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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 bounced back from a loss at to Carolina by snapping an 11-game home losing streak with a 38-31 win over Jacksonville.

These are the Buccaneers with the most momentum heading into the bye week:

WHICH BUCCANEERS PLAYERS ARE HOT? – WEEK 6
1. RB Doug Martin
Martin has been the offensive MVP through the first five games of the season. He leads the team with 90 carries for 405 (4.5 avg.) and ripped off a season-long 39-yarder against the Jaguars in his second straight 100-yard game. Martin has three rushing touchdowns, in addition to catching 11 passes for 94 yards and a TD.
LAST WEEK: 5

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

2. DT Gerald McCoy
McCoy is battling through shoulder pain and leads the Bucs with 4.5 sacks, including 1.5 against Jacksonville. McCoy, who is the NFL’s second-leading sacker, has 14 tackles, 4.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and a pass breakup, and is tied with Smith with six QB hits.
LAST WEEK: 4

3. WR Vincent Jackson
Outside of a two-point conversion catch, Jackson had a quiet game against Jacksonville last week while Martin and running back Charles Sims were doing most of the damage. Jackson still leads the Bucs with 20 catches for 306 yards (15.3 avg.) and two touchdowns.
LAST WEEK: 1

4. MLB Kwon Alexander
Tampa Bay’s rookie middle linebacker is a phenom, recording 32 tackles, which ranks second on the team, one sack and one interception. His six pass breakups leads the Buccaneers through five games.
LAST WEEK: 3

5. DE Jacquies Smith
Smith led the NFL with four sacks in his first two games of the NFL, but has seen his production stall over the last three games. Smith was shut out statistically on Sunday outside of the biggest momentum-changing play of the game, which was his fumble recovery for a touchdown. Smith has 13 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles on the year and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
LAST WEEK: 2

Bucs LB Lavonte David – photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs LB Lavonte David – photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

6. LB Lavonte David
David is Tampa Bay’s leading tackler with 42 stops (20 solo) and has two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. David is coming off his best game of the season with a team-leading nine tackles and his first sack of the season last Sunday against Jacksonville.
LAST WEEK: 7

7. RB Charles Sims
Sims has really come on as an offensive weapon. He’s the second-leading rusher in Tampa Bay with 37 carries for 135 yards (3.6 avg.) with 14 catches for 193 yards (13.8 avg.) with two touchdowns. He had his first 100-yard receiving game last week, thanks in part to a 56-yard gain on a screen pass.
LAST WEEK: 8

8. SS Chris Conte
Conte, who sprained an ankle against Jacksonville, has become the Bucs’ biggest playmaker in the secondary. He is the third-leading tackler with 27 stops, including a team-high 23 solo tackles. Conte also leads Tampa Bay with two forced fumbles, in addition to three tackles for loss, two pass breakups and an interception.
LAST WEEK: 6

9. RB Bobby Rainey
Rainey keeps taking his game to a new level in the return game. He had two big punt returns, including a 58-yarder, against Jacksonville, and is now averaging 13.3 yards per return. Rainey is also shining as a kick returner with a 29.9-yard average with a long of 38 yards.
LAST WEEK: 10

10. QB Jameis Winston    
Winston rebounded from a poor outing against Carolina to complete 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) passes for 209 yards and a touchdown in a win over Jacksonville. It was Winston’s first turnover-free game in the NFL and he now has eight touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing) and seven interceptions through five games.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

DROPPED OUT: P Jacob Shum (9)

WHICH PLAYERS ARE NOT? – WEEK 6

Bucs WR Tim Jennings - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs WR Tim Jennings – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

1. CB Tim Jennings
Jennings was roasted on Sunday as he surrendered two of Jacksonville’s four touchdowns, allowed a 59-yard catch-and-run by Allen Hurns on fourth-and-15 on the Jaguars’ last drive and was flagged for two penalties. The play of Jennings, who has just one pass breakup, play has been on the decline since the win in New Orleans.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

2. WR Mike Evans
Evans missed the season opener due to a hamstring injury and has had a much slower start than expected. He has just 13 catches for 174 yards and no touchdowns, and is the third-leading receiver in Tampa Bay. Evans has just six catches for 73 yards over the last two games and needs to pick up his production.
LAST WEEK: 3

3. WR Louis Murphy
Murphy went from making big plays in the passing game against New Orleans (three catches for 82 yards) and Houston (three catches for 61 yards) to catching just three passes for 26 yards against Carolina and recording no catches last week against Jacksonville.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

4. SS Major Wright
Wright bit on a fake by Jacksonville receiver Allen Robinson on a touchdown last week and has just four tackles on the year, including two against the Jaguars. Wright hasn’t made as many plays as Bradley McDougald and Chris Conte and needs to step up.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED

5. DE George Johnson
Johnson has been replaced by Will Gholston in the starting lineup and has just nine tackles on the year after being rewarded with a decent contract in the offseason. Johnson did come up with a huge forced fumble that was recovered by Smith for a touchdown, but he has to make more impact plays as a pass rusher to justify his pay.
LAST WEEK: 2

DROPPED OUT: QB Jameis Winston (1), RT Gosder Cherilus (4), LT Donovan Smith (5)

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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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EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
5 years ago

I don’t know Scott, first PR claims LvD is better than Derrick Brooks, and now we’re calling Alexander is a “phenom”…I think maybe the evaluations of our LBs is a little over-the-top. LvD is very good (even if his performance so far has been not so great) and Alexander has potential – certainly an upgrade over Foster (but he’s not the next coming of Mike Singletary or Luke Keuchley or anything)…

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  EastEndBoy
5 years ago

Agree. David whiffed on at least 3 tackles last Sunday.

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  EastEndBoy
5 years ago

The definition of phenom is “a person who is outstandingly talented or admired, especially an up-and-comer.”

Sounds 100% accurate to me. Sure he’s making rookie mistakes but that’s to be expected. Much like Jameis he’ll learn and grow. Once that happens, look out.

seat26
seat26
5 years ago

Alexander is a Phenom because he was picked so low in the draft. This guy came out of nowhere and now he is a gamer on our defense. I think our linebackers are a lot stronger with him.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Like your selections except for Mike Evans. Can’t catch what isn’t thrown to you.
Had two steps on a Jacksonville CB and the ball was underthrown and deflected.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Yup – Evans had that TD if the ball is out front…

blackehart
blackehart
5 years ago

As much as I enjoy watching Kwon play, I get the impression that he’s not so great yet at setting the rest of the defense. I’m no coach so maybe I’m wrong about this, but I feel like I keep seeing the guys in the secondary with their palms in the air just before the snap, as if to say “what’s the call?” My uninformed guess is that one of the reasons the defense is struggling (at least in the red zone) is that we have a rookie “QB” on that side of the ball, too. McCoy is making sure… Read more »

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  blackehart
5 years ago

Good point, Kwon is definitely a great player. Maybe it was too soon to expect him to adjust to the NFL and call plays at the same time.

76Buc
76Buc
5 years ago

Where are the Conte haters on this one?

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  76Buc
5 years ago

They haven’t been around much lately. Conte is the only steady thing we have in the secondary right now.

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