Bucs K Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Getty Images
The Bucs improve to .500 on the season with perhaps their biggest win in five years, taking out the now 7-3 Chiefs in hostile Arrowhead Stadium – something the last 10 opponents have failed to do in Kansas City.
The 19-17 win was a story of third-down efficiency on offense (11-of-16) and two critical stops inside the red zone on defense, with nearly every player contributing in some form to earn the signature victory. While there were unsung stars and moments of great effort – Doug Martin, for example, turned a few negative runs into positive yards – here are the list of standouts, according to PewterReport.com, in this week’s Most Impressive List.
QB JAMEIS WINSTON
The crowd’s war chant was for the Chiefs, to be sure, but it must have made Winston feel more at home. The second-year quarterback was calm and collected from beginning to end, throwing for 331 yards and a late touchdown in one of his best performances as a pro. Winston’s 11 third-down conversion-completions, including on the Bucs lone TD and in the final two minutes to Mike Evans to ice the game, tells the whole story. He found seven different receivers on another day without an interception.
S CHRIS CONTE
If last week’s interception set the tone early, this one served as the turning point in a close battle. With the Chiefs on the 6-yard line and poised to take a five-point lead, Conte stepped in front of Alex Smith’s pass to the end zone and brought it out 53 yards into opponent’s territory. The Bucs offense scored its only touchdown nine plays later, underscoring how critical takeaways are in tight game. It should be noted that Conte also forced Travis Kelce out of bounds two plays earlier to save a touchdown and give the defense an opportunity to keep Kansas City out of the end zone. The safety finished with six tackles, second most on the team.
WR MIKE EVANS
It was another big day for Mike Evans, who hauled in six receptions for 105 yards Sunday, including the game-icing conversion at the two-minute warning. Evans also had catches of 23 and 31 yards in the first half, both of which helped to set up field goals.
WRs CECIL SHORTS, RUSSELL SHEPARD and ADAM HUMRPHIES
They were the “third-down” trio on Sunday, as all three receivers had two catches each to move the chains. Winston was sharp and firing passes over the middle all afternoon, and Shorts, Shepard and Humphries came through for their quarterback. They finished with 62, 54 and 47 yards, respectively. All three had longs of 19 yards.
DE NOAH SPENCE
Once deemed a “designated pass rusher,” or DPR, Spence has steadily progressed and earned himself more playing time. On Sunday the rookie came up with a third-down stuff in the second quarter that forced a punt and finished with four tackles. The Tampa Bay defensive line didn’t record a sack, yet still performed relatively well against a Chiefs offense that features mostly short and quick passes.
K ROBERTO AGUAYO
Yes, all four field goals – from 31, 22, 41 and 36 yards out – are expected from an NFL kicker, but Sunday was unmistakably impressive for Aguayo. Not only was he perfect in sub-50 degree weather, unfamiliar conditions for the Florida native, but he also hit a crucial PAT to ensure a two-score game in the final minutes. Given there were 11 missed extra points around the league Sunday, that’s a bigger kick than it may seem. Aguayo, now 13-of-18 on FGs on the year, has made seven in a row.
CB ALTERRAUN VERNER
After Brent Grimes suffered a quad injury in the first quarter, Verner entered the game and filled in admirably for the most part. Other than a 42-yard pass from Smith to Tyreek Hill before half, Verner held his own and broke up a couple third-down passes. For his first time seeing significant snaps on defense since Week 2, the seventh-year pro turned in a solid outing for Tamp Bay, helping to hold anyone not named Travis Kelce to less than 60 yards receiving.
Honorable Mention: TE Cameron Brate (both catches on third down), Pass Protection (no sacks on Winston) and RB Doug Martin (turned negative yards into positive gains numerous times and blitz pickup on Evans’ 31-yard catch).
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]
Zach; really? I have to disagree with your picks of Spence and Verner. Four tackles and Spence is worthy of a Most Impressive. Verner got burned once for a touchdown and that is a Most Impressive. Actually we still had no pass rush. Our starting 4 on the DL were average to below average. Just because it was a low scoring game I would like to add that both Reid and Koetter called a conservative game. Luck was with us today. We have to be able to put more pressure on the QB if we want to be a serious contender. Go Bucs!
Horse, Alex Smith gets rid of the ball too quickly for the defenders to get there. That’s why they couldn’t convert third downs with his dink and dunk approach.
