Another week has past and another day after reactions is upon us. The Buccaneers graced fans with a home win in what was a stressful game to watch. Let’s dive into both sides of the ball and talk about it.
Jameis Winston had no problem getting the team up and down the field for most of the day. The Bucs had their share of frustrating 3 and outs but ultimately, the ability to freely move the ball is what won Tampa Bay this football game. Winston did turn the ball over, it’s expected and thankfully early on the second one, Lavonte David came to the rescue (more on that in a bit). Winston, pinned back a bit in their own territory, had a pass tipped over the middle that went for an interception. The first interception came on the teams opening drive, three plays in. Turnovers aside, Jameis Winston played a good game. The team got the running backs involved in the passing game and O.J. Howard was able to connect with Jameis Winston for a touchdown.
Ronald Jones took the field as the starting back and on the teams second drive down 3-0, Jones had himself a good one catching three passes for 41 yards and finishing it off with a 7 yard touchdown run. The shift to Jones as the main back, getting the lions share of the snaps has been a positive. Peyton Barber came in and carried the ball 11 times to match Jones’ total and got into the end zone himself as well. The ground game was far from dominant, but it did more than enough to balance out the air attack.
Evans and Godwin continued to be a dynamic duo out wide with both topping 70 yards receiving. Evans’ 82 yards put him in line for the most ever thru the teams first 9 games and the tandem is well on it’s way to far exceeding 1,000 yards a piece.
Offense line wise, the interior continues to show improvements and be a positive. The group as a whole still needs to continue growing and improving but yesterday’s ball game was a step in the right direction.
As a whole ,the offense looked to be on the right track for most of this game. It will take more group efforts like this to keep the team afloat and if Jameis can limit the turnovers it’ll drastically help out a porous defense.
Really this defense is a tale of two groupings. The front seven and the defensive backs. The defensive line was able to put in work and disrupt some things up front with the little time the DB’s gave them to work with. Ndamukong Suh and Shaquil Barrett both got home with a sack and Jason Pierre-Paul was visibly talking up his teammates throughout the game. The leadership JPP brings seems to be resonating a bit to at least some of the players in what otherwise appeared to be a group with no voice early on.
Lavonte David had himself a good game, rinse and repeat. David led the defense in tackles and had a big forced fumble after a Jameis Winston interception in this game. David’s forced fumble and the teams recover turned into a good offensive drive ending in points.
The defensive backfield got shaken up a bit as Vernon Hargreaves III showed some questionable effort to go along with his poor results overall. Bruce Arians seemed to of had enough as Hargreaves was replaced by Jamel Dean. Dean adding an interception in this game as he played quite well down the stretch.
Final thoughts and reactions
This win felt good but there was a lot to be worried about still when re-watching this football game last night. The secondary is young and improving, but there’s just no way they will improve enough to make a difference at this rate. The defensive front looked solid and as promising as it is to see, they still need more time to get to the quarterback.
Offensively there were some signs of something special. Ronald Jones doubled his season totals in receptions and looked pretty good doing it. The addition of Jones as a pass catching threat with his open field running can really be a weapon down the stretch. How can the offense build on this performance going forward?
For now, the team will be happy with a much needed win. Hopefully this is just the beginning for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A turning point in the season may finally have just happened.