TAMPA, Fla. -- When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get back to work Saturday, the special teams meeting isn’t going to be much fun.
Three bad plays on special teams in the second quarter handed Baltimore 17 points as the Ravens defeated the Bucs 44-16 in the preseason opener for both teams on Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium.
The chaotic string started when Chris Owusu failed to catch a punt and the Ravens recovered at Tampa Bay’s 20-yard line with 10:42 left in the second quarter. One play later, the Ravens scored a touchdown to take a 7-6 lead.
The woes on special teams continued when Moe Lee returned a kickoff 58 yards and kicker Derek Dimke was flagged for making a horse-collar tackle. That led to a Baltimore field goal.
But the worst was yet to come. With 13 seconds left in the first half Chas Henry had a punt blocked and the Ravens recovered it for a touchdown to take a 24-13 lead into halftime.
Some other observations on the Bucs:
There is no quarterback controversy. Josh Freeman led the Bucs to one field goal in limited action and made no major mistakes. Mike Glennon might have gotten the hopes up of some fans when his first NFL pass (to Tom Crabtree) went for 61 yards. But Glennon wasn’t as effective the rest of the way. He completed 11 of 23 passes for 169 yards and one interception. Glennon is not a threat to unseat Freeman as the starter. In fact, Glennon needs to play better than he did to hold off veteran Dan Orlovsky for the backup job.
Owusu, who has been performing well in camp, had a tough night. In addition to the muffed punt, he also dropped a pass as a receiver and later left the game with an ankle injury.
Second-year linebacker Lavonte David had a sack on Baltimore’s first drive. David had a strong rookie year, but he can make himself into a Pro Bowl player if he can produce more big plays.
Cornerback Danny Gorrer made a nice play and came up with a first-quarter interception. But Gorrer had to leave the game with a groin injury.