Buccaneers RB Charles Sims struggled in the run game against the Rams on Sunday – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
No matter who goes on Sunday’s list, the most disappointing part of Sunday evening was the 37-32 loss. Tampa Bay let victory against the Los Angeles Rams slip away, dropping its fourth straight home opener in the process.
Keep reading and check out PewterReport.com’s list of Most Disappointing players from the Bucs-Rams game.
HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
The Bucs had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to win and they failed.
It’s a collective failure, but poor clock management in this situation is on Koetter. Tampa Bay had 1:42 and two time outs to go 56 yards for the win. When the clock went to 0:00, they still had one of those time outs left. Koetter chose to use one after an incompletion leading up to the final play with four seconds showing.
The biggest gaffe was losing a good 10-15 seconds after a 12-yard catch-and-run to Sims. The running back couldn’t get out of bounds and Koetter, Winston and the offense just let the seconds tick away before getting another snap off.
“Yes, there was an opportunity [to call a time out],” Koetter said afterward when asked about the decision. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in our 2-minute [offense] and I sometimes push the envelope on that, on getting to the next play. I thought we were a little bit slow lining up on that next one. I thought we still had time to check it down again and use it but as it worked out, we were still lining up. So I probably should’ve used it there.
Chalk it up to a first-time head coach making a mistake? Is that okay at this juncture?
WR VINCENT JACKSON
The inability of Jackson and Winston to hook up with consistency received plenty of headlines this past week. The issue hasn’t appeared to clear itself up much, either.
Jackson finished Sunday by catching just three of six targets for 37 yards and his effort level and fight for passes coming his way just doesn’t look to be there this year.
After catching a 15-yard pass when the Bucs faced third-and-26 on their first drive, Jackson didn’t show up again until the final quarter by grabbing two receptions and drawing a pass interference penalty.
The moment that epitomized Jackson’s season, though, came during the final failed drive. Winston came high and hard to Jackson at the 10-yard line and the veteran couldn’t haul it in. An easy ball to catch it was not. But Jackson is a professional pass catcher and he got both hands on the ball.
K ROBERTO AGUAYO
The criticism started late in the second round on draft day. It came back with a vengeance in the preseason, faded a bit, and now it’s back.
There were going to be moments like this for Aguayo, but he was brought here to be help Tampa Bay win games. Sunday, he helped the Bucs lose.
First came missing an extra point after linebacker Kwon Alexander’s 38-yard pick-6 in the first quarter. After hitting his next two point-afters, Aguayo went wide left on a 41-yarder in the third quarter. The Rams drove 69 yards in eight plays to take a 24-20 lead after the field goal miss shortly before the end of the third quarter.
It’s still far too early to label Aguayo a bust. It just doesn’t look good at the moment, especially after hampering the team’s ability to start 2-1 before having to play last year’s Super Bowl teams in back-to-back weeks.
RB CHARLES SIMS
Last week’s hamstring injury to starting running back Doug Martin gave Sims a shot to be the starter from the opening whistle.
He didn’t exactly step up.
Yes, Sims totaled a season-high 124 yards and punched in a 1-yard touchdown run. But that performance included his involvement in another tipped interception that should have been caught. Sims’ inability to catch Winston’s pass in the left flat allowed former Buccaneer Mark Barron to snatch the interception and return it to the Tampa Bay 22. That play resulted in Rams running back Todd Gurley’s 1-yard touchdown run before halftime that cut the Bucs’ lead to 20-17.
A good final stat sheet doesn’t mean much when there’s a damaging play mixed in. Sims is now responsible for one-third of Winston’s six interceptions.
S KEITH TANDY
Tandy wasn’t on the field much Sunday, but one of the few moments he was did not end well.
That came late in the fourth quarter when the Bucs were trying to make their comeback. Trailing 31-26, Tampa Bay was a stop away from getting the ball back with about five minutes remaining. But on third-and-2 from the Bucs 43, Rams quarterback Case Keenum looped a deep ball to receiver Tavon Austin for another Los Angeles touchdown. Austin was technically covered by Tandy, but it was hard to tell.
LT DONOVAN SMITH
Winston’s blindside protector drew a tough assignment this week against Los Angeles’ Robert Quinn, but Sunday’s performance was subpar.
The worst moment came early in the fourth quarter when Quinn beat Smith around the edge to strip-sack Winston. Rams defensive end Ethan Westbrooks scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 77 yards into the end zone, pumping up Los Angeles’ advantage to 31-20.
In addition to that big play, Smith committed three of Tampa Bay’s nine penalties: 10-yard illegal use of the hands in the first, 10-yard holding in the fourth and 5-yard false start on the last drive.
Three more of those nine penalties came along the Bucs’ line. Demar Dotson had a false start and holding call and tight end Brandon Myers was hit with a 12-yard clipping penalty during Tampa Bay’s first play from scrimmage while blocking for Sims.
I like Jameis, but how do you not have him on this list? What the hoo ha was he doing on that final play? (And I’m ignoring the strip fumble TD.)
Agree. Typical young QB mistakes. Hot doging?
On what curve are you judging Jameis Winston?
