Following a divisional win in New Orleans last week, Sunday’s game in Houston was a let down performance by the Buccaneers. From big play-negating penalties, to an eight percent third down conversion rate with numerous dropped passes, Tampa Bay showed they’re still a work in progress, learning how to win games and not beat themselves. Here’s a list of players who were particularly disappointing in Week 3 according to PewterReport.com.
WR Mike Evans
After a hamstring injury suffered in August limited him through the first two games, Evans was finally “full-go” for Week 3 and it could’ve gone better. The second-year pro dropped at least four passes, including one on third down in the third quarter and another right before half that would’ve put Tampa Bay on the 30-yard line in field goal range (theoretically). Evans finished the afternoon with seven receptions for 101 yards, and it should be noted that one was an impressive back shoulder grab while working against cornerback Kareem Jackson. Although, two of those receptions came during the Bucs final drive when it was all but over. Evans still might not be at 100 percent, but still, four drops is tough to excuse for the teams No. 1 wideout.
K Kyle Brindza
Brindza got off to a great start, drilling a 58-yarder in the second quarter with ease. But the success wore off from there, as he missed three field goals and an extra point. In a tight game, Brindza cost the Bucs a couple of opportunities to take a lead. It’s not inconceivable to think Tampa Bay could soon bring in a kicker for a tryout if Brindza continues to struggle against the Panthers next week.
DE Jacquies Smith
After a career performance in New Orleans – three sacks and two forced fumbles – Smith was virtually non-existent in the passing game. Texans tackle Derek Newton had success wheeling Smith outside the pocket, as well as holding him up at the line of scrimmage when he tried to go inside. Smith sealed the edge nicely in the running game and finished with five tackles, but the Bucs need him to resemble more of his Week 2 self to have success. Tampa Bay’s defense relies on pressure from the edge and containment and Smith is expected to lead the pass rush.
DE George Johnson
Similar to Smith, Johnson was barely disruptive in the passing game as well. Often lined up at right end, Johnson faced backup tackle Chris Clark, who was filling in for All-Pro Duane Brown, and couldn’t take advantage. Again, the Texans were getting the ball out quickly against soft coverage, but the Bucs would like to see more production from their edge rushers in pass defense.
CB Sterling Moore
It was a shaky outing for the Bucs secondary as a whole, allowing Mallett to throw for 228 yards on 24 completions. But Moore was on the wrong end of a few too many quick slants. Once again, there was a lot of open space and separation underneath and Cecil Shorts took advantage, beating Moore a couple times throughout the game. Moore was solid in pursuit – at one point recognizing a swing pass and stopping it for a loss on third down – but his coverage in the middle was subpar and it hurt the Bucs defense.
CB Tim Jennings
While Jennings had a couple nice pass breakups and showed great awareness on a third-down screen in the third quarter, the former Bear got off to a terrible start in the first half. Jennings looked overmatched by DeAndre Hopkins, at one point even letting up a reception while holding. Hopkins finished with eight catches for 101 yards, and many of those were against Jennings. Between him and Moore, it was not a strong outing from the nickel position on Sunday.
S Chris Conte
Conte is clearly comfortable in the box and made a few nice plays against the run, but could be better in coverage at times. Mallett consistently found targets in the middle of the field, and while it’s often up to corners to redirect the receiver, safeties are supposed to be there for support. Instead, they were seen all too many times late to close in and contend the pass. Conte was also called for two facemask penalties, tacking on an extra 15 yards on two first down gains. He finished with seven tackles and two assists.
S Bradley McDougald
McDougald had a similar performance to Conte’s, in that he was solid against the run but out of place too often in the passing game. The former Jayhawk had a few tackles after the catch, but could’ve made a better read and helped to contest the throw. McDougald finished with three tackles and six assists.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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It’s nice to not see any o line on here.
I think you could easily have added Mike Jenkins to the list fir all the same reasons as Jennings and Moore….George Johnson looks to be another FA miss – no redeeming feature in his game through 3 outings – none. And I would have to add the coaching staff to this one…great decisions to bench Verner (who may not have been his probowl self this year, but the alternatives….yuck!), and to bench Martin in the second half in favor of Sims 1.8 yards per carry (just leave Sims as the pass catching back but stop giving him carries please)….and what’s with all the 12 men on the field issues (I counted at least 3) coaches…sort it out!
The whole defense should be on the list. As well as Lovie and Frazier. Pathetic to get whipped by such a crappy offense! Evans needs to quit crying about not getting ball. He got it and he dropped it a lot and had stupid penalties. Brindza very troubling because once young locker loses confidence….bad day, bad team, bad coach. Winston and O line played little better. There is my positive for the day. Lol.
Our kicker has the yips, never a good thing.
kyle Brindza was so nervous, Jacob Schum had to hold his hand to help him get his finger up his nose after the game. With 1:15 left in the game, Lovie gave him one more chance to ride back on the team plane and he missed that one.
