Confidence and excitement are sure to be at an all-time high, and for good reason. The Bucs are playing like the world beaters many thought they’d become when Tom Brady arrived, but he isn’t alone in making this team as impressive as they’ve been recently.
Like we do every week, we’re here to take a look at the good and the bad from this weekend’s action. Starting with the best stuff, first.
SCOTTY MILLER BACK ON TRACK
Before the season began Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com came on the Locked On Bucs Podcast to talk about how wide receiver Scotty Miller was a sleeper to be one of the better players on this Buccaneers roster. Well, Miller has certainly proven Smith right in his assertion, and had another career setting performance against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Six catches, 109-yards and a score gave Miller the best statistical performance of all Tampa Bay receivers, and gives him his first 100-yard performance in his young career.
The future certainly seems bright for the second-year receiver, and has helped his future Hall of Fame quarterback look ten years younger.
TOM BRADY STILL MAKING HISTORY
Speaking of the ageless one. Tom Brady threw four touchdowns against the Raiders to four different receivers (Miller, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and Tyler Johnson). He also completed all but twelve of his 45 pass attempts, threw for 369-yards and finished with a 127 QBR. Not bad for an old guy.
Something he also did was surpass Drew Brees for a pretty significant record. Per Buccaneers Communications, Brady’s 559 touchdowns passes is one more than the New Orleans Saints quarterback has, and both are at the top of the list.
Which one finishes on the top of the pile when it’s all said and done? Well, currently Brees is averaging just under two touchdown passes per game, while Brady is averaging a full two per. Too close to call, but it’ll be really fun to watch.
DEVIN WHITE MAKING HIS PRESENCE KNOWN
What do you do when the team who drafted you fifth-overall in the NFL Draft is playing the team who passed on you with the fourth-overall pick in the same draft? Why, you destroy their quarterback, of course.
Ok, perhaps destroy is too strong a word, but Derek Carr - although he’d never admit it - would much rather have Clelin Ferrell playing opposite of his side of the line of scrimmage than White. Especially after Sunday afternoon.
In this game, Ferrell came away with three tackles while White had eleven and sacked Carr three times. One of which came on a fourth-down conversion try which I give Carr all the credit in the world for trying to push through.
White won the encounter, and has validated Jason Licht’s use of such a high pick on an off-ball linebacker, while Ferrell has barely has more than three career sacks let alone three in one game.
We’re just going to leave this right here.
HONORABLE MENTION: Antoine Winfield Jr.’s first career interception.
All-in-all, the Buccaneers running backs had a good week. Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette combined for 84-yards rushing on 24 carries. Sure, we’d have liked to see one of them get in a rythm, and we honestly thought Jones had earned more work given what he was able to do over the past three weeks. But hey, such is life as an NFL running back.
What doesn’t help Jones’ case is the fact he caught one of his two targets and dropped the other. Meanwhile, Fournette brought in six of his seven targets for 47-yards in the passing game, giving him 94-yards of total offense on the day.
Jones got the touchdown, but Fournette got more evidence to be the primary back in Tampa Bay’s offense.
MIKE EVANS’ STAT SHEET
Headline readers will out themselves in the comment section on this one. Mike Evans received just two targets - officially - in this game. Both of them were brought in for receptions, and it’s the second-straight game where Evans got fewer than three targets. Why is he being looked to so little? Well, he’s not, really.
Several times on Sunday Brady looked Evans’ way. Usually, it resulted in the defense - who already pays him a lot of attention - looking his way even more. This opened up man-to-man coverage opportunities for other guys like, well, Scotty Miller.
Evan’s impact is still alive and well, we just wish his stats were too. For the man who truly cares only for team success, we’ll care about his individual statistics for him.
Don’t you just love when an old friend returns to where they belong? We almost thought we were going to get two weeks of no penalty frustration, but then it all came rushing back. Briefly, of course, but it was still there.
Penalty issues helped the Raiders make the game interesting in a time where it looked like the Buccaneers would pull away. Of course, then they did.
Regardless of the outcome, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to become a team who stacks good drives, not penalties. So far, they’re stacking both. As long as they keep winning, nobody will make too big a stink about it. In fact, if you were to say I’m nitpicking here, I’d gladly accept it.
Giving away momentum is never a good idea though, and the more this team reaches contender status, the more motivated teams will be to knock them down a peg. Opening the door through free yards, is exactly what this team can’t allow.
There are some other topics to discuss from this game, but limiting myself to three each is the pattern we’re following, so I’ll leave you to the comments to add to the list and even tell us which ones you felt should unseat some of these! I’ll even add Winfield’s interception because it’s certainly one of my favorite moments, but was a singular moment while the other three encompassed the entire day.
Which of these was the BEST part of Week 7?
This poll is closed
Scotty Miller’s Career Day
Tom Brady’s Record
Devin White’s Dominance
Antoine Winfield Jr.’s Interception
Which of these was the WORST part of Week 7?
This poll is closed
Ronald Jones II’s Drop
Mike Evans Stats