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Four winners four losers for the Buccaneers against the Patriots

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The Bucs lost a close but very winnable game.

New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost a very close game to the New England Patriots. In previous years, that would have been cause for if not celebration, at least mild optimism. Now there’s just disappointment: this was a very winnable game, and the Bucs blew it.

Winners

DeSean Jackson

The Bucs still didn’t hit him on any really deep passes, but he did get to show off his skills and speed after the catch. With a few beautiful toe-tap catches and a great drag route turning into a big gain, he ended the game with five catches for 106 yards. Nice.

Justin Evans

Evans became the first defender to pick off Tom Brady in 264 pass attempts, and he did that on his first start ever. Evans showed almost none of the tackling issues that hurt him in college, while he looked like a guided missile coming downhill to stop receivers. He almost had a second reception, too. If this game is any indication, Evans is going to be an absolute star safety.

The pass-rush

Three sacks and a forced fumble is a pretty decent result against Tom Brady. Granted, the Patriots have struggled to protect him this year, but the Bucs quadrupled their sacks on the season in this game. That’s certainly worth something.

Doug Martin

13 carries, 74 yards, one touchdown. Welcome back, Dougernaut!

Losers

Nick Folk

Another three misses. It was nice knowing you, Folk.

Vernon Hargreaves

Hargreaves has not had a good second season, after a mediocre first season. The scheme isn’t helping him, as playing off coverage isn’t his strong suit, but he gets picked on with alarming regularity.

Dirk Koetter

Team after team steamrolled the Patriots defense by confusing the heck out of them, and Dirk Koetter couldn’t get more than seven points on the board until the final five minutes of the game. Yikes.

Jameis Winston

His overall stats were okay-ish, though one touchdown isn’t exactly what you want, but Winston was completely incapable of moving the team down the field until the fourth quarter. His accuracy and decision-making were all over the place. If he wants to be a star quarterback, he has to do better than this. And he can—just not yesterday.