Without rookie runningback and the third leading rusher in the league Carnell Williams in the lineup against New York the Bucs looked worse than they did last season when they went 5-11.
The Bucs only converted on two of fourteen third downs today, and failed to score a touchdown. Only three times did the Bucs have less than five yards to go on first down. This meant, that the Jets (who have a very good pass defense) knew the Bucs were going to pass the ball on third down.
When Carnell Williams is in the game, he can gain those four yards on first and second down to set up short yardage situations for the offense on third down. With Williams out, the Bucs tried running Pittman, Graham, and Alstott, but none of these guys gave the offense the same kind of spark as Williams. As has been pointed out, Williams has been good at gaining yards after contact, and typically the first guy who hits Williams will not tackle him.
Pittman is great at catching balls out of the backfield, but can't run the ball as well as Williams. Alstott is difficult to tackle, but he can't run east-west, a fact defenses are well aware of. And Graham has a nose for the endzone, but he will never be a starting runningback.
Griese and the secondary (especially Juran Bolden and Will Allen) looked dreadful, but that is to be expected. Griese has a history of playing like an Pro Bowler one game, and then looking like a rookie the next. Ronde Barber (when not abusing refs) looked really good today, but Bolden and Allen are fairly young and will make mistakes.
What this loss makes clear is that the Bucs can not depend on Griese to win games for them. Instead they need Williams to stay healthy, because Cadillac is the engine that powers this offense.