Bucs LBs Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Bucs got their first win of the 2017 season on Thursday night with an odd score of 12-8 over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team was building off some of the good things they did in the previous week, which ended in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but also knew they needed to just straight up improve in some lower areas. Here were our top performers from the team’s victory this week.
Winston and the first team offense got off to a hot start last week on their first drive, and with extended playing time this week, they looked efficient yet again. Winston finished the game 21-of-29 for 196 yards. He was spreading the ball out a lot, and was, for the most part, calm under pressure. He led the Bucs to three straight scoring drives right off the bat. Though his decision making unraveled a bit at the end of the second half, he still had a good night.
It’s been tough sledding for the Bucs linebackers who haven’t been able to hit much during practice. Because of this, their first game at full speed with full contact last week seemed like a bit of a shock. But, this week, that shock seemed to be just what they needed, and Lavonte David, in particular, had a great night. He recorded four tackles with two tackles for loss and a sack. One of those solo tackles was also a drive-stopping tackle in the second quarter.
Martin’s talent really showed out tonight. In very limited time last week, he had a nice cut for a double-digit yardage carry. On Thursday night, he carried the ball five times for 30 yards and even got into the end zone. Martin was the only effective back for the Buccaneers that night, and prove that, talent wise, that starting job is his to lose.
On the second team, linebacker Adrarius Glanton really made his presence known on Thursday night. He finished the game with a team-high six tackles, two of which were for loss and one of which was a sack. With linebacker Devante Bond out with an injury, it’s not just up to Kendell Beckwith to step up, the rest of the linebacker have to step up their game, too – Glanton did.
With no Brent Grimes and no Jude Adjei-Barimah, it was to be determined what moves the defense was going to make roster wise and depth chart wise. Though injuries are never a good thing, they do allow a team to find out what they really have in some of their reserve guys by giving them meaningful playtime.
After scoring a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars were marching down the field again, hoping to tie or win the game. But, thanks to the play of Johnson and Fleming, they came up short. Johnson had a big tackle on the one yard line that ended up being the difference in the game, and was also in coverage on the final throw of the goal-line drive that didn’t end in points. Fleming had a big play himself where he was able to get his hand in and fight to knock the touchdown ball away from Dede Westbrook – who was having a stellar second half – in the corner of the end zone for an incomplete catch.
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: [email protected]
Beckwith has a good game along with Barber and Marpet.
I thought so too. Bernard Reedy had a few bright moments.
Yup – Baber ran strong and Beckwith looked a step quicker than last week.
Beckwith looked really good. Light knows how to draft those mid round LBs
It was definitely a step in the right direction for him. People know I’ve been skeptical, but he looked better from a live watch. Will get into the tape later this weekend.
Beckwith had a good game, it seemed to me, due mostly to the fact that the other team didn’t get hands on him because when they do he gets dominated or did last week anyway. He needs to be coached up and get better at shedding blocks.. But I’m certainly not going to complain if he just finds ways to avoid them! I thought Marpet looked great along with Martin, Winston (other than the “sling and a prayer” play and one other play he threw it into great coverage) and Evans if you drop the, umm, drop in the end zone… Also pretty good pressure from the D-line but we need them to finish and get sacks. Hargreaves looked against Robinson like he looked against Amari Cooper in college and last year. Which is to say, not good! That said I think he’s going to be a really good player for us. His confidence in himself really showed last week in his aggressiveness In baiting the QB on the INT not to mention the sick little toe tap to keep it in!
We are going to have to cut a good RB or two this year with the depth. Barber had nice night. They need see more of McNichols. I think you know what you have with Martin,Rodgers,Sims,Barber. The rest of RBs big question mark.
When you are only winning by 9 points and you pull a boner like Winston did you do not deserve to be most impressive, I don’t care how well you played the rest of the game. By far my number one concern this year. Even surpasses the FG dilemma. To literally lay on your back, after a magnificent drive down the field and lob the ball toward the end zone believing some one will catch it totally wipes out all the good things he did during the rest of the game. Only way Koetter is going to shut down this lapse into stupidity is to sit his ass every time he compromises the team and in this case the game with an absolute brain fart.I would move him to the depressive category.
