In the Buccaneers’ final game of the preseason, they fell to the Washington Redskins by a score of 13-10. The Bucs ended the preseason with just three offensive touchdowns and the lowest points per game total in the league.
Stats like that don’t just come from one or two missed opportunities. These were our most disappointing players from game four.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
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It’s been a rough preseason for the free agent signee Fitzpatrick, and in his final preseason game of the season, he wasn’t able to right his wrongs. Fitzpatrick started the game 0-for-3, and while playing almost the entire first half, only finished with six total passing yards on 2-of-7 passing.
The team signed Fitzpatrick in hopes of him bringing some veteran consistency, but so far he’s been anything but that. He’s erratic with his throws, and his gunslinger mentality is missing more than hitting. With Ryan Griffin not available, Fitzpatrick will be the team’s only back up. If Winston goes down, they’re in trouble.
For the second game in a row, the Buccaneers’ pass rush was non-existent. In fact, their run game defense was no better with the reserve units playing the entire game while the starters rested.
Mike Smith’s defense does not work without a pass rush. The defensive backs are playing off coverage, and don’t get any room to anticipate if there’s no pressure. That showed on the field half as Redskins quarterback Nate Sudfeld had open receivers left and right. Minus blitzing plays from the linebacker group, there was no disruption at all from the reserves on Thursday night.
The first team offensive line hasn’t been too bad this preseason, but the back ups have been, well, bad.
Tonight, whether it was Fitzpatrick or back up quarterback Sefo Liufau, there was no time to throw and barely any running lanes to run through. Immediate back up tackles Caleb Benenoch and Leonard Wester didn’t look great this preseason, and the guys behind them looked like non-roster players. As a unit, they hurt some of the fringe skill players’ chances at putting their best tape out there in their final night.
QB Sefo Liufau
Though it’s cruel to put the only quarterback to throw a touchdown pass for the Buccaneers in the preseason on this list, Liufau’s night was poor, in context.
He threw a pick-6 to go along with his touchdown, but really could have thrown three or four more picks for lack of accuracy. It was good for Liufau to get on a bit of a roll at the end and get into a rhythm for the first time in his NFL career, but we don’t think he’s shown what it takes to make the team.
Did we miss anyone? Who were your most disappointing players from the preseason finale?
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org