I heard that Connor Barth had pitched a tent in front of One Buc to be sure he got first dibs bright and early Monday morning! After Brindza’s 58 yard FG, I said “this kid is good”. When he missed the next one, I went “Oh no!”. Then he missed the next one, I went “what the….”. And when he missed the last one I started making phone calls!
Oh, I’m just kidding folks, give the kid another chance. If he still has the yips, fix him a bag lunch, take him out to 301 north give him a map and let him out! Only the strong survive!lol.
As always Mac , your comments have me rolling good stuff my friend .
I’m pretty sure Barth woke up this morning still laughing.
Yep – got the shanks and conceivably cost the game. But that’s the chance we take. He’ll settle down.
On a side note – I think Winston’s comments on the kicker showed some pretty solid leadership.
Extra Note: This kicker was 14 for 24 during his senior season at ND — He’s definitely got distance behind that leg. But he’s gotta put it down the line.
Kyle Brindza and George Johnson were the performances that worry me the most. Brindza was kicking in a dome and Johnson was going against a 3rd string LT. I can’t imagine a better situation where they should have been successful for either one of them.
Re: George Johnson’s performance
The following was excerpted from RotoWorld tonight: Bears OLB Willie Young said he was a healthy scratch Week 3 against the Seahawks.
“There’s nothing wrong with me,” Young said. “Didn’t you see me practicing all week?” Young had 10 sacks for the Bears last season, but he is not a good fit as an outside linebacker in Chicago’s new 3-4 scheme. It was surprising the Bears kept Young on the initial roster, and it might be best for both sides if they part ways.
Young is a Florida native that is a “hand in the sand” 4-3 DE that knows Lovie’s system. He is much better than George Johnson and I don’t understand why the Bucs won’t offer a late round conditional pick for this guy! Help us out here Licht!
The thing about the Bucs defense is that, with itty bitty linebackers, it’s not really designed to stop the power running game. Saw several missed tackles where the little linebackers, especially David and Alexander, threw themselves at running backs with all their might and bounced off harmlessly. You could call it a broken arm tackle, too, but what is obviously missing is the mass in the force equals mass times acceleration formula.
Mike Tanier wrote a column when Alteraun Verner hit the free agency market as the best corner available describing how he had been used successfully in Tennessee. He played up high in their cover 3 formation, well away from the close combat of the line of scrimmage that cover 2 cornerbacks have to deal with. in Schiano’s system he was forced to play man-to-man often, and now in Lovie’s system he’s had to play the role he isn’t cut out for at all, cover 2 CB.
Tim Jennings is being made to look bad by a weak pass rush, too, which was compromised by a strong running game that wore everyone down. Same problem the safeties are having, although Conte came up and played the run brilliantly in the first half. Fatigue turns a good player into a hack. The offense’s failure to get first downs is what really made the defense look bad in the second half.
When did Verner play in Schiano’s system?
Must have it confused with Madden 2013 video game…..lol
My observation of the defense pooping out is the same as yours Russ. The Bucs were content to let the Texans run the ball, throw short passes but not score. Problem was our offense kept looking for the big strike and couldn’t hold the ball long enough to as Perry Mason would say, “Let the defense rest.” Sometimes I think Lovie’s preaching about turnovers is a distraction to the players to just play sound defense and tackle.
I agree, Scubog. Yes! Let the defense rest!
I’d like follow up about all the deep strikes, several of which were successful in the first half. Winston was able to pick on every Houston DB except Jonathan Joseph. When Jonathan Joseph was covering his intended target bad things happenned. Once they put Joseph and double coverage on Evans that took him out of the game.
I wasn’t at all disappointed in Evans, though. Perhaps we expect too much of him. Myers, on the other hand, is a poor substitute for Sefarian-Jenkins. I was more disappointed in how he never seemed to show up accept on a couple of very short completions. He, Brate, and Stocker were non-factors as receivers and were later converted to pass-blocking duties where they weren’t especially good, either.
Coaching was very disappointing. On offense the game plan was to feed Evans. When the Texans took that away with double coverage we never adapted. Where’s the under routes? Not seeing the imagination on offense I thought I would under Koetter. Maybe he needs to go upstairs to call the plays, and let his Q.B. coach do his job. Do we still have a Q.B. coach? I never see him during games. Lovie will also never adapt to what the opponents are doing. His off coverage on third downs was mind boggling, hardly blitzed an immoble Q.B., and his stressing takeaways are allowing runners to carry our small defenders for big yards after contact. He didn’t change his game plan when the Titans shredded us, and he didn’t adapt to what the Texans were doing. We have a critical two game home stretch coming up. Two wins, alls well heading into the bye. Split, we’re 2-3 still in good shape, and finally getting our first home win. Loose both? That would send us into the bye at 1-4, with a home loss to the lowly Jags, and Lovie going a season, and a third without a home victory. Then what? I’m really asking because it’s real possible, and I don’t have the answer.
