Looking back at the Bucs’ loss to the Bengals

by Gary Shelton on October 30, 2018 · 4 comments

in general

Fitzpatrick has regained control./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Observations

1. Dirk Koetter made the easiest decision in the history of earth Monday when he decided to go with Ryan Fitzpatrick (who is playing great) over Jameis Winston (who isn't) at quarterback. It's like choosing good over evil, steak over salad or riding over walking. Winston will be back, but not until Fitzpatrick stumbles.

2. I'm kind of weary of hearing Winston talk about how he knows he has to cut down on his turnovers, and then see him not do it ... again. It's like a teenager saying he'll be in before curfew, and he never is. If this was a big thing to Winston, I have to believe he would have grown more than he has.

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3. What is they say about rats and sinking ships? I understand DeSean Jackson's frustrations, but let's face it: He's hasn't played on a team where he was the primary receiver for a few years. Does he really think a better team will trade something of substance for him and then make him the king of the receiving corps?

4. That's it. If it's me, I start bringing in other kickers right now. I would bring them in two at a time, maybe three. I'm tired of kickers who couldn't get a part-time job with the Rockettes. The guy has missed four extra points this season, and we aren't even halfway through.

5. Just wondering: If Winston had played 60 minutes, and if the Bengals' defensive backs caught all their interceptions, how many might he have thrown?

Koetter had an easy decision to make at quarterback./CARMEN MANDATO


(From Dirk Koetter's Day-After Press Conference)

(On the Bucs' quarterback for the coming week): “We’re going to start Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) at quarterback this week. That’s what we feel like we need to do this week to give ourselves the best chance. It’s just for right now. Right now the most important thing we’ve got is this week. We’ll just have to see how things go. I don’t like switching quarterbacks. That’s not in my makeup to switch quarterbacks, but we just feel like we’ve got to make the switch at this time.”

(On the Bucs' turnovers): “Minus 13 – I mean last in the league in turnover ratio at minus 13. We’re not getting any, but that’s one thing — minus three a week ago and minus four in this game. It just can’t happen.”

(On a late delay-of-game penalty against Adarius Taylor): Those stadiums are loud and if you look at the play on tape, it was a pretty well-covered play. He (Bengals receiver A.J. Green) went down and as he rolled over the ball was on the ground, Adarius picked it up. There was a lot of action going on. I wasn’t necessarily listening for a whistle. The explanation I got was that everyone on the field knew that the ball was dead except for him.”

(On Ryan Fitzpatrick's contributions): “He’s done a really good job of putting the ball in the right spot and we do have explosive players. He has said himself that in all his time playing, he’s never been on a team that has this many guys that can make plays for him. He’s just done a good job of putting the ball in the right spot. Jameis also did that at times yesterday too. The 29-yard throw on the fade to Mike [Evans] down their sideline — that’s as pretty a throw as you’re ever going to see. The 60-something yarder over the top for DeSean [Jackson] to break the record — that was very similar to the double move that Fitz hit Mike on. Both guys have had their moments when they’ve been extremely sharp, but this is really just about we have to do a better job of protecting the football.”

(On Winston):  “Jameis is a pro and he will continue to work on his craft. That’s all he can do. Very rarely is switching quarterbacks forever in this league — look around the league. It’s very rarely forever and Jameis I’m sure will get another chance at some point. When he does, he just has to do a better job of taking care of the football.”

Winston has 10 interceptions in his short season./CARMEN MANDATO

5 of the Best Takes

"The Bengals won, kind of. They sort of beat the Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday. The newest Bengal, Jameis Winston, was highly appreciated by the intimate gathering of fans at Paul Brown Stadium. How often can a team play nearly an entire game with 12 men on the field and never get whistled for it?

"Thank you, Jameis. The Bengals and their fans appreciated all four of your interceptions. Every egregious one."

-- Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati Enquirer

"Just because the Bengals went the first 25 minutes of the second half without a first down… just because they tried to blow an 18-point, second half lead at home against a losing team… just because Winston gifted the Bengals with the four interceptions, including the one Jessie Bates ran for a touchdown, and they still needed a last-play 44-yard field goal to win…just because the defense allowed the Bucs 576 yards…"

-- Daugherty

"The Bengals didn't need Sunday to be pretty. They just needed it to be a win against Tampa Bay.

"Good thing.

"With an inactive list stuffed with starters on the mend, bye week on the horizon and reeling off two consecutive demoralizing losses, this was not the time to chase beauty points."

-- Paul Dehner Jr., Cincinnati Enquirer

"The dogs would have stayed on the chain if not for the gifts of Jameis Winston. He gave  the Bengals defense just what they needed. That being turnovers. Nearly all on awful throws. And eventually getting him benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick."

