On perfect day in Southern California, in the historic L.A. Coliseum, the Buccaneers made history, scoring the most points in franchise history in their 55-40 win over the previously unbeaten L.A. Rams. While the end result was exactly what the Buccaneers (2-2) needed, the Rams offense moved the ball at will at times, including throwing for 517 yards.

In defense of the Bucs defense, the longest play from scrimmage was just a 37-yard throw by Jared Gof. While the secondary surrendered a number of yards, it did a reasonable job of keeping most everything in front of the defensive backs.

Below is PewterReport.com’s list of Most Disappointing Bucs from Sunday’s match-up with the L.A. Rams, and no surprise – all come from the secondary.

CB Sean Murphy-Bunting
The rookie out of Central Michigan had a poor performance on special teams in Los Angeles. In the first quarter, Murphy-Bunting was in position to pin the Rams deep on a punt, but couldn’t keep the ball out of the end zone. He then ran into Rams’ punt returner JoJo Natson in the second quarter, resulting in a 15-yard penalty that set Los Angeles up at mid-field and led to their second touchdown. A couple of mistakes cost the Bucs valuable field position.

CB Vernon Hargreaves III
This one could really go to all of the cornerbacks, and since Hargreaves is the number one corner, he gets a share of the blame. The Bucs were continuously getting beat over the middle on intermediate passes. Goff was able to dink and dunk while getting the Rams back into the game. Goff took turns working between the hashmarks, then took advance of soft coverages on the edges. Hargreaves, like most of the secondary, struggled at times as the Rams had two receivers – Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp – go over 100 yards.

CB M.J. Stewart
Stewart isn’t quick enough to consistently keep up with opposing wide receivers, and he struggled to cover Kupp. The most obvious example of this came in the fourth quarter when Stewart was beat by Kupp on a third down and missed the tackle, allowing Kupp to reach the end zone. Stewart spent most of the day chasing after receivers who were already ahead of him, as he was picked apart. Stewart had actually led the Bucs in tackles with nine, but almost all of them came after chasing down receivers who beat him in coverage.

CB Carlton Davis
Whether it was Brandin Cooks, Woods, or Kupp, Davis and the other corners just didn’t match up well at times with the Rams’ potent wide receiving corps. Goff threw for 517 yards in the loss and took advantage of the young Tampa Bay secondary. Fortunately for the defense, the pass rush applied enough pressure to force some mistakes from Goff (three interceptions and a fumble), while the Bucs offense scored a franchise record 55 points.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Add Jason Licht, there’s 1 first round pick and 3 seconds on that list. The guys who were “fixing” this secondary remember. Running the ball has helped Jameis, what a shock. But if this defense doesn’t improve it will be for naught.

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  2. Honestly I blame our pass rush more then our secondary, Goff threw almost 70 passes and we sacked him twice. Not to say he wasn’t hurried alot more times but it seems to me we blitz almost every play and they seem to get picked up by the online almost every play leaving the CB on an island

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    • I see this game as a glass half full not half empty. No one expected us to stop all three of those wide receivers.

      We made the Rams one dimensional (28 yards rushing). Instead of doing more protection, the rams continued to put all three wide receivers out in the pattern and there were plays available to them. However, the defense that allowed some of those plays also managed 9 quarterback hits and 4 turnovers. Aaron Donald and the Rams ended with only 6 quarterback hits and one turnover.

      I can’t wait to have MJ Stewart move down the depth chart but the rest of these starters can play.

      I would have to say most disappointing today was giving the Rams 6 first downs by penalties.

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      • We also made the giants one dimensional and they put up 32 against us with a rookie qb. Idk why my post is getting backlash? I’m literally saying we can’t blame our coners? Can anyone here say we have a pass rush outside of barret?

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        • I can considering Goff was hurried 32 times and hit 17. That’s from the front seven so yes, I disagree with what you’re saying. Perhaps if the CB’s could cover for more than five seconds, the team would have a lot more sacks. So there’s your answer to all the thumbs down

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  3. Dean and Smith will have to see more playing time. But expected when you start young CBs in the secondary IMO.

    Ironic that Whitehead looks the best so far and he was drafted in the fourth round!

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  4. This has GOT to get fixed and if it does… Watch out. Can R Smith return be much of a help?

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  5. Matt, I know you have to put somebody on the list but you got all CB’s Really! You and a lot of these posters are wrong about these corners, they’re doing what they are supposed to in this scheme “bend but don’t break”. What about Carl Nassib who can’t get no pressure on the QB even when all the attention is on Barrett. He can’t beat a single blocker had one of the dumbest penalties of the game with that offsides penalty. He should be on this list.

