In a game as close as the one the Bucs played on Sunday with the Buffalo Bills, there are bound to be a handful of praises to give out but some disappointments to show, too.
The folks over at Pro Football Focus help us get down to who fits in which camp every week, and the same is the case this week in Tampa Bay’s 30-27 loss.
Here’s how PFF graded the Bucs’ players performances on Sunday.
Week 7 Buccaneers Offensive Stats:
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Bucs QB Jameis Winston did all he could in the second half to get the Bucs in a position to win and despite a bad decision on a seam route to TE Cameron Brate, Winston had a spectacular game. He was particularly impressive under pressure, something he struggled with last season. On the afternoon, he completed 5-of-9 passes for 81 yards and 2 TDs when under duress.
Winston’s errant throw to Brate that was intercepted by rookie LB Matt Milano tarnished what would have been an impressive statline when throwing in between the hashes against Buffalo. Tossing out the interception, Winston completed 16-of-21 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown in between the numbers on Sunday afternoon.
RB Doug Martin earned his paycheck, and his yards, on Sunday against the Bills – gaining more yards AFTER contact, than total rushing yards. On his 20 carries, Martin gained 49 total yards, but did it the hard way as 50 of those were after first contact. He forced two missed tackles on the afternoon.
WR Mike Evans put forth another great effort in the loss to Buffalo, hauling in 7-of-10 total targets his way for 88 yards and a touchdown. Winston fielded a 130.4 passer rating when targeting Evans as the four-year pro hauled in receptions on four different defenders. The touchdown he hauled in on rookie CB Tre’Davious White was only the second TD he has allowed all year.
Rookie TE O.J. Howard had his best career game catching the ball against Buffalo – hauling in all six targets his way. He was targeted on four different defenders and was able to bring in catches against safeties Jordan Poyer and Shareece Wright and linebackers Preston Brown and Lorenzo Alexander. Winston had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when targeted Howard.
Week 7 Buccaneers Defensive Stats:
The Buccaneers pass-rush was impressive in the loss to the Bills on Sunday – tallying 14 total QB pressures, including three from DT Gerald McCoy. McCoy also registered two solo tackles, both of which constituted a win for the defense and were credited as stops.
Edge defender Robert Ayers was also impressive when rushing the passer, pulling in three pressures (1 sack, 1 hit, 1 hurry). Ayers performance was a bit tarnished however when he missed a tackle on LeSean McCoy late in the game.
Bucs LB Lavonte David continued his elite level of play on Sunday, hauling in 12 solo tackles without missing a single attempt. His seven stops were a team- and game-high, and he provided the late spark by way of a forced and recovered fumble that led what was the go-ahead touchdown. No shock to see his overall PFF grade stay above a 90.0 after this week. Aka, Elite.
CB Vernon Hargreaves was moved to the Bucs nickel corner spot for this game, and had arguably his best game of coverage, perhaps in his young career. Hargreaves was targeted four times, and did not allow a single reception and recorded a pass defense. Maybe most impressive was the fact that he did not miss a single tackle on his 36 total snaps after missing multiple tackles last week.
Brent Grimes had a rough day in coverage for the Bucs, allowing 4-of-5 targeted passes to be caught for 70 yards. He was seemingly out of position a couple of times, which led to chunk plays, mainly by Deonte Thompson who hauled in two of his catches for 40 yards against Grimes.
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@example.com
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