-- Dehner

"It's easy to see why the Bucs don't want to give up on Winston: He's a former No. 1 overall pick who's supposed to be the team's quarterback of the future. However, if Winston has proven one thing this season, it's that he probably shouldn't be the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers anymore, and if that wasn't clear to Bucs coach Dirk Koetter before this week, you'd like to think it became clear after Winston's four-interception meltdown during Tampa Bay's 37-34 loss to the Bengals on Sunday.

Winston single-handedly cost Tampa the game and he did it by throwing interceptions that no NFL quarterback should ever throw. You can always overlook one mistake, but with Winston, it's never one mistake, because these things always seem to come in bunches. Winston has played in four games this season and he's thrown multiple interceptions in EVERY single game.

As a matter of fact, with 10 picks on the year, Winston is now tied for the NFL lead in interceptions, which is even worse when you consider the fact that he was suspended for the first three games of the season. Basically, he's played in three less games, but has more interceptions than anyone."

-- John Breech, CBSsports.com

Pierre-Paul has eight sacks on the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Game Balls

Offense: Just how bad would this season look without Ryan Fitzpatrick? He has led them to two of the team's three wins, and he almost made it three Sunday. If you rate the quarterbacks of the NFL, Fitzpatrick is a top five. Winston, at best, is a bottom five.

Defense: Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks as the Bucs' defense had a solid second half. Pierre-Paul has been that rare Buc acquisition who has performed well.

Special teams: The Banger is back. Bryan Anger averaged 49.7 yards per punt Sunday, including a 61-yarder.

Barber had a decent game against Cincy./TIM WIRT


Quarterback: The bad was worse than the good was good Sunday. Give Winston the lowest possible grade, an F-minus minus. He has never been worse, and he's frequently been bad. Fitzpatrick was good, but even he couldn't forgive Winston's errors. Grade: C (because of Fitzpatrick).

Running back: Barber has had two 80-plus yards rushing performances in his last three games, and the Bucs' running game has at least shown hope. No, he's not a star. But when he's solid, the Bucs have a shot. Grade: B.

Offensive line: Too many sacks, too many penalties. No, this is not an elite line, no matter how much praise the coaches give. Grade: D.

Defensive line: Jason Pierre-Paul can still play. But we still don't know about Vita Vea. Where is the burst the Bucs loved? Grade: C.

Linebacker: The Bucs missed Kwon Alexander. Lavonte David remains solid. Grade: B.

Defensive backs: Andy Dalton throws a lot of picks.Not to the Bucs, however. Grade: D.

Kicker: How many do the Bucs let Chandler Catanzaro miss? Grade: D (because of Bryan Anger).

Coach: Why was Winston on the field to throw that fourth interception? Or the third one? Or even the second one? Grade: F.

Humphries had a solid day for Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Unsung Heroes

Justin Evans, like the rest of the Bucs' defensive backs, hasn't made enough plays this year. But a team-leading eight tackles counts for something.

Adam Humphries caught seven passes to lead the Bucs Sunday. The guy simply makes plays.

Bryan Anger: A good punter can make life a lot easier for his team's defense. Anger hasn't been as good this season as last, but he's still a weapon.

Jacquizz Rodgers: He doesn't get the playing time he once did, but he did catch four passes for 25 yards.

Brent Grimes: He's taken some heat lately, but Grimes had five tackles and a pass breakup.

Godwin caught the tying two-pointer in the Bucs' rally./CARMEN MADATO

Best Plays

1. Two point conversion: After bringing the Bucs back, Fitzpatrick threw into a tight window to Chris Godwin for the tie with 1:10 to go.

2. 2-14-28 -- Fitzpatrick found Mike Evans alone on a 72-yard touchdown

3. 1-10-40 -- Winston hasn't connected with DeSean Jackson enough, but he found him here for 60 yards.

4. 4-3-18 -- On fourth down, Fitzpatrick found tight end O.J. Howard for a touchdown to bring the Bucs to within two.

5. 2-7-17 -- Adam Humphries caught a pass from Winston that brought the Bucs within arm's-reach of the end zone. The officials ruled he had broken the plane, but the call was reversed. No matter. Barber scored on the next play.

Chandler Catanzaro Can't make an extra point./CARMEN MADATO

Worst Plays

1. 3-10-10 -- The Bengals' final touchdown was another gift from Winston. This time, Jesse Bates picked off a pass and returned it 21 yards for the score.

2. 2-10-41 -- After Andy Dalton hit A.J. Green for 11 yards, just before the winning field goal, Adarius Taylor picked up the ball and ran with it. He said he thought it was a turnover. Officials called him for delay of game, and marked off a crucial five-yard penalty before the winning 49-yard field goal.

