Bucs DE Noah Spence – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
That one was about as impressive at they come.
The Bucs knocked off a surging Seahawks team, 14-5, to improve to 6-5 on the season and position themselves for a playoff push over the next five weeks. Tampa Bay dominated the game on both sides of the ball, sacking quarterback Russell Wilson six times and coming up with critical takeaways on defense, while starting the game with two quick touchdowns to go up 14-0 in the first quarter.
Jameis Winston was efficient while Mike Evans dominated the Legion of Boom. Doug Martin, behind solid blocking, ran tough against one of the NFL’s vaunted front sevens. And the Bucs defense turned in one of the single best performances for any defense this season.
Check out which players made PewterReport.com’s list of Most Impressive and share your thoughts.
CB ALTERRAUN VERNER
Playing with a heavy heart after the loss of his father over the weekend, Verner turned in perhaps the best game of his career, certainly his best in Tampa Bay. With the score at 14-5 late in the second quarter, the Seahawks, at the Bucs 29-yard line, were poised to come away with at least a field goal before half. Then Verner made an incredible play to intercept a pass over the middle and initiate an emotional scene on the field. Verner added a couple more pass breakups to his memorable day, along with two tackles and an assist in Lavonte David’s forced fumble in the fourth quarter.
S BRADLEY MCDOUGALD
Just when it seemed like the Seahawks were going to pull within one score and set up an onside kick with just over a minute left, McDougald stepped in front of a deep pass and iced the game with an interception. The young safety also broke up a third-and-10 pass in the fourth quarter (one of 10 third-down stops for the Bucs defense) and had three tackles for two yards or less in the first quarter. He finished with five, leading a secondary along with Verner that allowed just 151 yards through the air.
LB LAVONTE DAVID
David had been looking for a splash play, and on Sunday he got it. Just as critical as the two interceptions was David’s forced fumble that prevented the Seahawks from making it a one-score game with over seven minutes to play. What’s more, David returned the fumble, jarred loose from All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham, 53 yards to the Seattle 25-yard line, igniting the raucous crowd at Ray Jay and all but sealing the win late in the fourth quarter. Helping to hold the Seahawks’ backfield to just 47 yards, David finished with seven tackles on Sunday.
QB JAMEIS WINSTON
Winston was efficient, completing 21 of 28 for 220 yards with two TDs and one INT, and started fast, throwing both scores on the opening drives. By comparison, Russell Wilson, a Super Bowl winning QB and MVP candidate, finished 17 of 33 for 151 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bucs signal caller also remained clean – a credit to the offensive line and his own escapabilty – while Wilson was sacked six times. From extending plays to hitting nine different receivers, it’s clear Winston is finding his stride and leading an impressive young offense.
WR MIKE EVANS
Becoming just the fourth receiver in NFL history to eclipse 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons is one thing. Hitting the mark in Week 12, on a day where he often lined up against Richard Sherman, is another. Sunday was the seventh 90-yard outing this season for Evans, whose monster performances are becoming routine and expected. He finished with a game-high eight catches for 104 yards and both Bucs touchdowns, the second of which being a highlight reel play over Sherman.
DE NOAH SPENCE
At this rate, the Bucs could finally have a 10-sack man after all. Spence, who has 5.5 on the season in limited action, added 1.5 to his count Sunday. Along with sharing a sack with Gerald McCoy on the Seahawks’ first drive, Spence got another on third down on the first play of the second quarter. The rookie, who started the season as a “designated pass rusher,” embodies the development of the entire defense under Mike Smith over the past few weeks. Spence added five tackles to his day.
DT GERALD MCCOY
McCoy, who now has six sacks in 2016, also added 1.5 against the Seahawks. The Bucs All-Pro got to Wilson for the second time on third-and-6 in the fourth quarter, giving Tampa Bay its 10th third-down stop on the day against a normally prolific offense. McCoy finished with three tackles, anchoring a defensive line that set the stage for Thomas Rawls’ 38-yard rushing day.
CB VERNON HARGREAVES III
It seems like Hargreaves’ name hasn’t been called for three weeks, which is typically a good sign for a cornerback. On Sunday very few passes went the rookie’s way and he finished with five tackles. While Hargreaves didn’t get in on the splash-play action and is yet to record his first career interception, the silence on his side of the field is telling of his progression.
P BRYAN ANGER & GUNNER JOSH ROBINSON
The Bucs punter-gunner duo this season could be stacked up against any around the league. Sunday saw another incredible effort by the often-overlooked pair, as Anger pinned the opponent inside the 20 three times while Robinson capitalized on the final 56-yard bomb in the fourth quarter by tackling Seattle returner Tyler Lockett at the seven-yard line. Tampa Bay won the all-important battle of field position and that’s due in large part to Anger and Robinson.
Honorable Mention: DT Ryan Russell (sack in the fourth quarter, forced Wilson into bad throw on third down in the first), DE Robert Ayers (sack in the second quarter, good pressure throughout) and S Chris Conte (team-leading seven solo tackles)
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]
I agree with all of these but would have put Winston at the top of this list. He has been amazing the last 3 games and is the reason we have won three in a row. The O-line has been amazing as well. To me the most impressive in order we Winston, D-line, O-line, Angerer, then the D-backs.
the pick should have negated him from this list all together
One play? Simply amazing observation to discount the other 60+.
I don’t agree. He was sharp most of the night and outplayed the hottest QB out there by a mile. I have been a huge critic when Winston was playing poorly but there is no denying he is playing VERY well right now.
Actually, Jameis wasn’t very sharp in the second half and even most of the second quarter. That applies to the entire offense, and a combination of offensive line penalties that resulted in the safety, a free kick and the resulting field goal – the only points Seattle scored all game – were the direct result of offensive mistakes.
