For the fourth time in a row and the sixth time this season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost and now sit at 2-6 on the year.
The Bucs haven’t won a game since September 29th when they defeated the Los Angeles Rams in their first of five games away from Raymond James Stadium.
For the second time in their last two contests against the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay lost in overtime. For the rookies, it was their first taste of losing to this specific team though, and we’re going to take a look at how they contributed to the team’s efforts.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS ROOKIES
Active: LB, Noah Dawkins / CB, Jamel Dean / S, Mike Edwards / K, Matt Gay / WR, Scotty Miller / CB Sean Murphy-Bunting / OLB, Anthony Nelson / ILB, Devin White
Inactive: C, Nate Trewyn
ROOKIE OF THE GAME: CB, JAMEL DEAN
There are no winners in a losing effort, and moral victories don’t get counted in the standings. That being said, we learned two big things about Jamel Dean this past Sunday.
First, he’s not ready to take on starting caliber NFL receivers in man-to-man coverage as a starting outside defender. Secondly, the guy is a fighter and has no quit in him.
Both of these things are valuable pieces of information, and will come in handy when looking to gauge the future of the Buccaneers organization moving forward.
Playing on 57 snaps on defense (54 more than his entire total from the season previous to Week 9) Dean had the unsavory challenge of replacing Carlton Davis who injured his hip just prior to the game.
Facing a new starting duo of Dean and Vernon Hargreaves III, Seattle receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf combined for 27 receptions, 275-yards and three touchdowns. Dean was in coverage for all three, and a two-point conversion, and the big play to Metcalf in overtime on a third-down which could have forced the Seahawks to try a 47-yard field goal attempt.
So how is he the rookie of the game? Well, because in a loss it’s hard to really credit anyone, but if I’m going to - because the column calls for it - then it’s going to be the guy who gave every ounce of energy despite the fact he was in a situation many established cornerbacks before him tried to master, and failed.
Also, let’s not fail to acknowledge that despite being the main victim on Russell Wilson’s big day, he also came up with six tackles and four passes defensed.
Active: S, Ugo Amadi / LB, Cody Barton / S, Marquise Blair / LB, Ben Burr-Kirven / DE, L.J. Collier / RB, Travis Homer / WR, D.K. Metcalf
Inactive: WR, John Ursua
ROOKIE OF THE GAME: WR, D.K. METCALF
Metcalf caught six of his nine targets for 123-yards and one score. He also brought in a two-point conversion and had the game's longest play of 53-yards.
The rookie from Ole Miss is now 23rd in the NFL among wide receivers with 525-yards receiving and has five touchdowns (T-9th). His big day also brings his total of 40+ yard plays up to four on the year, tying him for fourth in the league.
His Week 9 performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the best he’s had thus far in his first professional season, and was the first time he’s had more than four catches in a single game and is also the first time he’s eclipsed 100-yards in one afternoon as well.
Following his big day, Metcalf was placed in seventh place among NFL rookies this year in Josh Edwards’ rookie power rankings.
According to Edwards, the wide receiver currently sits behind Josh Jacobs (Oakland Raiders), Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals), and Erik McCoy (New Orleans Saints) in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race.
Speaking of Murray, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookies will have another tough match-up going against Edwards’ second-place offensive rookie up to this point in the year.
The Bucs haven’t fared well against back-ups and first-year quarterbacks over the years, so they’ll be looking to break this tendency against the Arizona Cardinals.