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Nothing proved to be more disappointing in the Bucs 24-17 loss Sunday than third-down defense and the inability to create takeaways, but the list is restricted to players and their individual performance. Whether it was a critical drop or a big-play negating penalty, a few guys in particular did enough to keep Tampa Bay from its seventh win. See if you agree with the list of Most Disappointing players and share your thoughts.

WR Donteea Dye
The Bucs have had to rely on Dye at different points throughout the season, and while he’s made a few plays (blocking and catching) and has been a great success story, he dropped the ball on Sunday – literally and figuratively. What could have been a third-down conversion with space in front, ended up being three-and-out after a perfectly executed crossing route went through the hands of the undrafted rookie. Tampa Bay punted the ball with 4:21 remaining and never got it back. Dye needed to step up in place of Vincent Jackson, and he didn’t quite play up to the standard, finishing with one reception for 16 yards and a key drop.

WR Mike Evans
It wasn’t a great day for any Buccaneer receiver, and Mike Evans was no exception. While he caught a third-down pass and another for 22 yards during the fourth-quarter scoring drive, Evans was held without a reception in the first half. Even in the TD drive that he helped to make happen, Evans was called for back-to-back penalties, the second of which was a dead ball foul. The Bucs were somehow able to overcome second-and-29, but players can’t lose composure and cost the team in a close game. Evans finished the day with three receptions for 39 yards.

LT Donovan Smith
It’s a reflection of the entire offense when they’re unable to recover from a single penalty, but Donovan Smith was at fault on the opening play and it seemed to have a lingering affect. After a Winston to Vincent Jackson completion for 36 yards on the first play from scrimmage, Smith was called for a hold and Tampa Bay would go three-and-out. Fast starts are critical, and a young team can’t afford to have big-play negating penalties.

DE Howard Jones
Tampa Bay couldn’t get off the field on third down all afternoon, so when they finally came up with a splash play – Kourtnei Brown’s third-quarter sack – it was especially devastating for the defense to be called for illegal hands to the face. Jones’ penalty was unnecessary and it had a huge impact on the game, as the Saints marched down the field in eight plays and scored to extend their lead to 24-10.

CB Jude Adjei-Barimah
Similar to how Matt Hasselbeck seemed to target Jude Adjei-Barimah in Indy, Drew Brees had a lot of success against the undrafted rookie on Sunday, too. Adjei-Barimah had a few highlights – tackle-for-loss on a screen in the first quarter and four more stops – but he was on the wrong end of too many Saints’ completions, particularly to Willie Snead, who gave the entire secondary fits. Tampa Bay can’t give up a third-and-21 or start the third quarter by allowing a 20-yard slant.

K Connor Barth
Missed field goals seem to be a theme in Bucs’ losses. After hooking from 54 yards out in Indianapolis, Barth was wide left from 47 yards on Sunday. The kick would’ve made it a 17-13 game with six minutes left in the third quarter. Instead, it stayed a one-score deficit, before New Orleans drove down the field for a 63-yard touchdown drive.

 

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: zshapiro12@gmail.com
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Architek79
Architek79
5 years ago

This was what I call a character check loss. These identified players had rough outings but this is just a symptom of the reoccurring theme of this team. This team lack self discipline and situational football IQ. Let’s start with Evans. There is no way you allow the league most penalized CB get under your skin and let him cause you to commit multiple penalties to kill your team chances of executing. Second, the Howard Jones penalty killed us and ultimately reduced our chances of coming back exponentially. But again he’s a practice squad player that’s being relied on to… Read more »

Twistedwires
Twistedwires
Reply to  Architek79
5 years ago

Great points. No doubt an edge rusher and a quality CB are needed. But it’s so obvious when either VJax or Evans is either literally or figuratively out of the game. It’s has such a noticeable effect of the productivity of this offense.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Yup, except for Mike Evans, that was pretty much my rogues gallery of suspects too.
Three killer plays were the 3rd and 21 conversion, hands to the face and the Dye drop that was probably a TD.

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

This was a team effort loss. I don’t believe anyone stood out. We are what we are. Lets get the Rams which will be no easy test. Putting pressure on the QB is what it is all about. Saints pressured our QB and we didn’t do theirs.

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

Who was supposed to be covering the receiver when Brees threw up a duck on third and long? McDougald was the only defender in the same time zone.

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

Zach, Dye a success story? Maybe by making an NFL team, but he hasn’t exactly had success on the field. McCoy, missing from the game, and this list. When your star is a non factor, and gets chewed out on the sideline by his D line coach, I’d say that’s pretty disappointing.

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

Lovie Smith, by punting to Brees with 4 minutes left, might as well head to the parking lot. I thought we could back them up, and stop them. What would make you think that Lovie since you couldn’t stop them all day? J Gruden beat us with an onside kick. Lovie has done nothing all year to try to swing momentum during a game. This year we have not seen, an onside, fake punt, or field goal, notta, nothing, the guy plays to close to the vest.

jme0151
jme0151
5 years ago

The sad thing is I could never see this team as a playoff team. Just couldn’t see a defense this ugly getting to play in post season.

