The Tampa Bay Bucs have played half of their schedule so far this season and find themselves on a four-game losing streak and a 2-6 record. The Bucs have had a tumultuous travel schedule, where they haven’t played at home in Raymond James stadium since September.

PewterReport.com offers its midseason grades for each Bucs unit and the coaching staff. On Saturday we offer up grades for the offense and on Sunday we will dish out the grades for the defense.

Take a look and see if you agree, and share your thoughts in there comments section below.

QUARTERBACKS

It’s been the same case over the last four games for Jameis Winston as it’s been for his entire career with the Bucs – inconsistency.

QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

The Bucs trip to London was an absolute nightmare for Winston and Tampa Bay. Winston threw five interceptions against the Panthers while fumbling twice on consecutive plays. It was by far his worst game of the season but was much better when the Bucs went to Tennessee, throwing for 304 yards and two touchdowns. The following week in Seattle, Winston was on point. He had 335 passing yards with two touchdowns and 65.91 completion percentage. Winston helped the Bucs score 34 points, and most importantly, was smart with the ball.

It was another up and down quarter for the Bucs quarterback as we saw everything from fantastic to awful. Winston has thrown for 2,407 yards on the season with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. These next four games for Winston take another wait and see approach.

Grade: C+

RUNNING BACKS

Bruce Arians said that the Bucs were going to be a run first team, and they’ve done so with a two-man combo of Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones. That was until Jones became the starter against Seattle, which should carry into the rest of the season. Jones has 104 more yards rushing than Barber on just nine more attempts.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II
Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Getty Images

The Bucs have stayed committed to running the ball, with the exception of the London game when they were down by multiple scores. Jones has provided a spark when coming into games, using his shiftiness to beat defenders and add more yards. Barber didn’t lose his job for doing anything wrong as the coaches have said, and he remains consistent as a physical runner.

Overall, the Bucs are averaging 99 yards a game and getting positive yards on the ground for most of their carries. Jones has 341 rushing yards this season, averaging 4.1 yards per attempt and scoring three touchdowns. Barber has rushed for 277 yards with 3.3 yards per attempt and also three scores. Dare Ogunbowale also has two touchdowns in primarily a third down back. Look for some more explosive plays in the run game with Jones getting an increased work load.

Grade: C

WIDE RECEIVERS

The Bucs have had a two-headed monster in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin this entire season. One of them has gone for at least 125 receiving yards over the last four games. Both are well on their way to Pro Bowl consideration, if not All-Pro honors.

Evans in particular has come along great over the last two games with 378 yards and three touchdowns. This is on the heels of a Week 5 game in New Orleans where he had no receiving yards. Godwin picked up the slack in Week 5 and Week 6, when he went off for 276 yards and two touchdowns. When one of them has a down game, the other picks it up.

Bucs WR Mike Evans
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Outside of Evans and Godwin, the Bucs have gotten little to no production from their receivers. Third-string receiver Breshad Perriman missed two games with a hamstring injury and has not been effective when playing. Scotty Miller has had some targets, but has made little impact. Bobo Wilson was cut after two muffed punts in London and Justin Watson hasn’t been used at all. The production has been scarce outside of their top two guys.

On the season Evans has 50 receptions for 842 yards and seven touchdowns while Godwin has gone for 766 yards on 54 receptions and six touchdowns. The rest of the Bucs receiving core has made 14 catches for 145 yards and one touchdown.

Grade: B+

TIGHT ENDS

The injury bug has been the main story for the tight ends during the second quarter of the season. O.J. Howard has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, Cam Brate has been dealing with a rib injury, and third string tight end Antony Auclair is now done for the year with a turf toe.

Bucs TE Cameron Brate
Bucs TE Cameron Brate – Photo by: Getty Images

Even when healthy, Howard’s presence has not been felt at all in the pass game. Howard’s been effective run blocking, but with his talent, Howard can bring so much more to the table. He has 13 catches for 176 yards on the season. Brate has put up similar numbers with 15 receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns, but hasn’t been much of a factor in the offense either. Tanner Hudson has gotten some more playing time with all the injuries, but he has also dropped two touchdown passes.

Grade: D

OFFENSIVE LINE

The loss of Alex Cappa for two games and Demar Dotson for one really hurt the offensive line in pass protection. The Bucs allowed six sacks against the Saints followed by another seven against Carolina. Once Cappa returned to the lineup, the Bucs only allowed five over their next two games. Cappa has shown good strides developing his game during his second year in the NFL.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

Left tackle Donovan Smith has had all eyes on him this season after signing a new contract, and he has performed well this year. On the interior line, left guard Ali Marpet is having another good season while center Ryan Jensen has had a resurgence as well. The offensive line has had their protection problems, ranking 29th in sacks allowed with 30, but they are trending in a better direction as they get healthier.

Grade: C+

COACHING

Byron Leftwich should receive praise for averaging 28 points per game, which is fourth best in the NFL. The run game has improved under his watch, and the offense has looked like it’s hit a groove over the last two weeks. What Leftwich hasn’t been able to do, though, is get some more of his players involved. Leftwich has yet to establish a third receiving option, whether that be a receiver or one of the tight ends, and at times he hasn’t gotten his best players involved.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and OC Byron Leftwich
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and OC Byron Leftwich – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The play calling has been predictable at times. The predictability was evident on a fourth-and-one with the game on the line in Tennessee. With the Bucs being one of the top scoring teams in the NFL, boasting two of the top wide receivers in the league, there isn’t a lot to criticize as both the coaches and players are beginning to learn and trust one another.

