Looking back on the Bucs’ loss to the Panthers

by Gary Shelton on December 26, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Winston looks at a losing scoreboard./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston looks at a losing scoreboard./CARMEN MANDATO

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

5 Observations

For all the talk about Jameis Winston, the thrower, the last two games would be enticing to any coach. Winston has his 48 of his last  62 passes for 666 yards, a rating of 132.9. It's enough to restore faith in his future, especially when you consider that Winston has played in one game -- Arizona -- in which he wasn't sacked. He was hurt in that game.

Winston, the ball-handler, still has work to do. He fumbled three times against Carolina, essentially costing his team the game.

The Bucs created a bit of unease when Doug Martin, the invisible man, carried on the last two attempts for the team. Martin has had a dreadful season, and added only seven yards on six carries Sunday. One question: Why is a back who can't run the ball, doesn't catch it and doesn't help on special teams still active.

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Winston's numbers are significantly off./CARMEN MANDATO

Evans’ numbers are significantly off./CARMEN MANDATO

Even if the Bucs split their seven one-score games, they'd be all the way up to mediocre.

If there has been a victim to trying to get DeSean Jackson into the offense, it's been Mike Evans, whose numbers are drastically down. Sunday, Evans had his first 100-yard game of the season (he had four last year, six of more than 97 yards). He had six catches. He hasn't had seven since Buffalo, nine games ago.

koetter needs to be better in the red zone./CARMEN MANDATO

Koetter needs to be better in the red zone./CARMEN MANDATO

5 of the Best Takes

Leave it to the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton to take something ugly and turn it into something memorable. And yes, cute. The Panthers’ most important player saved an ugly day against a bad Tampa Bay team, but not before first adding more drama to the Christmas Eve. Newton fumbled a shotgun snap, picked up the loose ball and surged into the end zone for a game-winning, 2-yard touchdown run on his son’s second birthday Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

— Joseph Person, Charlotte Observer

 The Carolina Panthers’ playoff berth hinged on a single yard – that much was clear. But whether or not running back Jonathan Stewart got that yard ... well, that’s up for interpretation. After a neutral-zone infraction penalty turned that fourth-and-3 into fourth-and-1, the Panthers needed just a single yard to keep everything – the drive, their chance at winning the game, and a playoff berth – on track. Carolina handed off to Stewart, who plowed into the middle of a pile. According to the referees, who gave Stewart the first down, he got that yard. But Tampa Bay’s defensive line, the ones who swallowed Stewart up, didn’t agree.

— Brendan Marks, Charlotte Observer

First, Jameis Winston lost a fumble. Then the Buccaneers quarterback lost his composure, and his mind. In fairness, Winston thought he had regained the football and that officials erred in awarding possession to the Panthers, a pivotal late-game moment in Tampa Bay’s 22-19 loss Sunday to Carolina. Still, such an angry display will likely bring admonitions from his team, if not the NFL, to do a better job of containing his emotions. Winston was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his initial reaction, and that was before he stormed back onto the field from the sideline, appearing to shove a Buccaneers or stadium employee out of the way in the process. He did make a point of approaching referee Jerome Boger when the game ended, shaking the official’s hand.

— Des Biesler, Washington Post

Jameis Winston really lost his cool at the end of this one. After being sacked by Kawann Short on a last-gasp drive, Winston lost the ball on a fumble to Julius Peppers to that put the game away. Winston was livid with the call, yelling at officials as he was held back by teammates. He continued to yell on the sideline and had to be restrained by coaches and players from running onto the field. After the game, TV cameras showed him apologizing to referee Jerome Boger. It remains to be seen if he'll face any discipline for his outburst, which resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Up until letting his emotions get the better of him, Winston was the primary reason why the Buccaneers (4-11) nearly pulled off the upset. He completed 21 of 27 passes for 367 yards and a touchdown. It's too bad he was sacked six times and the Buccaneers lost three fumbles against Carolina -- otherwise they might have won.

