The Buccaneers scored 29 points, had over 500 yards of total offense, a four-touchdown effort from their QB and still lost. not an east feat. Despite the loss a number of players stood out. Take a look and see if you agree and add your thoughts to the comment section.
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Barber was finally unleashed – sort of – and he delivered. Of course, the Falcons have one of the NFL’s worst rush defenses, but it was still nice to see. Barber ran hard and tough and showed that if given decent blocking, he can make good things happen. For the afternoon Barber ran 13 times for a season-high 82 yards (6.3 avg.) and added four receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown, the first receiving touchdown of his career.
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QB Jameis Winston
Honestly, there is some debate on which list Winston deserves to be on. Probably both of them. While he threw for 395 yards and completed 77 percent of his passes for four touchdowns, he also had two costly interceptions. You could say that without those four scoring passes the Bucs are blown out. On the other hand, you could make a case that if he doesn’t throw the two picks that the Bucs would have won handily. Both interceptions it appeared the receiver was interfered with. On the deep ball, DeSean Jackson was bumped clearly past the five-yard mark, and on the second interception in the end zone, the defender had his back to the quarterback and appeared to be draped on the receiver before the ball got there. But the bottom line is that neither penalty was called and the turnovers hurt the Bucs. Still, Winston led an offense that had over 500 yards of total offense, and put up 29 points. That should be enough to win nearly every game a team plays.
WR Adam Humphries
You knew when Winston was reinserted as the starting quarterback, guys like Adam Humphries and tight end Cam Brate would see their number called a little more often. That was the case on Sunday with Winston under center. Humphries was targeted a number of times and ended up with three reception for 82 yards, including a game-long 51-yard reception. Brate had just one catch, but made it count for a touchdown – his third in the last three games.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
When the defense gives up over 400 yards and 34 points, it is hard to say there were many standouts. And on Sunday the impressive players were few and far between. However, the Bucs’ best player on defense all season long did his part again on Sunday. Pierre-Paul ended the afternoon with three tackles, one for loss and the team’s lone sack, his team-leading fifth of the season.
Honorable mention: WR DeSean Jackson (4 catches, 77 yards), TE O.J. Howard (4 catches, 62 yards, TD), WR Mike Evans (4 catches, 58 yards), WR Chris Godwin (6 catches, 56 yards, TD).
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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