A look back at the Bucs’ victory over the Giants

by Gary Shelton on October 3, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

5 Observations

1. Winston was very good: Jameis Winston hasn't had many days that were better than Sunday. It was only the second game of his career where he's thrown for three touchdowns or more and no interceptions. As Dirk Koetter said, "We'll win a lot of games if Jameis plays like that." Winston has 660 yards in his last two games.

2. Nice coverage: Vernon Hargreave III says that teammate Brent Grimes is the best cornerback in the league, and he might have a point. The Bucs' pass defense was much sharper playing against Eli Manning than it was against Case Keenum the week before. With zero pass rush, however, you wonder with Tom Brady coming to town.

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3. Coming home: He is finally off of suspension. But is Doug Martin in shape to help the Bucs' 26th-rated running game? Said Martin: " I love these guys and these guys love me. I know that [when] I wasn’t here, I know they were thinking of me and they can’t wait for me to get back here. Now I’m back and I’m going to play for these guys.” But can he help immediately, or does he need to get into game-shape? We'll see.

4. Deju vu: Did Sunday remind you of anything else? Last season, Roberto Aguayo missed two field  goals of 33 and 46 yards, but hit the winning field goal from 33 yards out to lead the Bucs to their second win. This year, Nick Folk missed two field goals of 49 and 46 yards, but hit the winning field goal from 34 yards out to lead the Bucs to their second win.

5. A little help from my friends? Sunday was the 10th time in 35 games that Winston had a quarterback rating higher than 100. The common denominator? In eight of those games, he's had a running back run for at least 62 yards. In other words, Winston is more effective when defenses have to pay attention to the running game.

Game Balls

Offense: Jameis Winston. Winston was perfect in leading the Bucs winning drive. Frankly, he was close to perfect for much of the afternoon, throwing three touchdowns and no picks in a 332-yard game.

Defense: Not a lot of Bucs' fans were familiar with LSU linebacker Kendall Beckwith, but he's been a steady player in the absence of Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David. Sunday, he quarterbacked the Bucs' defense and finished with nine tackles.

Coach: Dirk Koetter may have been the only guy who trusted Nick Folk with the winning points. And by settling for the field goal, Koetter kept an Eli Manning miracle out of the equation.

5 Imported receivers and their first three games

       Player                      Catches         Yards

1. Bert Emanuel                  18             250

2. Keyshawn Johnson       14             180

3. Alvin Harper                   11             163

4. DeSean Jackson               9             141

5. Joey Galloway                  4              44


Quarterback: It wasn't just his yards (332). It wasn't even his comeback. It was that Winston again played a clean game. When he does that, the Bucs have a good shot at winning. Grade: A.

Running back: Jacquizz Rodgers got the ball this week. Why? He deserved it, averaging

5.2 yards per carry. That kept a lot of pressure off of Winston. Grade: B.

Wide receivers: Yeah, yeah. DeSean Jackson is upset that he's not getting the ball. Granted, Winston still needs to develop the chemistry with Jackson that he has with Evans, Adam Humphris and Cameron Brate. But a winning locker room is no place for unhappy soldiers. Grade: B+.

Offensive line: The Bucs allowed one sack in 38 pass plays. They averaged 4.8 yards per carry. And then there is this: Of the Giants' starting defensive line, Jason Pierre-Paul had four tackles, Dalvin Tomlinson had three and Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison had one each. Grade: A.

Defensive line: The Bucs still can't muster a pass rush, but for the second straight game at home, they were good against the run. Grade: C.

Linebackers: No Kwon? No Lavonte? No sweat. The Bucs baby 'backers of Kendall Beckwith, Adarius Glanton and Devonte Bond were solid. Grade: B.

Secondary: Eli Manning threw for 288 yards on 49 passes. But his weapons didn't destroy the Bucs, who enjoyed having Brent Grimes back. Grade: B-.

