The mental block of winning two games in a row is over. So is Gerald McCoy’s sack-drought and Lavonte David’s streak without an interception – they each got two. The Buccaneers went into Philadelphia and played a complete game and then some, winning 45-17 behind Jameis Winston’s 246 yards passing, Doug Martin’s 235 rushing and a lights out performance by the defense. Here’s a long list of impressive players according to Pewter Report.
QB Jameis Winston Winston made an ill-advised decision in the second quarter on a pass that was nearly intercepted in the red zone, and that’s about where the bad ends. The rookie quarterback finished 19 of 29 for 246 yards with touchdown passes to five different receivers and zero turnovers. He was clutch again on third down and led a 15-play, 10 minute drive to start the third quarter in which he was 6 of 7 for 80 yards including his fifth TD (ties Buccaneer record for TD passes in a game). In short, this was Winston’s best performance in his 10-game career.
RB Doug Martin After three straight 100-yard rush outings, Doug Martin looked human over the last three weeks leading up to Week 11. He returned to another planet on Sunday. The fourth-year pro went for 235 yards on 27 carries (8.7 avg.), including runs of 58 and 84 yards, both of which leading to touchdowns. Martin showed great stamina on the afternoon, too, ripping off a 27-yard gain on the first play of the fourth quarter after few for 3-6-yard carries in the third. If the 2015 season has resembled Martin’s season in 2012, then Sunday’s game in Philly was the match to his 251-yard outing in Oakland.
WRs Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans Vincent Jackson was back in full form and Mike Evans didn’t have a single drop, as the No. 1 and 2 receivers each caught four passes for over 50 yards and a touchdown. In big moments, Evans came up with an impressive toe-tapping catch on a fade for the Bucs first score, while Jackson hauled in a third-and-16 pass for 24 yards that set up a touchdown to Cameron Brate. Tampa Bay was firing on all cylinders Sunday, and the WR duo was capitalizing on its opportunities.
WR and TE Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate Both offensive newcomers, formally of the practice squad, stepped up and looked like veteran starters in Philadelphia. Humphries continues to be Mr. third down, catching two of his four passes on the money down, the second of which leading to Brate’s TD in the third quarter. Brate, for his part, caught three passes including a touchdown and the opening play from scrimmage for the Bucs offense for 16 yards.
LT Donovan Smith Smith has consistently graded out well from coaches this season and the rookie LT continued to show progression on Sunday. Tasked with talented pass rushers such as Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry, Smith kept Winston’s blindside clear through four quarters and didn’t allow a sack. On one play in the third quarter, Smith can be seen burying Curry on a third-and-16 that Winston would complete to Jackson inside the red zone. Smith has held his own against premiere edge rushers this season. Sunday was no different.
LB Lavonte David David followed up his season-best performance (to that point) against Dallas with an even better one this Sunday in Philadelphia. The fourth-year linebacker’s interception drought is over, as he picked off a pass over the middle to end the first half and added a pick-6 in the fourth quarter to make it a 45-17 game. David also recorded six tackles, while helping to hold Demarco Murray to 64 yards.
S Chris Conte Tied with Alexander with a team-leading 10 tackles, Conte added another interception when Sanchez overthrew a pass over the middle to Riley Cooper in the fourth quarter. Conte’s been great against the run all season and Sunday was no different, even chasing down Murray on a swing pass during the second quarter that showed great pursuit against the Eagles east and west-moving offense.
DT Gerald McCoy As David put an end to his streak without an interception, McCoy got himself back into an important stat column with two sacks. While the second one was a little less important, the first can be considered a “splash play,” taking down Sanchez on third-and-5 at mid field in the first quarter. McCoy added three tackles in the game, too, anchoring the front four’s solid performance against the run.
CB Sterling Moore After Sanchez started the day off 6-for-6 with a touchdown, the secondary responded well, holding him to 183 yards on 20 completions after the opening drive. Moore led the way, playing physical against Eagles WR Jordan Matthews while adding six tackles, two of which coming immediately after the catch for no-gain.
Honorable Mentions: RB Charles Sims, WR Russell Shepard and LB Kwon Alexander
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: email@example.com
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