Bucs DE William Gholston – Photo by: Getty Images
Head coach Dirk Koetter may need a few more game balls after Sunday’s victory – including one for himself.
The Buccaneers remained calm through a turbulent start before taking complete control of the game, dominating the 49ers in every way to earn an impressive 34-17 win out west. Tampa Bay took full advantage of a historically bad run defense, while its own defense continued their success on third down (9-of-15) and created turnovers.
Jameis Winston and Mike Evans’ chemistry was on display while the return of Gerald McCoy was certainly felt. Here’s the long list of the Most Impressive Sunday, according to PewterReport.com.
RB JACQUIZZ RODGERS
Rodgers followed up his first 100-yard effort last week with an even better performance this Sunday. The sixth-year back, signed off the streets in September, bruised his way for 154 yards in the absence of Doug Martin and Charles Sims, running tough behind a dominant offensive line. His 45-yard run immediately following an interception by Bradley McDougald was perhaps the turning point in a stellar offensive outing.
WR MIKE EVANS
Jameis Winston made a few incredible scrambles to keep plays alive, and Evans seemed to always be there to capitalize and bail him out. The future Pro Bowl receiver caught eight passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, getting a few of his receptions off broken plays on third down. Evans’ monster season continued out west.
QB JAMEIS WINSTON
After starting 2-of-5 for 42 yards with an interception, Winston settled down by the second quarter and turned in one of his better performances. The second-year quarterback finished the afternoon an efficient 21-of-30 for 269 yards and three touchdowns, completing passes to six different receivers. He led Tampa Bay on a 12-play, 94-yard scoring drive – 72 yards through the air – to start the second quarter and never looked back. From keeping plays alive to moving the chains on third down, Winston looked in control Sunday.
RG ALI MARPET & RT DEMAR DOTSON
Former Buc great and current Fox Commentator Ronde Barber called the right side of the Bucs offensive line “dominating” in the third quarter, and rightfully so. While Joe Hawley and those to the left of him also had solid outings, the blocking lanes were especially evident from Marpet and Dotson’s side. Any time a team rushes for 250 yards – no matter who it’s against – you know the O-line is doing something right. For the most part the pocket was also clean for Winston, who was only sacked twice.
LBs KWON ALEXANDER AND LAVONTE DAVID
The Bucs linebacker duo combined for 18 tackles Sunday, helping to keep runners not named Colin Kaepernick to 76 yards on the ground. While Kaepernick was effective with his feet off broken plays, the 49ers were largely one dimensional. David also forced a fumble in the fourth quarter but San Fran was able to recover.
CB JUDE ADJEI-BARIMAH
In a 24-14 game, Adjei-Barimah, a rotational player in the dime package, came in on a nickel blitz on third-and-12 and forced a sack-fumble to all but seal the victory in the third quarter. With an additional five tackles Sunday, Adjei-Barimah showed how to make the most of your limited snaps. A secondary that got off to a slow start suddenly looks like it’s got some depth.
Gerald McCoy was back in action, but Gholston was right there with him in leading the defensive line. Along with seven tackles, the 6-foot-6 linemen recorded a big, eight-yard sack on third-and-12 in the first quarter. Speaking of third down, the Bucs continued their success Sunday, holding San Fran to 6-of-15 conversions. Gholson, for his part, was also a force in the running game, setting the tone for a 76-yard day for the 49ers backfield.
DT GERALD MCCOY
Back from a calf injury, McCoy looked like his usual self anchoring the defensive line and drawing double teams to free up space. The All Pro three-technique finished with three tackles and a sack-fumble, also getting his hand on a ball in the fourth quarter for good measure.
WR RUSSELL SHEPARD
Taking on a larger role on an injury-riddled offense, the special teams ace came up with a couple critical receptions en route to a 5-catch, 77-yard performance that included a touchdown. Shepard took over a drive in the second quarter, catching his first pass to move the chains on third-and-3 before hauling in a 13-yard pass the next play and a 19-yard score to cap off the drive. The Bucs took the lead on Shepard’s score and never gave it back. Evans was the obvious go-to, but when San Fran managed to cover him, Shepard made plays.
