Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Buccaneers offense didn’t set the league on fire Sunday against the Cowboys, but did just enough to win, driving late in the game to score the go-head touchdown. Pewter Report takes a look at the individual units and serves up our grades in this weekly post-game feature.
Bucs rookie quarterback was just a little off for most of the afternoon on Sunday. Winston was hesitant at times, occasionally slow making decisions and not overly accurate. But at the end of the day Winston helped will his team to the win. Even his most hardened critics are starting to admit Winston has the “it” factor that most successful quarterbacks have. On Sunday Winston was 22-of-39 for 264 yards, two interceptions and one rushing TD. While those numbers won’t knock many people over, Winston, his coaches, fans and teammates will take them every week as long as they end up on the right side of the scoreboard.
As mentioned in the Most Impressive feature from Sunday night, looking at the box score on Monday morning, casual observers won’t be impressed with Doug Martin’s stats (18 carries, 63 yards) with just a glance. But Martin was a critical component to Sunday’s win, not just with his tough running and grinding style in the second half, but also the fact he made up for a drop the week before against New York coming up with four Winston passes for 40 yards. The Bucs love what they have seen from Martin so far this year, and will do what they can to keep the running back in Tampa Bay as long as the production continues.
Charles Sims wasn’t used as heavily as last week, but also grinded out a few tough yards for the Bucs offense, rushing for 18 yards on five carries and notching two receptions for 25 yards. Sims may never develop into a featured, 25-carry a game running back, but has been a slid complimentary back this season for Tampa Bay.
Mike Evans was far from perfect, dropping a couple Winston passes, but was still big force that gave the Cowboys secondary fits all afternoon. Targeted 13 times, Evans managed to come down with eight Winston throws for 126 yards on the afternoon. And make no mistake, opposing teams aren’t spending a ton of time game planning for Adam Humphries and Dontaae Dye, instead are doing what they can to keep Evans bottled up, yet Evans was still able to free himself up for some clutch catches on Sunday.
While teams are fearing the duo of Humphries and Dye, both had critical receptions on Sunday. Humphries had just two catches against Dallas for 25 yards, but both went for first downs and he is quickly earned the nickname of “Automatic Adam” for his knack for getting past the sticks on third down. Dye also had an important reception on Tampa Bay’s final drive, and also converting it into a first down to keep the Bucs eventual game-winning touchdown drive alive.
Brandon Myers will tell you he should have had the ball on the first Jameis Winston interception, even though the throw was off target. But Myers made up for it in the second half, bringing in another ball that wasn’t thrown particularly well. Myers ended up with three catches for 35 yards and fellow tight end Cameron Brate had one catch for six yards. Luke Stocker was targeted just once but unable to make the reception on a ball thrown a little behind him near the sideline.
Tampa Bay certainly missed rookie Ali Marpet who was out for the game with ankle injury, but fill-in Evan Smith played well enough. Joe Hawley continues to be a leader, and a scrapper and has been a big addition to the Bucs offensive line. Logan Mankins had another solid lunch-pail type afternoon for Tampa Bay and the tackles for Tampa Bay, rookie Donovan Smith and Godser Cherilus, did an adequate job of keeping Jameis Winston upright, as the Cowboys were only able to sack Winston two times on Sunday. Both tackles had penalties, Cherilus with a hold and Smith with three false starts, but all in all played well, especially considering Greg Hardy only recorded one tackle on Sunday.
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, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. 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
Good grade on the receivers. After watching the game on NFL Rewind I still feel Evans only dropped one pass.
The first pass Humphries caught for a first down was both a phenomenal pass and catch.
The balls was low and outside and Humphries went down to snare it.
I think WR’s were a C because Stocker also dropped one and Brate could have caught one with effort. Evans is great for leaping out, but he does have some problems at times with side extension or right in the gut passes. I understand not all agree with what I am saying.
WHATS UP W/ JENKINS AND JACKSON NOT PLAYING. BOTH COLLECTING BIG PAY CHECKS….SAME CRAP V JAX PULLED IN SAN DIEGO
John Oliver took a little shot at the Bucs last night on Last Week Tonight. On another note, I’m not sure I’m in love with watching our franchise flying through the air in an upside down cartwheel position. Love his heart, but I want him around for the long term… Talk to him, Koetter!
I can’t believe what I’m about to say but the O-line was the bright spot of the offense
Glad you noticed that the Bucs play against the Cowboys wasn’t nearly as bad as the lack of scoring indicated. I’ve witnessed far worse. Romo doesn’t play defense.
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