He overall played well, with some areas he needs to get better. Career day in yards (405), 3TD/1 INT, 62% completion rate, passer rating of 93. Managed to drive his team down to the red zone in the 2-minute drill, and the clock management that killed his wasn’t his deal, nor was the play calling. Some are blaming him for not running the ball into the end zone on the last play, but there were plenty of Ram defenders (8) waiting there in the end zone ready to come up and stop him, so running it in was almost certainly going to fail.
He made plenty of errors, of course. His accuracy of ball placement needs to get better. He still needs to focus on developing a quick twitch release, as his long windups are an open invitation for aggressive DEs and DTs to force strip-sacks, as happened yesterday.
But JW was not among the most disappointing players.
In fact, considering everything, I would have drawn up a list exclusively from our defenders. They gave up 30 points to one of the weakest, most predictable offenses in the league, playing at home, and gave up big plays to Case Keenum, of all people!
I am not giving up yet, but this is a disappointing loss. Our Defense has to get to the QB or even the best secondary in the league would stuggle if the opposing QB has all day to throw.
Same old same old.
-Koetter is channeling his inner Lovie Smith when it come to clock management. Dirk get better or you’ll be gone!
-Vjax has retired. He just hasn’t announced it yet. Be gone with him.
-When we drafted a kicker after trading up into the 2nd round I was one of the first to scream bloody murder. Sometimes I hate being right. I am labeling him a bust because that is what he is. At least bring in another kicker to compete in practice for the job!
-Sims will never be Martin. Get over it.
-With all the stars on this defense (I know a couple are hurt) we give up 37 to the Lambs who haven’t scored a touchdown all year?!. They are now the worst show on turf. Smells like coaching and scheme. I almost want to go back to cover 2 (did I really say that?!).
Sometimes I wonder what QB and O-line you people are even watching.
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Winston wasn’t the problem, 32 points, 4 T.D.’s should win most games. Smith, and Dotson both struggled. I wouldn’t be opposed to using a high pick on a L.T., and moving Smith to guard. If Sweezy ever plays I’d stick him in at R.G., and move Marpet to center. Philly has a new coach, rookie Q.B., and they just punked Pitt. Their offense was good, but wow their D shut down Ben, and company. Why can’t that be us? Unless this defense get’s it’s act together we’re doomed. Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me.
I don’t care what our offense is doing …. if your defense is ranked dead last in the league in points allowed, you’re not going to win many games. Our defense got totally smoked yesterday. I don’t know what the fix is, but Mike Smith better figure it out PDQ or he’ll be looking at retirement come January. He was brought in to build and operate a top 10 defense, after Lovie Smith tried and failed. If our offense simply stayed where it is today – 16th in scoring and 7th in total offense – we’d be ecstatic, and a top 10 defense would have us undefeated and in sole possession of first place in the South Div.
Hold on to your hats. This ride is going to get bumpier and the rhetoric is going to get uglier. Trying my best to stay out of it. Not going to needlessly demonize or excoriate my team. But is not comfortable covering over their faults either – and there are many.
Obviously, this is not new experience for me. So I’m going to stay positive and hope for the best. #itsabucslife
It’s just a game and we can beat Denver if we choose to. There were many mistakes, but there are always mistakes in any game. We had them gassed out at the 2 minute warning then Intervention came; why, I have no clue. I knew we were going to lose then. I hope out of all of this we get tougher, stronger, faster. Go Bucs!
That was almost as disgusting a home opener loss as getting crushed by the garbage Titans last year and Mariota. I was very optimistic about Buc’s if they stayed healthy. I knew the wheels could come off quick with just a key injury or two. Most teams can keep playing better than this with 2 or 3 injuries but I knew we were razor thin and this was possible. The sad reality is this team isn’t there still and they still suck after 10 years of waiting. Sorry but that’s the truth. They aren’t going anywhere this year and they aren’t going to beat the Beoncos or Panthers. Go ahead and get your hopes up if you want to be disappointed.
I’m going to Deal with it. Try to enjoy some of the games with the realization it’s not happening his year. It’s still a very poor defense. Pathetic really. They blow that big lead at halftime and let stupid Keenum beat you and throw all over field to wide open receivers? I could have thrown to those uncovered guys with no pressure on me!
Plenty of issues on offense too. No RB that can carry any kind of load behind Martin. 2nd reciever that’s already thinking about what he will do retired in a few months. Etc. Don’t even get me started on that stupid kicker. Too early to call a bust? I’m calling him a bust right now so go ahead tell me how I’m wrong. just like wasn’t wrong to waste a second round pick on this clown? Guy is completely choking under pressure. He’s trying to guide the ball now like a bad golfer who doesn’t follow through his swing and babies a shot. Wasted draft pick on a guy that will be at best as good as an drafted free agent kicker.
wasted 2 draft picks to be exact…remember we gave up the 4th round pick that we picked up for moving down in round one to move up
If Keenum played the Bucs every game he would end up in the HoF.
Undrafted free agent. Stupid auto complete
I also don’t want to give up on the season just yet…so these comments are specific to this game:
1) Eric – your list is probably defensible…we got beat by an inferior team so really anyone was probably fair game.
