The Bucs were able to end a five-game losing streak with a 15-10 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. While the team played well, for the most part, there were still some players that struggled. Here is our list of the most disappointing. Take a look and see if you agree.

OG J.R. Sweezy

The run-grading, play-with-an-edge Sweezy we saw in Seattle apparently made a wrong turn in Albuquerque on his way to Tampa Bay (Bugs Bunny reference). What was expected to be an improved, nastier offensive line has been anything but. It’s most certainly not all on Sweezy, but he hasn’t played particularly well the last few weeks, Sunday especially. Sweezy was beaten by his man on a number of run downs, and also was guilty of a blatant hold in the second half against the Jets. Offensive linemen hold all the time. The good ones get away with it more often than not, but you can’t ever literally tackle a defensive player on a stretch run when you pull to the outside right in front of an official. For whatever reason, Sweezy, who should be getting better as he develops chemistry with Ali Marpet and Demar Dotson, seems to be regressing.

OT Donovan Smith

Smith, who commendably fought through a knee injury to even play on Sunday against the Jets, had his typical once-a-game holding penalty that negated a nice third quarter run for Doug Martin. Martin’s run of 14 yards would have given the Bucs a first down on the Jets 14-yard line, but instead pushed the Bucs back 10 yards to their own 38 where they ended up settling for a 49-yard Pat Murray field goal instead of having a first-and-10 inside the red zone.

LB Kwon Alexander

We have mentioned Kwon a few times since his return from injury, and have to once again this week. No one plays with more effort than Alexander, but perhaps he is trying to make up for all his missed games at once. Kwon didn’t have a terrible game by any stretch (four tackles, a pass breakup, and a forced fumble) but was more inconsistent than the team would like, with a few missed tackles and not his best game in coverage. Fortunately for the Bucs defense, Lavonte David continued his excellent season on Sunday, as did rookie Kendell Beckwith and the Bucs defense was able to limit the Jets to just 10 points on the afternoon.

Run Blocking/Offensive Line

Once again the Bucs offensive line, as a unit, didn’t play very well against the Jets. In their defense, the Jets are very good up front, however when you give up six quarterback hits, one sack and only average 2.9 yards per carry on 31 attempts, your unit didn’t play well. And the Bucs support staff will need to use the extra strength laundry detergent this week when trying to clean the green grass stains off the back of Fitzpatrick’s jersey.

RB Doug Martin

While, as just stated above, the Bucs’ run blocking left much to be desired, Martin also didn’t play particularly well himself. It seems he isn’t trusting his blocking (who could blame him) and spending too much time looking for the cut back or dancing behind the line of scrimmage. That ability to make something out of the nothing that he showed as a rookie in 2012, and also again in 2015, looks like it is gone for whatever reason. Can he get it back? He will need to, unless the offensive line becomes a dominant group – maybe those come hand-in-hand.

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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]

12 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t disagree with what you have stated.

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  2. Sweezy looks like a bust pick up. Martin would be lighting things up if threre wasn’t a guy to hit him in the backfield on almost every play. Where is Cameron brate? Is he being negated by the tight ends having to stay in and help the shoddy blocking?

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  3. Alexander is slowly finding his groove.

    Martin’s stutter steps is a result of instant penetration and he isn’t confident with his first few steps.

    Sweazy is garbo status. I can’t stand the hype with this guy.

    Pamphile isn’t playing at a high level now either, but he has shown upside the last 24 months. Sweazy has show nada the last 24 months in comparison.

    D. Smith is an average LT but probably is better suited at RT or as a OG for the NFL level. He is playing out of position IMO.

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    • Id love to see us draft a starting LT and move Smith to RG.

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  4. I can’t fault, Howard or Brate here, but I kept wondering the entire game why the tight ends were not being used at all. In spite of the win, shouldn’t we expect a better performance from the journeyman Fitz than that? Some love to note Jameis’ inaccuracy at 61%, but fail to point out the 50% we saw this game.

    Disappointed in the Jets fans who only once the entire game did that J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets cheer.

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    • Yeah scubog, I agree about the lack of TE targets, and I thought it was funny that Rich Gannon identified Brate as the top weapon near the goal line- then they panned to him standing on the sideline. Good use of Sims on the play, though!
      Fitz was definitely off on timing/ leading his receivees… And can they please take a break from “taking a shot downfield” after every turnover the D creates?

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    • I watched Howard a lot in this game. He was a monster in the running game and almost all of our runs were behind him. Howard isn’t catching many balls because he is covering for our crappy O-line.

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  5. I couldn’t see the game, but I’ll comment anyway. Over paying for O lineman has never helped the Bucs, that’s why you need to always draft on both sides of the ball. However if you pick poorly, like D.Smith, it doesn’t help much, still keep drafting in the trenches. We all thought Warhop would be let go when Koetter took over. That didn’t happen, maybe it should have. I think both our line coaches have failed. Martin is washed up, plain, and simple. He should’ve been cut for what they’re paying him, and we should be talking about what a great game Kareem Hunt had. One catch for 10 yards for Brate, did Howard even make the stat sheet? What happened there guys? I thought we were going to have mis matches all over the field with Brate, Howard D Jax, Evans, Godwin? Fifteen points, with all those weapons is very disappointing. I’ll take the flack again for saying this. Trade Evans, Brate in the off season. I wouldn’t make Evans one of the highest paid receivers in the game. He’s a possession receiver who still drops to many balls. We have a cheaper alternative in Godwin. Same goes for Brate, Howard will never live up to his draft status if Brate stays with a big contract. The money we’d save, and the draft choices we’d garner would go a longer way to making us a more competitive complete team. Not saying they’re not good players, they are. It just seems we’re deep at receiver, and tight end, and razor thin across both lines.

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    • You made a good point about the use of the TE’S. This was a very conservative game plan.i hope the Bucs start using O.J. more.

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  6. Fitzpatrick would be on the list ahead of Kwon IMO. He missed some throws and had some turnovers which we don’t need from a veteran backup. The announcers made note of his poor footwork on several throws that were off target which hopefully means these are correctable problems. Griffin should be getting reps and hopefully pushing Fitz if this poor play continues.

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  7. Kwon is on this list? Really?

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  8. Whats disappointing was this was a boring slugfest of a game that came down to the wire

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