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.

Pass Rush

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.

Vernon Hargreaves

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.

Jameis Winston

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.

Charles Sims

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.

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  1. List is pretty spot on. Would agree on Jameis as to that’s the standard he is held to now. I didn’t see the first half, but the second half, he could’ve gotten some chunk plays. That’s the first live bullets this starting offense has seen together in over a month, not bad considering.

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  2. Yeah, that’s pretty much how I saw it as well. Jameis played better than he has in other opening games, but he needs to do better and he can do better. VH3 HAS to come down with that ball in the endzone and while I was disappointed in the pass rush, Glennon got the ball out quicker than I’ve ever seen him do it before. He was almost sacked 3-4 times.

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  3. I didn’t see it the way you did. How about Chris Baker who never showed anything but being out of shape, or Chris Simms, or Conte? Don’t understand why you even mention Winston or just because Hargreaves drops an interception is no reason to be on the list. Once again in the short time that he played, Fitzpatrick showed us why he shouldn’t be in the NFL anymore. We still need a pass rush, not just pass pressure from the DL, and we need a backup Quarterback.

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    • My fault you did have Sims on here.

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      • There is no “Chris Simms” on the team anymore Horse. We have a Charles Sims (one m)

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        • oops, incorrect again.

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    • Are you kidding, Horse?

      Chris Baker was brought in to do one main thing: improve our run defense.

      In case you didn’t notice, our defense limited Chicago to exactly 20 yards rushing for the game. The same Chicago offense that ran for 125 yards the week before against a very good Falcons defense.

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    • Horse, Winstons on this list because his play was disappointing. He played below average for him. He was off on his long throws and missed a few big plays. If he plays like this next week and puts up the same numbers we will lose. With the exception of the 2 Ints, he got out played by Glennon and Glennon doesn’t have any talent at the receiving skill positions at all. You take away the 2 Ints and the drop balls by his talentless WRs and Glennon completes over 80% of his passes for 300 yds and a TD. Even with the INTs and drops he completed 76% of his passes. With the Talent Winston has around him, he should be completing 67-70% of his passes for 300+ yds and at least 2 TDs a game. With Evans, Jackson, Brate, and Howard, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be throwing for 270+ and 2 TDs a game especially against a sorry bears team. If Glennon would have had those weapons, he would have put up crazy numbers yesterday. Winston has so much talent in and around him and I am just waiting for him to use it. Great win for the BUcs but could have been better

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  4. Tap dancer Simms…

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  5. Sims isn’t very good. One trick pony that fumbles a lot. Yeah he can do some things in open field but the fumbles and lack of being a real running back make me wonder if he’s worth a roster spot at times.

    Winston wasn’t bad for first game of year but his deep ball still is off. Something I said I had worries about with getting Jackson. He will get open deep but can Winston hit him deep? Hope so. Anyways Overall accuracy is better but he did have some off plays and clean pocket most of day.

    Maybe our run game should been on this list? Or lack there of.

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  6. In watching Spence, he seems like a one trick pony. He gets stood up on nearly every play. He needs to develop additional moves or else he will make it too easy for the left tackle. Don’t know why they don’t start using Peyton Barber on short yardage situations. He is a load.

    On the positive side I saw Winston make a lot of smart plays. He didn’t try to force the ball that I saw. He even took a sack on a play on which I’ve seen him throw the ball up for grabs before. He didn’t have a spectacular day, but he did play an intelligent game and still took his shots.

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    • So you single out the one guy on the defense for criticism that got our only sack and only forced fumble in the game, and who played a key role in our defensive line in putting so much pressure on the quarterback that he gave up three turnovers, despite the fact that Glennon used only three step drops for nearly the entire game in order to defend against the Bucs pass rush?

      Sheesh. You guys slay me with your expectations.

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  7. First, I would like to thank all the first responders, Red Cross workers & other volunteers who “manned” the shelters, the “Wichita” linemen from all over North America who restored my power and allowed me to see the game from my couch, etc., etc.

