As we do every week, PewterReport.com teams up with Pro Football Focus to give fans some quick-hit grades for positions and players from the Bucs most recent game.

This week we focus on the 38-33 loss the Bucs suffered at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals. This game really was a roller coaster with injuries and inefficiencies in the first half, only for things to get turned around drastically with a huge second half resulting in turnovers and points.

Here were PFF‘s notes and grades for the Bucs against the Cardinals.

Week 6 Buccaneers Offensive Stats:

  • Backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (besides one bad throw) put together a valiant effort in the Bucs comeback attempt on Sunday, especially on throws in between the numbers. He completed passes at a high level across the middle of the field at all distances, and finished his afternoon completing 14-of-18 passes in between the numbers for 153 yards and two of his three touchdowns.
  • Fitzpatrick was possibly even better under pressure than when he was kept clean from pressure against Arizona. The veteran QB completed 9-of-5 passes under duress for 75 yards and 1 touchdown for a 120.1 passer rating. When kept clean – he completed 17-of-23 for 215 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions for a 95.4 passer rating.
  • The lack of a running game against Arizona can be in part be anointed to the deficit to overcome – but even on 18 carries, Bucs running backs forced just one missed tackle on the afternoon. Doug Martin did gain 29 yards after contact, most of which came on runs to the right side of the offensive line, proving the worth in run blocking of Demar Dotson.
  • Speaking of Dotson, he logged 49 total pass blocking reps, and allowed one QB hurry on the afternoon. With the recent struggles of Rams T Andrew Whitworth, Dotson now finds himself atop the list of pass blockers at the tackle position. Of all tackles with at least 80 snaps in pass protection, Dotson fields the league’s highest pass block efficiency at 98.9, having allowed just three hurries on 210 total pass block snaps.
  • With Mike Evans kept in check by All-Pro Patrick Peterson (4 targets on Peterson, 0 receptions) – TE Cameron Brate stepped up in a big way for the Bucs. Brate hauled in 6-of-7 targets for 76 yards and a passer rating of 151.5 exposing the gaps in the Cardinals zone coverage scheme on multiple plays. Brate’s three-game tear that he’s been on has now pushed his yards per route run average to 2.20, which is good enough for fourth among the league’s tight ends with at least 74 snaps in route.

​​Week 6 Buccaneers Defensive Stats:

  • As surprising as it sounds, the Bucs defense only combined to miss a total of four missed tackles on the afternoon against the Cardinals. That’s not to say they weren’t out of position multiple times or completely blocked out of the play however as only five of 19 defensive players graded positively in run defense (S T.J. Ward with the highest run defense grade).
  • Unable to generate much pressure on the afternoon as a team, DT Gerald McCoy still impressed and kept up his pass-rushing prowess on the season. He recorded two QB hurries and a sack on Carson Palmer, keeping him in the top three in terms of most total pressures among DTs so far this season. He now has 21, behind only DeForest Buckner (29) and Geno Atkins (24) among DTs in 2017.
  • The aforementioned run defense woes shined through all the way to the secondary as four of the five leading tacklers on the afternoon were members of the Bucs secondary. CB Brent Grimes logged eight solo tackles, only two of which were considered wins for the defense while CB Vernon Hargreaves III registered seven solo tackles, but also missed three of his 11 tackle attempts on the afternoon.
  • Speaing to Hargreaves III struggles, while he allowed only 50 yards on receptions (2nd lowest total of the season), He allowed 100.0% of passes thrown his way to be caught for the second week in a row and has only one pass defense on 37 total targets this season. QBs targeting VHIII see a 128.7 passer rating, so odds are, we will see a lot more targets his way this season.
  • On the other side of the secondary, CB Brent Grimes put forth another solid effort in coverage, despite allowing a 30-yarder to Jaron Brown in the game. On five targets, Grimes allowed just three receptions for a total of 49 yards (30 of which came on the catch to Brown) and recorded an interception and a pass defense. Palmer saw a 53.3 passer rating when targeting Grimes and the veteran now has just a 68.6 passer rating when targeted this season.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Subscribe
Notify of
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Horse
Horse
4 years ago

Trevor, wouldn’t it seem logical the defensive coordinator would provide some additional help to Hargreaves? I think that’s called making adjustments?

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

Yes, I agree. Either we are comfortable with a back ups playing at a high caliber when called upon and if not, why are they on the team? Look at the consistent teams like Patriots, Steelers, Seahawks; they seem to get around all the injuries. I have zero pity for Smith; this is the NFL and you have to be aggressive at the scrimage line no mater what position you play. Obviously the next two games are critical. We have been dealt a lousy situation when we couldn’t play Miami and lost our mid season week off, but we still… Read more »

Justin2626
Justin2626
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

Trevor, I think we need to put away the “injuries” excuses. Smith’s defense, yes, has dealt with tons of injuries to big name players on that unit; however, I can’t really think of a SOLID defense in the NFL that hasn’t. There are defenses out there doing far more with far far less talent then we have. I think it’s due time to start holding Smith more accountable and stop giving him these partial-excuses. Smith needs to be pressed to make adjustments to his scheme, and he needs to do something more on the preparation side of the house. Something… Read more »

Twistedwires
Twistedwires
4 years ago

I try not to ever blame the refs for a loss and I certainly am not going to blame them for this loss. But I’d like to see the NFL officials’ grades for the officiating in this game. I don’t study game film and I’m obviously biased but I did see a number of pass interference penalties NOT called on our receiver over and over. And someone explain to me how that interception on the goal line is considered down by contact even though the defender didn’t maintain control all the way to the end and yet Chris Baker wasn’t… Read more »

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Twistedwires
4 years ago

Can’t disagree with you; Cardinals Defense was all over our receivers and if our Defense touched their receivers we were called out on it. But then the Ref’s realized how way out of line the penalties were so in the 4th quarter when the game was way over they called some softies on the Cardinals. Still we got blown apart when it was 31-0 so there it is; we’re not a good coached team at the moment.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
4 years ago

Here’s EEB’s take, from the “play it again Sam” files: Rushing 4 linemen and playing soft coverage does not work for this team. The first half was laughable…Carson Palmer was made to look like Joe Montana as he took all day to pitch-and-catch with Larry and co. while Peterson ran through holes in the line; past out-of-position linebackers, and over/past so-called Safeties. The players we have look that much worse when they’re asked to do things they are not capable of doing….Justin Evans & Chris Conte covering WRs…the inevitable TDs happen. VHIII playing off coverage….the inevitable 9+ yard catches happen.… Read more »

Horse
Horse
Reply to  EastEndBoy
4 years ago

EEB; There it is, you said it all. Right now we need better coaching and the next two games will tell us where we’re heading.

Madman
Madman
4 years ago

LOL. VH3 perfect again!!! Who says Ryan Smith Can’t do better? Can’t do worse.