I have not covered the Bucs nearly as long as PR’s own Scott Reynolds or Mark Cook, but I’m pretty sure I can tell you that this 38-3 loss to the Saints is the worst loss that I’ve seen from the Bucs in years. With so much on the line against a rival team, the Bucs came out flat and could never find a rhythm.
Once again, I’m not going to sugarcoat the reader. You guys are smart enough to know that there were not many impressive performances from Bucs players in this game. If there was anything to put a positive on, this was it.
S Jordan Whitehead
At a time of the game where the Bucs needed a splash play, Whitehead delivered, stripping tight end Jared Cook near the goal line. The Bucs have had success with getting turnovers in timely fashion, and that was one of them. The offense wasn’t able to capitalize, but it was a big play before the game got out of hand. Whitehead was second on the team with eight tackles and led the team with two tackles for loss.
OLB Shaq Barrett
Getting pressure on Drew Brees was an issue, but early in the second half when there was a sliver of believability that the Bucs had a chance, Barrett created a huge turnover. The veteran edge defender was able to strip-sack Brees early in the third quarter, giving the Bucs offense the ball in the red zone. It could have swung the momentum a bit if the Bucs could punch the ball in, but they failed to do so. Barrett finished the game with four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
LB Lavonte David
You won’t find a harder worker on the field than Lavonte David. He was injured at one point and jogged off on his own power, but came back right away and didn’t miss much time. David recovered a fumble early on and was still giving it his all even when it was very late in the game and the lead was out of reach. David’s been a leader of this team for years, and he kept at it despite the lopsided score. David ended with seven tackles, a tackle-for-loss and a fumble recovery.