How much disappointment can there really be in a 29-7 victory – really, it could have very well been a 29-0 shutout without that garbage time touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter. To paraphrase Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, no matter what the score, they didn’t play a perfect game. There’s always something to get better at, especially with it just being the first game.
Here were our most disappointing from the Bucs’ season opening victory over the Bears.
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We hinted at this being an issue in the preseason, and though it did look better in the first game of the regular season, there’s sill room to improve for the Buccaneers pass rush.
Noah Spence did have a very impressive speed rush sack off the edge, which forced a fumble that was recovered by Lavonte David. There were plenty of tackles for loss from the defensive, which was good, but sacks are still a big part of being a great defense.
The defense was good today, but they have to be able to get to the quarterback soon enough to warrant those stats. There were flashes, but as a whole, it still needs work. getting back Jacquies Smith and Devante Bond will help when they’re healthy again.
Overall, the secondary played well. They gave up some big chunks of yardage on the Bears’ first two drives, but that was the nature of the defense they were playing, not due to poor performance.
Our gripe with Hargreaves today came from late in the fourth quarter when he dropped an interception on one play, then watched the Bears only touchdown go over his arm immediately after.
If you’re a defensive back and you get your hands on the ball, you have to be starving to get those takeaways. If they are, this team can go far. We’ve already seen what turnovers can do to a final score. Hargreaves will have his chances, and he needs to nab them.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. How can the game-winning quarterback who played a mistake-free game being on the most disappointing list? Well, simply put, because the standard for a win don’t always line up with the standard of what could have been – even Winston told us that himself.
Winston finished the game 18-for-30 with 204 yards and a touchdown. Though he obviously played well enough to win, he was off on a few of his touch passes, including a tipped pass that was almost intercepted on the first throw that left his hand. He also missed DeSean Jackson deep on more than one occasion, and showed miscommunication on a handful of routes.
Winston wasn’t bad by any means, but he was off. In a few “wish I could’ve” plays, Winston could’ve had over 300 yards and three scores by himself. That’s the standard he holds himself to, and that’s the potential for this offense. Knowing that, he came up short, even in a good win.
Sims had a forgettable game to say the least.
For starters, he was, for whatever reason, called upon on a third-and-1 in their own territory and came up short because he stutter stepped instead of hitting the trench head on. Then, in the third quarter, he fumbled right as the Bucs were getting into the red zone.
He did have a nice play where he burned his linebacker on a wheel route, which could have been a touchdown if Winston didn’t over throw him. However, the negatives on him are the ones that stand out since he doesn’t get many touches anyways. In such a niche role, that’s not good.
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@example.com
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