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FIVE MOST DISAPPOINTING BUCS PewterReport.com lists the five players who disappointed us in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 38-14 win over the Houston Texans on Thursday night. Pewter Report has already listed the top five players who impressed us in an article posted on the front page of PewterReport.com.
S KALVIN PEARSON Although he did record two tackles on special teams, Pearson was involved in two of Houston’s biggest offensive plays of the game on Thursday night. In the third quarter, Pearson slipped up in coverage on a play, which allowed Texans wide receiver Sloan Thomas to get open and haul in a 74-yard pass from quarterback Dave Ragone down the right sideline for a touchdown, which erased any chance the Bucs had of posting a shutout. In the fourth quarter, Pearson appeared to be late coming over to defend Houston WR Derick Armstrong, whom Ragone found open in the back of the end zone for an 18-yard score. Pearson finished the game with one defensive tackle and one pass defensed.
CB JURAN BOLDEN Bolden got off to a great start by intercepting Houston QB David Carr on the Texans’ first offensive serious of the game, but he and Pearson allowed Sloan Thomas to get open down the right sideline and haul in a 74-yard pass for a touchdown in the third quarter. Bolden also allowed Texans WR Jerome Mathis to haul in a 46-yard pass that should have been picked off by the 6-foot-3 cornerback, but the ball went right through his hands and into Mathis’. In addition to being involved in those big pass plays, Bolden was penalized for a false start on a Bucs punt attempt in the first half.
PUNT UNIT Tampa Bay’s punt return units were unimpressive, and at times sloppy, during Thursday night’s game. The Bucs returned four punts for just 13 yards (3.3 avg.) vs. the Texans. The low return average the Bucs produced was in large part due Tampa Bay’s vice guys’ inability to give the punt returner room to do something with the ball after they fielded it. Wide receiver DeAndrew Rubin returned three punts, but he managed just seven total yards (2.3 avg.), which certainly did not increase his chances of making the active roster. To make matters worse, Tampa Bay’s punt unit was penalized three times on one punt attempt, which is simply inexcusable. Bolden was flagged for a false start, safety Will Allen was penalized for holding and linebacker Marquis Cooper was flagged for a false start, with all three of these penalties being called in three consecutive attempts to get the punt off. Before managing to finally punt, the Bucs had moved nearly 20 yards backwards. The only positive that came out of his unit was punter Josh Bidwell, who averaged a whopping 52.7 yards on three attempts.
RB DEREK WATSON The rookie tailback was given a healthy dose of carries in the second half of Thursday night’s game, but he didn’t prove to be anything other than ordinary, carrying the ball 16 times for 34 yards (2.1 avg.). In his defense, Watson didn’t have huge holes to run through, but he didn’t show anything in the running game that resembled the back we saw carry the ball with authority and vision in the first preseason game of the year vs. Tennessee, either. With Tampa Bay on Houston’s goal line and time running out in the fourth quarter, head coach Jon Gruden called two consecutive run plays to Watson, who failed to get in the end zone both times from just one yard out. That was certainly the most disappointing aspect of Watson’s game vs. the Texans.
LT SAM LIGHTBODY Lightbody had a tough time keeping the pressure off of quarterback Luke McCown, the Bucs’ third-string signal caller. In the fourth quarter, Lightbody, who was lined up at left tackle, was called for holding, and on the following play gave up a sack to Texans left end Kenneth Pettway. McCown appeared to injure his shoulder after being driven into the ground by Pettway, but luckily for Lightbody the young quarterback was okay.
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