Tampa Bay won their fourth game of the season, beating the Buffalo Bills 27-6. The Bucs move to 4-9 on the season thanks to a great defensive performance. Here are PewterReport.com’s unit game grades.
QUARTERBACKMike Glennon’s terrific November performance is clearly in the past, as he had his second poor game in a row. This game is – statistically – Glennon’s worst of his young career, throwing just nine completions in 25 attempts (36percent), 90 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He had a passer rating of just 40.4. Almost half of his yards came on a 38-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson.
The Bills lead the league in sacks this year, so pressure was to be expected on Glennon. The offensive line actually held the Bills to just one sack, but Glennon was often under pressure, which was definitely a contributing factor to his poor play.
Glennon made plenty of mistakes in the game, but again he didn’t have much help around him. The run game after the opening drive was extremely unsuccessful, and his receivers were unable to get open on a number of plays. But it does not excuse all of his inaccuracy he had when players were open.
Glennon’s two interceptions came when he was trying to force the ball to Jackson. The first one was off target, and the second one was a back shoulder fade thrown poorly, making it an easy play for the defender. GRADE= D
RUNNING BACKSThings were looking great for Bobby Rainey after he busted loose for the longest run in franchise history (80 yards). But after that big run, the run game couldn’t get going. Rainey ran the ball 21 other times for just 47 yards (2.2 average).
The Bucs got some other backs involved this game, both with little success. Brian Leonard ran seven times for 26 yards, and Michael Hill ran five times for 17 yards.
The offensive line, yet again, failed to create much running room aside from the big touchdown run. Rainey and company did what they could and were able to get something out of nothing on several plays. And Rainey’s 80-yard run really gave the Bucs momentum to start the game, and did open up the passing game later in the first half, leading to big plays. GRADE= B
WIDE RECEIVERS When your quarterback only has nine completions, there’s a good chance it was partly due to the receivers. Vincent Jackson led the team with just three receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. He almost had a second score, but the officials ruled him out of bounds. Jackson continues to make huge plays down field even when it looks like he’s being well covered. And he was well covered for most of the game, drawing double teams and forcing Glennon to look elsewhere.
Tiquan Underwood, who’s clearly emerged as the No. 2 receiver, had his worst game of the season. He was targeted five times but didn’t catch a single pass, including a dropped touchdown catch. Glennon threw an interception right after Underwood’s drop, so it was a big play. GRADE= D
TIGHT ENDSTim Wright was the only tight end to make a play in the game. Wright had two catches for 21 yards and a touchdown. Wright was able to get open in the back of the end zone for the score. Other than that, Wright was a nonfactor in the game.GRADE= C
OFFENSIVE LINEThe offensive line had another inconsistent game in both the run and pass protection. Donald Penn and Jamon Meredith got off to a great start, opening up the big hole for Rainey to bust loose on an 80-yards run. But after that play, they were often beat on the line, resulting in run plays of little or no gain.
Considering the defense they were going up against (the Bills have the most sacks in the league) the front line did well, only allowing a single sack. Glennon was often under pressure, but it could have been much worse.
Jeremy Zuttah had two penalties, one false start and one hold. Donald Penn had an unnecessary roughness call after a play, but did a terrific job, holding Mario Williams at bay the entire afternoon.OFFENSIVE LINE= C
DEFENSIVE LINEThe front four had their best game of the season, responsible for four sacks. They also kept the running game in check, allowing CJ Spiller to rush for just 22 yards on 11 carries.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was a force all game, which is nothing new. He had six tackles, a sack, three hits on the quarterback, and a pass batted down. Rookie defensive end William Gholston, who’s gotten a lot more playing time lately, had his breakout game. He finished with four tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a pass batted down. Defensive tackle Derek Landri also had a sack in the game, along with Da’Quan Bowers, who shared a sack with Gholston.
The consistent pressure on E.J. Manual not only resulted in sacks and throwaways, but they also helped the Bucs get four interceptions in the game, extending their league lead. GRADE= A
LINEBACKERSLavonte David continues to make his Pro Bowl bid with maybe his best game of the season. David led the team with nine tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, two quarterback hits, and two interceptions. At this point, it would be absolutely ridiculous for David to not get a Pro Bowl bid, and he should even get consideration for Defensive Player of the Year.
Middle linebacker Mason Foster had his third interception of the season on a diving catch, and also had nine tackles and two quarterback hits. Dakota Watson, replacing the injured Jonathan Casillas, had two tackles and a tackle for loss.
The linebacker unit played extremely well and made no big mistakes this game. GRADE= A
SECONDARYThe secondary played at the top of their game along with the rest of the defense. Johnthan Banks had his third interception of the year, along with two tackles. Darrelle Revis looked like himself this week after being injured the last game. He finished with four tackles, a sack, and a monster hit that resulted in Lavonte David’s second interception.
Strong safety Mark Barron continued his impressive season with four tackles and a sack. Free safety Dashon Goldson had two tackles and a pass break up. GRADE= A
SPECIAL TEAMSRian Lindell, facing his former team, had a good game making both of his field goals, one of which was from 53 yards out. The Bucs also recovered a fumble on a muffed catch, and did a good job covering on punts and kicks.
The only big mistake was when Dakota Watson roughed the punter on a near block, resulting in a first down for Buffalo.GRADE= B
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