The Buccaneers handled the Buffalo Bills with ease on Sunday. While the offense was average at best the defense played easily their most complete game of the season, limiting the Bills offense to just six points and only 214 yards, constantly harassing rookie QB E. J. Manuel.
Below is the list of seven players who stood out to PewterReport.com and three players that didn’t have their best game.MOST IMPRESSIVELB Lavonte DavidIt is starting to sound like a broken record. But every week Bucs linebacker Lavonte David finds a way to make it on the Most Impressive list. And barring injury it is doubtful his run will be ending anytime soon.
Once again David was the best player on the field for either team. After Sunday’s performance, David now leads the Buccaneers in interceptions (5), tackles (116), tackles for loss (17), tied for pass breakups (9) and is second on the team with five sacks.
On Sunday, against the Bills, David once again had a monster game, finishing with nine tackles, two interceptions, two tackles for loss, two pass breakups and a sack.
If David can stay injury free over the next few years, he will be talked about in the same breath as Buccaneers great Derrick Brooks.And maybe he has already earned the right. He is that good.
DL William GholstonGholston has quietly earned playing time since the Monday Night Miami game last month, and is getting better each week. The former Spartan perhaps was inspired and pumped up after his former Michigan State teammates upset Ohio State on Saturday night, or maybe he is just starting to feel it. Whatever the reason, Gholston had the best game of his young NFL career against the Bills before leaving in the second half with an injury.
For the afternoon Gholston collected four tackles, 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
DT Gerald McCoyAfter having his worst game of the season last week against the Panthers, in which he failed to show up in any defensive statistical category, Gerald McCoy came out against the Bills with a chip on his shoulder. Perhaps he was sick of hearing all week about the unstoppable Bills defensive pass rush, or maybe he was embarrassed by his performance in Carolina. Whatever the motivation, it showed from the first snap to the last.
McCoy finished the game with six tackles, three QB hits, one sack (seventh of the season) and a pass breakup.
CB Darrelle RevisOnce again Darelle Revis went a game without an interception. But once again Revis’ impact was felt all game long as Bills quarterback E. J. Manuel rarely even looked to Revis’ side of the field. Coaches are famous for saying stats are for losers, sometimes that is correct, other times not so much. But even if Revis finishes the season with just the two interceptions you can’t emphasize enough how big of an impact he has made on the Bucs’ historically bad secondary from a year ago.
Revis showed his veteran presence with a bit hit that created an interception for Lavonte David on Sunday. The hit was executed perfectly and within the several pages of lawyer speak rules on hitting a receiver.
Against the Bills on Sunday Revis added his first sack of his Buccaneers career, to go along with four tackles and one pass breakup.
RB Bobby RaineySome will point to Rainey’s stat line, 22 carries for 127 yards and say if you take away his 80-yard run, that his day wasn’t overly impressive. But as Warren Sapp fired back at me recently, “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, everyday would be like Christmas.” While I am not exactly sure what he meant, I think the point was, don’t worry about something that did or didn’t happy. Regardless if the Bills shut the running game down after that carry, Rainey did in fact have the 80-yard run, and players inside the locker room all pointed to that run as a spark the team hoped for. T Donald PennSome would argue Donald Penn’s play has slipped somewhat in 2013 and part of that could be attributed to having lined up with five different starting guards (Carimi, Nicks, Zuttah, Meredith, Larsen) at some point this season.
On Sunday, facing Mario Williams, one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, Penn pitched a shutout. Sure he gave up some pressures, and the holes were small at times for Tampa Bay’s running backs, but for the most part Penn played an inspired game and showed that despite being 30 years old, there is still plenty of gas left in the tank.
LB Mason FosterFoster and David have a great relationship, in fact Foster told me after the game, as he watched David surrounded by the media, that David is his brother and he knows part of his job is help create opportunities for David. And he is just fine with that, a sign of an unselfish football player.
While David had an outstanding game, Foster wasn’t far behind equaling David’s tackle total of nine, while also notching an interception and a pass breakup.
Honorable Mention: CB Johnthan Banks, S Mark Barron, S Dashon Goldson, TE Tim Wright, K Rian Lindell
MOST DISAPPOINTINGQB Mike GlennonAfter his midseason stretch of veteran-like play at quarterback, Mike Glennon’s last two games has reminded everyone that he is still a third-round rookie draft pick. Glennon’s game on Sunday was by far the worst of his young career, however the offense did score 27 points. Granted some of the points were courtesy of great field position by the defense.
Realistically however, the odds of winning many football games when your quarterback throws for 90 yards while completing just nine passes, is not very good.
Glennon’s best play of the day came on a first half scramble rolling to his right and launching a pass that Vincent Jackson made an adjustment on and hauled in for a touchdown.
Glennon finished the game in very former Bucs quarterback Doug Williams-like fashion, 9-of-25 for 90 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
WR Tiquan UnderwoodThe only real knock on Underwood, and he admits it, had been a lack of consistency catching the ball. On Sunday Glennon threw a strike to Tiquan Underwood that would have been a touchdown, but the former Rutgers receiver failed to handle the pass and on the next pass Glennon threw an interception. The Bucs got way with it on Sunday against the Bills, but will not next week when hosting the 49ers.
Underwood failed to record a reception on the afternoon.
LB Dekoda WatsonWatson is a special teams ace and has been one of the best the Buccaneers franchise has ever had. But big rewards also have big risks, and on Sunday, in the first quarter, Watson found himself on the wrong side of the risk-reward table.
Watson broke free for what looked like a guaranteed block of a Bills punt, but somehow Watson never touched the ball and he ended up taking out the legs of Buffalo’s Brian Moorman, drawing a 15-yard roughing the punter penalty. The error didn’t cause any problems as the Buccaneers forced a three-and-out following the infraction, but just like Underwood’s blunder, against better teams those things tend to come back and haunt football teams.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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