There’s no question that this was the Bucs’ least stressful game of the season, as they defeated an injury-plagued Denver Broncos team 28-10 to improve to 2-1 on the year. The Bucs started out early with a blocked punt followed by a score three plays later, and never let up the rest of the way.

A lot of positives can be taken from this game, including a six-sack, three-turnover game by the defense. And while it’s difficult to focus on what went wrong in an 18-point victory, the Bucs weren’t perfect. These were the most disappointing players from the game.

RG Alex Cappa
If there was any part of the Bucs’ game that was struggling, it was the offensive line. Cappa got beat on a handful of plays, including one in the first half that happened to get captured on the FOX replay that was highlighted to all viewers. It wasn’t a sack, but the defender moved past Cappa within seconds and blew up the play in the backfield to force a Tom Brady incompletion. Cappa also had a hold in the second half that wiped out a 14-yard gain by Ronald Jones.

RB Leonard Fournette
Fournette’s seven carry, 15-yard game was one to forget, and the offensive line deserves as much of the blame as he does. But there was one play in particular, that lands Fournette on this list, and that was a botched handoff exchange between he and Tom Brady in the first quarter. The Bucs did recover the ball and went on to kick a field goal, but you can’t help but Fournette’s gaffe could have been disastrous.

Bruce Arians’ Challenge Call 
You don’t normally see a specific coaching decision making the most disappointing list, however the timing of Arians throwing the red flag was head-scratching. Late in the first quarter, the Bucs had a fourth-and-one around Denver’s 40-yard line. Tom Brady tried to draw the defense offside with a hard count before calling a timeout when the play clock was winding down. But instead of going for it after the timeout, Arians decided to challenge the spot on the field where LeSean McCoy was tackled on the previous play.

The call on the field was upheld after a quick review and the Bucs lost their second timeout in a matter of seconds. You can’t knock Arians for challenging a play like that, but you can knock him for throwing the flag after calling the timeout rather than just throwing it beforehand and still getting a stoppage of play. The lack of timeouts didn’t come back to hurt them this week, but it was still a big mistake by the Bucs’ head coach.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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plopes808
1 year ago

You gotta love when the most disappointing list is so short! This team is building chemistry week by week and will run as a well oiled machine soon.

Brandonges
1 year ago

Donovan Smith was the Least Valuable Player by a mile

eaustinyoung
Reply to  Brandonges
1 year ago

How many times did Gronk have to pick up a block while Smith stood around looking for twinkies? No wonder Gronk can’t get more involved in the passing game…

EastEndBoy
Reply to  Brandonges
1 year ago

I agree, the guy is just not an NFL-caliber LT. However, he is what he is and putting him on this list every week because we expect him to be better is just our own fan version of insanity. He will need help from a TE regularly in pass protection. He will whiff on a block a few times each game. He will make some good plays too. He should have been replaced years ago but Licht just hasn’t understood any of this.

76bucsfan46
Reply to  Brandonges
1 year ago

Man you got that right, LT is a real stinker.

BigSombrero
1 year ago

Those uniforms should be on the list. This was a hard game to watch for my eyeballs.

Spitfire
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

You have got to be in the minority. Those uniforms were the best the Bucs have ever looked. I wish they would make that our away uniform. What backwards world are you living in?

BigSombrero
Reply to  Spitfire
1 year ago

I think red jerseys and pewter pants are the way to go. That’s easily the best uniform to represent Buccaneer football.

All pewter looks like the browns.

All white looks like the falcons.

EastEndBoy
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

I actually agree with you this time (apparently well in the minority)…but I’m a diehard traditionalist creamsicler. I don’t mind pewter, but I think we just look like too common. Creamsicle was our color and nobody else’s. Red/gray/white/black could be anybody.

Ron Potter
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

I liked the uniforms and clash of colors in this game, but it was confusing and will take some time getting used to. More than once I caught myself having flashbacks of a Browns vs Bucs classic… Denver’s looking more like our old uniforms and our new ones looking more like the Browns LOL

PatrioticChief
1 year ago

I think you could squeeze Byron Leftwich on this list too. I wrote to the fellas on the Discord during the game that I wouldn’t be surprised if Byron comes out with two run calls to start the half and the fact that I knew he would still do it even on the 1 and 20 speaks to some defunct/predictable play calling. Another call I couldn’t stand was the empty on 3 and 1. Why do you remove the threat of the run on a play you need to pick up a yard? The mind boggles. On the flip side… Read more »

PatrioticChief
Reply to  PatrioticChief
1 year ago

Throw one more in there. Playing prevent in the first half of a game. I know I am harping on a great overall game and the Bucs apparently got screwed on an OPI that drive but come on Bowles!

awwdembucs
Reply to  PatrioticChief
1 year ago

I hate it when they go prevent we gave Denver a easy 7 before half time
.

