The Buccaneers won their first playoff game in 17 years with a 31-23 victory over Washington on Saturday night. The game was closer than many expected, but Tampa Bay will move on to face the winner of Sunday’s Bears-Saints contest.

Below is the list of this week’s most disappointing players.

T Joe Haeg
Early in the game as an extra blocker Haeg was beaten badly on a run down. Then, after Tampa Bay’s first touchdown, he took the outside man on an extra point attempt allowing an inside player free to block the kick.  Youth league football players are taught to always block down and don’t allow a player to cross your face when blocking for kicks, and unless special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong teaches it differently, I have no idea what Haeg was thinking on that play. There’s not much to criticize general manager Jason Licht about this year, but Haeg might be the least impressive move he made in the offseason. The veteran offensive lineman being “versatile” is about the best thing we can say about him at this point.

RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Vaughn’s third quarter fumble was a major setback as Tampa Bay appeared to be driving for a score after struggling coming out of halftime. Earlier in the game Vaughn didn’t get turned around as a receiver out of the backfield soon enough and Tom Brady’s pass hit the turf for an incompletion. Following his fumble, Vaughn was relegated to the bench. He finished the night with five carries for 21 yards.

OLB Shaq Barrett
Something just doesn’t seem right with Barrett in 2020, as he hasn’t looked himself for much of the year, particularly on Saturday against Washington. Barrett failed to generate much pressure all night and didn’t record a sack. Barrett ended his evening with one tackle-for-loss on the first play of the game, but was invisible after that. If the Bucs hold out any hope of beating the Saints – or Rams – next week, they could use the 2019 version of Barrett instead of this year’s mediocre one.

G Ted Larsen
Ted Larsen has somehow managed to stick around the NFL since 2010. That’s right, Larsen was in Tampa Bay when Raheem Morris was the head coach. Many more games like Saturday night and his playing days will be coming to an end soon. Larsen was thrown into a tough situation as a fairly new player in Tampa Bay who hasn’t seen many snaps this year and was thrust into the starting lineup when Alex Cappa left the game with what is feared to be a fractured ankle. Still, as an 11-year veteran you expect more, and with two sacks surrendered to Washington, Tampa Bay will have to figure out who gives them the best option in next week’s divisional game. And if they decide it is in fact Larsen, they must get a better effort from him if they hope to advance.

Bucs Pass Rush
Maybe it would have been better had veteran Alex Smith been able to play quarterback for Washington on Saturday night as he doesn’t have the mobility he once had before a devastating knee injury nearly cost him his career, and at one point his life. The Bucs pass rush was dreadful on Saturday, as they recorded just two sacks on the night and allowed an XFL backup quarterback to run for 46 yards while also throwing for 306 yards and one touchdown. Too often on Saturday night the Bucs failed to get pressure on Taylor Heinicke and had a hard time containing him in the pocket. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or even Jared Goff will eat this team alive if given the amount of time to throw that Heinicke was.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
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fredster
6 days ago

Fairly Short list. This defense is disappointing. Yes they held to 23 but man they just struggle with every team. I hope they can play better with White blitzing more. Will have to revamp the d like they can’t get pressure with 4 at all.
Vaughn seems like not a great pick either. He looked better last week but he’s been a fumbler too.
Fournette seems to have come so early in playoffs and quit dancing around. Lol

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buettner
6 days ago

Godwin should be on here! Way too many drops

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Eddie
Reply to  buettner
6 days ago

Maybe he is hurt or dinged up somehow. It is not like him not to stretch for passes.

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plopes808
Reply to  buettner
3 days ago

I was thinking the same. It could be assumed the moment was too big, but I hope that’s not the case. The cold whether could also have been a factor, especially coming off a broken finger.
Let’s hope for a better performance Sunday, luckily it’ll be indoors and without fans
Go Bucs!

