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.

Jameis Winston

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.

Jacquizz Rodgers

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.

Cameron Brate

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.

Mike Evans

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.

Brent Grimes

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.

Adam Humphries

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.

Shop the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan gear at Fanatics!


  1. I would add McCoy….lot of tfls early

    Please wait...
    • Yes, McCoy could be on here, too.

      Please wait...
      • Not could; should. He was dominate.

        Please wait...
  2. Receivers also dropped three or four very catchable balls including Howard and Evans. Both would have resulted in first downs.
    Of course so did Manning’s receivers, including Brandon Marshall.
    Grimes clearly frustrated Beckham during the game.
    Sure did like Rodgers running the ball today.
    Still, after watching Mike Glennon on Thursday night, I am still puzzled why this team didn’t give him more of a chance.
    I will repeat again, would someone please call Dwight Feeney.

    Please wait...
    • They didn’t “drop” those balls, they were jarred loose. People take like NFL hits are like our wives tapping us on the shoulder. I would challenge anyone to go out there, take hits like they did today, and hold on to the ball.

      There was one that I thought Evans could have held on to though.

      Please wait...
    • Surely you’re joking about Glennon. His big chance in Chicago lasted all of 4 games after his benching announcement today. He was likeable and a consumate team player but a franchise QB he is/was not. At least he got paid (this season anyhow).RIP Glennon Mob……GO BUCS! We have our franchise QB, go Jameis !!

      Please wait...
  3. Grimes did not play as poorly as Hargreaves, but he did not play well either. I posted a longer explanation in the first PR released after the game, but in short the Giants left a lot of plays on the field in the passing game that had more to do with errant passes, dropped balls and an injured Beckham that good play by Grimes. Our CB’s are just giving up too much space to the guys they are covering.

    Please wait...
    • Pink, we must have not been watching the same game.

      Please wait...
    • Got to disagree with you on this one my friend. Grimes might not be the player who used to give us fits, but he’s still pretty darned good in my eyes.

      Please wait...
  4. Also, I would put Humphries at the top of this list. He played great today.

    Please wait...
    • It’s not in order of importance. Humphries effort plays were crucial in this game.

      Please wait...
  5. Give some props to Kendal Beckwith and Glanton filling in for Kwon and Levonte. These guys held their own. And Beckwith starting in his third game, called the defense, played almost every defensive snap. And still less than a year after ACL surgery. Sure he missed some calls, but I think we held NY to less than 100 yds rushing. Heck of a game for both of these guys.

    Please wait...
    • They did hold their own admirably.

      Please wait...
    • Yep, for sure. Rookie Kendall Beckwith led the team with 9 tackles and led the defense. Glanton got his first start and collected 9 tackles and defensed a pass that would have been a third down conversion. Dang good for backup at their respective positions!

      Please wait...
  6. McCoy set the tone big time.

    Please wait...
  7. Some fans like to play fantasy football. Some other fans (such as me) like to play fantasy sportswriter once in a while. With that in mind here are some post game throw aways from today’s Buc’s game.

    In order to become a championship caliber team you’d definitely need a reliable kicker who has a very a high percentage success rate. Next spring I anticipate the Bucs will continue the quest they started when they selected “you know who” in the second round last year.

    I expect the Bucs will attempt to acquire a reliable high quality running back somewhere in the first two rounds of the draft also. I expect this no matter what kind of season Doug Martin has after he returns. Even if they retain him on the team I would bet on this. We all know his history since he was drafted here.

    The NFC South Division should be the dogfight I have been craving this year. A related thought on this in a minute.

    Winston is still a “kid” in the NFL who yet has a lot to learn (by experience). The words he hears from his coaches and the words he utters need time to be translated into a consistent reality. He is showing growth in his responsibility as quarterback, however. I am happy with him enough for now.

    The rule changes over the years are really annoying me in mid game now. Professional football used to be called a game of inches. Now it has become a game of nanometers. I am damned if I can see well enough on the big screen TV at home or from a seat at the stadium to know what the call should be on some of the penalties and some of the plays. I think the rules committee should meet only every other year from now. Give people like me a chance to catch up. Just a thought, really. *

    There is a saying (and a song) “First Time For Everything”. This was the first time I have ever seen seen the occurrence of offsetting penalties being for “offensive pass interference” and “defensive pass interference” in the same play! … I really laughed hard over that one.