I like that it is a long list. Jameis was money on 3rd down. I thought the o-line should be here, also. Especially Dotson and Smith. Go Bucs!
Jameis was money on third down because the chief fans were unknowingly rooting him on. The Chief fans do the Seminole chant on third down. It made Winston feel like he was in college again. At the beginning of the game he was even doing it with the fans. lol
Bucs rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo is fast becoming a rags to riches story. Over the last five games, he is 8/9 on field goals and 12/13 on extra points. He had five misses in the first five games. That’s a major turnaround!
Nice story on Aguayo as reported by Greg Auman of TBT. Bucs’ Roberto Aguayo, hearing Chiefs’ war chant, wanted to do FSU chop out of tunnel, talked out of it by Bryan Anger: “Dude, not today.” Lol.
Aguayo actually made 4 field goals today, not 3. But regardless of the distances of them, they were right down the middle for the most part which is encouraging. I’m starting to become more and more confident in him each time we send him out there. I also think the offensive line as a whole played relatively well. Winston wasn’t pressured too often against a very good Chiefs D line
Could be a longer list.
Koetter most definitely should be on it. Mostly for not laying down with minute and a half to go in the first half. he called some great time outs and made the right calls throughout the game.
Coach Smith called a good defensive game also. No flashy sacks but a steady game plan to slow down their running game.
OFFENSIVE LINE, pretty damn good showing. If people did not know this KC has a very good D LIne. Jameis had plenty of pocket to step up in and time to do it. Well done. Oh yeah, didn’t Caleb come in as a replacement on the line? Even more impressive.
One more shout out, Bradley McDougal. If he didn’t stuff their RB 2 yards behind the line Conte doesn’t make his big play.
one more, Josh Robinson. Great tackling on special teams.
Man it feels good to be able to single out so many.
VERY NICE WIN FOLKS
Just one more aside. All of Roberto’s kicks were not only good, but if they more than 5 foot off center I’ll eat my hat.
Agree with O-line comment. Hawley looked like a dwarf warrior out there all day – called a great game. Don’t remember any middle pressures on Jameis. I thought Safety play today was much better, too. Coach Reid will fool most DBs and ours held up well when it mattered most.
Though the Bucs left points on the field, it’s almost impossible to criticize a win as hard earned as this. Go Bucs!
Right on Gulfstrings, I forgot to mention that we won this against Andy Reid. The most under rated coch in the NFL.
Yes, the Chiefs have three excellent sackers and I was astounded how well our Offensive Line did in pass blocking in this game with a disruptive crowd noise and Jameis wasn’t sacked once. That allowed him time to hit so many of his targets today. My hat is off to Arguayo hitting all his kicks too. I had no idea Conte was as fast and illusive as he showed today on his timely interception in the KC end zone. If we beat the Seahawks this coming Sunday the Bucs could make the playoffs this year. This team is peaking at the right time right at the point they were failing under other past Buc Coaches since Chucky. It is a tribute to Koetter not wearing out our team in hot practices this past summer and all his Asistant Coaches and of course Jason Licht. Way to go Bucs!!!
I don’t know why the entire Offensive Line isn’t on this list. I saw a couple of coordination issues with Caleb Benenoch, who took over after Gottchalk went down, but overall the rookie played well. There were few splash plays in this game. Everyone played inspired and were not intimidated by the Chiefs or their crowd.
Anyone who still thinks Jameis Winston is a “bust” should seek help from Dr. Phil.
One of the most hostile places to play with their tomahawk chant. To bad it’s the same chant that helped inspire our Q.B. to greatness at FSU, and yesterday at Arrowhead. Thanks guys, it also made our kicker think he was back kicking at Tallahassee!
Great win today, I thought Martin ran hard even if stat sheet didn’t show it just to many negative runs hurt his average. Winston was clutch finding open guys all over field making plays with his feet too, he fumbles at least once a game so he needs to correct that. O-line gave him time, wr’s caught everything, defense was a bend not break kind of day, still woul like to see a pass rush, kicker getting mojo back but everything was chip shot field goals the decision not to kick a 54 yrd tells me even Koetter still weary of kid confidence
Welcome back JonnyG. Good observation about Doug Martin. The decision not to attempt the 54 yard FG was due to the wind. I thought it was the right call in that situation.
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