The Buccaneers got back on the field after a change of schedule due to Hurricane Irma, and while many thought the team could possibly struggle, the Bucs played complimentary football with all three phases contributing to the 29-7 win over the Bears. Below is our list of Most Impressive Bucs. Check it out and see if we missed someone.

LB Kwon Alexander
While Alexander ended up leaving the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, his first quarter interception of Mike Glennon with Bears driving really set the tone for the defensive performance. Good news is, it appears the injury isn’t too severe and he told us in the locker room he expects to be back at practice this week.

CB Robert McClain
McClain got the start at the nickel corner spot and didn’t disappoint, making a pick 6 in the second quarter, extending the Bucs lead to 23-0. McClain added two more tackles in the game and was part of a secondary that almost notched a shutout.

WR Mike Evans
While there might have been a little rust from a team that hadn’t played a meaningful snap since last New Years, Jameis Winston and Evans picked right where they left off last season, connecting on a first half touchdown. Evens ended the day with seven catches for 93 yards and the above mentioned score.

LB Lavonte David
David was all over the field on Sunday leading the Bucs with nine tackles, one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. The Bucs are expecting a big season from the former Nebraska star and he started his season off on the right track.

LB Kendell Beckwith
Head coach Dirk Koetter mentioned Beckwith in his post game press conference, marveling at the former LSU standout’s ability to not only return in less than a year from an ACL injury, but to be playing at a high level as a rookie. With Alexander sidelined with a hamstring injury, Beckwith filled in nicely in the middle and ended with five stops, two for loss and a pass breakup.

Honorable mention: WR DeSean Jackson, DE Will Gholston, Safeties T.J. Ward and Chris Conte, P Bryan Anger, and RB Peyton Barber

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

28 COMMENTS

  1. Can “t disagree

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  2. I thought TJ Ward was impressive in what looked like limited snaps. I can’t hardly wait for him to be a starter!

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  3. With a top notch performance like that one, I can imagine it being hard to pick just a few standouts. But I think one of the offensive linemen should at least get an Honorable mention.

    Go bucs

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    • Me too.

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    • Ali Marpet at center certainly, and Gholston and Sweezy played angry all game. The entire O-line works as a unit and did their job pretty darned well for their first outing in a game that counts.

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      • Oops my bad.. Gholston obviously not an offensive lineman … but in my mind I had him paired with Sweezy because the two of them did indeed play angry all game.

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      • Yeah I kept forgetting about Sweezy the entire off season, but you could see the difference he made in the entire o-line.

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  4. Offensive line deserves a shout out too.

    Jameis had all the time in the world to pass for most of the game, very few pressures on him, just two sacks that were basically coverage sacks. 117 yards and 1 TD rushing, well above our average last year of 100 yards/0.5 TD rushing. Only two offensive penalties, one of which was on special teams, only one holding penalty and no false starts on offense all game long.

    Also, the entire defense deserves a big shout out – the defense ranked no. 1 in the league in fantasy defensive points. Only allowed 7 points, all in garbage time.

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  5. “Honorable mention: WR DeSean Jackson, DE Will Gholston, Safeties T.J. Ward and Chris Conte, P Bryan Anger, and RB Peyton Barber”

    How about “Honorable mention: Everyone not named Kwon Alexander, Robert McClain, Kendall Beckwith, Lavonte David, and Mike Evans.” I thought everyone played really well yesterday.

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  6. Would have been good to mention the Coaching Staff here. All three teams (O, D and ST) were sharp, prepared and extremely motivated. Go Bucs!

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  7. I liked what I saw from conte yesterday..could tell he brought a little extra to the game playing his former team and TJ ward arriving in Tampa.

    The pick6 by mccain was nice but he got also got toasted for 6 points … IMO I’d leave him off this list – we could have held them to a FG or 0 points for the game..just to throw salt at glennon

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  8. If the defense keeps playing like they did, Mike Smith will be a head coach again next year. Nearly every single player had an impact play at some point in the game. You have to credit the coordinator when that happens

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    • Yup – the DC, and also the players too. One question this offseason was would the defense of the second half of last season show up Sunday, or would the several new players have to start back at the bottom of the curve again. The answer was the former. Even the new kid Ward made a big play. And the rookie draft pick Beckwith showed up on most every defensive snap he played. And the runstuffing by our new DT Chris Baker – 20 yards! – how about that for a fast start!

