The Buccaneers notched their second win of the season equaling last season’s total after just five games, and while it came down to Tampa Bay recovering an onside kick to seal the victory, all three units had a share in the win that gave the organization a big sigh of relief. Despite the offensive output, the opportunistic defense and the stellar special teams play, there are still number of areas the team will need to clean up during the bye week if they plan on continuing their winning ways in two weeks at Washington.
CB Tim Jennings
The entire secondary looked out of synch for most of the day as the QB Blake Bortles and former Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olsen exploited the deep half of the Bucs defense for 303 yards and four touchdown passes. Too many Jaguars receivers ran free and found holes all afternoon as poor tackling and lax coverage almost allowed Jacksonville to catch Tampa Bay late in the fourth quarter. Jennings has a particularly rough outing on Sunday giving up big chunks of yardage while also getting flagged for two second half penalties. Hopefully the bye week allows Johnthan Banks to get healthy and the coaching staff can spend some time evaluating the cornerback position as fellow DB Mike Jenkins also didn’t have his best game.
S Bradley McDougald
Tampa Bay lost both Chris Conte and Keith Tandy on Sunday to injuries, and McDougald was forced to play the entire game with three different players beside him at some point. However, as one of the few secondary players who didn’t get a break, McDougald had plenty of opportunities to make mistakes, and he, like all of his secondary teammates, had issues defending second-year quarterback Blake Bortles who picked apart the Bucs secondary. McDougald did have an outstanding diving interception for the Bucs but there were too many players running free in the Bucs secondary. While some of the blame can, and will be assigned to linebackers getting poor depth, McDougald always seemed one step away.
G Ali Marpet
It is probably a little nit-picky to add rookie Ali Marpet to the list after a season high rushing output (183 yards) which the offensive line certainly as a part of, however the Hobart rookie product did have two holding penalties in the game. Marpet was solid in pass protection, and while the two penalties didn’t hurt the Buccaneers in the long run, cleaning those up will be something the rookie will need to work on.
DE Will Gholston
After impressing the last two weeks, particularly in run support, Will Gholston was virtually non-existent on the stat sheet on Sunday, notching just two QB hits but failing to register a tackle or an assist on 31 snaps.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com