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November 18, 2013 @ 1:20 pm
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Most Impressive And Disappointing: Falcons Vs. Bucs

Written by Mark
Cook
Gerald McCoy was dominating on Sunday
Gerald McCoy was dominating on Sunday Getty Images
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Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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The Buccaneers put together their best overall game of the season on Sunday against the Falcons dominating Atlanta 41-28. Who were the most impressive players? Which players need to step up their game before traveling to Detroit?
Tampa Bay played their most complete game of the season on Sunday as they rolled over the Falcons 41-28 to pick up their second win of the season. Some games it is difficult to find five players worthy of Most Impressive, this week it was too difficult to only name five.

MOST IMPRESSIVE
DT Gerald McCoy
If there were anyone still wondering if Gerald McCoy was an elite player or not, the question was emphatically answered on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. McCoy proved he was not only the best defensive player on the field, but perhaps on of the best defensive players in the league. McCoy now has six sacks on the season after recording five last year, a number that sent him to Hawaii.

McCoy finished the game with five tackles, three sacks, three tackles for loss and a pass breakup.

RB Bobby Rainey
After watching Bobby Rainey and his long near-touchdown scamper last week against Miami after filling in for an injured Mike James, you scratched your head and wondered if it was a fluke run or something he is capable of doing week in and week out. On Sunday against Atlanta, Rainey proved it was no fluke, as he almost single-handily willed the Bucs offense down the field. Rainey’s 43-yard TD dash in the first half showed the ability to cut back, turn on the jets and make guys miss all in one run.

On the afternoon Rainey finished with 163 yards on the ground, two rushing touchdowns and two receptions that also included one TD catch. Rainey became the first Tampa Bay player to have two touchdowns rushing and a TD reception in the same game.

WR Vincent Jackson
All week long, leading up to the Falcons game the Bucs coaching staff talked about getting Vincent Jackson more involved in the passing game, as the previous two weeks saw the Bucs Pro Bowl receiver nabbing just five total receptions. At times you wondered how smart that might be, as surely opponents would be double-teaming Jackson, knowing he was Tampa Bay’s only true proven difference maker at receiver. Tying to force the ball to Jackson most certainly would be a mistake and lead to interceptions was the practical line of thinking. But the staff came up with a few new wrinkles to get Jackson more involved, and Mike Glennon took some shots downfield, and was able to find Jackson deep in one-on-one coverage that led to a highlight-reel one-handed vintage Jackson grab for 53 yards.

Jackson was targeted 12 times and came down with 10 receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

Offensive Line
The transformation of the Bucs offensive line over the previous three games is nothing short of amazing. What was easily the most disappointing overall unit through the first six games has now become the most impressive. The pass blocking has been stellar, but what has really turned heads – and the Bucs fortune – around, is the dominating run blocking.

Jamon Meredith was inserted in the lineup against the Seahawks and since then the Buccaneers have punished opponents with power, ISO and a few tosses mixed in. As Davin Joseph told the media on Sunday after the game, there aren’t that many different running plays the team is running, it is just the line and backs are executing them to near perfection.

Sunday saw the line open up enough holes for Tampa Bay’s running backs to gain 186 yards on 38 carries.

QB Mike Glennon
When you post a 137.5 QB rating in a game as a quarterback, it means you have played nearly flawless. And that is exactly what happened on Sunday against the Falcons with Glennon under center. Playing smart football, taking occasional deep shots down the field, and understanding the concepts of offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan’s offense, Glennon played as well as any quarterback in the NFL on Sunday.

Glennon finished 20-of-23 for 231 yards and two touchdowns, and more importantly zero turnovers.

Safety Dashon Goldson
Goldson was flagged for another shot to the head of defender costing the Bucs 15 yards, but more than made up for his mistake with a solid overall game, including recording his first interception of the season, picking off Atlanta’s Matt Ryan in the second half. Goldson also recovered a fumble,  to go along with his two tackles and two pass break ups.

CB Darrelle Revis
Someone looking at the stat sheet but not watching the game and seeing Darelle Revis with just one tackle might assume the former Jets superstar had an off game. Nothing could be further from the truth. Revis once again pitched a near perfect game, blanketing the Falcons receivers and basically eliminating a third of the football field from the Falcons. Revis gets stronger and stronger each week and next Sunday’s matchup with Calvin Johnson should be one for the ages.

LB Mason Foster
Prior to his concussion Foster was having one of, if not his best game of the season. The Bucs starting middle linebacker recorded three tackles, a pass breakup and an interception return for a touchdown, the second one of the season for the former Washington Huskie. The interception came when linebacker Dekoda Watson hit Matt Ryan's arm, but the best part of the play was Foster's determination to get into the end zone.

