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FIVE MOST DISAPPOINTING BUCS PewterReport.com lists the five players who disappointed us in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 17-14 loss on Saturday night to the Miami Dolphins. Pewter Report has already listed the top five players who impressed us in an article posted on the front page of PewterReport.com.
G SEAN MAHAN Mahan started at right guard in place of Jeb Terry, who is still nursing an MCL injury. After an impressive training camp and first two preseason games, Mahan struggled vs. Miami’s 3-4 defense. He was flagged for holding in the first quarter, which negated quarterback Brian Griese’s 50-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Joey Galloway. Later in the first half, punter Josh Bidwell pinned the Dolphins on their own 5-yard line with a great kick, but another holding penalty by Mahan forced the Bucs to punt again to Wes Welker, who returned Bidwell’s second punt 40 yards. Essentially, Mahan’s holding penalty was a 39-yard infraction.
TE ANTHONY BECHT Although he caught four passes for 40 yards, including a 29-yarder down the sideline from QB Chris Simms, Becht’s inability to chip Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor resulted in two quarterback sacks on Saturday night. Becht’s second failed attempt to help left tackle Anthony Davis hold off Taylor, who is one of the league’s best pass rushers, resulted in Taylor hitting Griese and forcing him to fumble. Miami recovered the loose ball in its own territory.
DE SIMEON RICE Not only did he not record a sack against Miami, Rice failed to notch a tackle on Saturday night. In fact, Rice was the only member of Tampa Bay’s starting defense to not record a tackle vs. Miami. Rice and Co. failed to halt Miami’s ground attack, which produced 110 yards on 26 carries (4.2 avg.), and it couldn’t produce a disruptive pass rush, which allowed Miami’s receivers to get open downfield far too often. Rice talked this offseason about how he wanted to get off to a fast start, but that hasn’t happened yet, and it certainly didn’t occur on Saturday night when he got contained by Dolphins left tackle Damion McIntosh.
WR DEANDREW RUBIN In order to make Tampa Bay’s 53-man roster, Rubin had to win the kickoff and/or punt return job in preseason. That isn’t going to happen, though. Not after Rubin carelessly allowed a punt to hit him and fall to the ground as a fumble. Luckily for Rubin, Bucs cornerback Blue Adams recovered the loose ball, but it was on Tampa Bay’s 8-yard line, which put the Bucs offense at a disadvantage. To make matters worse, Rubin was flagged for holding in the fourth quarter on a long cutback run by running back Derek Watson. That penalty negated a first down and one of the Bucs’ best offensive plays of the night.
TE ALEX SMITH Smith got himself open in the back of the end zone in the third quarter to catch the two-point conversion pass from QB Chris Simms, but his drop in the fourth quarter proved to be extremely costly. Smith, who is highly regarded for his pass-catching ability, used his speed to get open down the right seam of the field, but he dropped Simms’ perfect pass on third down, which forced a punt instead of moving the chains deep into Miami territory.
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