There weren’t too many candidates for Pewter Report’s MVP from Tampa Bay’s 17-6 loss to Atlanta at Raymond James Stadium, especially on offense – the Bucs offense failed to score a touchdown for the second straight game and finished with less than 300 yards of offense. So the MVP would come from the defense or special teams, right?
Perhaps middle linebacker Shelton Quarles gets the honor with 12 tackles, three quarterback hurries and 1.5 sacks? Or maybe it is kicker Matt Bryant who supplied all of Tampa Bay’s points and would have had three more if he had connected from 51 yards out?
Quarles is a great candidate and deserves to be recognized, but we’re going to go off the beaten path here and actually pick someone from the offensive side of the ball. Yes, the woefully, inept offensive side of the ball. Michael Pittman didn’t do much as a running back, with just four yards on three carries. But he didn’t fumble the ball, unlike starter Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, who was stymied with just 48 yards rushing on 20 carries (2.4 avg.).
What Pittman did do was shine as a receiver. He led the team with seven catches for 73 yards, which was a game-high total, including a 25-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter in the middle of the field. That would prove to be Tampa Bay’s longest gain of the day.
Pittman hustled and gave maximum effort today, lowering his shoulder and running with a quick burst. Cadillac Williams is a more talented runner than the older Pittman, but can learn a thing or two from watching the effort Pitt gives on every play. Pittman’s best play of the day was a diving, 10-yard grab that picked a first down at the Atlanta 10-yard line. Pittman dragged both feet in bounds as he caught the ball, getting his hands under the ball to make sure that the play would stand as a completion.
On a pathetic offense, Pittman deserves more touches. He’s not the best player, but he seems to try the hardest. At least that was the case today, and it was clearly evident.
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