Grade: B-

Previous articleBucs Fantasy Blitz: Blinded By The Bye
Next articleBucs’ Midseason Grades: Defense

13 COMMENTS

  1. 2-6 Record and everyone’s getting C’s and B’s except the tight ends?
    Geessh, do I ever wish I had you for a professor in my Civil War History Class in college.
    Lefto with a B-. Give me a break. A C- minus should be the top.
    Not only has the game calling been predictable, so have the running plays.
    We see few misdirection and little of Winston rolling out to avoid the rush, even in the Carolina in London game.
    He also has two pretty good TE’s who he has yet been able to figure out how to incorporate them into the passing game.
    Are passing plays also way outnumber are running plays. Not a good testament to being a run first team.

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    Rating: +13. From 15 votes.
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    • There’s an offensive grade and a defensive grade. Although the Bucs are 2-6, Tampa ranks 4th in the NFL in PPG with 28.8 points. Last year, Tampa’s offense was putting up 24.8 ppg. So this increase in point production (+4.0) should be praised. The offense is flourishing with respect to scoring and scoring is what helps gets wins. The offense isn’t the problem.

      The 2-6 record lays upon the other side of the scrimmage line. Last year, the Bucs’ defense gave up 29.0 points per game. This year, Tampa is giving away 31.5 points per game. Our defense is worse this year than last year.

      There should be a lot of failing grades on the defensive side. But on this article thread that grades the offense, we fans need to take a step back. I’m impressed that we’re 4th in the league in scoring this year so far. So there’s not much frustration with the offense. Save the vitriol for the defensive grading. After seeing the grades that were given in that article, there should be far more havoc in the defensive grading comments section. ha ha ha ha

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  2. The 2 dash 6 team record screams F, but the Offense has been able to move the ball when it doesn’t turn it over.

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  3. With these grads we should be 4 and 4 at least.

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  4. C+ for an O line ranked 29th in sacks, you’re kidding right?

    Leftwich a B- for play calling that doesn’t match the skills of his players? Dogmatically adhering to the downfield passing game went the O line can’t protect is on him. That TE’s are invisible in the passing game is on Byron, not the players. Or is it that TE’s need to stay in to block because the O line can’t protect with just 5 guys – see comment on O line grade.

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  5. QB gets a D. That’s not how a franchise QB plays. Jameis has put up some nice numbers, but 6 turnover games can’t happen. O line C-, backs C, I’m glad Rojo is getting the start. Tight ends, D-, Brate is hurt again, OJ, meh. Receivers, A-, A for Evans, and Godwin minus for Scotty Miller. Coaching D. Let’s face it, at 2-6 this whole team is a D, with an F for record.

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  6. I disagree with almost every one of those grades. Here are my grades.
    WR- A minus. Two wrs going to the pro bowl. Doesn’t get much better than that.
    QB- C-. Winston has had some amazing games, but I gotta take off for his inconsistency.
    RB- B minus. I have been very happy with Jones.
    TE- D. Where the hell has Howard been all year?
    O-line- F. Enough said.
    Coaching. C minus.

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  7. When they arrived, there was a lot of discussion about how the coaching staff were going to match the game plan to the talent.

    After Mike and Chris, there is nothing at WR. Why are we not playing 2 TE almost exclusively? Not only would they help out in the run game (O-line could definitely use the support ), and with slipping out different TEs, take advantage of obvious mismatch’s while keeping Defenses in base while also opening up play action

    The Rams have the receivers to play 3 receiver sets…. and run their entire playbook from one look … playing to their strengths… and the Pats find ways to take advantage of the talent they put on the field year after year

    When is the coaching staff going to figure out what our strengths and weaknesses are, and start playing to it?

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  8. QB C- too many interceptions.
    RB C. adequate
    TE C+ this scheme blocking is important
    WR A- two outstanding; rest are no help
    OL C- some good, some not so much
    Coaching fair, need more quality players

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  9. There’s no way with a 2-6 record nobody gets any grade above a C! Maybe, just maybe, the WRs get a B- because of Mike and Godwin… but outside of those two… no WR has really stepped up to claim that number 3 WR position! Overall complete team grade would be D+ or tops… C- ! I do realize that’s PRs job… but they have lost some objective perspective especially when they pick the Buc’s to win almost every game. As a fan we want the Bucs to win every game… sure we do… but as an NFL fan and having an unbiased view we r the team our record says we are! I’m just saying…

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  10. What are the old sayings? There is no I in team. And you are what your record says you are? I don’t care if we score 60 per game. WE SUCK! That’s what 2-6 says and YOU..cannot deny it. No IF’s..Buts..or Why’s. I’ll give this offense a D or C- at best. The record books says we are LOSERS!!..Period. Now give me somethin to enjoy my Sunday Libations about….BEAT AZ!!!! We..Are..Watching……..……..

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  11. Let the suds flow and fire up the barbie! This is one beautiful day for football! Got my Buc’s flags flying and festivities are under way! Come on Bucs… have a penalty and turnover free day to day for just once! I bet we will win the game if this happens! Have a great day all! Go Buccaneers!

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  12. Damn it! I knew I asked for too much!

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