Once again the Bucs fell behind, then made a late run, but ultimately came up short in a game, losing to the Bengals by a score of 37-34. Below is our list of most disappointing players from the loss. Take a look and see if you agree then add your thoughts in the comment section.
QB Jameis Winston
One great throw, then another one that makes you wonder what in the world he was thinking. So goes the career of quarterback Jameis Winston thus far in Tampa Bay. Three times on the Bengals half of the field Winston made a terrible, inexcusable throw that devastated drives. Then the dagger blow, a pick-six from his 10-yard line that was returned for a Bengals score. Brace for the Josh Freeman comparisons, Bucs fans – they are coming. And they are warranted based on Sunday’s game.
On the afternoon Winston was 18-of-35 for 276 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. Four-drive killing and eventually game-killing mistakes by Winston led to Tampa Bay’s undoing in Cincinnati.
A good run negated by a holding call on Evan Smith then another one later on Ali Marpet. A false start. A jailbreak pass rush with just four defensive lineman. A great scramble by Ryan Fitzpatrick negated by a Caleb Benenoch hold. And a hold on Demar Dotson. This team has invested way too much money on this offensive line for it to play this poorly. The Bucs’ O-line surrendered six sacks and nine hurries on the afternoon. The line did open up some decent running lanes for Peyton Barber – when the runs weren’t being called back for penalties.
K Chandler Catanzaro
Another game, another missed extra point. Yes, the conditions were awful with swirling winds, but on Catanzaro’s miss it looked from replay to just be a poor strike on the ball. Catanzaro’s days are numbered in Tampa Bay after missing four extra points this season – including three in the last three games. Those have to be pretty much automatic but for whatever reason, they just haven’t been. Somewhere you have to think Roberto Aguayo, Nick Folk and Pat Murray are watching this season and laughing just a little.
CB M.J. Stewart
During the first half you could really have picked almost any Bucs player in the secondary as most disappointing. Andy Dalton was 13-of-20 for 192 yards with two TD passes and a 129.3 quarterback rating. Stewart continues to struggle in the slot and was victimized a number of times by Tyler Boyd. One again he failed to notch a single pass break up and only has three all season long. Before leaving in the second half with an injury, Stewart was credited or two tackles on the afternoon.
LB Adarius Taylor
Bengals running back Joe Mixon had over 100 yards (14 carries, 114 yards 2 TDs) in the first half and the linebacker play was a big reason for that. Taylor was filling in for the injured Kwon Alexander, but only recorded three stops – one solo and two assists – the entire game. And Taylor had a big 5-yard delay of game penalty prior to Cincinnati’s game-winning field goal. No one is expecting Taylor to be a clone of Alexander, but as a middle linebacker, it has to be better. Taylor would be the first to agree.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org