I believe you could add to your list “Anybody weighing over 300 pounds.” Their O and D lines simply outplayed ours.
I think it’s time to give Gholston a shot at stealing Johnson’s spot at DE!
I was looking at another site at the snap counts and I was wondering what the heck is going on? How does Bruce cater get more playing time when it seems like Larry A. is making more plays? How is Jennings, who consistently got burnt this week, getting more time over verner. I know verner hasn’t been living up to the money hes been paid, but I’m kind of sick of Lovies ex Bears cast offs getting more time because they are buddy buddy with the coach.
And do the coaching staff not think that Dougie can catch the ball? Let’s get him in some space for a change.
Scott next time you guys interview Lovie I would love to know about these desicions.
I wonder how much better this defense would look if we had a lockdown CB that would allow us to blitz more and get to the QB on games when the front four is getting it done. Oh wait we had one but Lovie cut him for cap space and Alterraun “the nickel back” Verner smh.
The Bucs Defense surrendered 138 yds to a mediocre rb who only gained 50 yds total the previous two games, that is embarrasing to say the least and I swear the Bucs can’t stop a 5 yd slant to save their life, if I was the opposing team I would throw that pass over and over. The safeties are a joke our corners are a joke, kicker yeah kicked a long field goal but can’t hit a 33 yd field goal twice and an extra point- joke. Mariota continues to out play the #1 pick Winston qb on a week to week basis which is wierd cause Mariota was a system qb at Oregon, lol. The dangerous thing I’m starting to realize is that Winston reminds me a lot of two former Bucs qb’s Leftwich and Freeman, he has the release and footwork of Leftwich and the strong arm and innacuracy of Freeman. Winston can throw that impressive throw and wow us then miss a routine 5 yd out to Evans, just like Josh Freeman he sails the ball high and wild, trust me I know FSU Fans will back their guy and stand behind him, as a Bucs Fan Winston is my guy which I came around on knowing the Bucs were going to select him instead of remain in denial like (Pinkstob) and try and like him but more and more he looks like the guy I saw in college and that scares me- REAL TALK
While we’re talking about special teams, is anyone else sick that we could’ve got Tyler Lockett in the 3rd round? Marpet is playing well but I feel like Lockett would’ve had a bigger impact player for us. Oh well…coulda, shoulda…Go Bucs!
Yea lol I thought same watching Seattle about Lockett, but we needed and still need so much help on O line….
NapleKrewe, those weren’t shanks, more like fades with the last one being a hook,
If you wabt to see a shank, come out to the golf course with me some time I will personally show you a shank.
Damn macabee, if what you write is true, that is one of the smartest posts I have ever read in regards to the Bears DE/OLB.
AS far as I’m concerned, all of our teams corners need to start jamming the receivers on the line, especially when the QB’s start to consistently go to 3 step drops like they did yesterday.
Hard for the DL to get a sack when the ball is only being thrown 4 to 8 yards downfield which 95 percent of the Texans passes were yesterday.
They were throwing quick timing patters so the CB’s have to jam the receiver so the QB has to recock which gives the DL an extra second to get to him.
jongruden, you are truly out of your mind if you think Winston has the same delivery of Keftowich. They are in no way similar.
As for Freeman, His accuracy iis accuracy improved to over 60 percent at one point in his career but then his mind went elsewhere for some reason.
To even compare Winston to either QBs so early in his career shows me you are prejudiced against him for some reason,
I think its funny how people think they understand the game more than the people that are being paid millions to do so. All it takes is for one person to call one play that some do drinking beer in his apartment doesn’t agree with and all the sudden we should fire the coach, or trade the quarterback, or call into question past decisions of trading players that we have absolutely no idea if they would have played any better during that game. I think mistakes are being made because humans are in charge of the game. I would love nothing more then to see the books dominate on the field, but it is kind of hard to do so in a coach’s second year of building a team. Everybody needs to chill and give our guys some time to figure out their identity and get things going. It would have been too easy to completely alter the entire team’s offensive scheme to make Sheamus look good like Tennessee did for Marcus. Marcus is an outstanding player when a particular offensive scheme is installed, but I feel that our guys did the right thing by training Jamis to adapt and grow into a pro NFL quarterback as opposed to making everybody else on the team change their rhythm to match his.
Sorry for all the grammatical errors lol. That was voice texting so. ..yeah
I cant believe I am going to make a negative comment on LB David, but for all his impressive tackle numbers, tackles for loss, etc, there has been an alarming number of missed tackles so far this season. I would trade a handful of those tackles for a few interceptions (his pass coverage is not Pro Bowl caliber). I hope the new big contract doesn’t put the Buc-Jinx on him like it has others. These game changing plays will be what quiets the comparisons to Derrick Brooks and increase comparisons to Barrett Ruud (another tackle machine, only)
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