— Austin Knobloch, nfl.com

Luke Kuechly did something rarely seen by a linebacker – tackle a wide receiver 70 yards down field to prevent a touchdown. If not for Luke’s “never give up” effort, Godwin would have scored. Instead, Kuechly brought him down at the 10 yard line. The Buccaneers’ drive stalled from there and they had to settle for a field goal to tie the game 6-6 instead of taking an early 10-6 lead. Great effort by Luke.

— Mick Smiley, CatScratchReader.com

Koetter's four-win season is better than Morris'./CARMEN MANDATO

Koetter's four-win season is better than Morris'./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Years Ago

 

2012                                                                                   2017

4-12                                          Record                                             4-11

Morris                                      Coach                                     Koetter

27                                            Offense                                              11

32                                             Defense                                             31

0-10                                       Streak                                                 0-5

David makes one of his 11 tackles./CARMEN MANDATO

David makes one of his 11 tackles./CARMEN MANDATO

Game Burns

Offense: Mike Evans had his best day of the season, catching six passes for 107 yards.

Defense: Lavonte David had another strong day with 11 tackles for the Bucs.

Special teams: Bryan Anger punted only once, for 50 yards. It didn't take much to lead the special teams on Sunday

McCoy reflects on another lost afternoon./CARMEN MANDATO

McCoy reflects on another lost afternoon./CARMEN MANDATO

Buc Pro Bowlers

Gerald McCoy                                                     4 tackles, including a sack and two quarterback hits.

Lavonte David (second alternate)                  11 tackles, 3 of them solos

Kwon Alexander (third alternate)                    8 tackles, 1 interception

Cameron Brate (third alternate)                      3  catches, 13 yards.

Winston slides after a short gain./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston slides after a short gain./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Quarterbacks

Quarterback             Record      TDS.         Rating

Jameis Winston.         17-27     68             88.1

Josh Freeman              24-35    80             78.8

Trent Dilfer                  38-38    70              69.4

Vinny Teastaverde     24-48     77              64.4

Doug Williams          33-33-2   73              66.2

 

Might Gruden rejoin the Bucs?/JEFFREY S. KING

Might Gruden rejoin the Bucs?/JEFFREY S. KING

5 Thoughts

If the Bucs get any worse close to the goal, they’re going to rename it “the Dead Zone.”

Jon Gruden woke up this morning and decided to ask for more money.

Can the Bucs get four No. 1 draft picks.

Sunday’s game showed a major flaw in the quarterback ratings formula, which doesn’t consider fumbles. It also doesn’t consider weather, comebacks, injuries, running or red zone efficiency. Or winning.

The Bucs are in this mess because they need offensive linemen, runners and corners. Primarily, the need defensive ends. Maybe two of them.

Evans fights to make a catch for Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Evans fights to make a catch for Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Comparing Mike Evans

(Through 15 Games)

2016                                   2017

162             Targets             123

91              Catches               66

1256            Yards               946

11                   TDs                  5

13.8         Per Catch            14.3

Humphries

Comparing Adam Humphries

70                Targets                72

45                  Catches               54

528               Yards                  529

2                    TDs                       1

11.7              Per Catch              9.8

Barber led the Bucs in rushing once again./CARMEN MANDATO

Barber led the Bucs in rushing once again./CARMEN MANDATO

Comparing RBs

Martin                                       Barber

8               Starts                       3

135            Attempts                  91

409              Yards                     352

3                TDs                        2

3.0             Ave.                     3.9

Ward makes a tackle on McCaffrey./CARMEN MANDATO

Ward makes a tackle on McCaffrey./CARMEN MANDATO

Grades

Quarterback: When he threw the ball, Winston was sharp. But he had three fumbles and couldn’t lead the team to the end zone often enoughGrade: B-.

Wide Receivers: Evans is a star, and Godwin may be one soon. Grade: A.

Offensive line: Gave up six sacks and had 51 yards on the ground. Grade: D.

Defensive line. Two sacks, but gave up a crucial fourth and inches. Grade: B.

Linebackers: Once more, the best part of the defense. Grade: B-plus.

Secondary: A rare day with no touchdowns surrendered. Grade: B-minus.

