Looking back on the Bucs’ victory over the Jets

by Gary Shelton on November 14, 2017 · 2 comments

in general

Ryan Fitzpatrick ddin't have dazzling stats, buthe won./STEVEN MUNCIE

Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't have dazzling stats, buthe won./STEVEN MUNCIE

5 Observations

1. There is a lot of speculation lately about the future of Jon Gruden and whether he and the Bucs might remarry. The first thing that strikes me is that it depends on who the general manager is. Gruden is a burlap bag of bobcats, and he isn't for the thin-skinned. But I also think he's a fine football coach whose record was usually better than his team's ability. Remember, though, that he never developed a young quarterback and that three of his last six seasons were losing ones. But if you're the Glazers, you might fall in love with the splash of a Gruden hiring. If you're Gruden, however, aren't there other teams that are closer to the goal?

2. Having a backup quarterback in the game can do wonders for one's perspective. Normally, we would be incensed about 15 points, one touchdown and a 2.9-yard rushing average. But with an obviously limited Ryan Fitzpatrick at the controls, Sunday actually felt good. Still, it was hard to watch and think of it as an NFL game.

3. It isn't comforting to hear the Bucs' players say repeatedly that

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they played with a new attitude against the the Jets. Why would so many games have to have passed by before they had the right attitude? What? The other games weren't as big as this one?

4. I don't care what the Bucs had to do to prod their pass rush, but they should keep it up. It's hard to lose a game when you have six sacks. The Bucs are now tied for 28th in sacks. Yay.

5. Lavonte David is playing well. And I think it's nice that Kwon Alexander mentions him for Defensive Player of the Year. But does that award usually go to a team on the 27th-ranked defense?

Koetter won with only 15 points./CARMEN MANDATO

Koetter won with only 15 points./CARMEN MANDATO


(From Dirk Koetter's press conference)

(On whether the players listened to what he said in last week's meetings): “You ask yourself as a coach all of the time if anything you say in those meetings resonates with the players. You hope it does and you try to make good points. We’ve talked about it before, I still think the best leadership is internally from the players. We definitely played harder longer in this game in all facets. There are plays that look bad in every game when you really look at the tape. Playing hard and being on the right guy, finishing strong, not beating yourself – that goes a long way in this league. We were better in those areas. Not perfect, but better.”

(On the pass rush): “We had the lead. We were playing from ahead instead of playing from behind. The other team had to throw. We’ve been playing from behind a lot – too much. It’s amazing how much better your pass rush is when the other team has to abandon their running game like we’ve had to do several times – too many times.”

(On Chris Godwin's play): “There (are) only so many roles. That’s the thing. You are going to have a number one, a number two, a number three and a number four. That’s just how it is. As we’ve said in here multiple times, you can’t have too many good players. I told you that Chris’ main issue to date has just been that he hadn’t had opportunities because he is behind those other guys. The way you saw Chris play on offense is really the same way he has been attacking special teams up until yesterday. It wasn’t just plug him in for Mike (Evans). Chris did a lot of dirty work yesterday and Mike does some of that too. We had him and DeSean (Jackson) switching back and forth on a lot of different stuff. (I) couldn’t be happier with Chris’ effort and his finish. He got the game ball on offense.”

 (On Ryan Fitzpatrick): “Ryan Fitzpatrick will be our starter this week. We know that much because Jameis (Winston is going to be out again this week. Ryan Griffin will go into the week as the backup. If the opportunity ever presented itself, it would be good while we have this situation to get Ryan Griffin into a game. He has been doing well in practice, but it would never be just because we want to see him get in the game. It would have to be the right opportunity and we will have to see if that ever comes up or not.”

(On if he expects Jameis Winston to play again this season): “I do. From what I know, I do. It was rest him for two weeks [and then] see where he is at. He talked to multiple doctors and that’s what the plan is. There is really nothing to add to that right now. I know Jameis is planning on playing again. There has been no discussion between Jason [Licht] and myself of him not playing again. That would all be something that would have to come up in the future.”