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drdneast
6 days ago

You want to bust Ted Larsen’s chops even though he has only been on the team for a few weeks but ignore Chris Godwin who for some strange reason chose last night to get in touch with his inner Michael Clayton.
The stats say he dropped four passes but by my count it was five, including a TD pass in the end zone.
BTW, who was Brady upset with on the Bucs final play of the first half. Was it the officials or a player.comment image

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76bucsfan46
Reply to  drdneast
6 days ago

Brady was pissed at Vaughn for not being ready to catch a hot route pass.

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matador
Reply to  drdneast
5 days ago

So the most disappointing were the OL and DL. Gee with Genius Licht drafting the lines early and often, oh, wait…

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Dave
Reply to  matador
5 days ago

The STARTING non injured OLine did great. What game were you watching? Or are you really expecting the backups to go in with zero 1st team reps and be just as good as the starters against the leagues best DLine. We’ve had one of the best OLines in the league all season.

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matador
Reply to  Dave
5 days ago

I was watching the game where Brady played very efficiently, getting rid of the ball when necessary and doing a good job moving in the pocket to avoid pressure and extend plays. Making an average group of starters (with no depth behind them ) look better than they actually are. While seeing the same old crap from Smith, standing at the scene multiple times while Brady was on the ground. Why, were you watching a different game? Do tell…

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Dave
Reply to  matador
5 days ago

Well I guess we watched completely different games. Because I didn’t see that at all. I saw an OLine, that held up well consistently. And Brady was afforded all the time he needed to take the MANY deep shots he took. Pretty hard to take deep shots all game, with no time to throw. I also saw an OLine that was mauling the WFT DLine in the running game, consistently opening up holes for Fournette.

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scubog
6 days ago

I’m never disappointed after a victory. I’ve eaten too many L’s for that. In this case, our perhaps overly lofty expectations going up against the Washington “Who Dats” and struggling a bit to “eat the W”, is concerning but not disappointing. It sure is better than being the talk of the league today had some folks’ predictions of the vaunted Washington D-line beating Tom Brady into retirement come to fruition. Even with the uncharacteristic dropped passes, the “statue” put up almost 400 on the # 2 defense. In my view Godwin could be on both lists. His performance was puzzling.… Read more »

Captain Sly
6 days ago

Man Cookie you’re missing this one. Did you watch how slippery this qb was? Did you watch the “peanut punch” causing the fumble? Some time you just have to give the other team credit. Now while I get Joe Haeg being on here what I don’t get is Godwin not being on here. Did you watch those easily catchable passes get dropped? At least 3 by my count that were absolute drive killers. Sure go ahead beat up on the Rook for the fumble but does this team really count on him making plays like they do Godwin who is… Read more »

LVBUC2
6 days ago

Godwin should be on this list. He usually makes all those catches plus more difficult ones. He was off yesterday. We expect so much more.

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Spitfire
6 days ago

I felt like our Defense actually got a lot of pressure on Heinike with the Blitzes but he was able to make some incredible quick throws to the right guy more than anyone expected him to. Whether we play the Saints or the Rams we know how to prepare for them at least. I have faith… because why not? Chris Godwin doesn’t have the rare bad game and Vaughn’s knee is one in further down to the ground and we are rollin. We’re gonna stiffen up on Defense movin forward and our Offense is gonna keep on keepin on! Please… Read more »

gg720
6 days ago

How does everybody miss our 3 DB’s Nos. 23, 24 and 35. They couldn’t cover anyone last night and how is 23 still put out there on this starting 11 on Defense? He is absolutely horrible. Most of these backs were 5 to 10 yds. off of the receivers all night! When they were close to their receivers they got flagged for holding!

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chefboho
Reply to  gg720
6 days ago

That’s more so on Bowels then the players. You have big DB’s who specialize in press coverage yet they’re always ten yards off. Bowels needs to get his head out of his ass. Even Arians mentioned the soft coverage was garbage. Sometimes you have to put it on the coach and not the players.

