Looking Back at the Bucs’ victory over the Browns

by Gary Shelton on August 25, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

The Browns spent time over Jameis Winston./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Thoughts

1. Before there was a mosquito in Florida, before there was a sale on suntan lotion, there have been problems with the offensive line of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Well, they’re still here. It’s like Charles McRae had returned, and he’s brought Todd Steussie with him. The Bucs were manhandled Friday night. Don’t blame it on the scheme, don’t blame it on technique. The big boys from the Browns were better than the big boys from the Bucs.

2. If there was a bright spot, I’m starting to believe the defense will be significantly better this year. Of course, they couldn’t be worse. Still, when is the last time the Bucs held the opposing quarterback to a rating of 30.6 and forced 16 incompletions to 10 completions?

3. The more coaches hold players out of preseason games, the more they’re begging for an 18-game schedule. The owners might not be willing to kill the golden goose, but they’re okay with making it sick.

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Nunez-Roches gets one of his two sacks./JEFFREY S. KING

4. Every game, I think it. I see the fans perform for the sideline cameras, and I think  “I’ve been to thousands of football games in my life, and not once has it ever struck me that I should dance.” What is it about being on the screen that makes act like they’re on American Bandstand?

5. I’m still not sold on this team’s ability to run the football. Just for fun, what do you think will be the Bucs’ second-longest run of the season? I’ll say 14 yards.

5 of the Best Takes

M.J. Stewart disrupted the timing on a Slant route late in the first quarter and then on the very next play swatted an Out route intended for Cleveland wideout Rashard Higgins to force the Browns to punt the ball away. Stewart led the way in what was a positive night for a secondary that has taken a fair share of criticism the past few years.

— Pro Football Focus

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will be happy to get out of this one healthy, as he was under constant pressure all night. In one of the rare passes where he wasn’t under pressure, he threw a dangerous out route that was close to being a pick-six in the late part of the first quarter.

— Pro Football Focus

If you were wondering where Ndamukong Suh ended up this offseason, he is in Tampa doing what he has done since entering the league, wreaking havoc in offensive backfields. On the first drive, Baker Mayfield was able to inexplicably get away from Suh and defensive end Carl Nassib. Cut to the first play of ensuing drive he took it on guard Eric Kush beating him quickly inside off the line.

— Pro Football Focus

Baker Mayfield wanted to play the entire first half of the ‘dress rehearsal’ game against the Bucs, and Freddie Kitchens granted his wish, all the way to the bitter end of the half.

Mayfield trotted out for one last play of the half with eight seconds left, but he should’ve quit while he was ahead in Friday night’s 13-12 loss to the Bucs in the third preseason game.

Former Browns defensive lineman Carl Nassib, always eager for revenge on the team that cut him, blew past Chris Hubbard and hit Mayfield, affecting an errant deep throw down the left side for Jaelen Strong that was picked off by Jordan Whitehead.

The starters went to the locker room ahead 9-0 at the half on three field goals by rookie Austin Seibert, who finished 4-of-4. But the interception left Mayfield with a stat line he’ll want to forget: 10-of-26 for 72 yards, no touchdowns for a 30.6 rating in seven possessions.

— Mary Kay Cabot, Cleveland.com

QUESTION: Did you see that?

ANSWER: What?

Q; That Olivier Vernon guy just running over Tampa Bay Buccaneer lineman Demar Dotson and then drilling QB Jameis Winston?

Q: He had two?

A: Yes, and also a quarterback hit that didn’t result in a sack. He spent more time in the Tampa backfield than Bucs running back Ronald Jones.

Q: You mean zero points?

A: That’s true. But I also mean the Bucs having to punt six times. On four occasions, they went 3-and-out. They had only 19 yards in 10 rushes. They had zero first downs on the ground. Oh my goodness, the defense had a coming out party.

— Terry Pluto, Cleveland.com

Arians is 2-1 in his first preseason./JEFFREY S. KING

5 at Age 66

(Like Bruce Arians)

1. Cyndi Lauper

2. Hulk Hogan

3. Mickey Rourke

4. Pat Benatar

5. Pee-Wee Herman

Jones runs for a short gain for the Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Game Balls

Offense: This is getting silly, but who else would you give the award to but Ryan Griffin, who led his team back again. With Blaine Gabbert’s injury, Griffin is now the team’s No. 2 quarterback.

Defense: A lot of impact players, but Rakeem Nunez-Roches had two sacks. That’s a big deal.

Special teams: Matt Gay kicked the winning field goal again. Cairo Santos is still here, but goodness knows why.

Barett and the Bucs line pressured the Browns./JEFFREY S. KING

Grades

Quarterback. It was hard to give a grade to Jameis Winston, who spent the night buried underneath Cleveland linemen. But Griffin was sharp again. Grade: B-.

Offensive line: This was horrible. The starting line gave up five sacks, and other hurries. Behind them, the Bucs ran for 19 yards on 10 carries. A dreadful effort. Grade: F-.

Running backs. Again, the main Bucs’ players didn’t do much because of the line. Grade: D.

Receivers: Chris Godwin had a good night. It was nice to see Scottie Miller on the field. Grade: C+.

Defensive line: The Bucs held the Browns without a touchdown despite bad field position. Grade: A.

Linebackers Devin White finally showed up with three tackles. He’ll have to be better when it counts. Grade: B.

Secondary: It was the best game by this unit since Ronde Barber left the building. Grade: A.

Tanner Hudson brings down a catch./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Unsung Heroes

1. Safety Jerome Whitehead had four tackles and intercepted a pass. He had two passes defensed.

2. Rakeem Nunez-Roches had two sacks.

3. Tanner Hudson is working his way off the list of the unsung.

4. Jack Cichy won’t start this season, but he’ll get more time than you expect.

5. Ryan Griffin had a quarterback rating of 105.3 and led a comeback win.

Carlton Davis breaks up a pass./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Players Who Should Fear the Cut

1. Noah Spence

2. Andre Ellington

3. Bobo Wilson

4. Ryan Smith

5. Caleb Benenoch

Dare Ogunbawale looks for a crease./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Years of Rushing

2019                                 3.1

2018                                 3.2

2017                                  3.7

2016                                 2.6

2015                                 3.4

Winston readies for the game./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Winston Preseasons

2019             81.4

2018          126.9

2018            82.7

2016          108.5

2015             52.7

Alexander had a solid stay in Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Ex-Bucs to Watch

1. Jon Gruden, Oakland

2. Gerald McCoy, Carolina

3. Kwon Alexander, San Francisco

4. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia

5. Adam Humphries, Tennessee

Fitzpatrick is battling to start./TIM WIRT

5 More Ex-Bucs to Watch

1. Doug Martin, Oakland

2. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami

3. Josh McCown, Philadelphia

4. Vinny Curry, Philadelphia

5. Dirk Koetter, Atlanta

Winston takes another shot from Cleveland./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Random Stats

NFL Rankings

Passing                   Ryan Griffin                                   1

Receiving              Tanner Hudson                              1

Field Goals           Matt Gay                                          9

Rushing                 Dare Ogunbowale                       22

Sacks                      Rakeem Nunez-Roches              10

Miller saw his first action./JEFFREY S. KING

Looking Ahead

5 Great Cowboys

1. Emmitt Smith

2. Michael Irvin

3. Bob Lilly

4. Troy Aikman

5. Jimmy Johnson

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