It’s no surprise more Bucs Nation Community Members participated in voting for this week’s Player of the Week coming off a strong win against the Atlanta Falcons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebackers took the honors for the first two weeks, with Lavonte David taking the first week’s vote, followed by Devin White in a losing effort for Week 11.
This week, defense continued to reign supreme as Jamel Dean ran away with the vote, earning 48% of your selections, while Chris Godwin was a distant second place with 28%.
White fell short of becoming our first back-to-back winner, getting just 4% of the vote after getting two sacks in Week 12.
For Dean, it was his first game back on the field for the defense after getting zero defensive snaps against the New Orleans Saints.
Coach Arians went on record saying he expected to see the rookie on the field more moving forward, and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles did not make him a liar.
Coming up with two tackles isn’t what won the vote for Dean, it was his five passes defensed against one of the better wide receiver duos in the NFC South, facing off against Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley for most of the game.
Dean now has 13 passes defensed in his last three games where he made an appearance in the secondary, and this weekend’s was the most he’s had in one game.
This weeks vote was easily the hardest to narrow down to five candidates, and community members found picking one candidate for their vote was equally difficult.
“This is legit the hardest vote I’ve had to do all season...Because you could reasonably argue that we could’ve lost this game if we were without any of them.” - OneBucPerson
“Where is the All of the Above option?” - The ShuWarrior
While there will be no ‘All of the Above’ option coming, we do appreciate the fact this past weekend saw enough Bucs players with standout performances to make it hard on voters.
While numbers are nice, context gets the wins. Dean didn’t just come up with a solid stat line in the secondary.
Early, on 3rd and 7 on Atlanta’s first possession of the game, Dean and Carlton Davis III were in coverage on Ridley forcing an incomplete pass and resulting in a Falcons’ field goal to start the scoring.
Later, with the Falcons trying to regain the lead after Tampa Bay had gone up by four, Dean’s tight coverage in the right quarter of the field disrupted Ridley’s attempt to catch a deep pass from Ryan on another third down. The pass fell to the ground due to the tight coverage, and Atlanta turned the ball back over to Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers offense.
In the fourth quarter, with the Falcons still within two scores and six minute remaining, Ryan targeted Ridley again on a third down trying to convert for a new set of downs. As Ridley broke out towards the sideline and the first down marker, Ryan delivered the ball accurately and to a place where his receiver could catch it.
But Dean came through for the defense again, and forced Ridley out of bounds before he could get two feet down, in bounds. The incomplete pass resulted in a 4th and 14 situation, and the Falcons again, had to punt the ball away.
It was a solid performance all the way around for the Buccaneers defense, and for the better part of the last three and a half quarters for the offense.
Dean’s placement as the Week 12 Bucs Nation Tampa Bay Buccaneers Community Player of the Week (or BNTBBCPW) is the third straight defensive win, and second straight rookie to earn the honor.
Who will win next weekend? Only time will tell. Thanks to all who voted, and congratulations to Jamel Dean from everyone at Bucs Nation!