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Dave
Reply to  chefboho
6 days ago

100%. It’s 75% on Bowles and 25% on the players. If he goes next week with the same defensive game plan he’s had since the GB game, we’re toast. We need Brady to throw for 350+ with 3+ TD’s, and 1 or less TO’s every game going forward for us to have a chance to win. I hope someone hires Bowles as their new HC. Get him out of here. I’ve had enough of this 10 yards off soft coverage crap. The one game where Bowles plays a tight in your face coverage defense( Packers game), shockingly, was their best… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Dave
matador
Reply to  Dave
5 days ago

It feels like we’ve drafted a dozen DBs during St. Licht’s tenure and only two or three would be sought after today by other teams. But I may be wrong, maybe we’ve only drafted eight or nine.

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drdneast
Reply to  chefboho
6 days ago

great point. Why draft press coverage corners and put them in zone coverage for over half the snaps.

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GrayBalls
Reply to  drdneast
5 days ago

Guess what y’all, press and zone aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact you can run a press-zone scheme, just as you can run a soft-man scheme. I come to this sight not only for the writers insight but also for the comments section. Actually, more for the comments. But sometimes the ignorance is baffling

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76bucsfan46
Reply to  chefboho
6 days ago

Ditto

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Spruce
6 days ago

The Bucs score, it’s 18 to 10 and it appears Washington is completely incapable of stopping the Bucs offense. Play calling terrific and Brady exactly what you’re paying him for. They’ve got their foot on the neck of the WFT and what happened? They let a bad team with no running game and an inexperienced kid make it a game.
Good luck next week. The cupcake schedule is over and now it’s time to play a full game.

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RW
RW
6 days ago

Mark it seems like you are afraid to call out Godwin. Haeg cost an extra point, Vaughn cost momentum but Godwin dropped an easy TD pass and they settled for a FG. And he also dropped 3 or 4 others. Godwin was the main guy on offense that negatively impacted them.
And although you called out the Bucs’ pass rush what did Barrett, JPP and Suh do well yesterday? Virtually nothing. So mention them by name.

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SenileSenior
6 days ago

Everyone knows that a cornered rat is something to be reckoned with. But we all tend to forget that a wounded duck is not trivial either. You really don’t want to mess with either of them! The Buccaneers in recent years have demonstrated more than once that we can’t seem to deal with backup quarterbacks that have any escapability at all.  We aren’t prepared for those that we have little or no tape on either. I realize that you as Buc reporters at PR are obligated to point out these flaws post game. However, as a true fan I really don’t care that much. The WFT proved that they… Read more »

compewterpirate
6 days ago

How on earth can you leave Chris Godwin off the list? I counted 5 drops, of varying degrees of difficulty, more in one game than I can recall him dropping in the whole regular season! Also, to be fair to Vaughn, it’s hard to call that a genuine ‘fumble’. It was an amazing punch out, about 3 inches from the ground. Sometimes you just have to give credit to the opposing player. I like the kid, he runs hard and will learn from the experience. Frankly in the second half you could have put much of the defense on the… Read more »

bucballer
6 days ago

If the most disappointing list is for that particular game… well then, of course WR Godwin deserves to be on this list. My wife and I were saying it was as if Godwin was in on the take with this game because it looked like he was trying to not make catches! Of course, this is not true, but i was in disbelief after he dropped catch after catch. Great player who had a bad game. I for one, have been riding LT Smith all year. But, the big fella stepping up and basically balled out to make the Washington… Read more »

pokerpat12
6 days ago

Thrilled we won. Godwin, RELAX!!!! U can catch, he may have been too amped up for his 1st playoff game. Next game the coaching staff MUST have a plan to protect our QB. Clearly they didn’t in the previous games (vs. Rams/Saints). We’ll probably need to score 40 points to win next week as our pass Defense is downright embarrassing. (Forget Joe DiMaggio, where have U gone Vita Vea) I love our Bucs and wish them continued success. I was glad to see that neither TB nor BA were pleased with the way we played, a repeat of that performance… Read more »

Horse
6 days ago

What was Disappointing for me the defense played too conservative early on.

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