Terms that all describe the Bucs’ 34-29 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta that drops Tampa Bay to 2-3 on the season. Below are PewterReport.com’s most disappointing players from Sunday’ loss. Take a look, and see if you agree, and add your thoughts in the comment section.
K Chandler Catanzaro
Yes, there were plenty of mistakes by plenty of players as head coach Dirk Koetter said after the game. And yes, Catanzaro, other than his missed extra point, did his job. But missing the opening extra point meant the team was chasing points all game long. And as Koetter said following the game, it is deflating. Catanzaro can’t be blamed solely for the loss, but his job is to make those extra points and his miss certainly factored into Sunday’s loss.
G Caleb Benenoch
Perhaps one day Benenoch will develop into a high quality starter. But on Sunday his lack of seasoning was once again on display. Offensive linemen will miss blocks and they will give up sacks. But the way Benenoch has done it this year looks really bad. Like a bullfighter who whips his cape away at the last second, Benenoch has been a turnstile at times this year, and usually at the worst possible times. Benenoch gave up a key sack on third-and-5 at the Atlanta 11, which forced a field goal attempt. He has now surrendered five sacks in the last four games. Why Evan Smith isn’t the full-time starter is more than head scratching.
DT Gerald McCoy
It hasn’t been a great first five games for McCoy. Many thought the additions to the defensive line would free up McCoy to be more disruptive. Or at the very least tie up blockers so others around him would be more effective. And perhaps he has helped Jason Pierre-Paul get part of his five team-leading sacks so far this season. McCoy had an offsides penalty in the game at Atlanta, but what hurt much more was his hands to the face call that gave the Falcons a first down after one of the few third down stops the team had in the first half. And of course the Falcons scored with the new set of downs and the four-point swing that resulted from the error, was another reason the Bucs are 2-3 instead of 3-2. McCoy injured his calf in the fourth quarter and did not return. He could miss some time this year with that injury.
LB Kwon Alexander
Yes Alexander led the team with tackles with 11 on the afternoon. But it was the ones he didn’t make and also the things that aren’t counted on the stat sheet that made a difference. Alexander had a handful of missed tackles, but was also out of position in coverage at times, including giving up the final touchdown to the Falcons in the fourth quarter that made it a two-score game. Alexander didn’t cost the team the loss, but as the quarterback of the defense he has to be more consistent. Every play doesn’t have to be a splash play. He needs to be more consistent and it will help settle things down defensively.
Every secondary player in Tampa Bay deserves to be on this list, particularly in the first half when the Bucs defense couldn’t get off the field. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was nearly perfect in the first half – 20-of-24 passing for 240 yards and two TDs – and victimized cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Ryan Smith, nickel corner M.J. Stewart, along with safeties Justin Evans and Jordan Whitehead. At some point, someone, somewhere in the secondary is going to have to step and assert themselves if the Bucs plan of winning another game this season. Mike Smith can be blamed, and he deserves his share, but continued technique and mental errors from the players are as much of the problem as anything. Tampa Bay’s secondary has just one interception this year through five games, and didn’t register a single pass break-up on Sunday, which means they were playing too soft in coverage.
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
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