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    • I agree

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    • On that off sides penalty it clearly showed that the guard, I believe, jumped on the replay. I feel pretty good about the game for now. And if you’re going to have just one guy getting pressure then it helps if he’s wrecking games single handedly like Barrett is! Every. Single. Game. Since they won a huge game I won’t give a “Most disappointed” IN but a “Most disappointed” FOR and that’s Jack Cichy. He came back strong as hell from one season after another ended by injury including last year’s, and what did he do?? Just keep on coming back stronger than ever. Especially this year when he surprised most by making a squad that looked especially strong at ILB and looked good doing it. Idk if you noticed but his arm was bent back the wrong way underneath him.. I hope he comes back next year stronger than ever and never has a serious injury again! Tough break..

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  6. It’s MJ Stewart a regular on disappointing lists? How many websites have to site his lack of speed/always in the trail position?

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  7. GO GET RAMSEY !!

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  8. When defenses blitz, it leaves one on one coverage in many cases. That is a huge risk/reward in the NFL.

    It makes the secondary look bad when the line or blitzer doesn’t get home, but consider this: Blitzing creates one on one matchups. The offensive player knows where he’s going and the corner doesn’t. If the blitz doesn’t get home, it leads to big plays against the defense. We have seen that for 3 out of 4 weeks.

    I accept that, even if it means seeing times when the Bucs are generating sacks, turnovers and pressure.

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  9. Bucs were continually scorched when they tired to do a delayed safety blitz. Goff continually saw it coming and was able to take advantage of it.
    Most NFL QB’s can do the same thing so can we take that page out of the playbook.
    I know Hargreaves doesn’t like to play off coverage so why was he in it for most of the game.
    My god, if MJ is to slow to cover the slot receiver, why the help did we draft him.

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  10. As much as I like the aggressive defensive, we don’t have the CBs. MJ Stewart should not be slot, Hargreaves should be in the slot. We need a Ramsey type to play this heavy blitz defense.

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  11. We see now why we drafted so heavily in the Secondary. Our Dline and LBs are stacked. I really hope our Secondary finds their way and the young guys are just still learning. A veteran CB would go a hell of a long way right now, I really hope Bunting and Dean start to get up to speed because with their speed they could be deadly. Our needs at the moment seem to be still Secondary and Offensive Tackles. Cappa, Jensen and Marpet are throwing it down and actually letting us run between the Tackles. We just need to find replacements for our Tackles next.

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  12. 2nd round pick for Patrick Peterson, let’s go. You guys seem to have some sway, please push that.

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  13. Agree with you Matt.

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  14. Keep drafting fast DBs.

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  15. 500 yards passing on us?? Yup, all those guys need to be accountable and be on this list.

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  16. There were a few guys jumping offsides also. At this point I could care less about this list, a win curse everything! Being there was all the sweeter!!!

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  17. Secondary play is atrocious. WTH, NO IDEA whats going on, guess combo of youth, (Dean and Bunting-MIA), with R. Smith-suspended and J Evans-? looking like BUST, D schemes, and NO DB vets, (VHIII, hasnt played enough or that well to get that label). DAMN, and believe Bucs have to many future team needs/holes to still fill next draft, two OT’s or more DBs?! We CANNOT afford Ramsey future contract costs upcoming, and to lose several 1st round or high pics for him. Just feel helpless/hopeless as a Bucs fan watching secondary play. IF Patrick Peterson, available with a future #2nd draft pic, not 1st, done deal, do it!!! But AZ. admin. already said ain’t moving Peterson. Maybe more losses in AZ will change their mind? Keep offering or start talking! In the current time looks like Prozac or Medical Marijuana on Sundays!!! Amazing Win today!!!Go Bucs!

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  18. I thought the general consensus on MJ Stewart was that he was more suited to playing safety? He’s definitely been looking out of place at CB all year.

    As for the other corners, I think they’re getting more flak than they deserve. If you watch the game, we’re blitzing on just about every play and leaving the corners on an island with no help. It’s really pick your poison but they seem to be doing better than they get credit for.

    We’ve effectively shut down 3 of the top runners in the NFL and made each team one dimensional. When a QB throws 70+ times there’s gonna be some yardage and points given up. It seems like Bowles has this defense buying into the scheme and gameplan each week and it’s working.

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  19. Did O.J. Howard play? He’s been underwhelming so far.

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  20. Jalen Ramsey is the answer, period!

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  21. I hate to even see a Most Disappointing List after such an unexpected victory. I suppose it’s easy to name every DB since the Rams passed for so many yards. The fact is, they passed because they couldn’t run it. The game plan apparently was to blitz which made the DB’s vulnerable. That constant passing resulted in the INT’s and the QB fumble, so the strategy worked. I also have to wonder if Kevin Minter isn’t getting into his drops to cover the middle of the field. Who was supposed to cover the Rams TE?

    I was disappointed that Horse didn’t get to see the game live.