I wasn’t sure what made Winston throw the ball like that, but your idea that he suddenly got a boner may be acurate. It is actually a testiment to his skill and determination that he was able to finish the drive,
I thought the O-line played great last night opened holes for Martin and Winston had a clean pocket on a number of throws
Nice to see you commenting my friend.
Yeah, Beckwith looked more comfortable.
McCoy was so disruptive, looked like he was always two full steps ahead of any other lineman. Also, felt McDonald looked great.
I don’t agree with Martini, he sounds like a Winston hater. One play doesn’t define an overall performance. The way Winston stood tall in the pocket when he had time, moved around in the pocket when he had to and made plays on the run…just sick! He put the ball on the mark almost every throw. Even the out pattern to I think Goodwin when it almost got picked off where Winston threw it right at the first down marker, I have a feeling that was Goodwin’s or whoever that was running that pattern.
Don’t forget that Winston dropped a dime to Evans for a TD bomb and Evans alligator armed it!
Speaking of Evans, you can tell he’s trying to improve his YAC. The dude is amazing, even when he’s covered he’s open. We have to appreciate these guys because when have he had a QB, WR and TE this dependable? Exactly, never and we have them all at the same time.
The only thing that makes me nervous is our man coverage. If Bortles had any confidence we would have seen us get exposed more like the first game. Guys are so wide open. I felt we blitz too much for preseason to cover up our coverage. I mean, the O-Line isn’t prepared for that stuff. I didn’t watch it back but I think they dropped 5 catchable balls and Bortles made 3 horrible throws to wide open guys. Now, I will say that our DBs were playing off the WRs and maybe that was by design to work on something else, like tackling. I’m not acting like I know what I’m talking about but it’s definitely possible they wanted to play soft coverage to work on tackling.
I noticed Conte made some nice, aggressive tackles even though he was late on that ball that Robinson dropped for a TD, I see a difference in him.
Wilcox, holy crap that dude was aggressive. The play he made that I think it was a TFL, he could have waited for the guy to come to him at the line of scrimmage and he exploded to him. He was a missile out there.
Alexander and David were great too.
Let me tell you, I love guys who hustle. Riley Bullough made a play where came back to tackle the WR Westbrook after he caught a short pass and almost broke it. Riley blitz on the play, came back 28 yards down the field to tackle Westbrook to save a TD. I think he saved a TD, either way he showed a lot of heart.
Barber had an Ernest Graham like August night.
Beckwith was more than solidwith this being only his second game back since his injury.
Sorry guys but I had to LOLL and shake my head in sadness over those 2 scouting reports on Beckwith and Winston.
Really? Is just about all those comments deserve.
Looks like Glanton stepped his game up after the performance Riley Bullock had last and this week.
I really did not see a big push on the defensive line. It appeared to me any of the three quarterbacks who played against us had plenty of time to throw the ball. Anybody else saw what I saw?
I agree with everyone on this list but I’d add a few more. I thought Peyton Barber ran very well and showed why we should hold onto him. He’s a great power runner and compliments the talents of Martin/Sims well.
Conte had a few outstanding plays that won’t really show up on the stat sheet. Beckwith looked good although there were some rookie mistakes (imagine that.)
Of course I can’t forget “Joe Dirt.” I’m becoming emotionally invested in this guy after Hard Knocks, and now he’s earning my admiration on the field too. Licht seems to have a knack for finding gems in late round and undrafted LBs.
Our season is looking more and more promising as time goes by. Can’t wait till the season really starts.
Agree on Barber, I had low expectations for him coming into this season but really liked what I saw. We need a back like that, and I appreciated the earlier E.G. Reference. Continue to believe Sims is a bust and doesn’t deserve to make the team.
As to Winston, bad decisions can be the difference against good teams or in the playoffs and I’ve been critical of that in the past but the kid is 23. Even if it takes him until – dare I say it, 25 or 26 😀 – to figure it out that leaves us 8-10 years of having a franchise caliber QB for the first time ever.
We don’t have enough quality depth to make a deep playoff run this year, we’re improved but too thin on OL really on both lines and DB, and Fitz is exactly who he has shown to be with his prior six teams. But looking forward to a year of progress under good coaches, especially some of the newer players.
Martin was not “the only effective back”. Peyton Barber look real good, and in my book may be ahead of Sims and Rogers right now.
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