The Bucs went full throttle from the beginning of the game and continued it through the end to pull away from the Falcons, 48-25, to improve to 2-0. Highlight reel plays were made on both sides of the ball, as Tom Brady tied a franchise record and safety Mike Edwards had two interceptions that went for touchdowns.

Here are the most impressive players from the game.

WR Mike Evans

I think we can quiet down the concerns about Evans’ role in the offense. Evans bounced back with a brilliant second game where he caught five passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns, which were tied for the team led. He set the tone early by catching the first pass of the game and kept it going for all four corners. Evans continued to shred the Falcons with another big afternoon.

QB Tom Brady

Brady has to seriously be considered for an MVP candidate if he’s not already the front runner. He’s just so in command that only penalties, dropped passes and blocking mistakes can slow him down. Brady had four touchdowns in the game when there was still 12 minutes on the clock in the third quarter, tacking on a fifth later. Even though there’s only one ball, Brady manages to get everyone involved and yet doesn’t force it to anyone. He always throws to the open man. Brady finished the game completing 24-of-36 passes for 276 yards and five touchdowns. Those five touchdowns tied a Bucs franchise record. Brady now has nine touchdowns in two games.

TE Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Another game, another two tuddies for the future Hall Of Famer. Gronkowski continues to look like vintage Gronk as he becomes a top threat for the Bucs’ offense in the red zone. That’s now four touchdowns on the season for him and six in his last three if you date it back to Super Bowl LV. He shows no signs of slowing down as he takes the majority of the snaps at tight end. Gronnkowski finished the game with four catches for 49 yards and two scores.

WR Chris Godwin

With so much going on in the game, Godwin once again remains a constant reliable source in the Bucs offense. He made some key third down catches from Brady and was second on the Bucs roster with four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. Through two games, he’s been their most consistent receivers.

DB Mike Edwards

Edwards had the most electric moments of the game with two pick-sixes in the game that both occurred in a series of drives. They absolutely captivated the crowd in the fourth quarter. The magnitude of Edwards’ first pick-six was gigantic at the time as he helped the Bucs pull away as the Falcons tightened the score to 28-25 late in the third quarter. He jumped the route on Matt Ryan’s third down pass and took it straight to the house after securing the catch. His second was the benefit of a deflected pass by Carlton Davis. Since joining the Bucs, he’s always been known as a ball-hawk type of player and he lived up to his reputation there. Edwards’ final stat line was four tackles, three pass breakups and two-pick sixes.

LB Lavonte David

No defender was hitting harder than David was in this contest. He had an excellent pass breakup in the first half where he laid out receiver Olamide Zaccheaus to break up the play. Later on, David made a great open field tackle to stop a Falcons ball carrier from reaching a first down. David had one of his typical games where he was involved on many plays. He finished with eight tackles.

NT Vita Vea

Vea makes his presence felt game after game right up the middle. He’s been a force on the Bucs defensive line, destroying the pocket and pushing the line of scrimmage back. Vea prevented the Falcons from converting on a quarterback draw on fourth down as he stuffed up the middle. Later on, Vea tipped Ryan’s pass at the line of scrimmage, leading to an interception for Shaq Barrett Bucs that set them up at the 18.

OLB Shaq Barrett

Barrett got the Bucs rolling in the second half with an interception early in the third quarter. It got the Bucs off and running once again. He was solid outside of that, providing good pressure to make Ryan scramble for most of the game. Barrett had one tackle and one interception this afternoon.

Bucs’ Short Yardage Defense

While Vea deserves a lot of credit, the entire interior defensive line deserves a shoutout. They’re known as a top run stopping defense, but on third and fourth and short, the Bucs were dynamite. Will Gholston and Vea both made tackles for loss when the Falcons were trying to convert first downs, and the biggest stop of the game came from Rakeem Nunez-Roches in the second half. He stopped Mike Davis short of the first down way back in Atlanta’s own territory. It had a trickle down effect where the Falcons then shanked their punt and not long after, Brady found Godwin in the end zone to retake a double-digit lead.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Matt Matera

Subscribe
Notify of
13 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
chefboho
1 month ago

These are good calls here. This team can only lose if they beat themselves. There’s just so much talent, although the injuries to the defensive backs are very concerning this early on. Glad Carlton Davis was able to play and finish the game.

Spitfire
1 month ago

Who asked the silly question if we were gonna regret letting Winston go? It’s a long season but after 2 games he is the same exact Winston so far. Way up and then way down. I don’t think we will regret anything…

bucballer
Reply to  Spitfire
1 month ago

Winston had a 29.6 QB rating. That’s the extreme degrees between good and bad performances ur going to get with Jameis. Wish him well. Glad he’s not my team’s QB. Brady was money today!

Dman
1 month ago

Good list, Matt. I’d actually add Bradley Pinion, heck of a game. And Carlton Davis is hurt and played through it, great toughness.

scubog
Reply to  Dman
1 month ago

Me too Dman.

bucballer
1 month ago

Some DBs can go a career without a pick six. Edwards had two pick sixes in the same half! Just awesome solid play from Edwards. I thought Vea, JPP, Suh, Tryon, and Shaq played well and pressured Ryan throughout the game. A solid win and great preparation before the Rams game. Two of the best NFC teams will meet and the winner clearly takes the top spot in the NFC. Great win Bucs!

seat26
1 month ago

Crazy game. Bucs looked strong, Falcons come back and make it a 3 point game, Brady gets another TD and then Edwards seals the deal? with two pick-six’s? I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

Freeman Strickland
1 month ago

That is all good, but Suh also deserves a mention with pressures and tackles and the only Bucs sack!

bucballer
Reply to  Freeman Strickland
1 month ago

Ur right! Suh is still a beast! I really thought we’d get 3-4 sacks this game.

Ron Potter
1 month ago

Think we need to pump the brakes a little on the “this team can only beat themselves” narrative. I mostly agree, but I was impressed by the fight in the Atlanta Falcons and their improved play from week one. Sometimes, a team can just start to figure things out and I hope we are up to the challenge of resilience and adjustments when that happens. I was also reminded in this game how refs can still do a lot to beat us too.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ron Potter
Naplesfan
Reply to  Ron Potter
1 month ago

When you have a team as talented, and experienced, and well coached, and led by the GOAT, it really is true that this team can only beat themselves. After all, they are the reigning Super Bowl champs, and the only team in the salary cap era to ever win the Super Bowl and return all 22 starters. The only. Is it possible that the Bucs can actually beat themselves in a game? Yes, of course. If their heads are not in the game for some reason, or if excessive injuries occur such that backups are carrying much of the load,… Read more »

scubog
1 month ago

O.J.Howard made a nice catch in his limited time.

Naplesfan
1 month ago

Should have included Leonard Fournette on this list. His all purpose yards exceeded Evans’ by a yard, and again, as always, he was a key blocker and mover of the chains. Maybe the folks in the stands didn’t see this, but for all you fanboys out there, RoJo completely whiffed, never even touched the guy he was assigned to block on one play, and the result of the play was a sack on Brady. Conversely, Fournette made one of the most important blocks of the day, cutting a defender who otherwise was headed for an obvious sack of Brady, who… Read more »