Doug Martin struggled to find a hole./STEVEN MUNCIE

Doug Martin struggled to find a hole./STEVEN MUNCIE

 5 of the Best Takes

"This was inexcusable. This was unpardonable. This was a room-temperature effort with actual stakes attached, and it was a team-wide virus. Quarterback Josh McCown wasn’t given much of a game plan to use, and he made the least of whatever opportunities he was given to make plays. The defense played OK much of the day, but on the key drive of the fourth quarter kept committing stupid penalties."

-- Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

"The Jets disappeared in a lifeless 15-10 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday that makes you wonder if they’re getting closer to the inevitable abyss. Something sure as hell doesn’t feel right."

-- Mannish Mehta, New York Daily News

Sometimes, (the Jets) even looked pretty damned good. Which is why this stink bomb of a game, this 15-10 loss to the Bucs, leaves such a sour taste, one that will linger thanks to an impending bye week and the fact that, for better or worse, it was the Jets that harbored the ambitions — however illusory — of an entire football city. At least before this.

-- Vaccaro, New York Post

"Bowles’ offense took a nap for the better part of three hours, playing a horrific brand of football that even a mother would despise. The Jets had twice as many punts (six) as points (three) through three quarters. They were a disjointed mess that allowed six sacks to a team that entered the day with a league-worst eight sacks in the first eight games."

-- Mehta

"The Jets offensive line had its worst day of the season. It gave up six sacks to a Buccaneers team that entered the game with an NFL-low eight sacks. Jets quarterback Josh McCown was hit 14 times. The rushing attack was nonexistent, averaging 2.9 yards a carry."


-- Brian Costello, New York Post

Clinton McDonald Sacks McCown late in the 4th quarter./STEVEN MUNCIE

Clinton McDonald Sacks McCown late in the 4th quarter./STEVEN MUNCIE

5 Bucs Wins Off the Bench

1. 2014 -- Mike Glennon. The 2014 season was already off to a dreadful start when starter Josh McCown injured his thumb in a lopsided loss to Atlanta. That brought on Glennon, who would play the game of his life against a very good Pittsburgh team. Glennon hit 21 of 42 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with five seconds left.

2. 1999 -- Shaun King. It wasn't the prettiest win ever, but for the Bucs -- who would go onto the NFC title game -- it was important. It was King's first start after starter Trent Dilfer broke a collarbone. The Bucs trailed Minnesota 14-10, but King threw two touchdown passes in the second half and Tampa Bay won 24-17.

3. 1978 -- Mike Rae. This one may sound familiar. Doug Williams was hurt and the next-best offensive player, Ricky Bell was also out. Rae hit only seven of 14 passes for only 121 yards, but he threw two touchdown passes in a 31-10 win over Buffalo. It was only the seventh win in team history.

4. 1984 -- Steve DeBerg. On a day when Jack Thompson would throw himself out of the Bucs' lineup, Steve DeBerg came in to lead the Bucs. Detroit led  14-0 when DeBerg came off the bench and threw for two touchdowns in a 17-14 victory. For the day, DeBerg hit 18 of 27 for 195  yards.

5. 2005 -- Chris Simms. The season was going along swimmingly until Brian Griese sprained his knee against Maimi. Then came back to back losses. Against Washington, however, Simms was elite. He threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-35 win.

5 Good Games by Ryan Fitzpatrick

1.  2014     Houston   Tennessee    W, 45-21       24-33   358    6         147.5

2. 2016     Jets       Buffalo               W, 37-31      24-34   374     1           116.5

3  2015     Jets       New England    W, 26-20     26-41    295    3           109.7

4. 2010    Bills      Cincinnati          W, 49-21      21-34    316    4           107.0

5. 2013    Titans   Oakland            W, 23-19       30-42   320   2           109.2

Jackson becoming a team leader wtih the Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Jackson is becoming a team leader wtih the Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Game Balls

Offense: DeSean Jackson has been treated as if he were the second coming of Alvin Harper for most of the year. Don't look now, but over the last four games, Jackson has 16 catches for 227 yards. Even better, he's become a team leader.

