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November 19, 2012 @ 1:56 am
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Bucs Claw Back For Win Over Panthers: Most Impressive And Disappointing

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Which players had outstanding games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their come-from-behind victory over the Panthers on Sunday? Who struggled and needs to improve before next week's key divisional matchup with Atlanta. Find out in the weekly Most Impressive and Disappointing postgame feature.
The Buccaneers rallied for 11 points late in Carolina and managed to steal one from the Panthers in overtime, 27-21. The victory was Tampa Bay’s fifth in their last sixth game, and put the Buccaneers squarely in the middle of the NFC playoff race.

Below is a list of players who stood out and a few who will need to improve before the Buccaneers host the division leading Atlanta Falcons next Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Most Impressive
WR Vincent Jackson
The free agent signing of Jackson has officially erased the ghosts of Alvin Harper and Bert Emmanuel, two free agents that didn’t pan out in Tampa Bay. Jackson has been worth every penny of his $55.5-million dollar contract; in fact maybe he is underpaid. On Sunday Jackson was brilliant down the stretch carrying the Buccaneers on his back at times. His catch to bring the Buccaneers back just before the end of regulation was as good of a catch you will see from any NFL receiver this year. You can’t understate the difficulty to go up and snag a ball away from three defenders all the while heading straight for the goal post, and getting both feet in bounds. For the game Jackson led the Buccaneers with 94 yards on six receptions including one TD and the game-tying two-point conversion. The Buccaneers may not have half of their six wins without Jackson’s contributions this Sunday, for sure they don’t beat the Panthers without him.

RB Doug Martin
On Sunday Martin once again showed why LeGarrette Blount continues to sit on the bench. The former Boise star was a workhorse who seemed to get stronger as the game worse on. Martin was steady through the first three quarters but really shined down the stretch, particularly in overtime, gaining 48 of his 138 rushing yards. For the game Martin rushed 24 times for 138 yards, and added four receptions for 23 yards. Martin has been nothing short of spectacular this season and appears to be a steal as the No. 31 overall pick in last April’s draft.With his 138 yards on Sunday, Martin now has 1,000 yards on the season.

QB Josh Freeman
For 54 minutes on Sunday Freeman was at the top of the most disappointing list. Freeman looked unsure, indecisive and befuddled for a majority of the game Sunday, and almost single-handily was giving the Panthers the win on a silver platter. But as he had done nine times prior in his not quite four-season career, Freeman saved his best for last, and led the Bucs to 11 points in the game’s final six minutes. Freeman had a game filled with mistakes including two interceptions, but when his team needed it, No. 5 delivered in the clutch. For the game Freeman was 25-of-46 for 248 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

DE Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett is driving his price up for next year with performances like Sunday. Bennett notched another QB takedown, his team leading seventh sack of the season, and also added five tackles including two tackles for loss. The scruffy bearded defensive end will get paid well in the offseason, and the Bucs would be wise to pony up the money to keep Bennett harassing quarterbacks while wearing the pewter and red.

DE Daniel Te-o’ Nesheim
When the Buccaneers added Te-o’ Nesheim to the active roster last season it was seen as desperation move as injuries had decimated the Bucs defensive line. When training camp began not too many fans would have put money on the former Washington Huskie making the final 53-man roster, much less becoming a starter. The book on Te-o’ Nesheim was a relentless motor that overcame his deficiencies size-wise. Te-o’ Nesheim is that and then some. With seven tackles, including one tackle behind the line of scrimmage, the guy with the name nearly impossible to pronounce correctly, was the second leading tackler for the Bucs on Sunday.

TE Dallas Clark
Clark isn’t the same No. 44 that streaked down the seam in Indianapolis for a number of years on the receiving end of Peyton Manning darts. But that’s okay, Clark still can make an impact in the passing game as we saw on Sunday when the former Colt led the Buccaneers with seven receptions for 58 yards and the game winning touchdown in overtime. Clark is a lunch pail kind of player, the perfect for mike Sullivan's offense.