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      • Agreed my biggest question this off season was would the defense continue the streak they ended last year on. Great start so far. The real test will be NE. If they frustrate Brady then this could very easily be a Super Bowl caliber defense. And we haven’t seen the offense hitting on all cylinders yet. I expect that to improve as Jameis gets more comfortable with his new toys.

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      • Your unwarranted affection for Chris Baker on almost EVERY article is disturbing. What you see/perceive, in my opinion is way off based. All he seems to be is a big persona with no substance. Get off of his D Bro. He has shown nothing and only you seem to be pimping him!

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        • That was towards Naplesfan btw….

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        • You’re quite the asshat. Thanks for warning me.

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          • Apparently I struck a nerve. Maybe because what I said is true. People have the right to their opinions and don’t need your correcting them. I find you rather clownish on this site trying to jam your opinions down everyone’s throats. Don’t get all pissy when someone calls you out on it.

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          • Yes, any time you make a personal attack instead of addressing the topic, you will get blowback. Stop being an asshat, and then you won’t be labeled an asshat. It’s really simple.

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  9. I was shocked at how good the rookie Beckwith was.

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  10. The two overthrows by Jaboo were disappointing! And the one sack surrendered by Donovan was pitiful but otherwise I came away impressed. I think Glennon was in shock at one point as it was just going bad for them in every phase! Go Bucs!!

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  11. I think this week was a good indicator of the difference between the “eye” test and the “analysis” test. The eye test this week could easily have concluded things like: Sweezy and Marpet were some of our best offensive performers (certainly Schlereth pointed out some of their exceptional blocks for those watching on the TV). In the analysis however, Demar Dotson received the highest grade on our entire team (offense or defense) for the game from pff (I know not everyone likes pff but they are one of the only shops that actually analyzes every snap and compares across every player at the same position). How many folks thought Dotson had a great game?..admittedly I didn’t notice him at all.

    By contrast, we managed only slightly over 2 yards per carry (28 yards on 13 carries) through the A-gap (that’s largely Sweezy and Marpet territory). Did they really have a great game…again pff (and the stats) disagrees.

    Where is Gerald McCoy’s name being mentioned – I understand we are all simply used to exceptional performances from a guy regularly double teamed, but when he gets an official pressure on more than 15% of all passing plays (which was nearly 30% of all passing plays going in to the 4th quarter/garbage time) that’s pretty exceptional – like 1 in 3 or 4 passing attempts, Glennon had GMC in his face. But he had no eye-test sacks – admittedly, my eyes largely missed him too.

    And then there’s the moments where both tests come together…otherwise known as LaVonte David…outstanding game!

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    • Mccoy was very disruptive today. Sucks when you can see it, he just doesn’t get the stats. Great game for him.

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      • cg – even if some of the fans only look at the headline stats, the people who really know football understand what GMC brings to the game.

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  12. Got to give the coaching staff some props here as others have said above. Coach K and the staff had these guys ready and prepared. Certainly not “Tennessee ready”, as Lovie would say.
    For all these guys had to go through the last week and to come out that sharp, that’s impressive. Even loved Coaches post game speech. “Yeah you guys knew you were going to do this”! He is a great motivator and the play calling was much better yesterday as well. A good mix and didn’t seem as predictable.
    I would think even our own Jon G would give the man some love after a good start today. On to Minnesota!

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  13. A win in the NFL is not easy!
    That being said I hope to see the same intensity at Minnesota if so this team could go far. I am somewhat concerned playing 16 straight games. Go Bucs show the NFL South we are the team to beat!

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  14. Was great start to season. Plenty to be happy about and plenty to still work on. On to Minnesota. Very tough challenge. Don’t think too many people expected us to not beat the Bears at home rested? I expected a W but possibly a close first qtr then Bears would wear down and we would take over handily seconds qtr.

    Moving on to Minnesota. They win this one and people gonna start talking on he networks.

    Go Bucs!

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  15. How is there no mention of the only guy to record a sack and a forced fumble? I see you Spence!

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