The Bucs kept cutting it close and even had the lead for a portion of the game, but they continued to shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers and a lack of execution when the game was on the line. The Bucs fell to the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 31-17 in their home opener.

These were the most impressive players from the Bucs loss.

CB Vernon Hargreaves III
Boy did Hargreaves look like someone that missed playing the game of football. In his return back after missing 15 games last year, Hargreaves was fired up showed.

He scored the first touchdown of his NFL career for the Bucs after picking off Jimmy Garropolo in the second quarter and taking it to the house, giving the Bucs their only points in the first half. Even before that, Hargreaves was strong in coverage on San Francisco’s receivers, particularly on the first drive when the 49ers had good field position after a punt block. He broke up a pass in the end zone that helped hold San Francisco to a field goal.

Hargreaves’ pick-6 changed the momentum of the game for the Bucs at the time, who were reeling from a fumble by O.J. Howard in the red zone. It was Hargreaves who provided the spark for Tampa Bay and continued to play well in coverage for the entire game.

The former first-round pick ended Sunday with three tackles, one pass breakup, and the interception.

DT Vita Vea
Vea dominated the line of scrimmage against the 49ers offensive line. The Bucs only gave up a mere 36 yards rushing in the first half, and Vea was a big reason for that. He made some punishing hits as well. What was more impressive was the speed he used to track down the ball carriers. Whether it was a pass through the middle or a wide play on the opposite side, he was constantly hustling to the ball. Vea along with Ndamukong Suh looked like a really good combination on the defense line.

Vea’s finished the day with three tackles.

LB Lavonte David
David was flying around the field on Sunday and showed a great veteran presence. He was reading plays early before they were even fully developed and found his way to the backfield often. He had one fantastic play in particular where he tracked down the running back from  behind the line of scrimmage after blitzing from the opposite side of the line. David was chasing down ball carriers all afternoon to hold them to short gains. He looked like he didn’t miss a beat for a player that missed all of training camp.

David recorded six tackles on the game, good for second most on the Bucs’ defense.

DT Will Gholston 
Another force in the run game, Gholston had three tackles in an impressive first game. It’s a crowded group down there at defensive tackle, but it was Gholston that made the biggest impact for the tackles that were coming in on rotation. It’s a good sign for the Bucs if they can continue to get that kind of production from him. His three tackles may not seem like a ton, but he helped out in more in ways that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

S Jordan Whitehead
Whitehead made some touchdown-saving tackles when the 49ers were moving the ball. He did a great job moving close to the line of scrimmage from his safety position to break up some runs that had a chance for a big play. Whitehead led the Bucs in tackles and was often involved. When the 49ers were backed up near their end zone, it was Whitehead that provided the hits to force another punt and get the offense in good field position. It felt as if Whitehead was involved in almost every play. His finger prints were all over this game as he led the team with seven tackles.

RB Ronald Jones
Jones was the best running back for the Bucs on Sunday, and you could make the case that he was just the best offensive player in general. Jones looked explosive as he ripped off runs big runs of eight, nine, and 16-yard runs. He looked confident running and taking on tacklers instead of hesitating while trying to dance around defenders. On one drive in the fourth quarter, Jones was the bell cow as the Bucs rode him to move the ball down the field in scoring position. His highlight play was a reception on third-and-long in which he broke multiple tackles to gain what seemed like an improbable first down. Jones ran confidently, and that’s what was most important.

Jones had 75-yards rushing on 13 carries for the day.

 

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surferdudes
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I think after today’s game we found our new starting R.B.. Barber looked like he was running in slow mo compared to Jones, and it’s just a matter of more playing time before he hits some home runs. That’s the good news, if you’re looking for more we’ll have 30 million more in cap space next year not having to pay Jameis. The rookie back up for the Jags played better then J.W. did today, and I saw at least a have a dozen better college Q.B.’s we can pick next year compared to the turnover machine. Rate this item:Thumb… Read more »

JohnGaltsGhost
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JohnGaltsGhost

Ro Jo looks like an entirely different player. I would say with no changes in Personnel our run-blocking has improved 150 200%. But our pass-blocking still has a long way to go. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

EastEndBoy
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EastEndBoy

Can’t argue with your list. Too bad you can’t win an NFL game with just 5 defensive players and a running back, or we’d be on our way to the super bowl. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

EricNV
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EricNV

Game plan for Thursday Night in Carolina – feed R Jones the ball at least 25 times and continue to play good defense! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

thewbacca
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thewbacca

Yes. Limit Jameis like crazy and pass just enough to help the run. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Benjamin
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Benjamin

Yea we need to take some of the pressure off of Jamies with a continued effort to run the ball, use shirt passes to get Jameis in a groove, and for the love of god feed Jones the ball. Jones was by far the best RB on either team during the game. I for one am all aboard the Ronald Jones train!! He looks like the guy we drafted from USC in last years draft!! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

nybuccguy
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nybuccguy

The defense looked great but I cant enjoy it because of the epic disaster that was our offense. Winston and the line were especially horrible. Now OJ Howard sucks too? I’ll give Mike Evan’s a pass because he was sick. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

jiggyjoe
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jiggyjoe

You know Mike Evans was ill because he didn’t fight with Sherman. You know he loves to make him look bad. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Madman
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Madman

