Which Buccaneers players shined in the team's 38-10 victory on Sunday against the Chiefs? Who needs to step up their game before the Saints arrive in Tampa to take on the Bucs next Sunday? Find out in this weekly PewterReport.com feature.
When a football team beats their opponent 38-10, as the Buccaneers did on Sunday, obviously it was a complete victory and numerous players had a hand in the win. Surely some have been missed, but from Pewter Report’s editor-in-chief Mark Cook’s first glance at Sunday’s game, below is the list he compiled of players who stood out.Most ImpressiveRB Doug Martin
Martin’s first 100-yard rushing game is still eluding him but the rookie from Boise State averaged 5.8 yards per carry, and finished with 76 yards on 13 attempts. Martin was bottled up and shut down at times, but ran hard and didn’t shy away from contact. Martin also displayed his hands, catching two Freeman passes for 55 yards including another career long with a 42-yard reception. It is still too early to determine if Martin will be a star running back in the NFL. But if the Buccaneers can move the football through the air as they did on Sunday, he may not need to be.RB LeGarrette Blount
Fans have been clamoring for more Blount and on Sunday head coach Greg Schiano and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan politely obliged. Blount touched the football seven times on Sunday and most the most of his opportunities, rushing for 58 yards (8.3 avg.) including a 12-yard TD run to cement the blowout late in the fourth quarter. It appears Martin is still Schiano’s go-to guy, but if the Buccaneers can get leads, Blount could turn out to take on the closer role. There weren’t many Kansas City Chiefs defenders who were happy to see a fresh Blount – with a full head of steam – heading their way late in the game.QB Josh Freeman
The hair pulling by many fans continued for most of the game on Sunday while watching Freeman, but at the end of the day Freeman has thrown for 328 yards, three touchdowns and posted a quarterback rating of 124.7 on the afternoon. Call it what you will, but the bottom line is Freeman allowed his receivers the opportunities to make plays and didn’t make but one crucial error – a first quarter interception. Freeman continues to be a work-in-progress, and an argument could be made he should be farther ahead of the learning curve, but the NFL is a results-based business. With the results Freeman delivered on Sunday, it is a lot easier to swallow the mistakes he made at times against Kansas City.
WR Receiver Mike Williams
Williams told the media earlier this week that he has told Freeman that anytime he sees him in man-coverage to throw it up and he will go and get it. Sunday, Williams proved once again, he is no liar. While a simple slant can cause Williams trouble, the former Syracuse star has a knack for making the incredible highlight-reel type catches. Williams, who isn’t known as a burner, is much faster with a ball in his hand and a defender on his tail than most would think, as displayed on his first quarter touchdown when he outran the corner and safety on his way to the end zone.WR Vincent Jackson
The bounce-back year by Williams can easily be attributed to the presence of Jackson. While Jackson only caught four passes for 66 yards, two went for touchdown. Jackson makes everything look so easy and is easily the most fluid receiver the Buccaneers have ever had. Jackson’s leadership in the huddle and in the locker room can’t be overstated. S Ronde Barber
The “Old Man” continues to defy his age and once again showed on Sunday that even after 16 years in the league, he can still make a difference. Barber had been quiet since Week 1 against Carolina, but made a huge impact on Sunday, returning an interception for a touchdown to extend the Buccaneers lead. And it wasn’t your standard pick-six, but instead an example of why Barber is one of the most opportunistic defensive backs in NFL history. On the particular interception Dexter McCluster went down bobbling a Brady Quinn pass that eventually popped off of E. J. Biggers wrist. With barely enough room to fit a blade of grass between the ball and the turf, Barber cleanly picked the ball and returned it for a touchdown. Most defensive backs would have just settled for an incompletion but not Barber. who has made a career of looking for any chance to turn the tide of a football game. On Sunday he did it again, and the score made the ninth time in his career he has returned an interception for a touchdown.S Mark Barron
Barron came into league labeled “NFL-ready” and has been as advertised. On Sunday Barron was the benefactor of a sandwich type hit that popped the ball straight up and the former Tide star was in the right place, hauling in his first career NFL interception. Barron was also a big factor is corralling the potent Chiefs rushing attack notching eight tackles (two for loss) which tied him for team lead on Sunday.DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim
Most Bucs fans asked themselves, “Daniel who” when Te’o-Nesheim was signed towards the end of last season, and then again when he made the 53-man roster. But Te’o-Nesheim has been solid on a rotational basis since Adrian Clayborn went down with a knee injury in Week 3 at Dallas. Sunday, Te’o-Nesheim easily had his best game as a professional with four tackles, one for loss and a big hit on Brady Quinn that nearly split the former Notre Dame QB in half during the second half. Te’o-Nesheim is steadily building confidence, and eventually fans – and the media – may have to learn how to pronounce his name correctly.Honorable Mentions:
LB Lavonte David, LB Mason Foster, LB Quincy Black, OG Jamon Meredith, FB Erik Lorig, DT Gary Gibson
As stated above, in a 38-10 win, most of the winning team played very well and the Buccaneers were no exception on Sunday. Below are three players that could have done a better overall job and need to improve in order to beat the Saints next Sunday.Most Disappointing OT Demar Dotson
Dotson may be the most improved player since training camp opened on the entire Buccaneers’ roster. With little football experience, Dotson has worked his way from a potential camp casualty into the starting lineup. Dotson played solidly for the most part but did have one glaring error that could have cost the Buccaneers points and maybe more frightening – the health of Josh Freeman. Dotson was badly beaten by Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali on an outside speed rush, who sacked Freeman causing a fumble, which fortunately for the Bucs Dotson was able to recover.LB Jacob Cutrera
Cutrera took a bad step in punt protection allowing Shaun Draughn to block a fourth quarter punt by Michael Koenen. The block led to the only Kansas City touchdown on the afternoon. It was Cutrera’s only miscue; unfortunately it was magnified because of the result of the play.P Michael Koenen
After the Draughn punt block Koenen channeled his best Garo Yeprimian imitation and tried to pick up the loose ball and pass it forward. Unfortunately Koenen was in the process of being tackled and the ball squirted forward into the waiting arms of Edgar Jones who returned the pass/fumble for a Chiefs touchdown. Koenen would have been best served to next time just fall on the ball and take a safety, something you can be assured Schiano will make clear to Koenen in meetings on Monday.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.