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.
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.