3. Extra point Catanzaro missed another one.

4. 1-10-43 -- Justin Evans finally intercepted the Bucs' second pass of the season, but rookie Vita Vea was ruled to have been offsides.

5.1-10-27 -- The Bucs had wonderful field position when Winston threw his second of four interceptions.

Winston has been turnover-prone./CARMEN MANDATO

Highest Interception Percentage (Bucs)

(Minimum 20 Games)

Games   Interceptions.  Int. Pct

1. Jack Thompson                19            26                    5.5

2. Vinny Testaverde            76            112                   5.2

3. Steve DeBerg                    64             62                  4.4

4. Steve Young                      19             21                   4.2

5. Trent Dilfer                        79           80                   3.9

....Doug Williams                  67           73                    3.9

7. Brian Griese                      22           26                    3.7

....Craig Erickson                  37            31                    3.5

9. Josh Freeman                  60           68                   3.4

10. Jameis Winston             49            54                   3.2

* Winston is at 6.8 this season.

Evans has become a keeper./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Non-Tradable Bucs

(For Today's Deadline)

1. Mike Evans

2. Lavonte David

3. Ali Marpet

4. O.J. Howard

5. Ryan Jensen

Might the Bucs trade Jackson?/STEVEN MUNCIE

5 Tradable Bucs

(For Today's Deadline)

1. Jameis Winston

2. DeSean Jackson

3. Gerald McCoy

4. Brent Grimes

5. Donovan Smith


Other quarterbacks have suffered interceptions early./CARMEN MANDATO

Interceptions Before Age 25

Norm Snead              71

Joe Namath                 70

Fran Tarkenton          69

Peyton Manning         58

Terry Bradshaw         58

Jameis Winston          54

Bucs Interception Leaders

Williams struggled with picks, too./JEFFREY S. KING

Player                    Ints                  Games

1. Vinny Testaverde        112                  76

2. Trent Dilfer                  80                  70

3, Doug Williams.            73                  67

4. Josh Freeman.            66                  60

5. Steve DeBerg               62                  64

6. Jameis Winston         54                   48

Is Koetter's seat getting warmer?/CARMEN MANDATO

Hue's Next?

(In honor of the fired Hue Jackson, a hot-seat rating).

1. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

2. Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos

3. Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Bucs

4. Kurt Bowles, New. York Jets

5. Jon Gruden, Raiders (might he return to the booth?)

Brees had a high quarterback rating vs. Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Best Opposing Quarterback Ratings

1. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago         154.6

2. Drew Brees, New Orleans       129.5

3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta                   125.5

4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.         120.7

5. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati         107.5

Baker Mayfield was efficient against Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Fewest Opposing QB Incompletions

1. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago 7

2. Drew Brees, New Orleans 8

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh 8

4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta 10

5. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland 11

Lovie didn't last very long./Jeffrey S. King

Bucs Coaches Games Being Fired

Dirk Koetter is at 39, but Still Employed

1. Richard Williamson 19

2. Leeman Bennett 32

Lovie Smith 32

Greg Schiano 32

5. Raheem Morris 48

Do any of these balls go straight?/JEFFREY S. KING

Kickers' Extra Point Missed

1. Catanzaro, TB 4

2. Crosby, GB 2

Vinatieri, Indy 2

Gano, Carolina 2

5. Eight tied with 1

The Bucs have another game against Matt Ryan./JEFFREY S. KING

Top 5 Quarterbacks to Come

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans 118.2

2. Matt Ryan, Falcons 114.2

3. Cam Newton, Carolina (twice) 97.4

4. Alex Smith, Redskins 91.3

5. Eli Manning, Giants 90.9

Winston has played his way to the bench./CARMEN MANDATO

Most Interceptions (Current)

1. Jameis Winston, TB. 10

Case Kennum, Denver 10

Sam Darnold, N.Y. Jets 10

4. Blake Bortles, Jags 8

Derek Carr, Raiders 8

Andy Dalton, Bengals 8

Andrew Luck, Colts 8

Fitzpatrick has moved the Bucs' dowwnfield/JEFFREY S. KING

Random Stats

Passing yards 19. Fitzpatrick

29. Winston

Rushing yards 12. Barber

Receiving yards 5. Evans

Sacks 2. Pierre-Paul

TE Receptions 13. O.J. Howard

David stiill leads the team in tackles/CARMEN MANDATO

More Random Stats

Scoring 24. Catanzaro

Tackles. 20. David

Punting 30. Anger

Interceptions. 39 (tie). Evans

Penalty Yards 14

Jones hasn't played well for Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Running Back Draft

2.  Saquon Barkley, Giants            111    519     4.7

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks    38         135         3.6

