Despite the disappointing finish, center Evan Smith had himself a great afternoon in pass protection, as he did not allow a single QB pressure on his 44 pass blocking snaps. He and RG J.R. Sweezy each combined for 88 pass blocking snaps and did not allow a QB pressure.
Jameis Winston may have turned it on in the fourth quarter to make the game interesting, but he struggled in this game. Winston really had a tough time forcing the ball downfield, as on throws targeted at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, he fielded a 44.3 passer rating, completing just 9-of-17 passes for 154 yards and two interceptions.
Another concerning factor from Winston’s game was his performance when not under duress as he completed 23-of-32 passes when kept clean, but also threw both of his interceptions and nearly his costly third pick. He finished with a passer rating of 81.1 when kept clean, as he was well protected on 33 of his 42 dropbacks.
New face at RB for the Bucs? Peyton Barber toted the ball a team-high 12 times, gained a team-high 58 yards and gained 42 yards after contact for Tampa on Sunday. He did not forced a missed tackles but was difficult to bring down in the open field regardless. He was very efficient running to the left side of the offensive line, gaining 51 of his 58 yards when running to any gap, left of the center.
Evans down, Godwin up. Mike Evans and Jameis Winston struggled to get things going offensively as Winston saw just a 7.6 passer rating when targeted him. He saw 6 targets, hauled in 2 of them for just 25 yards and one of Winston’s interceptions was intended for Evans. Godwin on the other hand, saw 6 targets, hauled in 5 of them for 67 yards and yielded a 113.2 passer rating on throws to the rookie.
Week 14 Buccaneers Defensive Stats:
On a disappointing afternoon, defensive end Robert Ayers really stood out among the rest. He accumulated six total QB pressures on his 41 pass-rushing snaps, including 3 QB hits and 3 QB hurries. He also added two stops in run defense, giving him the highest graded performance for the Bucs on the day.
LB Devante Bond also had a great day rushing the passer, bringing in three hurries on just 17 snaps in which he rushed Matthew Stafford. His only other tackle on the afternoon came on his only snap against the run, perhaps pushing for more playing time.
Per usual, LB Lavonte David was all over the field, racking up 12 total tackles and a team-high five defensive stops. Despite a high volume of targets in the Lions short passing attack, and outside of his long reception of 27 yards given up to Theo Riddick, David was solid in coverage and allowed less than 7.0 yards per reception without that Riddick reception.
Veteran CB Brent Grimes put forth a solid effort against the Lions, as he was targeted five times and allowed just three receptions for 25 yards. He intercepted a pass and saw just a 41.7 passer rating on throws into his coverage.
The aforementioned short passing attack of the Lions was extremely evident, and Stafford worked the Bucs over pretty well on passes targeted behind & 0-9 yards past the line of scrimmage. On such throws, the Bucs allowed Stafford to complete 33-of-37 passes for 308 yards and 2 touchdowns, without an interception.
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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