The Bucs defense had two sacks and three interceptions against the Raiders on Sunday.
What type of grade does Tampa
Bay's secondary deserve? What grade did the Bucs linebacker corps receive? Find out in this Pewter Report article.
Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds offers up his analysis on how Tampa Bay's
defense played at Oakland in the Bucs' 42-32 victory over the Raiders, and dishes out the game grades for
each defensive unit and the Bucs special teams.
Defensive end Michael Bennett was disruptive against the run and pass all game and fought off a first half injury to register his sixth sack of the season, which leads the team. He finished the game with a sack and a tackle for loss.
Da’Quan Bowers saw more playing time this week at defensive end and recorded his first sack of the season in the first half. Bowers had two tackles for loss in addition to his sack.
Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was double teamed virtually the entire game and finished with one tackle, as did defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, who drew a holding call that negated a touchdown pass. Nose tackle Roy Miller was held without a tackle.
The Bucs defensive line did a decent job of pressuring Carson Palmer in the first half, but did not sack him in the second half despite him throwing the ball 38 times.GRADE = B-LINEBACKERS
Weakside linebacker Lavonte David was a tackling machine against the Raiders, notching a personal-best 16 tackles. David had two of Tampa Bay’s six tackles for losses, bringing his season total to a team-leading 11. David was an absolute stud on Sunday.
Middle linebacker Mason Foster and strongside linebacker Quincy Black each had five tackles and performed well in Oakland. The Raiders rushed for just 22 yards on 11 carries (2.0 avg.) and Tampa Bay’s linebackers played a big role in neutralizing Oakland’s running game.GRADE = A-SECONDARY
Free safety Ahmad Black had a sensational game – easily his best as a pro. The Florida product forced fumble, but more importantly made the tackle on a Darren McFadden that knocked him out of the game. Black also alertly recovered a surprise onside kick in the fourth quarter and finished off Tampa Bay’s win with an interception – his second of the season.
Cornerback E.J. Biggers forced a fumble that went out of bounds, but was beaten by Darius Heyward-Bey on a 46-yard catch in the second quarter and by Rod Streater on a 25-yard touchdown catch. Biggers was also flagged for pass interference in the end zone in the fourth quarter, and he gave up the Raiders’ two-point conversion pass to Juron Criner. But he recorded his first interception of the season. Biggers struggled in coverage as usual, but did get into the turnover column against Oakland that somewhat made up for it.
A week after recording three pass breakups and an interception in his first start at cornerback Leonard Johnson had an interception and two pass breakups against the Raiders. Johnson finished with six tackles (five solo) and was Tampa Bay’s best cornerback on the field on Sunday.
Cornerback Eric Wright was limited to nickel situations due to an Achilles injury, but had four tackles. He had a pass interference penalty on fourth-and-2 to give Oakland a first down in Tampa Bay territory.
Cornerback Myron Lewis had one tackle, but also gave up a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Strong safety Mark Barron had an okay game in terms of production, notching four tackles. His only blown coverage was a touchdown pass that was called back due to an Oakland penalty.
Free safety Ronde Barber had six tackles and two pass breakups. Palmer completed 39-of-61 passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns against Tampa Bay’s secondary, which struggled to stop Oakland’s aerial assault in the second half, but did pick off Palmer three times in the final 30 minutes of play. The great play of Black, Barber and Johnson made up for the poor play of Biggers and Lewis.GRADE = C+SPECIAL TEAMS
Offensive linemen Jeremy Trueblood and Jeremy Zuttah allowed Lamarr Houston to knife through and block Connor Barth’s 34-yard field goal attempt in the first half. Barth missed his second attempt, a 54-yarder as time expired in the first half.
Wide receiver Arrelious Benn was flagged for blocking in the back on a punt return, which backed Tampa Bay up to its 10-yard line. Conversely, the Bucs did a great job of punting the ball and downing it on the Oakland 6-yard line.
Linebacker Adam Hayward was flagged for roughing the punter in the first half.
Punt returner Roscoe Parrish had his best day returning the ball for Tampa Bay, averaging 15.3 yards per return with a long of 26. Arrelious Benn had his most productive day returning kicks in several weeks, averaging 29.5 yards on two returns, including a long of 34 yards.
Punter Michael Koenen averaged 38.5 yards per punt, downing two inside the 20-yard line. Six of his seven kickoffs were touchbacks. Tampa Bay’s kickoff and punt coverage was outstanding on Sunday.
Ahmad Black recovered a surprise onside kick attempt by Oakland, which was a huge play on special teams, countering a few negative plays.GRADE = C-
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