MOST IMPRESSIVELinebacker Lavonte David
If every single Buccaneers player could match the intensity of Lavonte David this Buccaneers team would not be slipping deeper into the quicksand of a six-game losing streak.
David isn’t perfect, but he is pretty close.
With 10 tackles on Sunday against the Falcons, and probably even more that weren’t credited to him, David wowed Bucs fans, coaches and even the television commentators. From the first play of the game, a tackle for loss, David played like a man possessed and one who wants to do a hula dance after the season.
As mentioned, David wasn’t perfect on the afternoon giving up a touchdown pass to Jaquizz Rodgers in the first half, but it took a bit of a rub route and perfect throw to score the touchdown. While in the grand scheme of things it may not matter to many, Tampa Bay’s poor record is overshadowing some impressive individual accomplishments that most likely will have an effect on postseason honors.
For the game David finished with 10 tackles, with three for loss and a pass breakup.Quarterback Mike Glennon
Count me as a fan of quarterback Mike Glennon. No he isn’t Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck, but for a rookie thrown into an offensive disaster and behind a make-shift line, for two weeks in a row Glennon gave the Buccaneers a chance to win a football game. Of course former quarterback Josh Freeman also did enough to allow his team to be in position to win games at times, but rarely took a game over and willed his team to a win. Glennon still isn’t ready to do that either. But his command of the game plan and mental capacity to decipher things in a split second is impressive.
Glennon still struggles with certain aspects of the game, and nearly threw two interceptions trying to force the ball on sideline routes, but overall had his best performance of his young career going 26-of-44 for 256 yards and two touchdowns and a QB rating of 90.7.
Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson
Despite a 100-yard receiving afternoon, his second in a row, arguably Jackson could have made the disappointing list also, with at least to key drops that may have made a difference in the game. Jackson was also flagged for a 15-yard penalty in the fourth quarter that could be chalked up to frustration. But as a leader, and knowing how important of a situation it was, the veteran team captain has to keep his cool. And those early drops could potentially have changed the course of the game. Who knows, the Glennon fumble may not happen if Jackson can make the readjustment and haul in Glennon’s first pass of the game. The bottom line is, and Jackson will be the first to tell you, he has to come down with the ball if he can get his hands on it.
For the game Jackson targeted a whopping 22 times and ended with 10 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns.Running Back Mike James
Coming in for an injured Doug Martin backup running back Mike James played well for the Buccaneers, and while he may not have Martin’s burst or extra gear, James possesses Martin’s field awareness and evidenced by his blitz pickup that led to a 59-yard TD pass to Vincent Jackson.
James gives the offensive coaching staff a bit of relief that in situations like Sunday, with Martin hurt, that the offense can still function.
For the game James ran the ball 14 times for 45 yards, including converting a fourth-and-1 inside the Falcons 10-yard line that led to points, and also nabbed three receptions for eight yards.Cornerback Darrelle Revis
Revis stat line read just one tackle assist. That is it. No pass breakups, forced fumbles or interceptions. Not a lot of production for $16 million right? But when looking at the overall situation, it is quite impressive. The Falcons barely even looked Revis’ way the entire game. And not just the Falcons, but most opposing offenses all season have stayed away from his side of the field.
Of course much can be debated about how Revis is used. Actually there is no debate. When the only receiver on the field with any type of career numbers, Harry Douglas, torches you for 140 yards – in the first half – the question should be raised why is your $16-million star cornerback not covering him? In his press conference a few weeks ago I was the first to mention to defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan that Bucs fans have been “chirping” about the use of Revis. After Sunday’s scheme the “chirping” will turn into full on squawking.
Talking to Revis a couple times a week in open locker room, it appears he is biting his tongue and saying all the right things in order not to create distractions, but watching a third-string wide receiver light up the Bucs secondary, we could soon see Revis start “chirping,” and who could blame him.MOST DISAPPOINTINGCoaching Staff
Often readers ask why the coaching staff isn’t on our most disappointing list, but the feature is meant to focus on the players themselves. But after Sunday’s loss it is nearly impossible not to add the staff – at the least the defensive coaches.
While personally I have been giving defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan a bit of a free pass on his coverage schemes, the fact that the Falcons have only one healthy wide receiver that even hard core football fans would recognize the name of, and the Bucs failure to stop him speaks volumes about the issues the staff has in recognizing and identifying players to target with Revis. To allow Harry Douglas 140 yards in the first half is inexcusable. Sure the Buccaneers staff did a good job of stopping the run, but that wasn’t an issue in 2012, however the secondary was and after addressing it with free agent Dashon Goldson and adding Revis in a trade, why would your $16 million cornerback be covering practice squad receivers?Defensive End Trevor Scott
Trevor Scot burst onto the scene in the preseason and collected three sacks after being picked up as an unrestricted free agent. His preseason dominance earned him a roster spot, but little playing time this season. On Sunday, with Da’Quan Bowers nursing a sore foot, Scott was active for the game and on the field for a handful of plays.
Unfortunately for Scott, and the Bucs, the one play that stood out wasn’t a sack of Ryan, but instead a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty that negated a third down stop and the Falcons went onto score.
For a player looking to earn more snaps, mental mistakes aren’t a very good way to endear yourself to the staff.Cornerbacks Leonard Johnson and Johnthan Banks
Everyone knew when Darrelle Revis starting wearing the red and pewter that the other cornerbacks on the roster were going to start seeing a lot of footballs thrown their way. And through six games that is exactly what is happening. Tampa Bay’s young corners did a solid job for the most part through the first four games, but last week Banks surrendered a long TD completion over his head, and on Sunday against the Falcons once again saw another TD pass caught with a defender getting behind him.
Johnson also struggled in coverage and also committed one of the Bucs 11 penalties on the afternoon. It is a baptism by fire as some would say, but the Buccaneers need their other cornerbacks on the roster to perform much better than they did in Atlanta if they plan on getting in the win column this year.Offensive Line
After re-watching the game it is very difficult to pick out one specific offensive lineman to head up the disappointing list. Everyone took turns making errors and mistakes that contributed to Tampa Bays 31-23 loss to the Falcons on Sunday.
Tackle Donald Penn was guilty of a late fourth quarter holding penalty and also was beaten in the run game on a few plays. Jeremy Zuttah and Ted Larsen allowed way too much penetration in the “A” gap and got little push, and guard Davin Joseph had an uncharacteristic 15-yard person foul penalty in the fourth quarter, stalling yet another drive.
No one is questioning the efforts of the offensive line, as Donald Penn told me last week, the players are busting their rears out there. And going on a 19-play fourth quarter drive and passing blocking most of the plays can’t be easy ,and certainly lends itself to committing penalties. But while the effort is there, the execution is not, and until it improves the Bucs will find it difficult to pick up a win.Defensive End Adrian Clayborn
Last Friday Schiano was asked about the play of defensive end Adrian Clayborn and Schiano summed it up well. The Bucs head coach said he likes the effort and hustle but the precision and technique are still lacking. On Sunday Clayborn got little pressure on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and that was even after being matched with former Bucs tackle Jeremy Trueblood who was pulled off the scrap heap by the Falcons and is the starting right tackle. The Falcons were also with a starter in Sam Baker, yet Tampa Bay failed to record a sack on the afternoon, even with a number blitzes. Tampa Bay has just two sacks in their last three games.
Da’Quan Bowers, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Trevor Scott, Akeem Spence and Gary Gibson didn’t fare any better. While the secondary made its’ share of mistakes, the lack of pass rush from the front four as of late has not helped things at all.
Clayborn finished with just one tackle and one assist and wasn’t credited with a QB pressure.
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