It’s been a while, but the Buccaneers defended the bay on Monday Night Football by picking up a 25-11 win over Cincinnati at Raymond James Stadium.

Whether it counts in the standings or not, head coach Lovie Smith said it’s always a good thing to play well in front of the home crowd.

“I thought it was important to play well at home,” he said in his post-game press conference. “I know we haven’t won a home game here in a long time. The players realize that. Anytime they keep score you want to win. It’s a preseason game but I liked a lot of the things we did tonight.”

That last time the Bucs walked off their home turf victoriously came after a 27-6 win over Buffalo on Dec. 8, 2013.

Putting a slight damper on the muggy night, however, was the sight of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston limping around after getting his ankle rolled up on by a Bengals pass rusher. Smith addressed the 21-year-old’s status after the game, saying that it was “a tough fall he took,” but that it’s not a serious injury.

“I thought we saw enough from him,” Smith said of replacing Winston with Glennon for the next offensive series. “I thought he did some good things and felt that was a perfect time to take him out. But if we needed him to play he would’ve gone back in the game in that next series.”

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

  • The minor scare put an end to what was an impressive second professional showing for Winston. The Florida State product completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards and opened the night’s scoring on the game’s first drive by running in a 1-yard play-action bootleg right that ended with him diving inside the right pylon.
  • Tampa Bay carried its 7-0 lead into the second quarter before breaking things open with its defense. The Bengals’ first three possessions of the period ended in turnovers: a pick-6 by CB Alterraun Verner, a deep-middle interception by FS Bradley McDougald and a fumble forced by CB Mike Jenkins and recovered by LB Bruce Carter. The Bucs offense capitalized on the short-field opportunities with two touchdowns and a 53-yard Patrick Murray field goal.
  • New DE George Johnson picked up his first sack as a Buccaneer during Cincinnati’s second drive of the game, bringing down QB Andy Dalton on a third-down blitz. Johnson finished with 1 1/2 of the team’s four total sacks.
  • The home team’s score pushed to 25 early in the final quarter when LB Danny Lansanah stuffed RB Cedric Peerman for a safety. The big hit behind the goal line came on Cincinnati’s first snap after stuffing Bucs rookie running back Dominique Brown four straight times from inside the 2 regain possession.

KEY STATS

  • Bucs running backs came out swinging Monday as the team totaled 145 yards on 37 rushing attempts. Starter Doug Martin looked especially impressive, averaging 9.8 yards per carry while picking up 59 on six carries. Mike James didn’t receive a touch until the second half but went for 39 yards on nine attempts. Martin, Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey each had 7-yard gains wiped out by holding penalties and James was robbed of a 17-yarder.
  • Penalties dogged the 2014 Buccaneers and yellow flags flying all over again Monday night. Tampa Bay racked up 14 total penalties for 153 yards. Epitomizing that sloppiness was a first-quarter punt return situation where CBs Leonard Johnson and Sterling Moore and LB Josh Keyes were all hit with flags. Ten of the 14 penalties were committed on offense, three on special teams and one on defense. Four additional flags were declined.
  • Tampa Bay outgained the Bengals 356-152 in total yardage, 145-42 on the ground and 211-110 through the air. The Bucs also dominated the ball Monday, controlling possession for 38 minutes 42 seconds.

CHIP SHOTS

  • WR Mike Evans went out in the first half with a hamstring injury but it was described as being a non-issue by head coach Lovie Smith and quarterback Jameis Winston.
  • Russell Shepard, a special-teams specialist and backup receiver, turned in a nice overall night. The third-year pro hauled in a well-placed, 22-yard touchdown pass from QB Mike Glennon, caught another 22-yarder from Winston in the first quarter, took an end-around for 12 yards and recorded a tackle on special teams.
  • K Patrick Murray hit from 53 yards and converted two of the league’s new longer extra points, but also missed from 50 and pulled an extra point in the second quarter.
  • The defense’s lone surrendered touchdown came with less than 3 minutes remaining and courtesy of a 5-yard run from former Plant High star James Wilder, Jr. He’s the son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers all-time leading rusher James Wilder.
  • Rookie WR Rannell Hall caught his first two NFL passes after sitting out last week’s preseason opener in Minnesota. The UCF product grabbed receptions of 18 and 7 yards, respectively, late in the first half.
  • Three Tampa Bay defenders tied for the team lead in total tackles with four: LB Kwon Alexander, LB Jason Williams and DE George Johnson.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Tampa Bay will host the Cleveland Browns at 7 p.m. Saturday night.

