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Pewter Report editor-in-chief Scott Reynolds:
“It was great to see second-year player Dewayne White get a sack and be so productive. White had his first NFL sack and two passes defensed. With the loss of Ellis Wyms for the season, the Bucs will be counting on White and rookie Josh Savage to apply pressure from the nose tackle position in passing situations down the stretch.”

“That 46-yard throw to Michael Pittman by Brian Griese was spectacular. Griese was being pressured and had to throw off of his back foot. The pass was so good it hit Pittman in stride for the big gain. Perhaps if the Bucs had hit this type of big play downfield with greater regularity earlier in the season they wouldn’t have such a poor 2-5 record. Griese is proving to be a big difference-maker.”

“It’s tough seeing Michael Pittman fumble three times in the last three games, but he is playing so well right now that the team has to overlook that aspect of his game. Pittman turned in one of his better performances as a Buccaneer against Chicago, and it turns out his fumble didn’t come back to haunt Tampa Bay, even though it was turned into seven points by the Bears. Pittman needs to work on ball security during the bye week. He’s so focused on getting as many yards as he can that he tends to carry the ball away from his body too much.”

“It was great to see Kansas City wax Atlanta, 56-10, today, but it should worry the Buccaneers defense. They’ve been inconsistent in stopping the run this year, and can’t afford to have an off game against Priest Holmes and Derrick Blaylock behind that phenomenal Chiefs offensive line. The good news is that K.C. will play an emotional game against Indianapolis next week, so they could be a little spent heading to Tampa Bay the following week after the Bucs’ bye week. The bad news is that even if the Bucs beat the Chiefs, they will have to travel to Atlanta, who will be coming off its own bye week after next week’s contest at Denver. The Bucs will now where they stand after the next two games.”

“Here’s a sneak peek at Tampa Bay’s wide receiving corps after the bye week – Michael Clayton, Joe Jurevicius, Joey Galloway and Charles Lee. Can you say ‘big plays in the passing game?’ If you thought this offense was beginning to open up over the last couple of weeks, we’re all about to be in for a treat, especially with the way Brian Griese is slinging the ball around.”

Pewter Report managing editor Jim Flynn:
“Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman played Sunday, carrying the ball 23 times for 109 yards (4.7 avg.), scoring one touchdown, and hauling in a 46-yard pass from quarterback Brian Griese to set up a score in the first half, but his fumbles are getting ridiculous. With the Bucs up 13-0 and the game in hand, Pittman fumbled on Tampa Bay’s own 31-yard line. That careless play gave the Bears the ball and allowed them to march 31 yards upfield for a touchdown, making the score 13-7. Although his fumble in New Orleans was overturned by replay, Pittman now has three fumbles over the past three weeks and needs to do a better job of holding onto the football. The bad news is both Pittman and fullback Mike Alstott left Sunday’s game with serious knee and back injuries, respectively. While Alstott was carried into the locker room by a cart, Pittman was able to walk off the field on his own.”

“The Buccaneers, who improved to 2-5 on the season by beating the Bears Sunday, received some much needed help from two of their NFC South Division rivals — the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers — both of whom lost to the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers, respectively, on Sunday.”

“It was nice to see Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice re-emerge after a slow start to the 2004 season. After recording just one sack in Tampa Bay’s first five games, Rice notched two sacks against the Bears Sunday and now has three quarterback takedowns over the team’s past two contests, which brings his sack total to four.”

Pewter Report senior writer Leo Haggerty:
“The injury to fullback Mike Alstott really puts a crimp in head coach Jon Gruden’s playbook. With the A-Train derailed, possibly for the season with an MCL injury, there is a huge hole in the Bucs’ short-yardage game. We saw last year how much Tampa Bay missed him last year in short yardage situations. The Bucs need to find a replacement for Alstott and the logical solution would be to bring up Earnest Graham, who had three rushing scores in preseason, to the active roster.”

“It’s no surprise the Bucs defense played well today. The emergence of the four-man pass rush allows the team to play the coverage schemes they need to play. The Tampa 2 defense has a lot of holes if the QB can throw it when he wants to and where he wants to.”

“The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the battered Bucs. After a grueling, seven-game early season schedule, with four of those on the road, Tampa Bay gets a well-deserved week off. The Pewter Pirates have been besieged by injuries, especially at the wide receiver position, and head coach Jon Gruden is hoping that Joey Galloway and Charles Lee will get back on the field, along with giving Joe Jurevicius more time to heal. God knows they need it.”

“The good news is that the Atlanta Falcons lost again and fell to 5-2. A real positive is the fact that the defending division and conference champion Carolina Panthers dropped into the NFC South basement behind the Buccaneers at 1-5. The bad news is that Tampa Bay comes off the bye week with a home date with the Chiefs, who just put up 56 on the Dirty Birds at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City hosts Indianapolis before coming to Florida. Let’s hope the Colts slow down the K.C. juggernaut before it reaches Tampa Bay.”

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