WR Russell Shepard – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
This one is going to be short.
Despite the Raiders forcing zero turnovers and committing 23 penalties for 200 yards – most in NFL history – the Bucs managed to lose to Oakland 30-24 in overtime on Sunday. There were opportunities to win, and then some more – but whether it was a defensive holding to negate a fourth-down stop, three consecutive three-and-outs for the offense or surrendering the winning touchdown on fourth down, Tampa Bay was not going to leave this one with a winning record.
Truthfully, the best thing the Bucs had going for them were the refs, but PewterReport.com’s weekly tradition of Most Impressive players must go on. So here are a few guys, in our opinion, who made just enough plays to make the obligatory list.
WR ADAM HUMPHRIES
Before the Bucs offense looked inept, there were flashes of greatness to end the third quarter and start the fourth. On the final play of the third Jameis Winston found Humphries, who broke a tackle and raced 42 yards to the five-yard line. After 17 unanswered points by Oakland, the play sparked new life in Tampa Bay’s offense. Winston hit Cameron Brate on the next play for the score, making it 17-16 (missed PAT) to start the final quarter. Humphries had two earlier receptions for 16 yards, finishing with three for a team-leading 58.
LB LAVONTE DAVID
Again, it’s slim pickings. David only had six tackles, but he broke through on a few screens and saved bigger gains. The fifth-year linebacker also shared a tackle for loss with Will Gholston on a short pass from Derek Carr to Latavius Murray in the second quarter and followed up with a six-yard stop on second-and-19. For all the Raiders late third-down conversions – six of their seven conversions in second half/overtime – David didn’t seem to be the specific player on the wrong end.
DE WILL GHOLSTON
It’s difficult to put a player on from the defensive line, which struggled mightily to apply pressure, but Gholston seemed to lead the run-defense that held Oakland to 105 yards on 23 carries. Gholston finished with four tackles, including three for a one-yard gain or less in overtime. He’s often praised by coaches and teammates for his relentless effort, from start to finish.
WR RUSSELL SHEPARD
In a game where no Bucs players really turned in a consistent performance, the list has become more of an “Impressive Play” acknowledgment. That said, Shepard had arguably the best catch of the afternoon for Tampa Bay, hauling in a well-thrown ball from Winston for a 19-yard touchdown in the second quarter. His diving grab behind cornerback D.J. Hayden gave the Bucs a 10-0 lead and momentum in a once-promising game. Shepard, who finished with two receptions for 24 yards, also drew an unnecessary roughness on third down and a pass interference a couple plays later to aid the Bucs go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter.
P BRYAN ANGER/ PUNT COVERAGE
It typically doesn’t speak well of a team’s overall performance when the punter is one of its most impressive players, but Anger was excellent once again. Along with pinning the Raiders at the one-yard line in the second quarter, Anger also had two punts of over 50 yards to flip the field. Tampa Bay wishes he weren’t as busy – eight punts (48-yard net average) – but he did his job Sunday. The coverage team, led by Russell Shepard and Josh Robinson, also did its job, keeping Oakland to one punt return for zero yards. Robinson also capitalized on Anger’s booming kick by downing it at the one-yard line.
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 protected]
Got to disagree Zach; no one on Defense was impressive. I don’t award average play. Agree with Humphries and Sheppard. Angler putted good. OL
OL was lacking protection.
I thought Lavonte David played the best of anyone on defense. Nothing really got past him. McDougald played extremely well, breaking up passes and making good tackles, until the very last play when he was unable to prevent the sudden death touchdown. Grimes also had his ups and is clearly the Bucs best corner by far. Everyone on the defense was undermined by a non-existent pass rush and Kwon Alexander’s missed tackles and poor coverage. Interestingly, PFF gave its four highest offensive player scores to offensive linemen (everybody but you-know-who, who had to “block” Khalil Mack). The headline beneath those scores reads “Front Five Only as Good as its Weakest Link.” No kidding! Donovan Smith is not an NFL caliber left tackle. Demar Dotson could be. They should swap positions. Jameis Winston could do so much more with a blindside protector he could count on.
Gholston was a beast I watched him the whole game. Dotson should have been have been a DE like Ed “TOO Tall”. He’s not a good tackle. Donavan is a RT.
We need a LT, a fast WR, a rush DL, and a Safety. Right now we a an emerging team, but a year away and must fill those positions and get more depth.
Sometimes I wonder what game you people are watching. Here you put Lavonte David (6 tackles) on the Most Impressive List and I thought he was practically invisible. Yet people criticize Kwon Alexander (14 tackles) who deserves to be recognized with Will Gholston…………and that’s about it. Yes, there was a good play or two but overall there were few with whom I was impressed on this day. Perhaps Bryan Anger who consistently does his job. Perhaps a shout out to Long Snapper Andrew DePaola. And then there are those who blame LT Donovan Smith for Mack’s two sacks on Jameis when as I recall it was Dotson who he blew past. Frankly Jameis had plenty of time to throw. It looks like he’s playing overly cautious.
Funny our impressive D linemen Gholston was in pass coverage on the TD pass that tied the game. When you don’t have enough linemen to mount a pass rush, I guess you put them in coverage instead?
Stocker should get honorable mention as he had some stone cold blocks and one pass for 6 yds even did the first down sign with his hand. .
I watched this game from home in AZ and there wasn’t much to like other than a few plays here and there, safeties getting destroyed, Hargreaves getting abused by Cooper, Kicker missing makeable kicks, no pass rush, Winston over throwing balls esp on deep routes, oh wait this is the most impressive list I forgot let me see……… nope I can’t think of anything
I’m impressed by Winton’s arm strength, “I bet he could chuck a football over that mountain over there_ – Uncle Rico.
Seriously though, I know he’s super afraid of throwing a pick, but he needs to dial it back a couple notches.
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