It has been a long season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, even just six games in, going into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets – losing will do that to you. But, the losing stopped there as the Bucs were victorious 15-10 over the visiting Jets.

These were our handful of players that made the Bucs win possible.

LB Lavonte David

Despite the team’s record, linebacker Lavonte David is having a stellar season. He led the team in tackles on Sunday with eight and added two tackles for loss and another fumble recovery to his season total.

Despite missing two games (which is an impressive feat in and of itself for how quickly he came back after spraining his ankle), David is second on the team in tackles, first on the team in forced fumbles and is one of the team leaders in tackles for loss, too. He’s having an All Pro year.

Defensive Line

The Bucs defensive line has been awful this year; no reason to sugarcoat it.

With players like Gerald McCoy, Chris Baker, Robert Ayers, and even Will Gholston and Noah Spence when they were healthy, this team was disappointing at the bottom of the rankings when it came to sacks.

The Bucs went into Sunday’s game with eight sacks on the season, and they came out of it with 14. Darryl Tapp, Kendell Beckwith and Will Clarke all go their first sacks as Buccaneers and Clinton McDonald, McCoy and Ayers each got one as well. There was less fancy stuff this week; not as many stunts and twists.

It helped, and they got after the pocket.

WR DeSean Jackson

The DeSean Jackson saga in Tampa Bay has been a bumpy one to start. Jackson wasn’t having the production he envisioned, but not because of a lack of notice, more from a lack of execution. Quarterback Jameis Winston has struggled to hit Jackson so far this season, and it’s shown.

Today we saw Jackson as the Bucs’ No. 1 receiver with Mike Evans out due to suspension. Jackson saw 10 targets this game with 82 yards on six catches. But, more importantly it seemed they were using him differently – better. They were getting the ball into his hands early with space, not necessarily only going to him down the field.

Hopefully that continues.

WR Chris Godwin

Though Jackson was a beneficiary from Evans being out, it was rookie Chris Godwin who took his place on the line.

Godwin ended the game with 68 yards on five catches and actually tied Jackson for the most targets with 10. Godwin has mostly been a special teams players so far this season, but the coaching staff seemed excited for him to get his opportunity. He did his job well today.

CB Brent Grimes

After missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury, Brent Grimes was back and starting at the outside cornerback spot against the Jets’ top receiver Robby Anderson. Grimes did give up a touchdown to Anderson as the game was ending, but he also nabbed an interception mid-way through the game. He had a little extra pep in his step, as did the rest of the defense. He was a key part of them holding strong at home.

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for 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]


  1. Good picks.

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  2. Yup on all of the above. Add Kendall Beckwith, who got a sack and 2 TFL. Justin Evans was good too, second in tackles with 7.

    The pass rush sure looked different, the less stunting thing did seem to make a difference. Great effort all around by the entire defense – so Coach Smith gets some credit too.

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    • Agreed. You could add Beckwith and maybe even Charles Sims in relation to his role/workload, too.

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  3. Superbowl baby, here we come!!

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  4. Yes, those are good picks, but I’m going to say something that nobody else will say. For every pass that Godwin and D-Jax caught, somebody had to throw it – Fitzpatrick threw them! Now there was a lot of ugly in between, but the guy along with some outstanding defense got this team a long overdue win. For that I’m probably the only Buc fan to say it, but thanks Fitz, I raise a lonely toast to you!

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  5. Beck should be on here for sure. Dude was everywhere!

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  6. Patrick Murray deserves a nod… he’s made us forget about how horrific our kicking game has been for 2 years. He was 3 for 3 today. He’s 7 for 8 in field goals and he’s perfect on extra points since joining us.

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    • Unfortunately LD didn’t get to have another TD added to his list of accomplishments today as well due to the quick whistle

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    • Yep, and he initially made that other kick that was negated by a penalty …glad to have him back!

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  7. Since we often name players as “Impressive” or “Disappointing” for one play; I thought Speedy Reedy did well.

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