The only player from the offense I’d place in “most impressive” was Mike Evans with his 104 yards and 2 TD performance early in the game.
The rest of the “most impressive players” all come from the defense and special teams.
The offense did barely well enough to win – and that’s not good enough, because expecting our defense to hold offenses scoreless is unreasonable. Coach Koetter himself he was disappointed with the offense the entire second half.
I have to disagree, Naples. Jameis only attempted 9 passes in the second half. Completed 6 of them. Your posts seem to be overly harsh on Winston’s play this game. The offensive play calling got very conservative in the second half. The holding penalty on Stocker was borderline and the hands to the face on Dot, another very suspect call, wiped out a 3rd TD pass for Jameis. Not sure how sharp you expect him to be while only attempting 9 passes over the final 30 minutes, in some bad down and distance situations against a very good defense. I think he was slightly more sharp vs KC, but they aren’t as good as Seattle.
What exactly did you expect Naples? As posted below Jameis completed 6 of his 9 passes and should’ve had a 3rd TD if not for a bogus call. If you’re playing that game, take MIke Evans off of your list for not catching every throw thrown to him. Jesus some Bucs fans just can’t give Jameis his credit. Hell even our famous Bucnut can see that Jameis has been playing lights out. I had a much bigger problem with our play calling in the second have and the refs terrible spots.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the new DE, Ryan Russell, who we scarfed off the Cowboys practice squad have one and possibly 1.5 or two sacks and maintained pressure on Russell Wilson throughout the game.
Seems like that would deserve a little recognition to me for someone who was scavenged off a practice squad.
I was most impressed with the Bucs fans who took offense to the hoard of Seahawk fans. Finally having something to cheer about, the red clad Bucs fans defended our home turf.
Watching the game on TV, I was really impressed by the loudness of the Bucs crowd, including chants and making noise when the Hawks were on offense. Noisiest Bucs crowd on TV in years!
That pick was a touchdown before Dotson’s stupid penalty. The safety was a completion before a stupid penalty. If not for those penalties, Winston woulda been about perfect. So I don’t know how someone coulda watched that game, against that defense, and not think Winston wasn’t impressive, unless they don’t know what good Q.B. play looks like, Schiano.
It’s a good thing when this list is a long. I must say I had serious doubts about Anger before the season started. A buddy of mine is a huge Jags fan and he had less than stellar things to say about his punting ability. He was flat wrong. Anger has been a huge weapon for us. What a signing by Licht.
I wanted VH3 throughout the entire season last year and was ecstatic when we picked him. I think he has had his rookie moments but he has flashed what made many people call him the best cover corner in the draft, I cannot wait for his first career pick! As for Noah Spence, I couldn’t be happier with that pick we finally have a pass rusher. I have no doubt he will break the double digit sack curse, I think Pewterreport mocked Noah Spence to us in the first round at one point.
I’ve been very happy with how Noah is progressing this season. I think he can be a major force next season. I was higher on Rankins & Tunsil when they were still available at #11, but Vern has been pretty good this season. It still worries me that he has to face Julio, Sanu, KB, and Thomas twice a year. He doesn’t have great recovery speed & gets bodied by bigger WR’s. He’s got great technique though, so he’ll win a lot of battles. He’s gonna be a good player for us.
Even with his fumble Dougernaught should be on this list. It’s like this, That was a premier defense and for Doug to grind out 87 yards, eat the clock up and put Winston in a position to complete passes was worthy of being on the list.
The chargers don’t have as good of D Line, look for Doug to have a big day next Sunday.
Just put the entire O line and D line on the list. It’s amazing isn’t it, When the Lines play good so does the rest of the teams.
Just put all the punting unit on the list as well. Was every punt inside the 20? Hell yes they were. Besides Josh if I recall Shepard was downing balls all over the place. They had zero chances at a return. How about Humphries, when he fields a punt it seems like good things are going to happen.
The sky is the limit for the BUCS right now. That being said we have snuck up on our last team. Teams will be game planning much better now. I did not think Carrol would not have his team prepared, but that is exactly what happened. That’s not taking anything from the BUCS, but it’s the truth.
When Clint Eastwood shot an unarmed man in the Unforgiven and somebody called him on it he said “he should have armed himself”. Best win for us in years, after the game I went back and looked at posts and predictions. Besides the loyal BUC base not one sports pundit picked us to win. Not a chance to win was the most common prediction. 4 out of 5 of our own Pewter Report guys did not pick us to win.
Id agree with just about everything you said except for Doug. In my humble opinion , he still looks terrible. He bobbled every throw thrown to him and that fumble was classic Doug. And we can’t say it’s because we played Seattle as they have been giving up over 120 rushing yards a game coming these last couple of weeks. Doug is used up to me and we really need to look at that position come the off season.
120 that’s about what we got rushing. Hear me out, look again and you will see Doug fighting for yards that in reality were not big gaping holes. The O Line played well but really did not open up holed to run through.
Doug broke a lot of tackles on plays that only gained 3 or 4 yards. Could he have broken one off? Maybe, but those big ass runs are right around the corner.
I will agree that Doug is one of the tougher runners I’ve seen in some time, and that is almost to his detriment at times as the fumbles and the injuries happen. I’m hoping we get some of those big runs, as that would make play action even more lethal, and it is already the most lethal in the league statistically speaking. My main concern with him recently has been his hands catching the ball. He has been damn good at blitz pickup and that’s very important.
I’ll admit I got the hebeejeebees on some of his catches. I think he was just looking up field to early. I’m sure Koetter will chew his ass for that.
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