    I saw a lot to be encouraged about. To mention a few …..

    Coach(es) had the team ready to play. Got off to a fast start. Three points from the first drive was an improvement over most of last year.

    Mike Evans has mastered his own tap dance when he catches one a couple of feet from the sideline. The kind we like to see.

    I love Kendell Beckwith already.

    I enjoyed the game to the max. Yes, there is so much more to improve on!

    I could go on and on. However, since I have come down with a case of “mental diarrhea” as a result of the game I will shut up for a while instead.


    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!


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    • Well said.

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  8. Crappy Run game didn’t matter today because bears secondary was shit but might matter against better defense with Giants next week.

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    • “Crappy run game” that put up 117 yards and scored a TD? When the Bucs last season averaged only 100 yards per game and scored 0.5 TDs per game rushing?

      Geesh, again, you guys slay me with your expectations.

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  9. Sorry, but Winston’s play didn’t meet the criteria of the headline in the sense his play certainly didn’t reach the most disappointing levels.
    Winston threw three deep balls today, one in which he was hit and then managed to get the ball away while getting hit again and barely missed Jackson.
    Now we are getting on his B games. Great.
    As far as the defensive line is concerned, it’s hard to get to the QB when he is taking three step drops in order not to get sacked. Even the commentators noted how few five step drops Glennon was taking and how the Bears weren’t trying to push the ball up field.

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    • With the receivers he has, and with the great protection he enjoyed by our much better offensive line, and only one offensive line penalty by the offense all day, Jameis should have put up 300 plus yards and three or more TDs.

      Disappointment is always relative. JW’s numbers would have been fine if he was a rookie in his first NFL game, or if our backup Fitz was behind center. Not fine considering what JW was given.

      About the only thing Jameis didn’t have going for him yesterday was not having Doug Martin in the lineup. Even so, our RBs still put up numbers quite a bit higher than our season average last year (117 yards and 1 TD vs. 100 yards and 0.5 TD), so it’s not exactly a case of Jameis not having any help.

      What I especially didn’t like in JW’s performance was his failure to sustain drives in the second half, particularly when he kept missing his receivers high in including what should have been passing TDs or big gainers in the second half. A franchise quarterback whom many were tagging as an MVP candidate for 2017 should be putting up numbers like Tom Brady or Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford or, or gosh sakse, Trevor Siemian!

      I don’t necessarily expect Jameis to have a fantastic performance every outing, but 18 of 30 and 204 yards and a single TD with all that he had going for him yesterday is pretty mediocre for a top tier franchise quarterback.

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      • “What I especially didn’t like in JW’s performance was his failure to sustain drives in the second half, particularly when he kept missing his receivers high in including what should have been passing TDs or big gainers in the second half.”

        This is so off, Naples. Bucs only had 4 possessions in the second half. Jameis only played 3 of those.

        First possession:
        -11 plays. 63 yards, 5:58 minutes. Sims fumble. He missed DJax in the end zone, but that was the pass when Sweezy let in pressure immediately, Jameis stepped up and got hit as he threw. Didn’t have any other incomplete passes that drive.

        Second possession:
        -16 plays. 87 yards, 8:36 minutes. FG. Jameis does miss Sims on the deep ball, but his only other incomplete pass was to Godwin in the end zone when the rookie ran a terrible route, let the DB get his hands on him & wasn’t ready for the timing pass.

        3rd possession:
        -3 plays. -4 yards, 1:43 minutes. Jameis threw one pass to OJ. The LB interfered with OJ’s route & the pass was a fraction off.

        So, that’s it. One bad throw to Sims, one bad route by Godwin, one rushed/hit as thrown deep ball to DJax & a slight miss to OJ. I’d say he sustained drives, made good passes and ate up clock just fine and didn’t “kept missing his receivers high” as you incorrectly stated.

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        • Jameis is the captain and leader of the offense. The offense didn’t produce a single touchdown in the entire second half. You cannot let him off the hook. Even if a runner fumbles, or a LB “gets in the way” or whatever. The NFL and a football game are a bottom line business. Produce results, that’s the expectation.