S BRADLEY MCDOUGALD
If Rodgers’ 45-yard run was a turning point on offense, McDougald’s interception along the sideline in the second quarter shifted momentum for the Bucs defense. The would turn it into three points, closing the 49ers lead to 14-10 and really starting to take over. Splash plays like that can set the tone early in games and the secondary’s second pick this season came at a good time. McDougald also finished with seven tackles.
Honorable Mention: Noah Spence (sack) and Peyton Barber (44-yard TD)
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]
Wow. So good to see. There may be hope after all. Evans and Rodgers were fantastic. Martin who ?
Winston most impressive? He was what he has been all season – a gamer who excels when plays break down and he has to scramble and make something out of nothing. But his slow starts, erratic play and lack of accuracy continues to undermine the offense. ——-
Before you quote the game stats, yes he can get the ball into a catchable zone where a talented WR with a large catching radius can make a play, but that is a far cry from consistently hitting receivers in stride where they can extend the play. If you paid attention to his play this was another B-/C+ effort, including letting his emotions get the best of him again. ——
I guess I should apologize for wanting and expecting more consistency and precision from someone we drafted to be our first ever franchise QB. He needs to show more improvement and not keep requiring us to make excuses for his emotions, slow starts and poor ball location or we are going to be in trouble when not playing teams with one win.
C+ for Winston, c’mon man.
Don’t apologize for your opinion though. Just be thankful we a some what competent QB under center. He threw some beautiful balls today and that’s all I ask.
I’m of the opinion that we are in every game with this guy playing and that is something that I’ll take.
All you do is complain about Winston. It’s petty and ridiculous. You don’t want him to succeed. “Lack of accuracy” He completed 70% of his passes yesterday. He missed some throws. Newsflash, every QB in the league misses throws. “Erratic play” He stood in a pocket and delivered some great throws. Took his check downs. Didn’t force the ball into bad spots 90% of the game. Pretty much everything everyone has been screaming about for weeks. Winston has played exactly 22 games. How about you let him continue to grow as a QB before expecting him to be an ALL PRO 6 games into his second season.
No point in trying Roots, Matador does nothing but bitch about Winston no matter what he does on the field. I think he’s still mad about the Mariota pick. Not every throw is going to be perfect, apparently he expects someone in their second year to be Drew Brees. We won and Winston did exactly what he was supposed to do. He’s played much better since getting a run game , who woulda thunk it?
I think you all need to remember that he only had two years of playing football in college and now only in his second year. 22 years old. Think of your own careers, would you want to be so judged so early on? Why not just appreciate having not only a talented QB, but a fun young guy who has his teammates backs at all cost. He is unique and I, for one, appreciate my franchise QB!
It’s fitting that Jacquizz get first mention in this article. Because he was first on the field. He RAN away with top honors in my humble opinion.
After a shaky first quarter the entire defense came alive and plated with a sense of urgency. Good for the defense. I saw many good plays on offense and defense today and am extremely encouraged by this.
This might be a water shed game for the BUCS. Hopefully they can RUN up a few more win and start the streak that Scott talked about a couple of weeks ago. Even Bobby A did better, 4 out of 5 kicks. In know 2 were pats, but hey, I’ll give him some slack.
What I saw that most excited me was Lavonte showing up. Hope he can use this to spring board his season into a higher gear.
GO BUCS LOVING YOU LONGTIME
When have the Bucs been in every game? Winston is in every game. Even behind by 14 points I felt we were going to win. Every NFL fan wants this feeling. We have it! Go Winston and Go Bucs!!!!
In every game is stretching it. I dont think we were ever in the Cardinals game but I do like the fact that Winston always gives us hope. I have to admit I was a little worried when we fell behind early to the 49ers.
Yup – the Bucs have not “been in”every game”, not with the 7 point performances against the Cardinals and Broncos. Those were the “Bad Jameis” games, and the defense was worst in the league in allowing points. With Jameis delivering two very good games in a row, which games also happened to coincide with two strong running games and relatively effective performance by our “chewing gum and bailing wire” defense, then we’ve definitely been competitive even after getting behind by two TDs yesterday.
I was impressed with the contingent of Bucs fans chanting “Tampa————-Bay” who evidently missed the news about the demise of Bucco Bruce. It was like Throw Back Sunday.
Also impressed for the second game in a row that the team shrugged off an early deficit and misfortune to rise to the occasion.