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    • I agree scu……..
      You’re playing a 3-0 Super Bowl contender on their field trading offensive punches and relying on a group of young DB’s and you win. I’ll take it and call it a team effort. Don’t like “Most Disappointing,”

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  22. MJ Stewart and Vernon Hargreaves are bad. VH needs to be gone next year. Sign a vet CB or trade for Patrick Peterson.

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    • Licht should already know, that he won’t sign VHIII to an lucrative deal. So just add an 1st round pick 2021 and 2rd round pick and trade him for Jalen Ramsey. That would be good invested money

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  23. Did Howard have a catch? Brate did. Howard had another bad penalty. The pass rush was fine imo the CB’s have to play better but I’m not going to bitch and cry I’ll leave that to the cry baby trolls. They are young and if they don’t Arians will give other guys a shot.

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    • Howard had a couple catches and a nice play where they targeted a pass to him in the first quarter. Have to say I’ve been a loud critic of his, but yesterday he was assigned more for blocking than running routes. This offense has very few plays for TE’s. Have to wonder what the playbook looks like for the position and whether we’r really maximizing what the guy can do. I also thought that holding call was total BS.

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  24. I did notice a consistent cushion our by our receivers, we blitzed a bunch but i think it was part of the game plan. When you blitz the single coverage or man can get you burned and they were trying to keep the play in front. Some bad tackling and angles but a what a great win.

    D Smith absolutely destroyed that corner who ran in the pick 6, hope they don’t fine him. Looked like he was knocked out when his team mates picked him up.

    Nassib got robbed with that offsides call, the reply clearly showed the center jump.

    Great Team effort GO BUCS!!!!!

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  25. Your team is up by double digits and you run the ball out of the end zone and get gang tackled on the ten yard line which led to a pick six for the other team, and yet somehow you get left off the most disappointing list. Hopefully the coaches noticed.

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    • Completely agree – this return guy was added late in preseason and has shown me nothing. He’s done this several times and it costs us valuable field position, puts us in the hole and flips the field for the other team. Take a Knee and start at the 25 unless the coverage team falls down.

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  26. Mike Evans should be on this list. Not necessarily for his play, but for his classless showboating on his touchdown catch in the second half. He’s having one of the most unproductive seasons of his career and the Bucs went into the game 1-2. There is nothing to be arrogant or taunting about. Catch the ball, make the TD and act like you’ve been there before. Celebrate the TD with your teammates if you must (after you’ve actually scored), but don’t skip, dance around and take your time getting into the end zone like some immature rookie. You’d think he’d be in a hurry to get into the end zone seeing as he hasn’t done it very much this season!!!

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    • Hard to say he’s having a down year when he has 368 yards and 4td’s…. he’s an emotional player and to be honest o think he was dragging his feet to run a few more seconds off the clock and went about it in a show boating manner.

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  27. Easy to hit on the CB’s, but couple points. I’m still learning this defense, but the scheme looks designed to push everything underneath with the aggressive blitzing and man-to-man coverage. We’re missing Justin Evans, Devin White, Jamel Dean, Ryan Smith and Edwards is learning on the fly. Dean is unproven, but probably would go outside and let Hargreaves cover inside, then let Stewart fill in as depth at safety. Murphy-Bunting sounded like he was being groomed as the inside CB, but it’s taking more time for his development to catch-up with his athleticism.

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  28. The secondary sucks while fans don’t want to admit it all of our young corners look bad Bunting, Davis, Hargreaves etc we need to fix this next year

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    • I will add we are not getting much pressure from anyone other than Barrett and will be glad when JPP comes back

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  29. In any event these CBs you put in this category are not busts. They were just left on an island to cover in zone coverage and tackle quickly so that everyone else could blitz and pressure their QB and he would need to nicklel and dime his way down the field giving our Defensive Starters time to hydrate and rest. It worked to finish with a WIN! I believe once Bunting and Dean get enough development to cover the larger; faster WRs, they will start, and play man for man. Ryan Smith should be able to use his speed and physicality that he routinely plays with to cover on Special Teams to also use to cover a fast; quick slot receiver.

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  30. Our secondary contributed to a win, 3 time zones away, they helped hold the lead for 60 min. They are not house hold names, or pro bowl contenders. They are better fundamentally, the scheme is better, they take better angles to the ball, they play hard with a high motor. Most importantly they keep every thing in front & make the tackle, a lot better than they have in recent years. The Rams secondary has pro bowlers & they got torched, & ran over i.e. Goodwin trucked Talib for 6. We can win like this. We could easily be 3-1 or 4-0. Our secondary will improve with in this system.

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  31. Bucs are a 34 yard missed FG as time expired away from being 3-1 an I’ll tell you what that Giants Lose still Hurts am makes me Sick but Gay came back with strong Game an Bucs held Gurley to 28 yards rushing actually they have held 3 of the top5 backs to little to nothing rushing an another top5 back this week in Kamara stop Kamara make them one demonstionable an win the Game Bucs will Shock the World let’s Stack these Wins Up GoBucs

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