The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their second consecutive win yesterday by beating the Miami Dolphins in a contest that was a lot closer than the 30-20 score would suggest. That means lots of winners, and a few losers. Let’s dig in!
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
The Bucs’ backup quarterback wasn’t outstanding against the Dolphins, but he did just enough to win and didn’t turn the ball over. His finest moment came in the final three minutes, when he led the Bucs down the field in an impeccable game-winning drive, setting
Two wins in a row have taken Koetter out of the danger zone, mostly. The team is still not playing well and the offensive performance in particular is concerning (especially because that’s his specialty), but it’ll be hard for the Glazers to justifying firing Koetter if he wins a few more games this season.
DT Gerald McCoy
Once again, McCoy put up a dominant display. In addition to a sack, Pro Football Focus credited him with six quarterback pressures and four run-stops. In the battle of Suh vs. McCoy, which is somehow still going on in the media, the latter came out on top.
TE O.J. Howard
The Bucs deactivated Luke Stocker to give Howard more playing time, and it paid off: three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown, and he would have had another big catch had it not been nullified by a holding penalty.
The Bucs’ pass defense
While forcing four turnovers is pretty good, allowing the Dolphins to convert numerous third-and-longs and to rack up 365 passing yards at a ridiculous rate of 8.9 yards per play is decidedly not good. Those turnovers won’t keep coming, and if the Bucs don’t learn how to play tighter coverage will make it a lot harder to win more games.
The running game
The Bucs have to be one of the worst teams in the league at running the football. Doug Martin managed just 38 yards on 19 carries, and Pro Football Focus notes that 37 of those yards came after contact—this offensive line is not doing a good job at anything right now.
TE Luke Stocker
Deactivated in favor of O.J. Howard and Antony Auclair, Stocker’s tenure in Tampa Bay is probably coming to an end pretty soon.