D line did a great job stuffing the run. Can’t remember the last time the Bucs stopped a 3rd and short. More Mike Edwards please. Darian Stewart was bad. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

thegeebo
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thegeebo

This team sucks Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

pinkstob
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pinkstob

I disagree with some of the players being on this list. I’m also not sure why this list is longer than the disappointing list when we lost the game by more than a TD: Hargreaves – I agree with Hargreaves being on the list. That pick 6 came from breaking on a short route. He would get to do that a lot more by playing inside at nickel CB, which I’ve always felt is his natural position. I think he will be exposed outside as the season goes on. Vea – I agree with him being on the list. David… Read more »

scubog
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scubog

Pink: I wasn’t counting tackles and reading statistics, but watching the game from my perch at the stadium, Gholston and David were all over the field and playing with a bit of inspiration. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

pinkstob
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pinkstob

Fair enough my friend. We just have different measures that we use to determine if a player has been “Impressive” in a game. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

thewbacca
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thewbacca

The bad news: Jameis is really bad. Again. The good news: No significant injuries. Let’s hope there are enough adjustments that can be made. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

fredster
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fredster

Seem like Jones isn’t a bust. Never said or thought he was. This o line sucks and he looked great. Vea looked great for being too fat huh Bob you moron. Hargreaves can play if he can stay healthy for sure. Thought that last year too. White had bad first game perhaps being sick was more serious than we thought? Who knows but was shit game for sure. David is usually solid . Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

BUC-ASS-BOB
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BUC-ASS-BOB

Ya Veta Vea go had 2 tackles and ZERRROOOOO sacks with Whitehead and David behind him picking up his missed and blocked out of way tackles. White is not ready to start he needs a year. Come on Fredster how about that QB whispering! LOL Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

EricNV
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EricNV

The OL is definitely better at run blocking this year, but we’re one dimensional until they learn to pass block and Jameis pulls his head out of his or is replaced. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

seat26
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seat26

Bring in Griffin now, and let Winston ride the bench for a few games. This was supposed to be a win. Our defense did a pretty good job in keeping semi-close, But if we are going to give up lots of interceptions and fumbles we are in for a long year. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

bucballer
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bucballer

I know it real early, but I wonder what this offense would look like with current backup QB RG running it. I know he had a pretty good preseason running against the 2-3-4 units. I wonder what he would play like running with the starting unit? One thing about it… he he were to get a quarter or two with the ones, we would find out if it’s the offense or Jameis? I’m just saying… Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

BUC-ASS-BOB
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BUC-ASS-BOB

Griffen has to be frustrated sitting behind that Bust #3 Maybe with Griffen the team could have a lift, there were some players that looked better Rojo improved. They cant sit Winston they gave him 21 million dollars, The glazers would look like even bigger fools than they do now! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

BUC-ASS-BOB
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BUC-ASS-BOB

I just watched the replays Number 97 Bosa a rookie thru Smith around like a rag doll several times O my I can only imagine Arians watching the tape tomorrow! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

BUC-ASS-BOB
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BUC-ASS-BOB

DT Vita Vea “Vea dominated the line of scrimmage against the 49ers offensive line”. What he had 2 tackles zero sacks they ran right by him more than once. Where they get their ideas??? Fredster read this and automatic called me out Watch the film Pewter boys before you write. Whole defence line Bucs zero sacks, not 1 nota nun zero Big 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Barrett only sack of the day Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

scubog
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scubog

Do you even watch the game? If you did, you might realize that statistics don’t tell the whole story. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

drdneast
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drdneast

Where were are playmakers. I understand about Evans, but what happened to Godwin, Howard, and Perriman. All Fs, Cam got a C. All of Winston’s INTs the result of other players mistakes. Howard’s deflection, Barber falling down and Oggy staying in to block (I think that was what be was doing) on a screen play for him. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

drdneast
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drdneast

O lins played better in the run game compared to last year but pzss blocking looks about the same. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

bucianco
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bucianco

Bad game. Review the tape, find out for sure why they didn’t execute properly, and make some quick adjustments. There’s no time for crying in the NFL. Hey, the Panthers and Falcons both lost too so it’s not like we’re in the cellar lol. Just looking for a bright spot. Nevermind. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

jiggyjoe
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jiggyjoe

The problem is that the 49ers were about the easiest team we will face. If we played a very good team, we would have lost by 50 points. That is the problem. Winston is not a top ten QB. I think you should know after four years….. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

jiggyjoe
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jiggyjoe

I think winning football is divided into four parts. Coaching, Offense, Defense and your OB. If you have three of these things, you can make the playoffs. I don’t think we are quite there yet. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Chris Elrod
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Chris Elrod

I have been saying all preseason – and I’m saying it again – Ryan Griffin will be the starting QB for the Bucs sometime this season! Winston CANNOT think under pressure – he just doesn’t have the smarts for playing in the NFL. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Dude
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Dude

It will probably be Gabbert before Griffin, if he’s healthy. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Chris Elrod
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Chris Elrod

You may be tight. However, even when Gabbert was healthy, Griffin outplayed him in the preseason. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

scubog
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scubog

Got to be impressed with our rookie kicker. No, he didn’t make 4 FG’s or boom one 50+ yards. He simply went out there and did his job. From our recent woes, I was happy. For those of you who called Rojo a “bust” so early; at least in this game he looked like what we all expected when he was drafted. And those holes………..Alex Cappa did a nice job. It seems after the first game of the season we all jump to an immediate conclusion as to how the season will play out. Over the years I’ve learned that,… Read more »

Gulfstrings
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Gulfstrings

Another positive is that Griffin wasn’t injured. Just sayin’ … Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...