Another 500-yard-plus offensive performance by the Buccaneers offense was wasted by terrible decisions, turnovers and an inability to make a crucial stop when the Bucs were on the comeback trail in the second half. Tampa Bay fell to 3-7 after a 38-35 loss at New York on Sunday.
Below is PewterReport.com’s list of Sunday’s most impressive Buccaneers. Take a look and see if you agree and add your thoughts in the comment section.
ROOSTERS PEWTER PLAYER OF THE WEEK
QB Jameis Winston
Who knows if things are different had Jameis Winston gotten the start instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at New york. Maybe Winston struggles out of the gate as well. We will never know, but if Dirk Koetter goes with Fitzpatrick again next week, I would hope ownership steps in.
There is no reason to see Fitzpatrick start again this season unless Winston suffers an injury. You are all but out of the playoff race and now it is time to see what Winston can do over the final six games. This organization, whether it is Koetter coaching or not next season, needs to see Winston play as they have 20.9 million reasons to see how he performs to close out the season.
Winston wasn’t perfect on Sunday, but he did come in and lead the team to four touchdowns and gave them a chance to stage a miraculous comeback had the defense decided to participate. Winston completed 12-of-16 for 199 yards with two touchdowns and a meaningless late-second heave interception.
Has Winston learned anything from his benching? It is hard to say after just under two quarters of action, but if he can duplicate those numbers next week over four quarters against the 49ers then Tampa Bay will at least have a shot to win.
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WR Mike Evans
After two subpar games in a row, Evans bounced back big time with six receptions for 120 yards a touchdown. He also recovered a fumble in the end zone in the third quarter for score after Jameis Winston was stripped near the goal line. The Bucs are loaded with play makers, with Evans being one of the main ones and his big day was almost enough to fuel a second half comeback.
RB Peyton Barber
The best thing that could have happened to Barber was the Bucs drafting his replacement in Ronald Jones. Most assumed Jones would end up getting the bulk of the carries at some point in 2018, but as Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend.”
Who doesn’t love Barber’s story? A great young man, a hard worker and he has evolved into a legitimate NFL starting back. He was serviceable last season, but has really stepped up his game in 2018.
On Sunday Barber had his best game of the year, gaining 106 yards 18 carries with a rushing touchdown. Barber isn’t going to bounce one outside and rumble 80 yards, but he doesn’t dance, and can break arm tackles with ease at times.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
The former Giants star went back to his former stomping grounds for the first time since be traded last spring and showed his old team he still has plenty of juice left in the tank.Pierre-Paul led the Buc defensive line with seven stops including 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss and two QB pressures.
TE O.J. Howard
Howard suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter after a reception and the severity isn’t known as of yet. Prior to the injury Howard nabbed five receptions for 78 yards after catching just one pass last week against the Redskins and only being targeted twice.
Howard is a mismatch against linebackers and if he played for a team that doesn’t have the number of weapons the Bucs do, he would be sniffing a 1,000 season already. He is that good. And still can get better.
Honorable Mention: K Cairo Santos, DT Gerald McCoy, WR Adam Humphries
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 email@example.com
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