The Buccaneers now have a combined 3-19 record in December over the last five years after another disappointing loss, this time to the 5-9 Chicago Bears. Penalties, fumbles, and minus three in the turnover margin will almost assure a loss, as it did Sunday. It’s hard to credit individuals in the 26-21 loss, but a few players shined during the critical moments and kept Tampa Bay in the game. See if you agree with PewterReport.com’s list of Most Impressive and share your thoughts.
LB Jeremiah George
The Bucs special teams didn’t finish strong, but they certainly started off with a bang. Jeremiah George’s blocked punt (first of the season) and recovery at the Bears’ 4-yard line set up an easy 7-0 lead and gave Tampa Bay early momentum.
RB Charles Sims
Sims’ dynamic ability was put on display Sunday, as the second-year pro was reliable in the passing game and efficient in the running game. On all three receptions he, like Jameis Winston, stayed with the play and improvised to convert a big gain. He also carried four times for 45 yards, ripping off a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay’s best offensive moment involved Winston escaping and hitting Sims in stride for a 50-yard TD in the third quarter to grab a 14-13 lead.
S Keith Tandy Making his first start since 2013, Tandy came out on fire. The fourth-year pro made back-to-back tackles for losses on screens during the opening drive, followed by a third-and-7 open-field tackle on running back Jeremy Langford the next series. Like Chris Conte, who missed Sunday’s game with a knee injury, Tandy was physical, finishing with 10 tackles.
WR Mike Evans Of Evans’ four receptions for 61 yards, two of them came on third-and-long to move the chains and one was a tough, toe-tapping catch on the sideline. While he had a chance at a deep ball in the fourth quarter – one that could’ve changed the game – it was slightly out of reach and a tough adjustment. Still, the Bucs – and Evans – expect their No. 1 wideout to come down with the acrobatic catches, and that was a critical one.
Honorable Mentions: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (two receptions for 60 yards) Bradley McDougald (12 tackles, including third-and-1 run stuff) and Gerald McCoy (sack on third-and-goal and four tackles)
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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