It looked like the Bucs had a handle on things after leading 17-7 at the half over the Falcons, but once again the Bucs had a tough time putting a full game together, and were down by the time the third quarter started before falling 34-32 to Atlanta to close the season at 5-11.

Here were the most impressive Bucs players from today’s game. Take a look and see if you agree and add your thoughts in the comments section.

WR Mike Evans
The fifth-year wide receiver continued his best season in both his career and Bucs history. His first catch of the game for 19 yards broke the Bucs single-season record for receiving yards. That’s four records he’s either tied or broken this year.

On that same drive, he had another 19-yard reception, this one for a touchdown. Evans  compiled 106 yards on six catches and a two touchdowns. It was another dominant performance in a career year for the Bucs best wide receiver in team history.

CB Brent Grimes
In what was probably his last game in the NFL, Grimes turned back the clock one more time, having three pass breakups in the first half, and doing a good job trying to stop Julio Jones. Those three pass breakups were as many as Grimes had all season. It may come as a surprise considering the year he’s had was less than desirable, but there’s no denying that Grimes played well on Sunday in most likely his final NFL game.

WR Chris Godwin
After having a bit of a slump over the past three games, Godwin burst back onto the scene in Sunday’s game. He looked like the Godwin that many have expected him to be, catching six passes for 114 yards, including a beautiful 30-yard touchdown catch that he made near the sideline while trying to remain in bounds. He also added another touchdown catch which gave the Bucs their final lead.

His teammate Mike Evans will get a lot of the publicity for his milestone achievement, but Godwin was just as important for the Bucs moving the ball. He proved that it should be no problem with him as the number two receiver, now that DeSean Jackson will likely be elsewhere next season.

QB Jameis Winston
It looks like Winston is finally starting to figure out the balance between being aggressive and protecting the football. Winston aired the ball out a bit more than normal, connecting on passes of 19, 19, and 30 in the game, and even threw a block on a running play. He was absolutely masterful conducting a drive with less than two minutes on the clock near the end of the second quarter, getting the Bucs to go on a four-play, 70-yard drive that took less than a minute.

The big play there was Winston throwing a 30-yard deep ball touchdown to Godwin. Winston has had his struggles with deep passes, but threw a perfect ball for the score on that play. He did throw an interception, but it should have been caught by Evans. While the Bucs went down in the fourth quarter, Winston continued to chug along to bring the team back. He continues to excel at his best when he’s on the move. Winston was 22-of-34 in the game for 345 yards and four touchdowns.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Pierre-Paul was part of what was the biggest play of the game at the time, helping the Bucs get back into it. Down 31-26, it was Pierre-Paul’s pressure on Matt Ryan that caused him to throw an interception to Andrew Adams, and just a few plays later took the lead again. Pierre-Paul also had a sack earlier in the game, putting a nice bow on an impressive first year in Tampa Bay. He continually played with high motor despite the circumstances of the Bucs win-loss record.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Jameis played a great game. Glad to see PR was able to fight the urge to put him on the disappointing list this week. I’m sure it was tough to overrule Mark screaming about some play he didn’t connect on 😉

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  2. Great Game. Bucs leaders shined. Winston has 4 TDs. Evans two and Godwin two. JPP ends up with 12 and a half sacks for the year. Bucs I believe have secured the 5th pick in the draft and possibly the 4th if Raiders win. I just looked at the schedule for next year, I think the incoming Coach will have a fairly easy schedule and with a decent draft and a few quality free agents, I think next year looks promising. GO Bucs!

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  3. I’d also put Vita vea on the list. This roster is not in that bad of shape. A little help on the o-line and I think we’re there. We happened find two jewels in the scrap Heap in Carl Nassib and Andrew Adams.

    Rumor is Gregg Williams will be let go is Cleveland’s interim HC. We need to do whatever it takes to make him our DC.

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    • I would still add secondary help, a true, pass catching RB to complement Barber, kicker & punter, and a speed receiver. Williams would be good, but the college ranks, i.e., Don Brown at Michigan plus a half dozen more know how to slow down the spread and still top the run. Need to support the new HC and trust him to know what he wants. Hope his for Monken to be retained.

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  4. Does Harbaugh like the sunny weather of Tampa Bay?

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  5. Brent Grimes impressive? WTF were you watching!

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    • Amen!

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    • Agreed. I was saying the same
      Thing when they seemingly went after him the entire game. Yes he had theee deflections but how many did they complete against him? Glad he’s gone. Good for a few years, but time to move on.

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    • He at least was defending passes and actually stuck his head in there to make a tackle. Not great, but way better than what he’s been doing.

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  6. I would add Levante David to this list. He and JPP have been our most consistent high-level players on D this year. He’s having to make up for so much inexperience back there you wonder how he doesn’t lose his mind. I think we end up taking the guy for granted, but glad he’s on our side.

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  7. No way Grimes belongs in this list! He had a good first half but was terrible in the 2nd half! I also think Vita Vea should be on this list. At least twice during the game I saw him absolutely PANCAKE the oline man who was trying to block him. That’s supposed to be an oline stat but we are going to have to start keeping track of them for him! He also made several tackles down the field where a man of his size has no business being able to move like he can!

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  8. Can we please put to rest Jameis not coming back next year nonsense. He has tons of talent and needs to understand he does not have to be the hero every play. You can’t give up on him after 4 years. Today we saw the good Jameis. The trick is getting more good Jameis than bad Jameis. He has shown more of the good down the stretch so lets hope he is figuring it out.

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  9. I agree completely with you last fan standing. Unfortunately for the four years he has been here our defense has stunk except for one brief 8 game period in 2016.

    Becuase of that, Winston did actually have to put the team on his shoulders to try and win every game.
    Licht has had 5 years to put together a defense and has failed to do so.
    He also has failed at putting a solid offensive line on the field to protect the QB.
    Yet he keeps his job.
    Rewarding sub par performances in the front office is hardly a way to build a winning culture.
    Winston may have played his best game today and if Brate had caught that third down pass today in the second half, I believe the Bucs would have won.
    What and the heck has happened to Brate.

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    • Drdneast – have read other places Brate has been injured all season, but nobody’s talking about it. Would like to get a confirm on that.

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      • Koetter said it himself as quoted by SP Times and Sports Center.

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    • I agree drdneast. The GM has put Jameis in a tough spot because he has no defense, running game or oline. He is running for his life week in week out. If he knows his players which he should he knows Jameis will try to due/be everything to win. Its who he is. That’s what brings bad Jameis out.

      What bothers me about Licht is he has brought in bad free agents ( non team guys/malcontents) into a young locker room. A big no no when trying to create team chemistry. Besides he has missed on some premium draft picks.

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  10. I thought Carlton Davis III had a good game until he got hurt. That’s when Ryan Smith was inserted at CB and the Falcons began moving the ball. Cario Santos made his kicks when he was asked. I thought Bobo Wilson did well on kick-offs. Adam Humphries did well except for the one slant pass he mishandled.

    More fans that I anticipated. Few thinking about Draft position.

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