31. Sony Michel, Patriots             95          422       4.4

35. Nick Chubb, Browns              52          318        6.1

38. Ronald Jones, Bucs               19             42         2.2

43. Kerryon Johnson, Lions.      77           466         6.1

5 Good NFL Teams

1. L.A. Rams

2. K.C. Chiefs

3. N.O. Saints

4. N.E. Patriots

5. Carolina Panthers

Bucs take on Carolina on Sunday./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Bad NFL Teams

1. San Francisco

2. Oakland

3. N.Y. Giants

4. Arizona

5. Tampa Bay

Bucs' NFL Power Ratings

Fansided                     24

CBSsports.com          22

Bleacher Report        21

Oddshark                   22

Massey Ratings         19

2019 Mock Draft

SBNation.com        14. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

CBSSports.com      10. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Walterfootball.com 17. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Bleacherreport.com 14, Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Pro Football Focus   12. Dalton Risner, OT, K-State

Bucs' Most Yards Offense, Single Game

Yards              Opponent                   Date

1. 576               at Cincinnati                 10/28/18

2. 573               at Minnesota                  11/16/80

3. 529               at New Orleans              9/9/18

4. 521               at Philadelphia                11/22/15

5. 515               at Oakland                     11/04/12

Most Yards in NFL History Through 7 Games

Team                                          Year               Yards

1. St. Louis Rams                      2000                 2,637

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers       2018                 2,634

3. Denver Broncos                     2013                 2,529

4. San Diego Chargers              2015                 2,405

5. New Orleans Saints               2011                 2,387

Jackson can still get deep./JEFFREY S. KING

Most 60-Yard TD Catches

1.            WR DeSean Jackson                            24

2.            WR Jerry Rice*                                      23

3.            WR Devin Hester                                    21

4.            WR Bobby Mitchell                                 20

5.            WR Lance Alworth*                                19

Most 50+-Yard Touchdowns                                                      

                          Player                                             TDs

1.            WR Jerry Rice*                                      36

2.            WR DeSean Jackson                            29

2.            WR Randy Moss*                                   29

4.            WR Lance Alworth*                                27

4.            WR Terrell Owens*                                 27

*Hall of Fame

Team Stats

Total Offense        1

Passing Offense.  1

Rushing Offense   28

Scoring                     8

Takeaway/Giveaway    32 (tie)

More Team Stats

Total Defense           29

Passing Defense       30

Rushing Defense.      8

Opp. QB rating        32

Opp. 3rd downs.     29

5 Closing Thoughts

1. I saw the most absurd story about the Bucs' absurd quarterback. It asked "Should Tampa Bay trade Winston." Well, for what? You don't trade a player when his stock has bottomed out. What are you going to get for a interception-prone kid who's a character risk? Just let it play out. You don't throw a bad car away.

2. Winston has a huge problem with interceptions, yes. But he isn't the first one. At his age, Peyton Manning threw it away, too. Jim Plunkett had interception problems. Joe Namath. Terry Bradshaw. Those guys turned out okay, didn't they? I get it. Everyone is angry at Winston, and they should be. But let's hope our franchise isn't quite as reactionary. That said, Winston invented indigestion at a time when the rules favor quarterbacks more than ever.

3. I think I want to be traded, too. Doesn't everyone?

4. All quarterbacks look like stars against the Bucs. But isn't the team lucky that Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins and Phllip Rivers aren't on the schedule. On the other hand, Blake Bortles could use a dose of the Bucs' secondary, couldn't he?

5. How did the Bucs' not hire Hue Jackson as head coach? Oh, well. There still is time.

Looking Ahead

Can the Bucs stop Newton?/CARMEN MANDATO

Best Panthers

1. Julius Peppers

2. Steve Smith

3. Luke Kuechley

4. Greg Olson

5. Cam Newton

Favorite Panthers

1. Sam Mills

2. Kevin Greene

3. Jake Delhomme

4. Cam Newton

5. Christian McCafferty

Famous Panther Fans

1. Ric Flair

2. Brooklyn Decker

3. Sean Combs

4. Steph Curry

5. Will Smith

Aguayo had a game-winning kick./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Best Game

When the teams met on a Monday night in October of 2016, it wasn't exactly must-see TV. Both teams were 1-3, and although both rallied a bit (Tampa Bay won nine games, Carolina six) neither was bound for glory.

Ah, but one thing sets this game apart.

It was Roberto Aguayo night.

Aguayo hit a 38-yard field goal as time ran out to lift the Bucs to a 17-14 victory. Aguayo had missed two field goals earlier in the game.

As it turned out, Aguayo wasn't long for the Bucs despite his high-price, and his departure didn't close the door on the kicking troubles. But for one kick, on one night, he was worth having. A shame that it didn't last.

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