Week 4 in Raymond James Stadium didn’t see too many impressive Buccaneers during the 27-7 loss to the Broncos. From first-half interceptions setting Denver up in great field position, to a fumble in Broncos territory preventing Tampa Bay from closing a one-score game, it was a particularly rough outing for the offense.

Defensively, it all fell apart in the third quarter as they let up a 17-play drive that ate eight minutes to open the half – this after they missed an opportunity to intercept a pass before half and keep Denver from kicking a field goal to extend its lead to 17-7. And while the defense held Denver to three points on both drives, a 20-7 lead with 22 minutes left is good enough for the Super Bowl Champions, no matter who’s under center. At the end of the day, though, a few Bucs stood out so here’s the obligatory list of the “Most Impressive.”

Considering the Bucs were without DEs Jacquies Smith (IR) and Robert Ayers (foot) to start, and Gerald McCoy (calf) by the second quarter, McDonald’s eight-tackle, 1.5-sack game looks even more impressive. He started off hot, recording both sacks in the second quarter, and was one of the few players who looked ready to begin the second half. As one of the last remaining starters on a depleted D-Line, McDonald didn’t let up through four quarters.

Gholston made back-to-back plays on the Broncos second drive, pressuring Trevor Siemian into an incompletion on second-down before coming off the edge to stop C.J. Anderson for no gain on third-and-1. The 6-foot-6 pro set the tone early, though the offense wasn’t able to capitalize on a solid defensive effort in the first half. Instead they set Denver up inside the 30-yard line for both eventual TDs in the first half. Gholston, playing more snaps in Ayers’ absence, finished with three tackles and half a sack.

It was just one of those games. Putting a punter on the “Most Impressive” list doesn’t reflect well on the rest of the team and Sunday was no exception – but Anger continues to flip the field and get Tampa Bay out of jams, nonetheless. He pinned the Broncos inside the 25-yard line three times in the first half, with two going over 50 yards with great hang time. Anger also punted a long of 59 yards in the fourth quarter. On seven punts, Anger finished with a net average of 42 yards Sunday.

For Kwon Alexander-standards, this wasn’t a great game by any means – but seven tackles and a sack separates you from the rest of the pack on a day like Sunday. The best thing the defense did in Week 4 was limit the run – as has been the case all season – and Alexander was there to capitalize on good penetration and help contain the Broncos backfield. Anderson, Devontae Booker and Kapri Bibbs combined for 83 yards on 29 carries.

Honorable Mention: Cameron Brate (three receptions for 40 yards on the lone TD drive); Adam Humphries (two punt returns in the first half, the first for 11 yards to the Bucs 26 and the second for 15 yards to the 50); Gerald McCoy (sack and a lot of pressure before getting injured in the second quarter).

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

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: zshapiro12@gmail.com
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4 years ago

Well I don’t call any of it Impressive; more like they were the average ones and all the others were below average. We were overall slow, poor tackling by the DB’s was embarrassing, and Koetter was insistent Charles Sims should be able to do what Doug Martin can do. Coaches have to get it together, then maybe the team will show up.

4 years ago

Just glad there were no field goal attempts.

4 years ago

I somewhat called out Clinton McDonald in an earlier articles. I’m now certain he reads Pewter report and I’m going to take credit for his inspired play. I know folks will look at the statistics of the hits on Winston, but until the game got out of hand the O-line pass protected pretty well. Of course once they realized we couldn’t run the ball and had to pass things changed. Glad Anger got mentioned again.

4 years ago

I would say this is a good list, especially with McDonald and Anger.

4 years ago

What? No Aguayo?! That PAT was a thing of beauty.

4 years ago

I think the Broncos smelled the fear in Simms mental fortitude about running inside and then penned their ears back and went after Winston with abandon.
Time to put Simms back on the bench and third down status again.
Simply said, McDonald was a beast yesterday.
Broncos went to quick 3 step drop passing attack their starter went down and it is tough to get sacks under those situation.
Unfortunatley, we didn’t seem to adjust our coverages when they did that.