The Bucs shot out to a good start in the first quarter backed by a good offensive performance from Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay never relinquished its lead while battleing through injures on both sides of the ball on the way to a 38-17 victory over the Lions. The Bucs came up with critical plays in big moments, including an 70-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Sean Murphy-Bunting.
Here is the list of the most impressive players from the Bucs’ fourth straight win.
QB Jameis Winston If there were any concerns about Winston’s thumb injury, they were quickly erased by the end of the first quarter. Winston was airing it out early and often, throwing for 308 yards and three touchdowns in one half of football. Outside of an early interception, Winston was on point connecting with multiple receivers while orchestrating three touchdown drives, which included one drive that went for 99 yards. Winston was in rhythm for much game on his way to a gigantic statistical performance. Winston finished the game with 458 yards and four touchdowns.
WR Breshad Perriman It was known that the Bucs receivers would have to pick it up with Mike Evans out and Perriman stepped up in a big way. Moving to the number two receiver role, Perriman had a big impact on the game in his home state of Michigan, going for 113 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Perriman looked very comfortable taking on more responsibility, and continued his hot streak of play as of late.
WR Chris Godwin At this point of the season, everyone is aware of how well Chris Godwin has played this season. But this was the first time the Godwin was the number one receiver, and Godwin did not disappoint. Godwin had five catches and led the team with 121 yards before leaving the game in the second half with a hamstring injury, but it was his yards after the catch that was most impressive. Godwin’s highlight play was a very nice leaping catch that he caught on a drag route and ran another 20 yards after the reception for a 51-yard gain. While the Lions’ defense focused on him, Godwin still had a big day. Godwin was carted off with an injury in the third quarter, which would be tough blow to the Bucs if he can not return this season.
DT Will Gholston Playing in his hometown as a Detroit native, Gholston felt right at home with making an immediate impact on the first defensive snap of the game when he slammed running back Wes Hills for a tackle for a loss. Gholston was playing with a high motor all afternoon as he racked up three tackles and two tackles for a loss. Gholston was a force at the line of scrimmage all game.
OLB Shaq Barrett Anytime you tie a franchise record, you will be on the most impressive list. Barrett notched sack number 16.5 on the year, which tied him with Warren Sapp for the Bucs’ franchise record for single season sacks. Barrett was creating a lot of issues for the Lions on the pass rush and also played well stopping the run. Barrett ended the day with five tackles and one sack while tying a historic record.
CB Sean Murphy-Bunting Another Michigan native playing in his home state, Murphy-Bunting had a gigantic 80 yard pick-six that put the Bucs ahead 31-17. The Lions were charging back into the game as they were moving down field and Murphy-Bunting put that to a stop with his game changing interception. Murphy-Bunting also tied the team lead with eight tackles along with his pick-six and one pass breakup.