Defense: A lot of candidates. Gerald McCoy. Brent Grimes. Kwon Alexander. But the winner has to be Lavonte David. He doesn't total tackles the way he used to, but he still led the Bucs on Sunday. Without him, Tampa Bay might not win.

Special Teams: Patrick Murray is still perfect on the season. Don't you wish this sesason was played with him kicking against the Patriots?

5 Low Scoring Victories

               Year                   Score              Opponent

1.             1979                    3-0                 Kansas City

2.            1999                   6-3                  Chicago

3.            1992                    7-3                 Phoenix

4.             2005                  10-3               New Orleans

4. (tie)    1988                  10-5                Baltimore

4. (tie)      1989                10-9               L.A. Rams

Gerald McMoy celebrates after getting a sack./STEVEN MUNCIE

Gerald McMoy celebrates after getting a sack./STEVEN MUNCIE

Defensive improvement

Through 8 Games                                                            Vs. Jets

24.8                              Points Allowed                                 10

389                                 Yards Allowed                               275

116,6                              Rushing Yards Allowed                   56

272.6                             Passing Yards Allowed                  219

1.0                                         Sacks per game                          6


Quarterback: Do you grade on the curve? Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't have a day to brag about, but he won. That's something, at least. Fitzpatrick goes for his second victory against Miami Sunday. Grade: C+

Running back: The Bucs continue to struggle to run the football. They averaged only 2.9 yards per carry, and Doug Martin managed only 51 yards on eight carries. Grade: D.

Offensive line: Part of the problem with the line was that the Jets were paying so much attention to stopping the Bucs and forcing the game into Fitzpatrick's hands. Still, a team has break a few. Grade: D.

Wide receivers: Chris Godwin showed that he has a lot of potential, and DeSean Jackson showed that he has something left. The Bucs barely missed Mike Evans. Grade: B+.

Defensive ends: They were the difference in the ballgame. McCown was sacked six times and hit 14 times, which doesn't speak well of the Jets' offensive line: Grade: A.

Linebackers: They were superb against the Jets. Grade: A.

Defensive backs: Brett Grimes makes a difference when he is there. Except for that garbage-time drive, the Jets didn't embarrass the Bucs. Grade: B.

Specialists: Murray was strong, again. Anger had a 59-yarder and one inside the 20. And Bernard Reedy had a nice return. Grade: A-.

Coaching: Dirk Koetter didn't ask Fitzpatrick to do too much. Even when his team wasn't running well, he had it run 31 times. Grade: B+.

5 Former Bucs Staying Alive

1.  Adrian Clayborn...six sacks against Dallas. Clayborn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "I've got one move, and I kept using it."

2. Josh McCown....had a tough day against his old team Sunday, but he did throw for 262 yards (219 when sack yardage is accounted for) and a touchdown.

3. Michael Bennett ... had a routine day Seattle's vicotry over the Cardinals.

4. Aqib Talib...No tackles in the Broncos loss to New England.

5. Russell Sheppard...played with his Carolina team on Monday night

Looking Ahead

5 Greatest Dolphins

1. Dan Marino

2. Larry Csonka

3. Don Shula

4. Dwight Stephenson

5. Jason Taylor

5 Favorite Dolphins

1. Jim Jensen

2. John Offerdahl

3. Fuad Reveiz

4. Ron Davenport

5. Jay Brophy

Greatest Game

In 1985, the Bucs had little reason to foresee a good game with the Miami Dolphins. The Bucs were 0-6, and on their way to 2-14. The Dolphins were 4-2 and on their way to the AFC title game. But in late October, the teams played a classic in a 41-38 Dolphin win.

Twice, the Bucs trailed by 17 points. But Steve DeBerg would end up with four touchdown passes, all to Jimmy Giles, and it took a field goal for Miami to win with six seconds left.

DeBerg ended up with 365 yards passing. Miami's Dan Marino had 302. Giles caught passes for 116 yards and Kevin House for 111.

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