The Bucs dug themselves a huge first half hole, only to see their second half rally come up three points short, losing to the Steelers 30-27 in front of a packed Raymond James Stadium and a national television audience.
Here is our list of most disappointing Bucs players from Monday night. Take a look and see if you agree and add your thoughts in the comment section.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
The magic escaped the bottle. Kind of. Fitzpatrick still threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns, but was really bad in the first half, at one point throwing three straight pass – to the Steelers. And one of those was for a touchdown to the guys in yellow and black. The dilemma for the Bucs now is, do you turn to Jameis Winston at Chicago next Sunday? It is decisions like this that make me glad I’m not an NFL coach.
CB Brent Grimes
Having Grimes back in starting lineup was supposed to be a boost for the Bucs secondary. Instead you could see the rust from Grimes who missed much of the preseason and the first two games. In the first quarter Grimes was beaten, and then mistimed his leap on a 43-yard pass completion. Then in the second quarter he whiffed on an open field tackle of Antonio Brown that resulted in a Steelers touchdown. While he did end up with six tackles, he also missed a handful of other tackles in run support.
S Chris Conte
Ouch. Conte was embarrassed after taking a stiff arm to the face and was planted on his back by Steelers tight end Vance McDonald. To add insult to injury(literally) Conte lasted one more play before leaving the game after he appeared to reaggravate a knee injury suffered last week. Conte didn’t return to action on Monday night.
WR Chris Godwin
This one was a tough call. While Godwin made some outstanding plays in the game, he also had some crucial mistakes that cost the team an opportunity to win. As Trevor Sikkema told me immediately following the game, if Godwin doesn’t have the mistakes, the Bucs win. Godwin had a drop early in the game, though he was tagged pretty hard on the play, still it is a ball he should have probably hauled in. Later in the first half he fumbled after fighting for a few extra yards, and in the second half had a touchdown pass in the end zone slip through his hands. Even though the defender made a good play on the ball, Godwin would most likely tell you he has to make that catch.
G Caleb Benenoch
As a whole the Bucs offensive line played subpar giving up three sacks and tons of pressure to the Steelers. Granted the Steelers blitzed often. Benenoch struggled on consecutive plays in the second half giving up two sacks, although one didn’t count as the Bucs had committed a false start. Young players will have growing pains and Benenoch is most certainly feeling that early this year. Benenoch and Co. will need to get things together quickly as the Bears are better than the Steelers defensively.