Tampa Bay continued to disappoint last Sunday, dropping its third straight game for the second time this season. In a nutshell, that is not good. The loss pushes the Buccaneers firmly into last place in the NFC South and it’ll be hard for them to recover with New Orleans and Carolina finding their rhythm.
The Bucs defeat to Washington was arguably their most disappointing performance of the season to this point. Redzone woes and turnovers plagued Tampa Bay’s offense all day and it culminated with them scoring just three points. It was the first time in NFL history when an offense recorded 500+ yards and three points.
The defense played probably its best game of the season, allowing just 16 points to the Redskins. Washington accumulated just 286 yards of offense, or 215 fewer yards than the Bucs had.
1. Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin had his best game of 2018 on Sunday and it was one of the top performances of his career. The second-year receiver caught all seven of his targets for 103 yards, averaging 14.7 yards per reception.
It was the most yards Godwin had recorded in a game since week three, where he caught five passes for 74 yards and a score in a loss to Pittsburgh. After catching just four total passes in the last two weeks, Godwin rebounded to almost double that against Washington.
2. Peyton Barber
While Jacquizz Rodgers would’ve likely manned this spot if he hadn’t have fumbled in the fourth quarter, Peyton Barber was very good on Sunday. He ran with all-out effort all day and fought his way out of some sticky situations to put together tough runs.
The former Auburn star ran 13 times for 61 yards with most of his production coming early in the game before the Bucs went in favor of the pass as the contest went on. Barber has shown some good skills when he’s actually consistently involved in the action.
3. Defensive line
Though the defensive line failed to record a sack against a makeshift Redskins offensive line in the first half, they bounced back in the final 30 minutes, getting to Alex Smith three times.
Gerald McCoy, Vita Vea, and Carl Nassib were all able to bring Smith down. As a unit, the Bucs DL recorded two tackles for loss and six quarterback hits.
Nassib is now second on the team with four sacks, McCoy has three, and Vea notched the first one of his career against the Redskins.
1. Dirk Koetter
There wasn’t a bigger loser on Sunday than head coach Dirk Koetter. The game against Washington may be one where we look back and knew that was the day Koetter sealed his fate with this franchise.
The third-year head coach admitted that he took over the play calling duties from Todd Monken against the Redskins, in which the Bucs scored three points, their fewest since a 17-3 loss to Carolina in week eight last year.
Tampa Bay finished 0-5 in the red zone and turned the ball over four times despite having 501 yards of offense. Koetter might’ve hurt his chances even further by seemingly hitching himself to Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The veteran quarterback has played well this season but costly turnovers against the Panthers and Redskins plagued this team in both losses. Still, Koetter is planning to roll with Fitzpatrick on Sunday instead of former No. 1 pick Jameis Winston.
Winston himself has turnover issues. But do you roll with the guy who’s a finished product or the one who can still develop into an elite signal-caller?
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick
It’s not too often that a quarterback finds himself on the losers list when he throws for 406 yards but that’s exactly where Fitzpatrick is this week. Though he had his moments, Fitzpatrick also turned the ball over three times and failed to get the Bucs in the end zone.
Tampa Bay failed to convert a red zone possession and some of that blame falls directly on Fitzpatrick. He was intercepted on the opening drive of the game after driving the offense to the Washington 19-yard line.
Later in the first quarter, Fitzpatrick tried to scramble on third and long before throwing the ball across the field to Adam Humphries, who converted for a first down. Unfortunately, the play resulted in an illegal forward pass and stalled a promising drive. It would’ve been one of the most exciting plays of the season had the pass been legal.
Fitzpatrick had a chance to get the Buccaneers a first-down inside the Redskins 10-yard line. On a scramble, there was more than enough room for him to get past the sticks, instead, Fitzpatrick cut laterally and was brought down short. Two plays later, Tampa Bay missed a field goal.
Another interception and a fumble two yards from the end zone in the second half helped bury the Bucs in this one.
3. Chandler Catanzaro
Do I have to explain this one? Chandler Catanzaro missed two out of three field goal attempts in the loss to the Redskins, one from 33-yards and one from 48-yards.
The following day, Tampa Bay cut the fifth-year kicker and replaced him with Cairo Santos. Catanzaro finishes his time with the Bucs 11/15 on field goals and 23/27 on extra points.