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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.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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Spitfire
11 months ago

Henson played wel at LG but Smith needs Marpet and Jenson to try and hold his own, Smith is only held up by the company around him which is why with Haeg next to him against the Aint’s there was no chance for any success. I’m glad they found out what to do if Marpet is out but I hope they don’t have to use that recipe again. With Marpet back fresh next week we should start to see us get back to where we were headed, just in time for the Rams and Chiefs.

Dman
11 months ago

D. Smith had a number of plays that has to be making BA and Licht think that LT will be a priority this off season. And depth on the OL needs work as we’ve seen for a couple weeks. Tyler Johnson does not belong on the list – Brady missed him in the end zone same as he missed Evans earlier.

FLBoy84
Reply to  Dman
11 months ago

Very possible we have our franchise LT for the foreseeable future already on the roster in Wirfs. That said, would have no problem if we went OT again somewhere in rounds 1-3, along with DL as well.

TBAtlas
Reply to  FLBoy84
11 months ago

I personally wouldn’t move Wirfs from RT. He looks elite there. Would rather draft a new LT and let Wirfs dominate there. Modern offenses attack both tackles the same.

RW
RW
Reply to  FLBoy84
11 months ago

You move Wirfs because with a right handed QB left tackle is more important. “the blind side”. Draft a new RT.

RW
RW
Reply to  Dman
11 months ago

Brate caught the same ball that Evans and Johnson could not. Evans had two other drops plus his stopping dead in the end zone cost another TD.
Evans is not the super stud many people make him out to be. He’s good not great.

BC
BC
11 months ago

Very harsh on Tyler Johnson. The pass was a fast ball that he had to reach just to touch with one outstretched hand.

Doesn’t belong on this list.

Horse
11 months ago

We still have an issue with our pass defense in the middle from the line of scrimmage 5-10 yards out. That area needs improvement.

PatrioticChief
11 months ago

D Smith plays too important a position and gets paid too much money to keep landing on this list. The only thing that is going to save him is the complete dirth of left tackles in the NFL.

rocky
11 months ago

Glad you mentioned that Antonio brown end around blow up. Donovan Smith isn’t really the worst option of all starting tackles in football but it’s closer than not. I wonder what will happen in the off-season and whether or not the buccaneers will look to unload him and bring someone else in. Left tackle is one of the hardest positions to fill with talent in football and to this point I have seen enough of Smith to write him off. The roller coaster season continues but thankfully it’s the Brady coaster after 10 games (7-3) as opposed to the Winston… Read more »

jiggyjoe
11 months ago

What about the special teams? You did see the kick return? I think you need to get off of Smith’s back. He helped keep TB upright which is really what matters most. Just say’in.

drdneast
11 months ago

We are paying Smith 14.5 million. The Packers just paid their starting right tackle $26 million a year. Do you see the difference. He still needs to play better though.
That was a tough catch for Johnson, I don’t know if I would put him on this list.

WVBucFan
11 months ago

If you’re going to put Johnson on the list for that missed catch then you Evans belongs on the list two for 2 of those that he missed. There is no way you put a player on a disappointment list for something like that.

matador
11 months ago

D Smith is terrible. He is just like Winston in that he never does anything to improve his weaknesses.
I’d draft two OTs next year in the first 2-3 rounds, or draft one and sign one in FA depending on which approach offers us more talent, knowing we can redeploy Smith’s salary and hoping he stays in the NFC South.

PissedOffBuc1988
11 months ago

You can add kick off coverage to the list too.

scubog
11 months ago

When a team racks up over 500 yards of offense, the offensive line, including Donovan Smith, did something right. Seems to me folks just have anointed him the current whipping boy. Even when his play is satisfactory overall he still shows up on this list. When a team holds an opponent to under 200 yards offense, it did something right too. OK, so a receiver caught a pass with Dean in coverage. Does that mean his entire body of work for the 50+ plays in which he participated was “disappointing”? Of course the common practice is to place someone on… Read more »

matador
Reply to  scubog
11 months ago

Scu, I accept your general point. I guess my problem is that in this game we did enough to win handily, but we are vulnerable against better teams with more aggressive pass rush schemes. We’ve seen it all season and saw it in some of those early throws Brady missed where he had to rush due to pressure. If Smith was better than mediocre that could be the difference between one and done in the playoffs and a Super Bowl appearance (not saying the former will happen just that there’s no margin for error in playoffs). If Licht would have… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by matador
compewterpirate
11 months ago

Very harsh to put Tyler Johnson on this list. The pass in question from TB 12 was like a bullet, thrown away from the covering DB, to avoid it being intercepted and it just glanced off the outstretched fingers of Johnson’s one handed attempt to reach it. I doubt any receiver in the league could have caught that ball, it would have been a miracle catch.

Last edited 11 months ago by compewterpirate
surferdudes
11 months ago

Our three options at LT next year. Pay Smith, continue with him for his last year. Use the money for Smith on a F.A. left tackle, or draft one. I like drafting a bookend to go along with Wirfs.

drdneast
Reply to  surferdudes
11 months ago

The problem with getting someone better than Smith in FA is A. you are going to have to pay him more. B. Is there anyone going to be available and C. If there is someone available how you going to fit him into your salary cap which is going to be a bitch next year due to less revenue this year. i like the idea of drafting one but if we keep winning like we are, which I certainly hope we do, our draft number is going to be pretty low. Now your back in the same boat again as… Read more »

captain ahab
11 months ago

Agree with BC, the pass to Johnson was uncatchable.

Barnz1
11 months ago

The thing with LT Smith is he’s a guard and has always been a guard. He’s big, very strong and powerful but slow of foot. Once he gets his hands on a Dlineman it’s over, but he struggles to do that vs quicker fleet of feed edge players who just run around him.

Read his draft reports that question his ability to play tackle at NFL level. Bucs were desperate for an OT and tried to make him a tackle in the NFL. It hasn’t worked for 6 years.

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