Well, arguably the toughest game on the schedule went worse for the Buccaneers than most probably expected.
The Bucs hung within one score through halftime, but the Los Angeles Rams decimated their depleted secondary en route to a 34-24 victory — snapping a 10-game Buccaneers win streak. While you’d like to see better against a fellow contender, it is still early and you’d prefer to iron the kinks sooner rather than later.
Let’s take a look at some of the better players from this week’s disappointing finish.
Offensive Top Performer: WR Mike Evans
The offense didn’t really struggle to move the ball through the air, as Tom Brady actually passed for 400+ yards for the first time this season. Evans dominated Darious Williams throughout the day, logging 8 catches for 106 yards to lead the team.
It’s the type of performance you like to see from Evans on a weekly basis, though you would’ve liked to see him get more looks in the endzone instead of a hurt Gronk getting force fed. Nevertheless, Evans did what was asked of him, and you have to applaud that.
Gio Bernard gets an honorable mention for having his breakout performance in a Bucs uniform, logging 9 catches for 51 yards and a late score and doing a nice job in pass protection. And while it didn’t count, he also made the heads-up play to catch a Brady fumble and try to advance it as the first half was coming to a close.
You always want to see heady plays like that, as you never know what will count and what won’t in the moment.
Defensive Top Performer: LB Lavonte David
The entire secondary looked terrible, and the pass rush still appears to be shrugging off its boat parade hangover.
In a game where defensive stops were too far and few in between — the Rams scored touchdowns of 75+ yards on four straight possessions — and Matt Stafford went unbothered far too often, it seems appropriate to acknowledge the player who simply showed the most hustle.
As usual, Lavonte David appears near the top of the list in that department. the veteran recorded six tackles, made some strong run stops, and looked to play some solid coverage in the second half.
Next week, we’ll hope to see a standout performance worth gushing a little more over.
Special Teams Top Performer: K Ryan Succop
Yea, he missed a field goal that would’ve been beneficial at the first half’s conclusion, but who else are you going to pick? Punter Bradley Pinion kicked his worst game of the young season and rookie Jaelon Darden proved to be totally irrelevant in his debut, so Succop basically wins by default.
He made a field goal later on and nailed all of his extra points. He also delivered a beauty of an onside kick that the Bucs probably should’ve recovered.
That’s all I’ve got.