Coaching: Koetter deserves a bit of credit for the Bucs playing hard, which is like a gold star on a failing exam. Grade: D.

Murray has missed two two kicks in two weeks./CARMEN MANDATO

Murray has missed two two kicks in two weeks./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Goats

1. New England: Nick Folk missed a 31-yard field goal late.

2. Carolina: Chris Baker jumps offsides on fourth and three.

3. Buffalo: With the score tied at 27, Adam Humphries fumbles after an eight yard catch to set up the Bills’ winning field goal.

4. Green Bay: Another Jameis Winston fumble, this one returned for a touchdown by Dean Lowery.

5. Atlanta: Patrick Murray missed a 54-yard field goal that would have forced overtime.

Alexander had a solid day for Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

Alexander had a solid day for Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

Leading Bucs Tacklers

 Player                               NFL Rank    Tackles

1. Lavonte David                 22         95

2. Kwon Alexander              37          86

3. Chris Conte                        72        74

4. Kendell Beckwith             91         70

5. Justin Evans                     110        66

Newton seals the game with a touchdown./CARMEN MANDATO

Newton seals the game with a touchdown./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Positions of Need

1.Defensive end

2. Running Back

3. Offensive lineman

4. Cornerback

5. Kicker

5 Mock Drafts

1. Bleacher Report           4        Denzel Ward, CB              Ohio State

2. SEC Country                  6       Bradley Chubb, DE         N.C. State

3. Tankathon                     4        Minkah Fitzpatrick, S    Alabama

4. CBSsports.com              7         Chubb

5. NFLdraftgeek.com        7        Arden Key, LSU

McCoy enjoyed the effort against Carolina./CARMEN MANDATO

McCoy enjoyed the effort against Carolina./CARMEN MANDATO

NFL Bottom 5

1. Cleveland

2. New York Giants

3. Indianapolis Colts

4. Tampa Bay Bucs

5. Houston Texans

Winston makes a face on the Bucs' bench./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston makes a face on the Bucs' bench./CARMEN MANDATO

Bucs' Penalty Leaders

    Player                             Penalties      Yards

1. Donovan Smith                    8             70

2.  J.R. Sweezy                         6              45

3. Demar Dotson                     6             42

4. Jameis Winston                  6             34

5. William Gholson                 5            34

Brees has been tough on Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Brees has been tough on Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

 

Looking Ahead

5 Greatest Saints

1. Drew Brees

2. Rickey Jackson

3. Willie Roaf

4. Archie Manning

5. Morten Andersen

Alstott was bog against the Saints./JEFFREY S. KING

Alstott was big against the Saints./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Favorite Saints

1. Danny Abramowicz

2. Tom Dempsey

3. Joe Horne

4. Doug Atkins

5. Paul (the apostle)

5 Good Games by Bucs vs. Saints

1. 2007. Luke McCown won the game with a four-yard touchdown pass to Jerramy Stevens with 14 seconds to play. For the day, McCown hit 19 of 37 for 313 yards.

2. 2011. Josh Freeman had a big day, hitting 23 of 49 passes for 303 yards and two scores.

3. 1999. Mike Alstott ran the ball 25 times for 117 yards.

4. 2011. Earnest Graham  ran 17 times for 109 yards.

5. 1989. Mark Carrier caught five passes for 120 yards in a win.

 

Best Game

Can there be any other than the Bucs' first victory ever back in 1977, a 33-14 win that left Saints coach Hank Stram talking about how embarrassed he was?  It came after 26 straight losses.

"I can't wait to get into the dressing room so I can cry," said linebacker Richard (Batman) Wood. "A grown man ought not to cry out here in front of these people."

The Bucs returned three interceptions for touchdowns and had six for the day. Lee Roy Selmon had three sacks.

Gary Huff got the win for the Bucs. He was Tampa Bay's sixth starting quarterback in two seasons.

Ryan Russell and the Bucs' defense finally had teeth./CARMEN MANDATO

Ryan Russell and the Bucs' defense finally had teeth./CARMEN MANDATO

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