During a sluggish offensive day, Bucs center Ali Marpet had an excellent day against a tough defensive line in both phases. He posted a run blocking grade of 81.9, and was the only member of the Bucs’ offensive line to post a clean slate in pass protection. RB Doug Martin was at his best running to either side of Marpet, as he accumulated 33 yards on five runs off his center.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston really struggled against the blitz against the Panthers – as Carolina brought an extra rusher on 19 total dropbacks on Sunday. Winston completed 9-of-18 of those for just 101 yards and 2 interceptions while taking a sack. His passer rating of 27.5 when blitzed certainly reflects the pressure he felt on such plays.
Winston attempted 19 passes targeted 10+ yards downfield, but completed only nine of them for 147 yards and an interception. He fielded a 51.8 passer rating on such passes and didn’t complete one pass targeted 20+ yards against Carolina.
The Bucs runners and receivers did not force a single missed tackle against the Panthers on Sunday but RB Doug Martin did produce 44 of his 71 yards after contact. He really did his best work in the middle of the line as all but 19 of his yards came inside the tackle boxes.
WR Mike Evans struggled in this one against the Panthers – dropping two passes on his own, and had two more of his targets broken up one against Kevon Seymour and another against James Bradberry. In all, Evans was targeted 10 times, hauled in just five receptions for 60 yards and saw a 68.8 passer rating when targeted.
Week 8 Buccaneers Defensive Stats:
For the second-straight outing, CB Vernon Hargreaves had one of the more impressive performances on the field. While he did not allow a reception last week on 4 targets, he was nearly as impressive against Carolina as he was targeted seven times, and allowed just two receptions for a mere 13 yards. Impressively enough – he held Devin Funchess to 0 catches on four targets and then held Kelvin Benjamin to just one catch on two targets for nine yards. If this is the new Hargreaves after his shift to nickel in Buffalo, the Bucs and their fans will welcome this version of VHIII.
Bucs S Chris Conte was also targeted quite a bit in coverage today against Carolina, as he allowed five receptions on six targets. However, Conte limited a long pass of 16 yards and allowed just 19 yards after the catch. His first interception of the season came at a time in which the Bucs could have capitalized and brought the game back within one score as he anchored the defense’s strong efforts.
DT Chris Baker has arguably his best game in a Bucs uniform against Carolina, registering two QB hurries on just 12 pass-rush snaps and hauled in two defensive stops. He also got his hands on a pass at the line of scrimmage to grade out positively in every facet in this game.
Gerald McCoy struggled to generate much of a pass-rush against the Panthers, logging 30 pass-rush snaps (a team-high) but mustered just one QB hurry. He did pull in two solo tackles, one of which resulted in a defensive stop, however his ineffectiveness on pass-rushing snaps really set the tone for Newton to have plenty of time on the day.
Welcome back Kwon Alexander – who led the team with four defensive stops and 9 total tackles. He was also solid in coverage on the rookie RB duo of Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, allowing a catch to each for just 16 total yards and only 6 yards after the catch.
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]
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