The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their best win of the season when they needed it most in the divisional round of the playoffs. With no margin for error, Tampa Bay forced some turnovers and still put 30 points up on the board on the way to a 30-20 victory that sets them up for a showdown in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.
There are still some parts of their game that need to be cleaned up, so here are the most disappointing players from the game.
KR Jaydon Mickens
Mickens does not see the field too often, so when he does, he’s got to make the most of it. He missed a tackle during the first punt of the game that allowed Saints’ returner Deonte Harris to take the ball all the way down to the 20-yard line and set New Orleans for what would be a field goal. He was running at full speed for a good 50-plus yards and still couldn’t take Harris down. Mickens got lucky that three points were all the damage that was done, because it could have been a lot worse. The Bucs defense held strong, and though it was early, it kept them in the game. Mickens had one punt return that went for 13 yards.
WR Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin’s standards are usually held in higher regard than the average football player. For the second week in a row, he had a big time moment in the game where he came up short. Godwin had originally hauled in what would have been a great touchdown catch on a pass from Brady, but after he rolled over, Godwin lost the ball and it was called an incomplete pass. The case of losing the football was once again stuck with Godwin, as he ended up with a pedestrian game by his standards. He made four catches for 34 yards.
SS Jordan Whitehead
Whitehead missed out on an interception that hit him in the chest. The mistake wasn’t totally devastating to the Bucs as New Orleans kicked a field goal, but it was the second week in a row where Whitehead dropped a would-be pick. Whitehead made one tackle in the game.
OLB Shaq Barrett
It’s always tough to get to Drew Brees, yet even without a sack Barrett didn’t have much of an impact on this game. Tampa Bay has been relying on Barrett’s skill to help bolster the defense, and yet through two playoff games the Bucs have not felt Barrett’s presence. Jason Pierre-Paul was knocking down passes and making plays in the backfield, but Barrett couldn’t do as much. He can turn it around quickly, but this wasn’t the week for a break out. By the end of the game Barrett had just one tackle on his stat line.