A win for your Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. Not a statement we are accustomed to reading this season. In a season filled to the brim with hope and expectations, the Bucs have failed to do anything other than disappoint. On Sunday however, the Bucs put together a complete game on both sides of the ball. The defense got sacks and turnovers, the offense protected the ball and scored points. Adding to both sides of the ball was the kicking, which was also perfect on the day. All positive things from a struggling Buccaneers team, but perhaps the thing leaving most Bucs fan even more optimistic, was the play of Jameis Winston. While the 49ers are not on their way to a superbowl, Jameis played within the limits of the system and made plays. He looked sharp finishing the afternoon with his highest completion percentage of the season and even more importantly, his first game this season with no interceptions. As exciting as that as, the young quarterback still has quite a few games left. Today was a step in the right direction, but the path to a new contract isn’t a short one.
The Offense: Good
Turnovers have been the story for this offense. The question this season has never been “Can they move the ball” the statistics show they can move the ball. The question has been, can they move the ball without turning it over? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t gone without an interception since week one folks. If you just started watching football yesterday, that’s not the recipe for winning football. The Buccaneers finally had a game where the quarterback protected the football and the defense played well. complimentary football, what a concept. Jameis Winston has struggled with turnovers. For him to have a game like he did on Sunday is a good sign. Can Winston keep it up next week?
On three receptions Desean Jackson had 19 yards. What’s confusing to me is how on earth Jameis and him can’t get on the same page. We saw Fitzpatrick do it, but for some reason, the chemistry between Winston and Jackson is nowhere to be found. Jackson is obviously frustrated and was vocal about wanting a trade until Fitzpatrick was announced the starter. Fast forward to Sunday and it was once again on display, for whatever reason, Jameis Can’t hit Jackson. Jackson will probably be gone next year, but it is perplexing that they can’t get on the same page. Jackson is an explosive play just waiting to happen.
The Defense: Good
Sure the defense got two turnovers and four sacks on the, but I want to look at one specifically. The interception by Ryan Smith. The interception by Ryan Smith was just more evidence of the futility of this coaching staff. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t had a number one cornerback all season. In my opinion, the best cornerback on the roster has been Ryan Smith. For some reason, he hasn’t seen the field much since Brent Grimes returned from injury. My question is, why? He steps on the field and instantly rewards the coaching staff with something we haven’t seen in weeks, a turnover. Maybe….. He should see the field more? Eh, but he probably won’t next week. Oh well, I guess. For this week, at least the Bucs got on the plus side of the turnover differential.
Bonus Good Stat: 3
Not only did Vita Vea have one sack, but he also had three tackles for a loss. The big man played his best game of the year. Maybe he’s not a bust afterall? We should probably hold off on declaring NFL rookies busts until, you know, they’re not rookies, but what do I know?
Matt Breida and Jeff Wilson Jr (Who?) ran all over the Bucs defense on Sunday for a combined total of 139 yards. The Bucs run defense has struggled mightily lately, granted the Giants and 49ers are two of the better rushing teams in the NFL. The Gianst not statistically, but Barkley makes plays. That being said, they have to get better at stopping the run. They got away with it Sunday because of how skewed the time of possession was (TB 34:09 SF 25:51), but it won’t be like that every week.
A Few Other Things…
The Buccaneers Jason Pierre Paul became the first ten digit sack guy since Simeon Rice in 2005. Big day for Jason Pierre Paul. Great move by Jason Licht to secure talent for the defensive line. It’s been a long time coming, but that’s two weeks in a row with a four sack performance from the defensive line. Oh and one more thing, Carl Nassib is an absolute monster. Can’t say enough about that guy. Another great find by general manager Jason Licht.
All in all, a good day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I just hope this is just the beginning.