Ex-Bucs WR Louis Murphy and FS Chris Conte – Photo by: Getty Images
The Buccaneers blew a 10-point halftime lead as the Bears stormed back in the third quarter with 21 unanswered points to prevail 21-13. Tampa Bay falls to 2-9 on the season after another disappointing performance, as Bucs quarterback Josh McCown threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball in Tampa Bay’s red zone. Here are Tampa Bay’s most impressive players from Sunday’s loss at Chicago, which feature two receivers that went over 100-yards for the Buccaneers.
MOST IMPRESSIVE BUCCANEERS AT BEARS
WR Louis Murphy
Murphy broke three tackles and raced 54 yards for a completion right before halftime deep into Chicago territory. However, Murphy was flagged 15 yards for a facemask penalty on the play, which backed up the Bucs to close to midfield. Murphy came up with his first 100-yard game of the season, catching six passes for 113 yards and an 18.8-yard average.
WR Vincent Jackson
Jackson made two clutch catches on third-and-long situation, the best of which was a 27-yard reception on third-and-23 right before halftime. That set Tampa Bay up at the Chicago 23-yard line and allowed the Bucs to get off a field goal to go up 10-0 at the half. In the second half, Jackson had a big, diving 40-yard catch, but also had a questionable fumble after a 24-yard catch down to the Chicago 8-yard line, which swung momentum back to the Bears. Jackson led all receivers with 117 yards on five catches (23.4 avg.).
WR Mike Evans
Evans continued his amazing streak of games with a receiving touchdown on Sunday in Chicago. Evans tied the franchise record, which is four games with a receiving score, which has been achieved five times – most recently by Mike Williams from 2010-11. Evans wasn’t as productive on Sunday as he has been the past three games, evidenced by catching just three passes for 47 yards – snapping his streak of three 100-yard games in a row.
DT Gerald McCoy
McCoy now has sacks in back-to-back games and 4.5 QB captures in the last four games. His sack-fumble at the end of the first quarter set up Tampa Bay’s first touchdown drive. McCoy has 7.5 sacks this season, which leads the team, and he’s three away from a new career high. McCoy finished with three tackles in addition to his sack-fumble.
DE Jacquies Smith
Smith got his first start at left end and continued his amazing streak of productive plays. Smith recorded his third sack in the past two games, this one coming on third down in the first quarter. He also had a pass break up on a third down in the second quarter to force a punt. Smith now has four sacks on the season, which is tied for second on the team. Smith finished with two tackles and a tackle for loss in addition to his sack and pass breakup.
DE Clinton McDonald
Tampa Bay’s nose tackle has a sack in the last three games and he’s also been around the ball when it comes to takeaways. McDonald dropped Jay Cutler for a 10-yard loss in the first half on Sunday. He had an interception three weeks ago and then recovered a fumble at Chicago in the first quarter. He finished with two tackles and a tackle for loss, in addition to his sack and fumble recovery.
K Patrick Murray
Murray continues an impressive rookie season, connecting on his fifth and sixth consecutive field goals this year with a 32-yarder right before halftime to give Tampa Bay a 10-0 lead in Chicago and a 39-yarder to cut into the Bears’ 21-10 lead. Murray has now connected on 14-of-18 field goals (77.7 percent) this year, and two of his kicks blocked.
S Bradley McDougald
Filling in for the injured Major Wright in the second quarter, McDougald made four tackles on defense, including a nice open-field tackle on tight end Martellus Bennett on fourth down to force a punt. He also had two nice special teams tackles, too.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
Other than Murphy….no one on offense deserves praise….they gave this one away, and Jackson can’t fumble in that situation.
Not bad Scott.
The ref’s called the fumble on Jackson after a review which was very questionable. You can’t blame the loss on one play but that one really hurt. Need to ” suck for the Duck” the rest of the year so we can get a REAL QB.
All three comments below we’re right on and good article PR. I think McDonald is an impressive backup at Safety, but Tandy needs to be the starter in place of Golston who was unimpressive for a well paid all pro.
were not we’re
With Chicago’s “Twin Towers” being held in check I think Banks and Verner deserve some recognition here.
That’s a good one Kinderrt. How about, “In the hole for the ‘Nole”?
scubog…Would love to get Winston but I don’t think this town and the G boys will be on board with that pick.
I would also take Winston! Do not let the off-field shenanigans color your opinion of Winston any more than they did with Farve or Broadway Joe or Rothelisberger. These flawed but superior talents had something called “It”, and Winston has “It” in spades. Many of you think that his having to come from behind is a knock on his ability. No! The scouts see an accurate, poised, and unrattled winner that wins under duress with a lesser team than he had last year – yet he stills wins – matter of fact, never lost a college game!
Coaches can do more than Xs and Os. They also help young men become grown men. His upside is worth the investment!
Winston is everything this team lacks on offense. He’s confident, poised, clutch and a leader. If we could add that element with the hunger the young guys have on offense, they could grow into a very special unit. Also dont rule out an RGIII or Sam Bradford type of player if we elect to address the trenches. But Winston is definitely my choice.
I’ll bet anyone of you that he is not a starting QB in the NFL after 4 years.
I would welcome Mariota, Winston, or even Winston Mariota at this point…the bar is very low for a QB upgrade in Tampa Bay right now….
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright said that “Form follows function”. If that principle can be applied to the Bucs, It’s more than just selecting a talented QB in the 2015 draft. It is what the offensive philosophy is going to be for the Bucs – traditional Pats/Broncos type of offense or the increasingly popular up tempo 49er/Seahawk offense that employs a highly mobile QB. That decision will be made and an OC hired long before a QB is selected because the whole offensive organization has to be built around that philosophy.
If the Bucs have decided that they are going the Seattle route, Then Marcus Mariota is undoubtedly the best QB on the board. He has thrived in a spread type, read option offense, and if the Bucs intend to draft him, they should get the whole package. Hire Scott Frost from the University of Oregon as OC. Make the move transparent with the QB, the OC, and the offense. Lessen the timeline to put your franchise QB on the field. The worst thing we could do is try to remake Mariota, who some would call a system QB, in a new system as the Bucs attempted to do with Freeman after the 2010 season. Frost is a Chip Kelly protégé and is even a former Buc under Jon Gruden.
If the Bucs decide on a more traditional offense, they should hope the rumors are true that Marc Trestman may be out as HC in Chicago. If the Bucs are going to run a traditional offense with an accurate pocket passer, then Winston is the guy and Trestman should not stop until he gets to Tampa as the next Buc OC. The man is a virtual QB Whisperer (bratty Jay Cutler is beyond help). Especially if McCown is going to be the back-up QB, the pieces immediately fall into place.
The Bucs will pick the right QB for their system if they pick one at all. But they will pick the system and the OC first before any QB is drafted. If they pick Mariota, they will get a good one. And if they pick Winston, I will not be bothered one bit about the non-football stuff believing that they picked a QB that has “It”. And “It” is all that matters to me.
Respectfully disagree mac. BPA is the way to go and if you look back at the most consistent and successful teams in the past decade they are drafting as such…BPA and that is NOT a QB if we pick in the top 5..NO WAY.
Agreed with the sentiments above. Next year’s QB is not on the current roster, and continuing to find ways to lose this year will only give us more power to select who we want. Go Bucs…?
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