Monday, November 25, 2013
Inside Tiquan Underwood's 85-yard score
By Michael Rothstein
Tampa Bay was deep in its own territory at the beginning of the fourth quarter and Detroit seemingly had control of the game. The Lions, despite three turnovers to this point, had still played well enough to win.
That all changed in one snap.
Tampa Bay lined up on its own 15-yard line in an ace formation, one receiver on each side, a tight end on the line and another moving from right to left on the line before settling back into an offset I.
Mike Glennon took the snap and went play-action against Detroit’ 4-3 defense. The Lions had Chris Houston lined up against Tiquan Underwood and Rashean Mathis on Vincent Jackson.
Houston played almost 10 yards off of Underwood, who sprinted straight ahead when the ball was snapped. Detroit rushed four, but the Buccaneers' line picked up the rush long enough for the play-action fake to work and for Glennon to sidestep once to the left.
“We’d been kind of saving that one,” Glennon said. “We felt like we were going to have it. [Underwood] did a great job getting open and I put it on him.”
Glennon had his target once safety Louis Delmas, who initially started to pedal backward and then closed on the underneath route, being defended by Stephen Tulloch.
This left Houston in single coverage. Underwood blew by him, caught a well-thrown ball from Glennon and was never really challenged after that.
Houston actually caught up to Underwood and tried to tackle Underwood from behind but couldn’t bring him down. Safety Glover Quin ran over in support but couldn’t get there in time and both Houston and Quin chased Underwood into the end zone.
After the game, Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said a long pass should not have been given up on the coverage in that play.
“The breakdown was we gave up a long touchdown pass,” Schwartz said.
As for what Houston was seeing, he declined to talk with reporters after the game. He left the game after the play with an injury that Schwartz called a foot injury.
While Schwartz said the coverage shouldn’t have given up that type of play, Tampa Bay got exactly what it was hoping for -- an 85-yard touchdown.
“We got the coverage we were looking for,” Underwood said. “Mike put the ball on the money, threw a great pass and from there it was all she wrote.”