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          • Ha ha. I see you have no response to factual data that blew up your untrue narrative about the second half. So Jameis is supposed to control if Sims fumbles and prevent it? Jameis is supposed to prevent the LB from interfering in OJ’s route, even though the pass on was target? He’s supposed to run Godwin’s route for him? Come on, Naples. You chastise people on here all the time for bad posts. Just admit you posted a bad one.

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          • There is no narrative. There are facts. 3 points in the second half against a gassed, mediocre Chicago defense is mediocre offensive performance, and that’s on the quarterback. His stats were also mediocre. Not bad, but mediocre. We didn’t draft Jameis Winston to deliver mediocre performance.

            Again, fact, not “narrative”.

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  10. Dirk Koetter was asked if he could be more pleased with Bucs: “Oh, yeah. I could be more pleased. I could be a lot more pleased than this.” I’m with Koetter. Pleased, but not thrilled. Lots of missed opportunities. Bears are a bad football team. Score should have been 49-0. But a win is a win and I will take it. Not going to be hyper-critical for a first game after many distractions due to the hurricane.

    I always like to go back and look at things again (game replay). I don’t think play was that bad, but could have been better. I’m over my first game jitters, maybe they are too! Looking forward – Go Bucs!

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  11. I was disappointed in the sparse crowd. Opening day, beautiful weather, an old rival from the NFC Central days, coming off a winning season, a game expected to win and not even close to a sell out. Maybe the recent storm was a factor.

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    • Scubog, I think it was the Hurricane. We were lucky and got power back Thursday night and cable Saturday. I had no radio which was dumb as heck of me, no generator, newspaper wasn’t back to delivery until Saturday, couldn’t get out of the condo area because trees down. One huge live oak missed taking out our condo by less than 2 feet and now it is blocking the south to north drainage system in our complex, most stores weren’t open and they had nothing of need until Saturday. Oh I forgot, my son rental apartment got destroyed and he has moved in with us and his two kids and sick dog until another place is available in two weeks. Still we were all safe and most of the area got thru this, but football just didn’t seem as importasnt right now. I’m very happy we won though. go Bucs!

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      • Sorry to hear Horse…
        My Dad ending up having to miss the game due to Hurricane issues. Hope they get power back soon!

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        • Thank you. The most important thing is your Dad is safe.

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  12. I agree with putting VHIII on the list this week. In addition to the points you raised Trevor, I note several plays where his man simply dropped the ball thrown on the money by Glennon….followed by VHIII oddly celebrating as though he had made some sort of effort on the play. If not for the unbelievable case of the “dropsies” that the Bears’ WRs showed yesterday, VHIII’s man may well have gone over 100 yards receiving on the day. I like VHIII, but it was not one of his better performances….better to come next week I’m sure.

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    • Yeah, I saw that too. A lot of smack talking for the other guy screwing up, as opposed to being in position to do more than make a tackle. Still, the defense did seem to go to more of a “keep it in front of you” approach as opposed to the attacking defensive nature of the first half. Also, maybe VHIII was really in the guys head. I am sure there are a lot of BS head games happening on the outside there especially with all the smack talking CBs in the league. Not my favorite type of CB, but if they can back it up with their play, then go for it. We’ll see if VHIII can still get those splash plays in the regular season. I”m guessing he will, when offenses open up and try to push downfield more.

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      • I think those are all fair points. I just think it looks very bush-league to be gloating over top of a guy who was about to gain 20 yards on you but dropped the ball. I think he’s better than that, and better than his play yesterday, so I’m sure we’ll see improvement as we go along.

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  13. I too was disappointed in the crowd, maybe the hurricane had something to do with it. I agree Jameis was disappointing. His accuracy was worse than normal I thought. At least he overthrew and didn’t underthrow. But he missed a lot of opportunities.

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  14. Donanvan Smith should be atop the list. He got torched for 5 pressures and a sack. Rest of the line played well.

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