Special teams: Yes, it was a tough day for Nick Folk. But he made it fun in the end. Grade: D.

5 Great Fourth Quarters

1. New York Giants: This was Winston at his best, completing all five of his passes for 55 yards and leading his team downfield to beat the Giants. He had only one third down (before Folk's kick), a third-and-one. It was Winston's first fourth-quarter comeback or game-winning drive when he had a rating of over 100.

2. San Diego Chargers (2016): Winston hit five of six for 62 yards and hit Mike Evans with a 10-yard completion to lead a comeback over San Diego.

3. Atlanta Falcons(2016): Winston hit four of four passes in his fourth-quarter comeback against the Falcons

4. Dallas Cowboys (2016):  Winston hit three of three passes to lead the Bucs' comeback in a 10-6 victory.

5. Carolina Panthers (2016): Winston hit four of four for 38 yards to set up Roberto Aguayo's game-winning field goal.

5 areas the Bucs need to get better

1. Short Yardage. It still haunts that the Bucs couldn't get in from the half-yard line. They lack a true power back.

2. Pass rush: In three games, the Bucs have one sack. One.

3. Pass coverage: Tampa Bay is 23rd in the league in pass defense and opposing quarterbacks have a rating of 99.1.

4. Third downs: The Bucs are 18th in the NFL.

5. Time of possession: The Bucs are 31st in the league, ahead of only the Chargers.

5 Kickers 

(Who had it worse than Nick Folk)

1. Mirro Roder -- First Buc kicker. Left after going 0-2.

2. Roberto Aguayo -- Bucs traded up to take him; they should have traded back.

3. Kyle Brindza--In four games, he missed six field goals and two extra points.

4. Peter Rajecki -- "Please inform Mr. Rajecki I plan to attend all of the games."

5. Bill Capece -- "Capece is kaput." -- John McKay

5 Best Patriots

1. Tom Brady

2. Rob Gronkowski

3. John Hannah

4. Andre Tippett

5. Vince Wilfolk

                                                       5 Shared Legacies


1. LeGarrette Blount -- Broke 1,000 yards for both Bucs (2010) and Patriots (2016).

2. Aqib Talib -- Troubled in Tampa Bay; settled down somewhat in New England.

3. Logan Mankins -- A great Patriot who finished his career with the Bucs.

4. Russ Hochstein -- A big player in Tampa Bay; won Super Bowl rings in New England.

5. Jason Licht -- Tampa Bay general manager Licht worked for the Patriots on two separate occasions, first as a scout and assistant director of player personnel from 1999-2002, and later as the director of player personnel from 2009-11.

5 Interesting statistics

New England                                                                  Tampa Bay

1                             Passing offense                                3

32                           Total defense                                   30

32                           Pass defense                                    31

2                         Points scored                               tie, 12

26                           Sacks                                               32

5 Days That Molded the Patriots

 1. Jan. 21, 1994: Robert Kraft buys the team from Robert Kiam. Kraft refused to move the Patriots. He was advised against hiring Bill Belichick. Instead, his instincts have been perfect, and it has turned New England into the NFL's most dominant team of recent years.

2. Jan. 27, 2000: Although other owners warned Kraft against hiring the dour Belichick, Kraft did. Belichick has won five Super Bowls since.

3.  April 16, 2000: The Patriots can talk all they want about how highly they had Tom Brady rated before picking him in the sixth round. But get this. The Patriots' spent a sixth round pick on cornerback Antwan Harris first.

4. April 23, 2004: The Patriots picked tight end Rob Gronkowski, one of the most highly regarded players in the league. At one point, that draft pick was owned by the Bucs. It came three picks after Tampa Bay picked Arrelius Benn.

5. February 2, 2002: The Patriots win their first Super Bowl over the Rams despite being 14-point underdogs and being outgained 427-267. It set a trend of close wins; the Patriots five Super Bowl victories are by a total of 19 points with one being an overtime win.

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