played with 10 productive defenders on the participate in.

Here’s the engage in once more in genuine time demonstrating David out of situation.

But what about the participate in simply call?

Whilst Arians’ and David’s explanations piece collectively what went erroneous with the play’s execution, neither satisfy the unique issue: Why were being the Bucs blitzing in the first location? The decision drew plenty of criticism for Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, which include from former Bucs quarterback Shaun King.

It is really a question that will linger more than the offseason in Tampa Bay.

Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) makes a catch to set up the game winning field goal against Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) during the fourth quarter  in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Cooper Kupp ran absolutely free via the Bucs secondary on the game’s decisive enjoy. (Nathan Ray Seebeck/Reuters)