The Bucs found themselves in a familiar situation against the Cardinals on Sunday. Once again, they were in a close game in the fourth quarter with a chance to win it. But unlike the past few weeks, the offense was able to score down the stretch and the defense made a big stop on the final drive to preserve a 30-27 win. It was the Bucs first victory at Raymond James Stadium this season.
But thought the victory should call for celebration, the play wasn’t perfect. With that in mind, here is our weekly list of our Most Disappointing performances from the game.
CB M.J. Stewart
Stewart made his return to the lineup after being inactive over the past two weeks. Stewart’s role was to play the nickel, which put him on Larry Fitzgerald many times throughout the game, and Fitzgerald was able to beat him more often than not. Stewart looked to be a step behind the receivers without being able to catch up — which probably goes into why he has been inactive. He finished the game with eight tackles, but that was due to the fact that pass were being completed on his assignments.
RT Demar Dotson
The veteran tackle almost got Winston seriously injured when he was beat by Chandler Jones on a pass rush. Jones quickly moved past Dotson and de-cleated Winston on the play, forcing a fumble. This wasn’t Dotson’s worst game of the season, but it was another game where Winston had to run around to avoid sacks, and Dotson was responsible for it.
CB Sean Murphy-Bunting
Murphy-Bunting actually played well for most of this game, but it was one hiccup at the end of the first half that puts him on this list.
Murphy-Bunting got burned by Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk for a 20-yard touchdown reception that gave the Cardinals the lead in the first half. Kirk was wide open as he left the rookie in his tracks. Murphy-Bunting had three tackles with one tackle for loss in the game.
CB Ryan Smith
Smith was put into the game at corner to start the second half and was instantly burned on the second play on defense. Smith, like Murphy-Bunting, was beat by Kirk for a 69-yard touchdown that tied the game up at 20. Once Kirk got a step ahead of Smith, he was off to the races and Kyler Murray hit him on the money.
Smith has been excellent in a special teams role, but this was the first time he had been utilized at corner this season. He didn’t see the field as a corner again after that play.
WR Breshad Perriman
Once again Perriman had very little impact in the passing game. The biggest impact he did have affected the Bucs in a negative way. Perriman was called for a holding penalty on a screen pass to wide receiver Chris Godwin that went for a long gain. The penalty killed the Bucs drive as they moved the ball into scoring position, but the drive stalled directly after the penalty. Perriman had two catches for 14 yards on four targets for another pedestrian game.