    Finally, If we win on Thursday night, then maybe the Bucs as well as the NFC South will get a little more respect by NFL watchers all across the country. Maybe SOME of our Buccaneer fans who are so critical will also tone down a bit too. If we should lose on Thursday, it should be taken as a “So what?” I am of course assuming that whoever plays will have put up a good fight.

    Either way there will remain twelve more games to play!
    Go Bucs!!!

    * (I am an old timer now, but I am also retired from a high-tech professional career. So I am just as well adapted to the pace of change in our society as most of you out there are. So “Back Off” before you jump all over me for these particular remarks. I don’t put the blame for my inability to see these things just on the aging process alone either.)
    Go Bucs! I am loving it!

    Please wait...
    • I think we should trade up and go after the Gator’s kicker in round 1. He’s great!

      Please wait...
  8. It was obvious all the Buc’s Players were putting out a maximum effort to win this game, and our backup linebackers played extremely well. If they can keep that up Thursday night they should have a shot at New England, who lost to Charlotte today!

    Please wait...
  9. Surprise…surprise…when the chips were down Brate and Humphries were money.

    Bucs offense is a RB way from being a complete offense. Lets hope Martin returns with some hunger Thurs night.

    Please wait...
  10. I was impressed with our players standing tall on the sidelines.

    Please wait...
  11. Lots of players to be commended. Add OJ Howard to that list – the rookie had the biggest play on the field all evening with his 58 yard touchdown reception. Just because he was uncovered doesn’t take anything away. His ability to sell the run was what helped him get so open.

    Please wait...
  12. When the Bucs drafted Beckwith I had no idea what the Bucs were doing BUT I DO KNOW! Also I have seen Glanton play in spot duty and thought he played well I believe this was his first time playing complete game he did a very good job.
    I agree with DrD. Why not take a look at Feeney.

    Please wait...
  13. Tough win that should have been a blowout, but glad to see Jameis lead the troops to a win despite our continued kicking struggles. It’s funny we had a kicking battle all camp with kickers that were ok and Oakland was able to sneak Giorgio Tavecchio to their practice squad while they waited on Janikowski to sort through his back issues. Tavecchio is perfect on all FG and XP attempts. Whomever we have evaluating and making the decision on place kickers needs to relinquish that responsibility. There are better kickers on practice teams around the league than we have kicking on Sundays, this is now the 2nd year of this kicking nonsense and it’s a different guy, so now it’s time to change the process and get some fresh eyes on a solution for the kicking game. I remember Folk being a very hit or miss kicker when with the Jets and they made those playoff runs so I’m not sure why we hitched our wagon to him so quickly after Aguayo flamed out. VHIII was still routinely roasted in off AND press coverage and continues to look like the weak link on the back end. Hopefully we work Bond in at DE to add some juice to the pass rush on 3rd downs but we need more pressure as the game goes on. GMC always starts fast but we need somebody to make some plays in the back field other than him to keep all the pressure off of him. Thursday night will be a gut check bc we can’t blitz Brady and be successful, we will need to cover and get pressure with our front 4. Good win now on to the Pats.

    Please wait...
  14. Anyone complaining about the defense needs to remember that Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander were both out Sunday, and they’re two (imo) of the top 20 LBs in the entire league, and much better blitzers than who the Bucs put out there yesterday. When David and Kwon are back on the field, the pass defense gets a lot better from better coverage over the middle and a stronger pass rush.

    Go Bucs! Go Jameis! Go McCoy! Go Grimes!

    Please wait...
  15. Also, not listing McCoy as impressive is just wrong. Dude blew up the Giants like JPP blew up his hand a couple years ago.

    Please wait...
  16. I agree with some other post VH3 I a weak link. In Sundays game he got beat on a long pass but Eli just over threw by inches.
    I have said before and will again Bucs need faster and longer CB’S.
    VH3 is more suited as a slot Corner. IMO
    GO BUCS !

    Please wait...