Coming off a brutal 38-3 loss to the Saints last week, the Bucs bounced back in a huge way by scoring 46 points and gaining 544 yards on offense on the way to a 46-23 win over the Panthers.
After the game was tied at 17-17, it was a dominant performance on both sides of the ball for the Bucs in the second half that let them pull away for the win. With that said, it wasn’t a perfect performance. Here are the most disappointing players from Sunday’s game.
LT Donovan Smith
While he was respectable in pass blocking, Smith continued to get beat in the run game, despite Ronald Jones II carrying for 192 yards. There were times when the play was blown up right away because he was beaten by the defender. It’s just a matter of what we’ve seen from Smith throughout his career – inconsistency. He definitely played better than last week, but not up to the standard that this offense needs. There was one play in particular on an end around to Antonio Brown at the end of the second half that stuck out, as Smith gave up early penetration on the 3-yard loss.
CB Jamel Dean
Dean’s aggressive nature came back to haunt him when he bit on a play-action pass, leaving tight end Colin Thompson wide open for the Panthers’ first score of the game. Dean struggled in the run game as well, missing some tackles on Mike Davis and failing to shed some blocks. He finished the day with three tackles and one pass breakup.
OL Joe Haeg
Haeg went from being the next man up on the offensive line with Marpet out last week to getting replaced by moving Ryan Jensen to guard and putting A.Q. Shipley in at center after Haeg struggled so much last week. This week, while only playing special teams, Haeg lost on his blocking assignment during the extra point following Ronald Jones’ wild 98-yard touchdown run, and the kick was blocked. At the time it kept Carolina in the game and could have been crucial against a better team.
WR Tyler Johnson
When the Bucs play well, you don’t usually find as many disappointing players in the game, which is a good thing. The problem for Johnson is that his role is already dwindling with the presence of Antonio Brown on the team. But in the third quarter on a third-and-goal, it was Johnson on the field with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as the receivers on the play, and Johnson could not make the reception on a pass that probably should have been caught. The Bucs had to go for a field goal and went up 29-17. It wasn’t the end of the world, but Johnson may have cost himself an opportunity for more playing time with the limited amount of chances he already gets.