No, Jameis, who could have been enjoying his senior season at FSU, isn’t a seasoned veteran yet. Yes, he is emotional at times. But you know what Matador, the team rallies behind him, is inspired by him and knows that if Jameis will do everything he can to win so must they. Used to have a QB like that who didn’t even complete 50% of his passes. They even showed a highlight of him on the telecast. Saw a fan wearing his jersey too……………… Doug Williams.
Good comparision, Winston and Doug. Never thought about that. After some serious brain activity I now recall the similarities.
Damn, it sucks getting old’
Agree with all of the kudos listed here by Zach.
Let me suggest that the Bucs coaches, especially Dirk Koetter with his commitment to the run game planning and play calling, and Mike Smith getting his brand new defense with many new personnel even with key guys out with injury to gell after only 5-6 games, They are truly among the “most impressive” of the Bucs yesterday.
On another note, in a thread a week ago or so, I commented that Russell Shepherd is “clutch”, and another commenter took issue with that characterization. I defended it by saying that Russell doesn’t get many targets, but whenever he is targeted and asked to step up and perform in key game situations, he makes it count. Well, I would say that’s the textbook description of exactly what Russell did yesterday, when he teamed up with Jameis Winston and gave us that key touchdown drive.
Finally, with respect to Jameis, I’ve adopted a model of “Good Jameis/Bad Jameis” in commentary here this season .. and suggested that Jameis being able to get “Bad Jameis” into submission was going to determine his overall season .. and that what started out as alternating weeks between good and bad needed to settle into consistent good if he was to avoid the dreaded “sophomore slump” that some have accused him of suffering. Well, Good Jameis has made two straight appearances, greatly aided by the resurrected running game of Jacquizz Rodgers and abetted by Peyton Barber – 249 rushing yards against SF!!
Jameis is still going to have some games less impressive than others, but if what we’ve seen the last two games of Jameis accepting his coaching and if our running game continues to be a steady part of the offense, aided by great receiver play, then it’s not difficult at all now to imagine that the Bucs are contending for the playoffs come late December.
I would agree that Shepard was in fact “clutch” on Sunday. But never before had he even shown enough to get on the field. Let’s hope it continues since he has now earned more chances.
I was really impressed with the team yesterday. The Niners are a bad team. So what. You’re supposed to go out and smash bad teams. I thought the Defense really buckled down after that opening drive. They’re starting to find some cohesiveness and when Ayers & McDonald get healthy, they will only improve. McCoy was sorely missed.
I gotta give Dirk props for finding his groove after the first quarter. He finally mixed up the play calling with screens, misdirection and quick passes. I know he hates going No Huddle/Tempo, but his offense and young QB responds to it. You could see it in the second quarter and Jameis got into a rhythm. The OL was good yesterday. They mauled the Niners DL. Allowed some pressure, but they kept a clean enough pocket for Jameis to find receivers. Evans continues to dominate and Shep stepped up big time. What happened to Shorts? Hump was a ghost. Stocker back out there was a welcome sight. Quizz & Barber had quite a day. They really stepped up and did their job.
I agree with almost everything you said, except that 49’s are a bad team. All NFL teams are close in talent.
The fact is that Chip Kelley sucks. Always will.
You don’t think they are a bad team? Besides Hyde, I couldn’t name one game changer on their roster. Their GM gutted their team and their cupboard is bare. Total rebuild mode. I think we have a lot more talented players than they do. Chip is indeed not an NFL coach. He needs Mariota for his offense to work. Disaster.
But yes, GO BUCS!
As is said in the news of late. SAD
Nice list Zach. I think if I was to boil it down, I would have to give the 1st prize ribbon to the OLINE though…that was as dominant a performance as I’ve seen (not just by our Bucs, but by any team) in quite some time. Completely owned the 49ers Dline…
now, in fairness, it was the worst Dline in the league, so temper our enthusiasm, but dominance against any team in the league of parity is not something one sees often.
if Mr.Winston doesn’t improve on his accuracy he will never be a top tier qb.
God to see you back spouting your stupidity sun shine. How was that Mariota game losing fumble yesterday?
@ Sunshineben: Uh……. Winston completed 70% of his Passes yesterday. Hating doesn’t change the facts.
And he’s 22 years old and works on his accuracy every week of the year. He will only get better.
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