The list of Most Impressive once again comes as an obligatory feature, following another tough loss for the Bucs on Thursday night, this one at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons.
Still reeling from a 94-snap game last Sunday, Tampa Bay’s defense surrendered 482 yards and allowed quarterback Matt Ryan to complete 73 percent of his passes. And after a textbook start on offense, the Bucs fumbled away opportunities early and failed to sustain drives late. The Falcons had the ball for 19 minutes and 45 seconds in the second half.
It’s hard to pick out the good parts of a 43-28 loss, one that quickly fell apart in the third quarter, but there were a few Bucs players’ whose performance shouldn’t go unnoticed. Here they are, according to PewterReport.com, in this week’s Most Impressive List.
WR MIKE EVANS Though his night was largely overshadowed by the Falcons offense, you may have noticed that Evans had more catches and receiving yards (11 for 150) than Julio Jones, who’s widely considered the NFL’s best receiver. Despite often drawing double coverage, the Bucs third-year pro continued his season dominance of defensive backs. Thursday night was Robert cornerback Alford’s turn (see Evans’ second touchdown), or safety Keanu Neal, who couldn’t prevent Evans from making arguably the best catch of the season no matter how big a hit he put on. Evans, who left the game in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion, caught the opening-drive TD and finished with 11 receptions for 150 yards.
WR ADAM HUMPHRIES & TE CAMERON BRATE While many fans would argue that Humphries is more of a No. 3/slot receiver and Brate is more of a No. 2 tight end, the Bucs duo of undrafted free agents continue to produce in the role they’ve been thrust into for different reasons. The former, who caught five passes for 46 yards and a TD, continues to be effective in the screen game while the latter served as a nice connection for Mike Glennon on the final drive. Both also had a few receptions called back on penalties, or in Brate’s case, a touchdown on a challenge reversal in the first quarter. The third-year tight end finished with five catches for 43 yards and a score.
RG KEVIN PAMPHILE Recognizing a strong performance by an offensive lineman is hard enough, let alone singling one out from the most cohesive unit on the field. But Pamphile, who regularly grades out well from coaches and Pro Football Focus, was solid again Thursday. He was the only Bucs lineman to not be called for a penalty. The O-Line’s job becomes tougher by the week with the Bucs injury misfortune at running back, but despite the struggles and escape from the ground game, the unit continues to perform well under difficult circumstances. Pamphile stood out.
DT GERALD MCCOY At 13-7 in the second quarter, the game was still competitive and McCoy shifted momentum to the Bucs. Robert Ayers came free around the edge, McCoy burst through the middle and the latter came up with a sack-fumble that gave the offense the ball at the Falcons 19-yard line. It quickly turned into a touchdown and 14-13 lead for Tampa Bay, showing how critical splash plays like that are to the team’s success. It didn’t last, though. From there, the Bucs pass rush was almost entirely absent – but the list after a loss usually acknowledges specific plays and that was a good one from McCoy.
P BRYAN ANGER When a punter is on the Most Impressive List, it usually tells you all you need to know about the game. Anger only punted three times – a TD and two fumbled possessions kept him sidelined through the first quarter – but all three were gems. The first, a 53-yard bomb, pinned the Falcons at the 4-yard line in the second quarter. The second, a 40-yarder, placed Atlanta at its own 16. And the third, for 50 yards, on its own 17-yard line, and all three kept dangerous return man, Eric Weems, in check. Anger had a net average of 47.3 yards Thursday night.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: email@example.com
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