76bucsfan46
Reply to  PatrioticChief
1 year ago

Did you hear BA’s comment at halftime lol. He said we are playing soft.

cgmaster27
1 year ago

How in the world is Donovan smith not on this list? Multiple penalties and a clear loaf leading to a sack. The guy is just not good.

Last edited 1 year ago by cgmaster27
awwdembucs
Reply to  cgmaster27
1 year ago

AGREED

compewterpirate
1 year ago

I think you could easily include Donovan Smith on that list. Dude gives a real good impersonation of a player who mistakenly had an extra 0 added to his salary!

compewterpirate
1 year ago

I will add the following comment on the play calling. I love Todd Bowles’s play calling EXCEPT when he plays the notoriously misnamed ‘prevent defense’. Which factually ‘prevents’ nothing and gives a free pass to the opposing QB to feel comfortable in the pocket (see 3rd and 20) at the end of the first half. Similarly with Byron Leftwich. he made some nice play calls in the first half and then, once again, although not as bad as last week, became horribly vanilla in the 3rd quarter. Moral of the message to both O and D coordinators, when you have… Read more »

Spitfire
Reply to  compewterpirate
1 year ago

Bill Burr has a joke claiming the NFL created the prevent to allow losing teams to stay in the game so that people will keep watching games instead of changing the channel when it’s a blowout 😂 the Prevent never ever ever works, it’s the worst scheme in sports.

revfish
1 year ago

Prevent defense deserves dishonorable mention. Playing our cornerbacks ten-fifteen yards back allowed w no pressure gave the Broncos their only touchdown drive keeping them in it far longer than they deserved.

scubog
1 year ago

Of course, “one play in particular” gets a player on the Most Disappointing List. I thought the Cappa hold was a pancake block similar to the penalty last week against Donovan Smith. Speaking of Donovan Smith, he had his typical few plays in which he seems to lack effort, but otherwise played well enough. I sure don’t want to see Josh Wells in there again. I really wasn’t displeased with the play of anyone. If I was going to judge one play it would be the lack of effort on Shady McCoy to get the first down causing B.A. to… Read more »

Dave
1 year ago

Really really disliked the comment by BA, where he said “we don’t need to have a killer instinct, just need to finish games better”. Really? Well that will explain these ridiculously bland and predictable 2nd half play calls. Sorry, but I completely disagree with the killer instinct comment. That is EXACTLY what this team needs. In the coaching staff, in the players, on offense, and on defense. If there was one thing that was clear as day in the past 2 games, based on the first half vs 2nd half, is that there’s no killer instinct on this team. A… Read more »

PatrioticChief
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Agreed. Break their necks.

Spitfire
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

I agree if that’s how he meant it but I kinda took it as him saying we didn’t need the killer instinct because we weren’t lacking it, we just needed to finish better is all.

Ted in Tampa
1 year ago

OLT Donovan Smith still only plays two seconds and then he just quits playing. In five years he has never made a downfield block. Yesterday instead of trying to block Denver’s edge rusher, Smith just stood up at the snap and watched the Denver edge rusher jump up and knock down Brady’s pass. Still to avoid a pileup behind the line of scrimmage, the Bucs only run up the middle or to their right because Smith is such a poor run blocker.

surferdudes
1 year ago

For some reason I focused on Cappa’s play. It wasn’t good. I’m afraid he’s reached his NFL ceiling, and needs to be replaced. It’s not his fault. I don’t know how you can scout a small school LT who played against no NFL talent, and think he can become an NFL guard. Don’t give me the Ali Marpet story. We’re still waiting for him to make the pro bowl, and from what I’ve seen so far, it won’t happen this year either. Remember too, he’s played three different line positions in his short career. He’s good to average at best.… Read more »

DT25
Reply to  surferdudes
1 year ago

His ceiling still seems to be above average OG and he’s been graded highly by PFF all season. Thought yesterday was his worst game this season, for sure…but a young, developing, cheap RG on a mid-round rookie contract who’s played at an average-to-above-average level is always a good thing to have. Not every player needs to be a Pro Bowl caliber starter. Cappa is more than good enough for what we need him for, even if he still has an occasional lapse in play.

