There’s a hero in every story. But, in the story of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beating the New York Giants, 25-23, there was certainly more than one – as the players always say, it was a team effort.
These were our most impressive players from the Bucs thrilling, last-second win over the G-men in Raymond James Stadium on Sunday evening.
The key here is zero, nada, zilch. That’s the number of turnovers Winston threw against the Giants on Sunday. That’s what made all the difference.
Outside of that, Winston finished the game 22-for-38 with 332 yards and three touchdowns. He was a little hot and cold throughout the game, but when it mattered, delivered one of the most perfect touch passes you’ll ever see to Cameron Brate on the game’s final drive, which set up the game-winning kick.
Before the game on Sunday, Rodgers had been having a pretty lackluster season two games in. But, on the final game before Doug Martin’s return, Rodgers saved his best starting performance for his last one with 83 yards on 16 carries and 25 receiving yards on two catches.
Though those numbers don’t pop out at you, it was Rodgers who held the balance in this game. The team obviously trusted him to keep the clock moving and control possession, and he did just that. His consistency was a key to the game.
During the draft, this team went out and spent a high draft pick on tight end O.J. Howard, and it really paid off today with a big 58-yard touchdown.
And yet, Cameron Brate was still the top tight end for the Buccaneers.
With 80 yards on four catches, which included on touchdown, the chemistry and connection between Brate and Winston is the recipe to win games and keep a hot and cold offense more hot than cold.
Evans once again led the Bucs in targets with 11 and hauled in five of those targets for 67 yards and a touchdown.
He and Winston have as much confidence as any quarterback-wide receiver duo can have. In an offense that is still figuring out how to distribute the ball properly, Evans’ usage and emphasis is a constant. Evans even had a touchdown that was called back because of offsetting penalties that could’ve brought his good day to a monster day.
Boy, did the Bucs miss Brent Grimes last week, and were they happy to see him back this week.
Grimes didn’t finish high on the tackle list with just five and didn’t come up with any stops behind the line of scrimmage, but he did have a few key passes broken up, specifically on Odell Beckham Jr.
Without Grimes, I’m not sure the Bucs could have contained Beckham the way they did, and that would have likely meant more points from the Giants and a loss as a result.
With all the passing weapons on this team, Humphries still makes his mark on a weekly basis. This week he was huge. His 70 yards on six catches was second-most on the team, and 38 of those yards came on the second to last drive of the game which ended in a much needed touchdown.
Humphries showed a lot of grit in this game – all stereotypes aside. He was running through contact, making tight catches, and on a few instances, refused to go down. All of that added up to him making plays that impacted the scoreboard, even without a touchdown next to his name.