The Bucs remain undefeated at home this year with a perfect 3-0 record, as they beat the Dolphins, 45-17. Tampa Bay improved to 4-1 while Miami fell to 1-4 thanks to Tom Brady’s five touchdown passes. After throwing just one touchdown over the last two weeks, Brady erupted for a handful of scores on Sunday, including a pair of TDs each to wide receivers Antonio Brown and Mike Evans.

Here is a look at the most impressive Buccaneers on Sunday:

QB Tom Brady

Brady ignited the Bucs’ 24-10 halftime lead with three first half touchdown passes, including two to Antonio Brown. He was much more accurate in the red zone with two TD passes – a 10-yard strike to running back Giovani Bernard and a 4-yard pass to Brown. Brady even showed some great mobility on a 13-yard scramble for a first down right before halftime. He added two more touchdowns in the second half to Mike Evans and finished the game, completing 30-of-41 passes for 411 yards with five touchdowns and a 144.4 QB rating. Brady seems to be a lock for NFC Offensive Player of the Week after today’s performance.

WR Antonio Brown

Bucs WR Antonio Brown

Bucs WR Antonio Brown – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Brown had offseason knee surgery and that has allowed him to play like the Brown of old, making big plays down the field. His 62-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the second half was a sight to see as he mashed the gas and blew by two Dolphins defenders. Brown’s 62-yarder was his longest catch since 2018. He added another touchdown in the red zone on a 4-yard reception. Brown finished the day with seven catches for 124 yards (17.7 avg.) and two scores. He also became the fastest player to reach 900 career catches today.

WR Mike Evans

After catching three passes for 52 yards in the first half, Evans erupted for two touchdowns in the second half. Evans schooled one of the league’s best cornerbacks in Xavien Howard on Sunday and finished the game with six catches for 113 yards and a pair of scores. He had touchdown catches of 34 yards and 22 yards in the fourth quarter to wrap up the Bucs’ 45-17 win. Evans has four touchdowns this season, which is tied for the team lead with tight end Rob Gronkowski.

RB Leonard Fournette

Fournette has had two sensational back-to-back games running and catching the ball. He had 39 yards rushing and 27 yards receiving at halftime. Fournette ran hard throughout the game, breaking tackles and playing with a tremendous amount of confidence. He looked like “Playoff Lenny” for the second straight week, finishing the game with 67 yards rushing and his first touchdown of the year on 12 carries (5.6 avg.). Fournette also had four catches for 43 yards (10.8 avg.).

OLB Shaquil Barrett

Barrett got his second sack in as many weeks in the first half, forcing a fumble in the process. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh recovered the ball for Tampa Bay. Although he missed a couple of sacks, Barrett split a sack with nose tackle Vita Vea in the fourth quarter and finished with three tackles and 1.5 sacks. His 3.5 sacks leads the team.

Tampa Bay’s Offensive Line

The Bucs offensive line was sensational in Sunday’s 45-17 win, helping the team amass 558 total yards. Brady and Blaine Gabbert combined to pass for 452 yards. Although Brady was sacked twice, those were the fault of running back Giovani Bernard and tight end O.J. Howard – not the offensive line. The Bucs also ran for over 100 yards for the second straight week, finishing with a season-high 121 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

RB Giovani Bernard

Bucs RB Giovani Bernard

Bucs RB Giovani Bernard – Photo by: USA Today

Bernard returned to the lineup after missing the Patriots game with an injured knee. He made his impact felt right away with a red zone touchdown on a 10-yard catch to get the Bucs on the scoreboard in the first quarter. Bernard did give up a sack in pass protection to a blitzing Jerome Baker, which drew head coach Bruce Arians’ ire, but his second receiving touchdown made up for that gaffe. In the fourth quarter, Bernard came in to salt the game away and carried the ball four times for 21 yards (5.3 avg.), including a 17-yarder.

CB Jamel Dean

After missing last Sunday’s game at New England, Dean returned to action from his knee injury against Miami and played well. He gave up a couple of catches, but finished the game with five tackles and two passes defensed, including a touchdown. Dean caught a pass that deflected off the hands of wide receiver Jaylen Waddle for his first interception in nearly a year. The last time Dean intercepted a pass was on October 18, 2020 when he had a pick-six against Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.

ILB Devin White

White had seven tackles in the first half, helping limit the Dolphins to just 10 rushing yards at halftime. He has played reckless and out of control at times during the first four games of the season, but did a great job of squaring up and not missing tackles in space against Miami. He finished the game with eight tackles.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at:
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12 days ago

So Barnard was Impressive as Brady was sacked? Dean was impressive as he was picked on numerous times and missed tackles? You are reaching to pacify the Defense. JTS was more impressive than those to guys and That’s not saying much. White wasn’t, Vea continues to be impressive.

Reply to  Horse
11 days ago

umm yes Bernard played well. Bucs put Bernard (not Barnard) in bad position trying block that guy 1 on 1 that was so much bigger than him. Other than that play which wasn’t really his fault he played great. White didn’t play well either? What are you watching?

Reply to  fredster
11 days ago

We all see things differently. We’ll see how this plays out in Philadelphia. Ugly fans and lots of noise. With David ou,t we have to have more push and speed from our DL JTS should be more involved. I’m for 5 DL’s to make their QB throw faster and I’ll take my chances the other 6 can defend the rest of the field successfully.

Reply to  Horse
11 days ago

Horse: These QB’s are already taking short drops and getting rid of the ball quickly with short passes. It’s working well enough for them to lose the game. People tend to focus on a play or two instead to the entirety of the game. Bernard did well in his limited action.

Reply to  scubog
11 days ago

Scubog, Yes I agree. I was trying to keep my reply’s shorter. When we need to blitz put 5 DL on the line. With David out, we might want to change how we blitz. By the way, we got our tickets for the Washington Football Game. One of our Grandchildren works for the Government and wife and I flying up for the game. Grandson got the tickets for us. We will be mid field upper deck. I’m am trying to keep away from the crazy fans. I’ll have a Buc jersey on and my Vietnam hat with a red diamond… Read more »

Reply to  Horse
10 days ago

Went to Boston for the Patriots game but not going to Washington DC. I know you’ll be representing.

11 days ago

It was great to have Dean back. I am hoping we get Bunting back soon too. Lenny looked awesome. Evans and Godwin also. Bucs are dominating, but not without a few moments that look rough. Miami’s QB was a lot better than I thought. And he played tough after being injured. I think we kick Eagles good on Thursday Night. How about Brady finding his inner scrambling QBism? Watch out, old guy. You’re not 24 anymore.

Ron Potter
11 days ago

I think Pewter Report has a bit of a man-crush on Gio Bernard. Even Bruce Arians in his post-game presser said Gio Bernard needs to play better or he’ll lose his job. It wasn’t said, but I think BA sees improvements in Fournette’s overall gaming ability. RoJo also did some things well in the passing game today. Our future’s brighter if younger players, no matter what position, are playing well enough to get more playing time over the older players. Not sure why PR can’t get more in RoJo and Fournette’s corner, as they seem pretty hyped for more JTS… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Ron Potter
11 days ago

What, no love for PK Ryan Succop and P Bradley Pinion? How about WR Tyler Johnson and WR Chris Godwin who had good games?

Captain Sly
11 days ago

Agree Horse. We were told that Gio deserves more playing time because of his pass protection skills. Now we’re making excuses because he’s “too small” to block in coming rushers. Can’t have it both ways PR. I’m looking at you Scott!

11 days ago

I would rather see JPP kicked inside on a rotation basis and have Joe Tryon man the outside position. Especially with that club he has now.