This was a game where the Bucs had multiple opportunities to tie the game up or take the lead in the second half with good field position. When they finally did, they instantly allowed the Rams to go up once again, and surprisingly, the Bucs ended up turning the ball over again in a two minute-drill, falling to Los Angeles 27-24.
While Tom Brady struggled, there were was great effort given by certain players on the offensive side of the ball in and two Bucs on defense made their presence felt defending the pass. Here were the most impressive players from the game.
WR Mike Evans
Matching up against cornerback Jalen Ramsey is never easy no matter how good of a receiver you are. Evans had a very productive game with Ramsey lined up across from him for the majority of the game. What will be remembered from this game, though, was Evans’ incredible touchdown reception. While Ramsey was not covering him on this play, Evans caught a screen pass and was wrapped up around the five-yard line, but managed to carry two defenders into the end zone while essentially hopping on one-leg. It was a great effort that really sparked the Bucs at the time to tie the game at 7-7. Evans finished the game with five catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.
WR Chris Godwin
Godwin had his own incredible effort on a touchdown as well to join Evans, and again it was to tie the game up. Godwin’s big play came in the fourth quarter when leaped over a defender and stretched his arms out as far as he could to get the ball over the end zone and tie the game up at 24 apiece. Godwin was great once again as he labors through playing with a broken finger. He had seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown in the game.
WR Antonio Brown
Though he didn’t score, the degree of difficulty on some catches that Brown made really stood out. Brown made a great catch through traffic on a third down during the opening drive, and later on in the next quarter adjusted on a back shoulder throw to secure the catch, stay in bounds, and get the Bucs another first down. There drives where every pass was going to Brown, and that’s a good sign moving forward that he feels comfortable in the offense. He led the team with eight receptions and 57 yards.
OLB Jason Pierre-Paul
Move over, Carlton Davis. Jason Pierre-Paul is now the best pass defender on the Bucs’ defense. All jokes aside, while Pierre-Paul and the defensive line had a tough time pass rushing against Jared Goff, Pierre-Paul did make himself efficient in the pass game. He had an interception for the second week in a row, which set up a Bucs field goal to tie things up early in the third quarter, and later went on to knock down a pass from Goff at the line of scrimmage. Pierre-Paul was still able to make plays even when things weren’t exactly going his way, and he was efficient in stopping the run. He finished the game with six tackles, one tackle for loss, two pass breakups and an interception.
SS Jordan Whitehead
Whitehead’s interception of Goff around midfield in the fourth quarter was so crucial to helping the Bucs tie the game up at 24-24. His interception helped spark the team when they really needed something big to happen and it lead directly to Godwin’s touchdown in the fourth quarter. To go with the interception, Whitehead also had seven tackles, one tackle for loss and a pass breakup in this one.