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan
5 years ago

GMC belongs on this list. Joe Cullen ripped him a new one during the game yesterday and it was well deserved. If only he could channel the anger he displayed on the sideline to a nastier demeanor on the field he MIGHT actually start living up to that mega contract he signed. Lovie as usual your undisciplined, non aggressive brand of football allowed yet another winnable to get away. Also Lovie should’ve sat Mike Evans after his back to back penalties. It’s about time he sends the message that those types of bone headed penalties simply won’t be tolerated. Guys… Read more »

jongruden
jongruden
5 years ago

The Bucs probably had the easiest schedule in history facing bad defenses and back up qb’s for most of the yr, we won 6 games but we are really a 4 win team, we have serious issues on defense my fellow posters don’t want to believe, Nothing at DE for pass rush, no secondary and this is what happens a decent qb will pick us apart all day. 4 minutes remaining the Bucs need a stop and the Saints convert 3 first down in a row to run out the clock even when we knew they were running the ball… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Sorry jongruden, but we are what are record says we are, a 6 win team. We played one backup QB as I recall in Matt Cassell. WE bear a Bro Bowl QB twice. I agree the defense needs a lot of work, hell the whole team did when Lovie first got here, but that unfortunately takes time. Don’t understand why you think it’s so pathetic that the Bucs couldn’t stop a pro bowl QB who just hung 38 points on one of the best defenses in the NFL. Overall, as usual I find the tenor of your post to be… Read more »

jongruden
jongruden
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Cassel, Mallet, Hasselbeck, Cousins, Sanchez all back ups, what you see as negativity I see as the truth, no defense ends, no secondary, Lovie out coached week to week, Evans to many drops, to many team penalties, if you disagree with thesment then you are what I call in denial

jongruden
jongruden
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Cassel, Mallet, Hasselbeck, Cousins, Sanchez all back ups, what you see as negativity I see as the truth, no defense ends, no secondary, Lovie out coached week to week, Evans to many drops, to many team penalties, if you disagree with the assesment then you are what I call in denial

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

On, one other things jongruden, we played almost the same schedule as every team in our division including the Panthers.
I also forgot about us playing against Mark Sanchez who was 6-6 for the Eagles last year and who many thought was better suited to play in Chip Kelly’s offense.

jongruden
jongruden
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

And that’s why the Panthers aren’t as good as their record

JayBuc52
JayBuc52
5 years ago

Dye, was an absolute disaster yesterday. He had no clue what he was doing on the field. He cost us on special teams when he stepped out of bounds and waited to come back in and a penalty was called. He lined up on the wrong side of the field and Winston had to move him to the right side which allowed the defense to diagnose the play. He dropped passes. He didn’t belong on the field.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Sorry jongruden, but Kirk Cousins is not a backup. Neither was Mallet when we faced him. I counted Cassell and later on Sanchez, but forgot about Hasselbeck because we not only lost to him but he also had a better record than Luck at the time. As far as Evans having to many drops, that is the type of subjectivity I am referring to. Except for his first game back and the Giants game under wet conditions, Evans has proved to have pretty good hands. I agree Lovie often gets outcoached and has agreed with PR about this. As far… Read more »

jongruden
jongruden
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

mallet not a backup? since when? He was a back up in NE and a back up in Houston who finally won job for about two weeks after the starter got hurt so yes he is a back up, Cousins another career back up behind RG3 finally got the nod when RG3 got hurt. Stop reaching on these guys cause these guys stink and are career backups in this league playing for sub 500 teams. No bitterness you just don’t like to hear any negativity about your team, well In life you have to hear the good with the bad… Read more »

Knightrider79
Knightrider79
Reply to  jongruden
5 years ago

Sorry I’ve got to say, we’re a 6 win team. I know I just looked at the standings. Carolina’s an undefeated team. Once again I looked at the standings. There is no box that says “strength of schedule” or “the teams they played were bad”. It gives wins and losses. I will say we aren’t a playoff team, at least not yet. L&L have spent a grand total of one (1) draft pick for defense. The rest have been offensive players. When they get the chance to draft defense I expect big things… In about 2 years. Not right now.… Read more »

fredster
fredster
5 years ago

The whole team stunk in all three phases. Defense as usual was beyond bad. Similar to Colts game Koetter decides to quit running the ball when was working. Lovie out coached again as usual. Predictable vanilla defenses and no pressure against Brees=getting torched. The receivers running around all day with nobody near them or covering them was beyond frustrating. Converting every 3rd down and long and 3rd and 21? Beyond ridiculous. Koetter deserves to be on most disappointing list for Colts game and this game as well as Lovie and possibly Frazier. Hard to say who’s calling this great defense.… Read more »

russmillerwy
russmillerwy
5 years ago

It was unfortunate to see Dye miss that catch. He ALMOST had it. Just like Winston missed Sims on a go route on the previous play by just a LITTLE bit. That’s what separates the winners from the losers in a parity league. The Bucs just looked a LITTLE off on offense too many times in this game.

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