Honorable Mention: S Mark Barron, LB Dekoda Watson, DE Adrian Clayborn

MOST DISAPPOINTING
CB Johnthan Banks
Banks continues to take his rookie lumps. And when Darrelle Revis is lined up opposite of you, it is almost unfair for any cornerback, much less a rookie. Not only is he a learning on the fly, but Banks gets twice as many balls thrown his way than most rookie cornerbacks, due to just the presence of Revis on the field. While it may not be fair, it is the facts, and Banks seems to have at least one big blunder each week.

This one took place in the second half when Harry Douglas ran a skinny post and beat Banks to the inside. Douglas made the grab and Banks was in easy position to bring him down before inexplicably letting Douglas go as safety Dashon Goldson approached. Of course seeing a safety bearing down would make many a player try and avoid friendly fire, but Goldson backed off and miss-timed his hit allowing Douglas to go 80 yards for an easy score. Banks was fairly solid other than that play, and finished with six tackles and one pass breakup.

Daniel Te’o-Nesheim
The Buccaneers may not have a player with a higher revved motor than Te’o-Nesheim, but the effort versus production equation hasn’t been equal very often this season. Te’o-Nesheim finished Sunday’s game with just one QB hit and it may be time for the coaching staff to give Da’Quan Bowers the majority of the snaps down the road once Bowers gets over his concussion-like symptoms. Perhaps Te’o-Nesheim is better suited for that come off the bench role that Bowers has been playing through the first half of the season.

CB Michael Adams
Adams failed to show up on the stat sheet except for the worst way possible and that was by way of a pass interference penalty, extending a Falcons drive that eventually led to three points.


Last modified on Monday, 18 November 2013 17:01
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Is it just me or do I see a major lack of speed among the CB group that includes Banks, Leonard, Johnson, Adams, & other CBs except Revis?
  • avatar


    With the talent on this team and a real nfl head coach put in place ,next year should be fun!
  • avatar


    Good article Mark. We need a good veteran DB who won't make rookie mistakes to play opposite of Revis, I am sure DOM can find us one in free agency this coming season. With us appearing to have a Future Franchise QB already on board, we should be able to get a great pass rusher for the strong side DE position in round one if Gholston doesn't show enough to take that position before the end of this season. DOM needs to give Meredith a big contract to lock him up for years to come. We then will be set on the Offensive Line. They can get plenty of Cap Room if they release Nicks or trade him. With the 2d round pick next year we will be able to get an excellent TE. We should be developing Page to be our slot receiver. He has great speed, good elusiveness, and outstanding hands. Next year we will have our olympic sprinter back who can also return kicks and punts to take some of the pressure off Page. If we can just get a veteran NFL Coach who won't make all the goofs that threw away a good season this year, we will be set for many years to come.
  • avatar


    No click on the "vote" button on the poll.
  • avatar


    I think Banks got a raw deal on the Douglas TD. Admittedly, he did pull off as he saw the safety coming in for a big hit, but his coverage was solid. I would pull off too if I saw Goldson coming in for a hit - after all, I think it was Goldson who injured our LB early on via friendly fire. It was the safety that has to make that tackle, and he made Banks look bad.
  • avatar


    While he didn't make a lot of plays, DTN made perhaps the biggest play because it was the first big play. He got an edge rush on McCoy's first sack that caused Ryan to pull the ball down and slide up in the pocket where McCoy finished him off. McCoy got the glory, but DTN definitely made that play. No "most impressive" list is complete for this game without mentioning Eric Lorig. For a big guy (height and weight), he has great feet and superlative blocking technique. That was a clinic.
  • avatar


    The Johnson playing level is a big surprise to me. What with the way he played last season. Adams does not appear to know nor execute his assignments very well at all. I was really looking for Leonard Johnson to ball very well this season.
  • avatar


    Banks will be that much better next year with all the balls being thrown his way this year. He is a rookie this year.
  • avatar


    Mark - I like your choices. Only comment really is that VJax was on another level from the others in my view. The others were largely playing in close quarters to a clearly inferior group of Falcons that have mailed it in for 2013...but VJax made an amazing one-handed 50 yard grab against Samuel (who was going to be called for PI too), then on another 50 yarder thrown short and inside made a further fantatsic come-back catch to outmuscle Samuel, and topped it off by saving a sure INT in the endzone on another pass left short and inside (not to mention his pretty nice TD grab)...VJax accounted for nearly half of the passing yards on two amazing catches...the others played well, but it seems IMO to a lesser challenge than Jackson.
  • avatar


    I agree with your list MC. When those are the type of performances that make the "Most Disappointing" list, that's when you know you've had a great game! I probably would have thrown L. Johnson on there too. He seems to get beat a bunch every week. Banks' miscues I can chalk up to rookie mistakes, but Johnson has proven to be no more than a dime CB. We need to go back to the well next year and draft another CB in the 4th or 5th round.
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