Tampa Bay went into St. Louis looking for their fifth win against an average, at best, Rams team. But instead of seizing the opportunity, the Bucs squandered away another game that they had multiple chances to win. Too many mistakes, settling for field goals instead of touchdowns, and a porous offensive line that surrendered seven sacks doomed the Buccaneers who managed just 170 yards.
Below is a list of players who played well and some who let their teammates and coaches down on Sunday in St. Louis.
MOST IMPRESSIVELB Lavonte DavidDavid continued his push for postseason honors on Sunday, leading both teams in tackles and flashing all over the field. It is becoming a broken record each week, but the consistency of his game is really stunning when you think about it. David rarely, if ever, leaves the field and never seems to tire. The effort seen on the last play of the game is equal to the first snap.
On Sunday against the Rams David finished with 11 tackles, two tackles for loss and his first career fumble recovery. David also came within a millisecond of causing a fumble of Rams TE Jared Cook, but replays showed Cook’s backside touching down just before the ball popped loose.
DT Gerald McCoyIf what happened to McCoy on the field happened on the street, a number of Rams would be in jail for assault. McCoy was mugged, chipped and double-teamed almost the whole game and still was able to make an impact. McCoy did have his second offsides penalty in as many weeks, but also added his ninth sack of the season, which ranks fifth all time in team history from the defensive tackle position.
McCoy finished the game with six tackles, one sack and a tackle for loss.
CB Darelle RevisOnce again the stat sheet looks unimpressive – one tackle assist. But once again, the stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. Former teammate Kelly Clemens never tested Revis all afternoon and having Brian Schottenheimer calling the plays most likely was also a factor. Schottenheimer was the offensive coordinator in New York during most of Revis’ career there and knows how good the former Defensive Player of the Year is.
DT/DE William GholstonThe light has most certainly flipped to the on position for Gholston as the former Michigan State star nearly duplicated last week’s career game in which he had a sack, eight tackles and two pass breakups. No matter who the coach may be next season, Gholston is a bright rising potential star in the NFL.
Gholston finished Sunday’s game with six tackles, and a tackle for loss and a number of pressures on Clemens.
LB Mason Foster While most of the linebacker flattery goes to David, and deservingly so, Foster is also having his best season of his three-year career. Foster takes on the brunt of the blocking, helping to free up David to clean things up and yet still manages to make plays.
On Sunday, foster came up with two monster tackles for loss to go along with his seven tackles.Honorable Mention: WR Vincent Jackson, S Keith Tandy, LB Dekoda Watson
MOST DISAPPOINTINGG Jamon Meredith Meredith easily had the worst game of his two-year career in Tampa. So bad in fact he was replaced by Ted Larsen in the second quarter. Meredith was manhandled by the interior of the Rams defensive line on a number of plays, and allowed running back Bobby Rainey to be tackled in the backfield more than once through a quarter and a half. Meredith’s lack of blitz awareness was also evident and the coaching staff made the unusual move to bench a player in the middle of a game.
T Donald PennAfter last week’s dreadful performance against the 49ers, Penn vowed to have a better game this week and said he was looking forward to redeeming himself. Well be careful what you ask for. Penn got a big dose of Robert Quinn all day Sunday and even though he had help on a number of plays, he still managed to give up two sacks to Quinn, who finished the game with three. Penn seemed bent on setting up on the outside edge and wasn’t able to counter Quinn’s quick redirecting inside move.
C Jeremy ZuttahZuttah, like Meredith, may have had his worst game of the season as well. Zuttah looked slow out of his stance and unsure on a number of plays during the game. It was clear he was not prepared for what the Rams were bringing on Sunday. And to top things off, Zuttah rolled a snap back to Glennon late in the game that resulted in a sack.
S Dashon GoldsonGoldson seemed a bit lost without teammate Mark Barron in the lineup, and while he did have five tackles, there were no impact splash plays against the Rams. Goldson looked a bit slow at times and also committed another personal foul call that likely could earn him, at the very least, a heFTY fine, and quite possibly another suspension.
RB Bobby RaineyWithout watching the game again with the coaches tape it is hard to know exactly what the running game issues were, but the one thing certain was Rainey’s first quarter fumble that led to a Ram’s touchdown. Rainey was popped pretty good on the play but knows, and admitted after the game, that ball security has to be his main focus.
Rainey finished the game with just 37 yards on 20 carries (1.9 yard avg.) and one touchdown.
Dishonorable Mention: DE Adrian Clayborn, WR Tiquan Underwood, DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, G Davin Joseph
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, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. 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 protected]
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