Each week, PewterReport.com will rate the top 10 Buccaneers based upon recent play rather than overall talent or importance to the team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started off the much-anticipated 2015 season with a crushing defeat at home at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. There aren’t too many players heading into Week 2 with a solid game under their belt.

These are the Buccaneers with the most momentum heading into the Week 2 road game against the New Orleans Saints:

WHICH BUCCANEERS PLAYERS ARE HOT? – WEEK 2
1. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Seferian-Jenkins was clearly the bright spot in Tampa Bay’s 42-14 drubbing at the hands of Tennessee. He had a career day with five catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns, including a breakaway 41-yard score. Seferian-Jenkins looked dominant against the Titans, which bodes well for the rest of the season.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

2. RB Doug Martin
Martin had a solid showing in the 2015 season opener with 11 carries for 52 yards (4.7 avg.), including a 14-yard run. He also had an 8-yard run called back by holding call on right tackle Gosder Cherilus, and an 11-yard dash called back due to a holding penalty on Logan Mankins in the third quarter. Martin should have had 71 yards on 13 carries (5.5 avg.).
LAST WEEK: 1

3. P Jacob Schum
It’s never a good thing when Tampa Bay’s punter is essentially the third-hottest player, but that was the case on Sunday. Schum had four punts for 47-yard average and a 43.5-yard net with a long of 56. Dexter McCluster was only allowed to return two punts for 14 yards. It was a very good debut in Tampa Bay for Schum.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

4. DT Gerald McCoy
McCoy didn’t play his best game, but had to fight through constant double teams against Tennessee’s two-tight end sets. Tampa Bay’s franchise player came through with the team’s first sack and nearly forced a fumble at the goal line before the ref blew the whistle to stop Marcus Mariota’s forward progress. McCoy finished with three tackles and a tackle for loss.
LAST WEEK: 9

5. WR Vincent Jackson
Without Mike Evans in the lineup due to a hamstring injury, Jackson needed to step up and carry the day at wide receiver, but didn’t do enough. He was targeted 11 times, but only produced four catches for 51 yards, including an 18-yard gain. He was robbed of a touchdown catch twice in the fourth quarter with a bad offensive pass interference call and having his heel come down out of bounds on another throw.
LAST WEEK: 8

6. LB Lavonte David
David had a very bad first half, as he bit on several of Marcus Mariota’s play-action fakes, but settled down and had a better second half. David finished the game with five tackles and also forced a fumble. He needs to create more takeaways this season, and forcing a fumble was a good start.
LAST WEEK: 10

7. MLB Kwon Alexander
Alexander was tied for the Bucs’ tackle lead with five stops on Sunday in his NFL debut. He also had a tackle for loss and broke up a pass. Alexander’s play was far from perfect against Tennessee as he missed some tackles and bit on some of Mariota’s play-action fakes, but it was an encouraging start to his pro career.
LAST WEEK: 2

Bucs RB Bobby Rainey - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Bucs RB Bobby Rainey – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

8. RB Bobby Rainey
Rainey logged three carries in the fourth quarter for 10 yards and a 3.3-yard average, which was better than Charles Sims’ day as a running back (2.4 avg. on five carries for 12 yards). Rainey was one block away from scoring a touchdown on a 7-yard run. He also fared well on special teams with an 8.5-yard punt return average and a 27.7-yard kick return average.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

9. DE Jacquies Smith
The undersized Smith didn’t hold up well against the run on the perimeter and only finished with two tackles. But on a day that saw too much bad defensive play, Smith came through with his first sack of the season on third down to force a punt in the second half. Smith has to do a better job penetrating and making tackles for loss.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

10. DE George Johnson
Johnson needed to play better on perimeter run plays, and was stifled as a pass rusher on several occasions due to the Titans’ double-tight end sets. Johnson did recover a fumble, but needs to show up more on Tampa Bay’s stat sheet – especially with some sacks.
LAST WEEK: 5

DROPPED OUT: LB Danny Lansanah (3), CB Alterraun Verner (4), DE Will Gholston (6), SS D.J. Swearinger (7)

WHICH PLAYERS ARE NOT – WEEK 2?

Bucs RT Gosder Cherilus - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Bucs RT Gosder Cherilus – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

1. RT Gosder Cherilus
Playing his first game in Tampa Bay for the injured right tackle Demar Dotson, Cherilus stunk. He was flagged for two false starts, had one holding penalty and gave up two sacks to Derrick Morgan. Rookie left tackle Donovan Smith fared better than Cherilus did on Sunday.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

2. WR Mike Evans
Evans wasn’t able to play on Sunday due to a hamstring strain that caused him to miss the final two preseason games. The Bucs offense sorely missed him, as there was little separation from the other Tampa Bay receivers. Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston needs him back on the field ASAP.
LAST WEEK: 1

3. WR Louis Murphy
Murphy got the start on Sunday in place of the injured Evans and struggled to get open. He was invisible on Sunday. Murphy was targeted three times and finished with zero catches against Tennessee. The veteran needs to step up and do a better job of helping out his rookie quarterback.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

