The final countdown. The last hurrah. The final scene.
Thursday’s contest between the Tampa bay Buccaneers and the Washington Redskins was the last chapter of the 2017 NFL preseason, and in it, Washington took down Tampa Bay by a score of 13-10.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick started the game for the Buccaneers with Jameis Winston and any other potential starter for the team sitting out for the night as to avoid any injury before the regular season opener. Fitzpatrick started the game off with three straight target to rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin, all three of which were incomplete. It didn’t get much better after that for Fitzpatrick and the first team passing offense as he finished his night just 2-for-6 for six yards in one half of play. Antony Auclair was the Bucs’ leading receiver at half time with five yards, and full back Austin Johnson was the only other player with a catch in that first half.
Running back Peyton Barber started the game in the backfield with Doug Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims all sitting this contest out. Barber finished the game with 23 yards on six carries, and had one run of 10 yards and another of nine. The offensive line didn’t do much to help Barber or Fitzpatrick, however. There wasn’t much blocking going on in that game.
For the defense, the pass rush was once again non-existent – though this time with no starters. Rookie defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu was scratches form Thursday’s game, and since we never heard of an injury to him, that hints that he’s going to make the team. For the rest of the defensive line, it wasn’t their night. They struggled to be a factor.
The linebacking unit, however, was a standout from all three starting positions. Rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith was running very well all night and finished the game with five tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. Adarius Glanton and Cam Lynch (who were captains for the game) also had good performances. Glanton led the team in tackles with nine, two of them for loss, and Lynch, who had seven tackles, had a forced fumble early in the second half.
As for some of the other fringe name players. Running back Jeremy McNichols didn’t entire the game until the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. He had one nice run down the sideline that was called back for a holding penalty, but in the preseason, it’s the run that counts. However, beyond that one carry, it was a quiet night. He finished with 36 yards on 10 carries, both of which were team leads.
Wide receiver Bobo Wilson finished the game with three catches for 60 yards, including one 40-yard bomb that was almost for more yards and even a touchdown. He also had two nice kick returns on the night. Donteea Dye finished his night with two catches for 25 yards. Derel Walker had one catch for 15 yards. Freddie Martino finished the game with no catches. Bernard Reedy had two catches for seven yards and a touchdown – the team’s only receiving touchdown of the preseason. Sefo Liufau finished the game 16-for-28 with 170 yards, a touchdown and a pick-6 interception.
On the back up defense, Riley Bullough finished the game with just two solo tackles. On a positive note, newly signed defensive end Mehdi Adbdesmad had the best game among the defensive linemen with two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
The Buccaneers finish the preseason 1-3. The open up the regular season Sunday September 10th in Miami against the Dolphins.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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