OFFENSIVE STARTERS

  • WR Vincent Jackson, LT Donovan Smith, LG Logan Mankins, C Jeremiah Warren, RG Ali Marpet, RT Reid Fragel, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Mike Evans, QB Jameis Winston, FB Jorvorskie Lane, RB Doug Martin

DEFENSIVE STARTERS

  • LDE Henry Melton, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Clinton McDonald, RDE George Johnson, SLB Danny Lansanah, MLB Kwon Alexander, WLB Lavonte David, CB Alterraun Verner, CB Johnthan Banks, SS Major Wright, FS Bradley McDougald

DID NOT PLAY

  • K Brandon Bogatay, S Derrick Wells, DB Chris Conte, LB Orie Lemon, DE Jacquies Smith, C Josh Allen, C Evan Smith, T Kevin Pamphile, T Demar Dotson, TE Luke Stocker, DE T.J. Fatinikun

GAME SPECS

  • The temperature at the time of kickoff was 91 degrees and humidity was listed at 65 percent.
  • Game attendance: 47,728
  • Game time: 3:05

Share On Socials

About the Author: Eric Horchy

Subscribe
Notify of
11 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
owlykat
owlykat
5 years ago

Great Win at Ray Jay with dynamic Offense and turnover Defense and at last Winston started strong. Warren made a big difference at Center and needs to be a starter. Johnson finally came on on defense and we saw some great legal hits out of our first acquisition off the waiver wire at Safety and shows he is starter material. Our Tackle play was still lacking in pass Defense but our running game was great. Hope our Pamphile can help us there when he comes back. The real disappointment to me was number 80’s needless penalties and a bad drop.… Read more »

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

With the Bucs dominating the opponent like we have not seen in a while, I was left pondering the question “Who Dey?” The Ohioans in attendance were as disinterested as their team seemed to be.

Please wait...
seat26
seat26
5 years ago

My biggest concern was the Defense before the game and I have to say I was very impressed how they looked last night. Plenty of pressure against Bengals Qbs, Secondary looked very good. This may end up being a good year to be a Buc’s fan.

Please wait...
macabee
macabee
5 years ago

Watched every minute of it. The best preseason game yet! Wonder why? Improvement in all phases of the game… well almost – special teams KR/PR needs work.

Please wait...
pinkstob
pinkstob
5 years ago

Preseason game or not, vanilla offense and defense or not, the Bucs looked fantastic out there last night and improved in all three phases. Let’s hope it carries over into the regular season. Go Bucs!

Please wait...
Iabucfan
Iabucfan
5 years ago

I enjoyed this game very much. This is the team I have been waiting for (except for the penalties).

Please wait...
warren
warren
5 years ago

Loved what we saw from Winston. This offense is capable of overcoming major penalties and making first downs…that hasn’t been the case since…I don’t know…forever. Yep, I know it’s just preseason, but…

Please wait...
plopes808
plopes808
5 years ago

The only negatives I saw last night were the penalties and Winston’s injury. If what Lovie is saying is true, Winston’s injury was minor though. Either way, Glennon showed that he is more than capable of taking over the offense.

Our defense looked great and produced the kind of turnovers Lovie defenses are supposed to. And let’s not forget Martin looking like his rookie self. It’s gonna be a good year! Go Bucs!

Please wait...
Buctebow
Buctebow
5 years ago

Preseason, don’t get too low, don’t get too high, but good result and lot’s of better play. They have to fix the OL penalties though.

Please wait...
WiltheBrewer
WiltheBrewer
Reply to  Buctebow
5 years ago

Agreed- don’t get too high, but that was a needed victory for all you guys that are at the games week in& week out. Good team effort, aside from the penalties…
Gruden really went out on a limb coming up w/ “Thunder and Lightning” for the Bengals RB’s, didn’t he?

Please wait...