2) However, we got the score run-up on us by Case Keenum, Kenny Britt, Brian Quick and Tavon Austin (who I accept is fast, and a descent kick returner, but he’s like 5′ 2″). Our defense should be all over this Most Disappointing list.
3) I’ll give you a hand here: Every DLineman not named GMC. The Rams OLine is not the Cowboys. We had 1 Sack and 2 QB hits…again WE HAD 1 SACK AND 2 QB HITS…not in the first quarter, that’s the whole game folks!
4) Need some more ideas: every DB not named…anything. While Keenum’s stat line looks pedestrian, he made it count when he needed to make it count. There are plays, and then there are plays that matter. 3rd down and 17, 3rd down and 18…it’s like our DBs forgot that this wasn’t the CFL.
5) how about Jason Licht for this list too – his decision to have Sims be our backup RB (12 carries for 32 yards – and yes 1 for 23….the true stat line of a 3rd down back….not a prime RB). Sims is proving to be a nice 3rd down back for us, but asking him to be our primary RB is like asking Clint McDonald to play DE…he might make a single nice play but it’s the wrong position. His decision to pass on all of the eligible Safeties, WR and OL to trade-up and select a kicker…when we already had a perfectly fine kicker is a fireable offense. I have said this many times, Aguyao may well turn out to be an even above average NFL kicker – but that’s not materially different than Barth, and we have sooooo many needs. His decision to draft and ride with Smith at LT despite all of the warnings that the kid would struggle at LT in the NFL. And finally, ASJ….now a hole that we do not have filled and felt significantly on that last drive…
Same glaring problem as last year with the defense. No pressure on the QB gives him time to find his receivers after busted coverages.
I’m beginning to dislike Licht and his 2nd round draft busts. He is an improvement over Dominick but moving from an F to a c minus doesn’t make you immune from firing.
Unless their is a 180 degree turnaround with Arroyo in the next game or two, then it’s time to cut bait. Yesterday’s game was the exact reason why he was drafted so high.
After he missed his FG the Rams gained momentum and marched down the field for a TD, mainly behind the running of the Todd Gurley.
This would have been an excellent time for the defense to show some backbone and stop them on a three and out but apparently the defense lacks that character and fortitude.
Until that is corrected, this team will continue to lose high scoring games and it doesn’t matter if Winston hangs a 40 burger on the other team.
mgl_8, if you really think Winston deserves to be on this list you need to seriously think about your perspective in viewing plays and events.
Yes, he made a mistake not getting rid of the ball at the end, but it may have been the only mental mistake he made in the game.
I was at the game and Winston had the dirtiest, most worn uniform out there at the end of the game.
When he scored the last TD to draw the game close I said to a friend next to me, “this guy doesn’t know how to quit and won’t let these bums quit either.”
I we had one Winston on the defensive side of the ball, the Rams would never had scored 37 points on us.
Did you hear that Gerald McCoy.
McCoy Kwon and David played their hearts out…Secondary looked like last year…have no problem with the offense we have scored more than enough to be 3-0…but we have allowed 101 points in 3 games…nobody wins with numbers like that!
Drd, you nailed it all on that one. Could literary not agree more with what you just said.
McCoy is still disruptive … but he’s not getting any support from his fellow teammates while drawing consistent double teams. Until the others step up, he can’t be a one-man pass rush. We need what the Rams have, a 1-2 punch with Donald at tackle and Quinn at the end – two guys that have averaged double digit sacks in their career to date. We’ve got the near equal of a Donald, but we don’t have the Quinn (who got one of 2 Rams sacks yesterday against a pretty productive Bucs offense). No Ayers or Smith to line up alongside Gerald, and Noah Spence played but didn’t do anything yesterday.
Seriously, Quizz needs to get more playing time. That kid has great hands out of the backfield (eliminate the Sims tip/interceptions) and he is a tackle breaking machine after the catch. Not saying that Sims shouldn’t be on the field but mix it up with Quizz more and I think the run game improves a lot, opening up the big end of the field for Winston as well as keeping the D out of his face for a while.
Saying Winston should be on “the most disappointing list” doesn’t mean you think he was awful or caused the defeat. The fact is even with all the adversity and stupid plays of the previous 59+ minutes he had the ball in his hands and the team on the march. And he didn’t deliver missing two key open receivers. That’s a fact. You can make all the excuses you want for him, but he choked. He said as much himself. Listen to him. This is what you have to love about the guy. No sugar coating. He has to win the game when it’s on the line. But hey, this ain’t the ACC.
I disagree that Winston choked. He said so because he puts himself at the top of any blame, it’s just what he is. Winston didn’t have any receivers open in the end zone, and he did not have a clear path to run it in with those 8 Rams just sitting down in the end zone waiting for him. He didn’t call the plays, he didn’t manage the clock and calling time-outs, he didn’t fail to run out of bounds with the ball.
In other words, Jameis Winston was definitely NOT the reason the Bucs lost yesterday.
Far and away the biggest reason the Bucs lost yesterday was the near total failure of our defense … which has been the story all season so far, as evidenced by our defense being ranked dead last in the league in scoring defense.
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