Oct. 13, 2016
Buccaneers get bye at the right time.
?Coming off the big win in Carolina Monday night, the Bucs have their bye week and it could not have come at a better time. The defensive line has been decimated by one injury after another, forcing two undrafted free agents to start on Monday night. Channing Ward and Davonte Lambert. Lambert actually was part of a turnover, 1 of 4 that the Bucs had that helped them pull out the victory. The rookies played well, ?especially against the run. Although no sacks were recorded by the defense, there was enough pressure to force Anderson to make some errant throws.
Offensively, the loss of Doug Martin has been huge. The last 3 games with Charles Sims starting, the running game had been non-existent. Thank you Jaczquizz Rodgers for a solid effort Monday night, and to coach Koetter for calling a good game and having the guts to stick with the running game.
With the extra week of rest, Gerald McCoy and Robert Ayers should be back healthy and ready to go in San Francisco next Sunday. Hopefully Doug Martin will be back and ready as well. Charles Sims is out until at least week 14, so that is good news for Jacquizz Rodgers who will be the 2nd back off the bench.
WR Cecil Shorts and TE Luke stocker should also be 100 percent soon. With Shorts out, there has been no one able to step up in the KR game. The loss of Stocker has been felt in the running game with no one really able to run block effectively like Stocker.
This was a game to build on for the rest of the season. Yes, there was plenty wrong with this performance. But a win is a win. I'll take winning ugly over losing pretty any day. This was the best defensive performance so far this season. The defense created multiple turnovers, and the special teams was credited with a turnover on the muffed punt return. The run defense was there when it had to be. Overall the run defense was just so-so but made plays when it counted.
The defensive backs had their best games of the season. Brent grimes was in pro bowl form and Vernon Hargraves stepped up his game. Coach Mike Smith had the correct calls dialed up at just the right time. Defensively the Bucs did not have any really stupid penalties that hurt them.
Every time Roberto Aguayo comes in for a FG attempt and even an extra point attempt, I break out into a cold sweat. Thank God he did redeem himself with the game winner, but boy oh boy. The Bucs cannot go an entire season with this kind of performance. Right now Aguayo is 4 for 8. 50 percent. Won't get it done in the NFL. I'm sure coach Koetter has a few extra gray hairs because of this kid.
Finally, the play of Jameis Winston. This is how you win close games on the road. No turnovers, take what the defense will give you, and have a good running game to lean on to set up the passsing game.
Although the Bucs are just 2-3. I think better days are ahead. The important thing to remember is the Bucs are 2-0 in the division, and both games were won on the road. This sets up very nicely for the Bucs for tie-breakers later in the season should the Bucs need those.