Honorable mentions: LB Lavonte David, TE Nate Byham, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Roy Miller, LB Jacob Cutrera

When a team erases an 11-point deficit in the final six minutes a lot of players who were on the most disappointing list quickly change to being on the most impressive list. it was difficult this week to find more than the below two players to add to the list.

Most Disappointing
S Mark Barron
Barron’s play has dropped off significantly over the last few weeks for unknown reasons. On Sunday, Barron had his worst game in his short professional career. The trouble started early when the former Bama star was called for pass interference, which gave the Panthers first-and-goal on the Buccaneers one-yard line. Carolina went onto score one play later and took a 14-10 lead. Barron was hesitant in coverage all afternoon something that a safety just can’t be, and was cauht in no man's land several times. Even Barron’s tackling suffered as he was added to the long list of players who have been juked out of their cleats by Cam Newton in the first half on a third down run by the Panthers’ QB.

TE Luke Stocker
Stocker dropped a second down Freeman pass on the Bucs first possession in the second half. While it is doubtful Stocker would have gotten the first down, had he made the catch, it certainly would have made the following third down play more manageable. Instead, the Bucs failed to convert and ended up going three-and out.

Last modified on Sunday, 25 November 2012 20:43

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  • avatar

    Why isn't the O-line getting any love? They've been doing one hell of a job!! They've stood up to some really good defensive fronts all year and haven't really been getting the respect they deserve. I know they're not the best in football but but they get the job done. i can't wait to see Nicks and Joseph on the leading the way next year!
  • avatar

    PR.. What ever happened with Wright and the Drugs? False reporting?
  • avatar

    Still can't believe we traded up to get Stocker! Biggers is just plain terrible... Wait till next year when we have some CB help we will be taking the division.
  • avatar

    How can Biggers and Lewis not be on the list every week? South Florida d backs could play better than those two and they shouldn't even be on a football field. Man, are they bad!
  • avatar

    I don't think I would have put Freeman on the Most Impressive List unless you also put him on the Most Disappointing List too? What I saw as Impressive was the fact that no one gave up. I think Barron did not deserve to be put on The Most Disappointing List and I think you are reaching for something that's really not there. I think he did okay just like the majority of players in this game. I believe it is hard to place anybody in The Most Disappointing List this week except for the Referee who said that Martin fumbled before he crossed the goal line and Barron's pass interference call that wasn't. What was most disappointing was that the Offense was so flat for almost the entire game. Dallas Clark said it right that we were lucky to win this game.
  • avatar

    Horse, I see what you mean with Freeman, although the great quarterbacks have the ability to get it together when needed and put clutch points up even on bad days overall. No one was beating Eli up for his 3 INT game against the Bucs back in week 2, and with good reason. Josh was rough for 3+ quarters, but he was electric in the clutch. That TD throw to VJax is already being talked about in the media as maybe the best throw of 2012. He didn't have his best stuff and still led the team to a miraculous win. What a game for Josh. Also, Barron ABSOLUTELY deserves this mention. He has been flat out bad in coverage for weeks. That PI call was the right one - he threw his hands up to keep the receiver from catching it before it got there despite not getting his head around at any point in time. That is textbook pass interference. And he got completely burned by Olsen, but Cam overthrew the ball. He was beaten another time when guessing in coverage. Don't get me wrong, I am still happy with Barron. I think that his coverage will come around with good coaching. But he was bad on Sunday and has been below average a lot this season against the pass.
  • avatar

    Mark hesitant is the right word describing Barron. It seems to me he's afraid of making a mistake instead of just shooting his gun. I'd rather see him going all out for a crushing tackle and missing, instead of waiting for the runner hoping not to miss. Make sense?
  • avatar

    SD, totally agree. Wrote about it in the roundtable.
  • avatar

    VJax is the man. What a HUGE acquisition. He and Dougie have totally changed the complexion of this offense. Made Mike Will and everyone better. Luke Stocker. What a bust. Dude off the street is taking his job.
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