4. QB Jameis Winston
Winston had three touchdown passes in his Tampa Bay debut – unfortunately his first one was to Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh on a pick-six on his first NFL pass. Winston did throw another bad pick to a linebacker, but looked good throwing two touchdowns to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
LAST WEEK: 3

5. CB Alterraun Verner
Verner had a fantastic preseason, but started his 2015 season with a disappointing showing. He gave up a touchdown pass to Harry Douglas, and also had a 16-yard pass interference penalty on Justin Hunter in the end zone, which set up Tennessee’s final touchdown of the game.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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NewBucsFan15
NewBucsFan15
5 years ago

The fact that there are any defensive players on the players that are hot list is ridiculous. V-Jack at 5 is questionable based on his performance this past Sunday, including not stretching the ball out on a critical 3rd down play.

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surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

Agree, no defensive player should be on this list. Check out SB nation, they do a great break down of the Buc defense with game pictures that show all our break downs. It was pretty sad. Safeties were so deep, with LBers stuck to close to the line of scrimmage. The holes were so big to throw in, I coulda thrown into them. This is what we saw all of last year too, I don’t see how it can be fixed, it’s the scheme we run folks. Scott I can’t wait till Fridays chat. How many wins will Lovie need… Read more »

macabee
macabee
Reply to  surferdudes
5 years ago

surfer, I have no facts that I can offer to disagree. I do know there are differing opinions on the scheme. Dallas seems to do ok with the exact same scheme and the best defense in the NFL – Seahawks uses a variation cover 3 which employs an in the box safety (they obviously need Kam Chancellor back to make it work). Maybe It’s lovie or maybe it’s the players, I have no facts to prove otherwise. I do know that all 4-3 teams use it in one form or another. SB Nation has a local affiliate, BucNation that has… Read more »

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

Yes, I’ve been trying to figure this out as well. The Tampa 2 supposedly works with the right personnel, but didn’t Lovie go out and get the right personnel? Other teams run a version of the Tampa 2 with success so what is our problem? We obviously have talented players on defense so I don’t think it’s a talent issue. The scheme works elsewhere so it can’t be the scheme either right? Is it just the play calling? It’s getting harder and harder to be supportive of this team when we’re fed delusions of Grandeur every season. I’ll always be… Read more »

BMurph
BMurph
5 years ago

How hard did you cringe when writing this article? The word momentum should not be associated with any Buc player at this time.

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surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

If it’s not the scheme Mac, I guess it’s the way we run it. Lovie turned over the whole team, we can’t use the excuse we don’t have the players to run it. Conte was god awful, Lovies pick up. McCoy, and David are supposed to be a perfect fit, and now Kwon has the speed, and coverage ability needed at MLB. So what’s happening here? I was embarrassed once again wearing my Buc gear watching the game at a sports bar because our local station refused to show it. I live on the east coast, I make it over… Read more »

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

I left the bar at halftime. No sense spending more money there on a lost cause. I can say what I did see from our defense was total vanilla. We didn’t do anything to confuse a rookie Q.B. getting his first start. A perfect Q.B. rating from a kid we didn’t deem worthy to draft. Thank god they sat him, and a lot of their starters in the 4th, and eased up on us. It really could’ve been worse then it was. I guess the owners are the biggest problem. No owner hires the coach before the G.M.. Teams that… Read more »

e
e
5 years ago

There is a lot of youth on this team and it shows. Particularly on the O-line, which is going to dog Winston all year long. I’m not as glass half empty at this point though. I think there is talent on this team unlike years past and I think Lovie will eventually get the defense straightened out. The most important aspect of this season, win or lose, is to find out if Winston is indeed our QB of the future. And on a side note; I’m not sure why the Bucs are not interested in pursuing Darnell Dockett? He can… Read more »

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

We make no effort so far to pick up some DE’s whether rookies or has been’s or trade for one; we just move along and ignore the need. I don’t get it, we are short of legit DE’s, yet we have an abundant amount of Safeties and Linebackers on the roster.

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plopes808
plopes808
5 years ago

Maybe I don’t understand the meaning of “momentum” because in my opinion this article should read

“These are the Buccaneers with the most momentum heading into the Week 2 road game against the New Orleans Saints:”
end article

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kenverns
kenverns
5 years ago

conte and banks should be on the no- show list ,also

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Ronald
Ronald
5 years ago

Brindza should be at the top of the list for good momentum. His strong leg provided high and long kickoffs. He has been a real plus for us.

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EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
5 years ago

scott: I like the concept of a momentum meter but I am not sure that’s what you are writing about….unless you’re trying to give us a view of how players looked in practice this week? The only players I can see with momentum after week 1 would be ASJ, Martin, and maybe Marpet (as I saw him continuing his learning/progression against the Titans with some nice run blocking). I think every player on defense was a disappointment (even GMC, who certainly had the excuse of being double teamed constantly, didn’t generate momentum). Maybe I’m missing the point of the article….… Read more »