Though the Buccaneers didn’t come away victorious, there were plenty of positives for the team to hang their hats on in their 33-30 loss to the Detroit Lions — and luckily for them, it’s the preseason, so you’re allowed to say that.
WR Adam Humphries
Humphries had a relatively quiet night other than, oh, I don’t know, tying the NFL record for the longest scoring play in NFL history.
Humphries had a 109-yard missed field goal return that he took for a touchdown in a fashion that was nothing short of spectacular. Though the play technically doesn’t count in the record books because it was a preseason game, this is one play the Buccaneers’ franchise will never forget.
RB Peyton Barber
The starting running back job is Peyton Barber’s, folks, and if we’re being honest, it’s not close.
Right now rookie running back Ronald Jones is all potential and Barber is all production. With 34 rushing yards on five carries (a very healthy 68 yards per attempt average) along with his 14-yard touchdown run, Barber solidified himself as the team’s top back once again.
His lead for that starting spot grows every week.
CB Vernon Hargreaves
Hargreaves had a very nice night. He was the starting outside cornerback with Brent Grimes not really playing, and did well in that role, as well as he was the nickel cornerback when the team went to their sub-package defense.
Hargreaves was assigned Lions’ wide receiver Golden Tate and prevented two touchdown throws against him. A tough assignment that Hargreaves was victorious over. A nice night for him.
The Bucs’ top three quarterbacks, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winston and Ryan Griffin, all orchestrated touchdown drives during their time on the field. Fitzpatrick finished his night 6-for-7 with 82 yards, Winston finished his 6-for-10 with 60 yards and a touchdown pass, and Griffin capped things off going 8-for-11 with 100 yards and a passing touchdown of his own.
The Bucs will be without Winston for the first three games of the regular season, so to see the guys around him play well was encouraging.
RB Shaun Wilson
The rookie running back didn’t do too much in the run game with just 10 yards on three carries, but Wilson made a big splash as a kick returner on Friday night.
Wilson had five kick returns for 133 total yards and a 26.6 yards per return average. That gave the Bucs above average field position all night, and certainly made head coach Dirk Koetter notice how valuable he could be on special teams.