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.