Last edited 1 year ago by DT25
PatrioticChief
Reply to  DT25
1 year ago

This team will have a lot of priorities higher than upgrading Cappa in the offseason. I’m not saying they shouldn’t look to upgrade but I wouldn’t even list it in my top five concerns. I expect they will ride with him in 2021 barring some major regression.

Darin
1 year ago

Yeah the coach can’t make those mistakes. It appeared they gave him first down yardage at first and I said immediately Denver should challenge. Obviously he didn’t get it. I know Bruce might not have had a tv view but someone has to tell him it wasnt even close, especially with plenty of time to look at it with the timeout. Cant get on the players too much if you’re making rookie mistakes too. Tighten up Bruce

DerLutz
1 year ago

The Challenge deserves to be on the list. In the first replay you saw that he didn’t have it. A wasted timeout

Spitfire
1 year ago

I thought the Oline gave Brady plenty of time on 80-90% of the plays. I didn’t notice Cappa struggling but I’ll take your word for it. If he made it on here for a handful of slips then Smith deserves to be on here as well. They showed a replay where he stood there and watch a guy slide right by him after bumping into his arm, like he felt him, saw him, and just let him go right by only to spin around way to late and make a half ass effort to bother and act like he was… Read more »

Naplesfan
1 year ago

Meh – these “most disappointing” posts just end up being a bitch fest by individuals to harp on players they have made clear they don’t like. No player goes through any game with 100% perfect performance on all plays, so picking out a single play and bitching about it is nothing but stupid nit-picking. A lot of the regulars here hate Donavan Smith, always have and always will .. and the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west too. So TFW? Bitching about Donavan Smith and the entire offensive line is pretty pointless. After all, they… Read more »

Horse
1 year ago

Matt; none of this was that Disappointing. I do see the communication between WR’s/TE’s/RB as to the passing routes will get better as time goes on; and Brady might want to throw the ball away more when he can’t fine his 4th selection. Again, NONE of this is Disappointing. Very pleased with Brady and the whole team at this point in time. Every game we are getting better! Go Bucs!

Madman
1 year ago

Blocking on the blocked PAT. Dude just jumped the long snapper.

Ron Potter
Reply to  Madman
1 year ago

I vaguely remember one of our players in the past jumping the line to block a kick and was penalized for it. Shouldn’t this have been a penalty? Was it ever a penalty?

SOXX
Reply to  Ron Potter
1 year ago

We used our own player as a ramp to jump up in the air to block a kick, which is a penalty.

76bucsfan46
1 year ago

Wow how could you guy’s forget to put Donovon Smith on this list. He was absolutely horrible. I can’t decide weather he’s the laziest player I’ve ever seen or just lacks any kind of lateral movement skills. The guy rarely finishes blocks. I truly hate watching no effort guys play.

Buc stops here
1 year ago

My honorable mention – a putrid offense in the second half that generated only 3 points. This is not going to win many thumbs up, as I know they won despite this. However this is a troubling trend. Against the Panthers they had only 3 points as well except with a minute to go Fournette broke a 61 yard run for a TD when the Bucs were running the clock out. Against the Saints the Bucs scored 7 points in the first half, then scored 17 more in the second half in the only game they were able to score… Read more »

Bucsfan1983
1 year ago

Donovan Smith needs to be on this list. He got beat a few times too.

Ron Potter
1 year ago

Not a lot to be disappointed about. Glad our mistakes didn’t hurt us in this game. I’m a little concerned about handoff exchanges though. RoJo and Brady botched one and yesterday LF and Brady botched one. Fortunately we didn’t lose yesterday’s handoff mistake, but I hope this gets cleaned up.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ron Potter
tina henschen
1 year ago

We cannot afford to have someone on the O line that does a good game bad game yo-yo bounce from week to week. Brady will hands down take you to the playoffs if he is given 3-5 seconds to throw. The pass rush is a real threat to the health of Brady when we play the Packers, the Saints, the Chiefs.The LT we have is not going to cut it. We will definitely lose if we don’t address this and soon.