Looking back on the Bucs’ win over the Falcons

by Gary Shelton on November 26, 2019

in general

Godwin was big against the Falcons./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.


  1. Winning makes everyone feel better, but isn't it a good day for Jason Lichr? Vita Vea is playing like a star. Devin White has arrived. Jameis Winston is tolerable. The young secondary with Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting look good and Matt Gay has promise. Even Robeerto Aguayo looks look in the mascot uniform.

2. Anyone notice that the schedule with Jacksonville, Detroit, Indy, Houston and Atlanta doesn't look insurmountable?

3. Here's a hint as to why the Bucs won Sunday. Against the Saints, they threw it 51 times; against Atlanta, they threw it 28. Against the Saints, they had eight running plays; Against Atlanta, it was 34. Get it?

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4. Vita Vea will soon be a ride at Busch Gardens. It will be fun.

5. Mike Evans is the best wide receiver the Bucs have ever had. But Chris Godwin may be in the top five.

Bruce Arians had a balanced attack./STEVEN MUNCIE


(From Bruce Arians Monday Press Conference)

(On Arians' overall assessment): I thought it was our best, complete team game yesterday. Other than the extra points – and that’s so easy to fix – Matt [Gay] was just a little late on his get off and then he hurries up and then that’s when you hit that big hook. He fixed it on the field goal. The block was just really a great get off on the guy – he still had it on 1.26 [seconds] I think, so we can do a little better job on the edge. Beau Allen made a hell of a play running that guy down. Our coverage and pressure went hand in hand defensively. (We had) six sacks (while) giving up no sacks. The offensive line played really well, and our tight ends. It’s a really good win.”

(On if dropping interceptions is a matter of needing more repetitions in practice or if certain players have a knack for the ball): "I can’t believe Lavonte [David] dropped his. I think he saw himself in the end zone before he caught it, because that was just pick-six all the way and he’s got great hands. So, it was probably just getting ahead of himself. Other guys are DBs for a reason. If they could really catch, they’d be wideouts, so they have to work at it harder. And, there’s a little bit of anxiety when that ball’s coming and they don’t trust it. Carlton (Davis III) had one in his hands [and] Jamel (Dean) had one that went right through his hands, but they’re working hard on their hands. (I’m) really happy for Carlton to get the monkey off his back. That was a 50-50 ball I’d throw every time to Calvin Ridley, and he took it away from him."

(On WR Chris Godwin’s ability to gain yards after the catch): "It’s really amazing, his run after the catch. I never saw it in the spring because we’re not tackling, but he has an uncanny knack of breaking the first one and he’s so strong. It’s not like he’s real shifty – he’s just extremely strong and tough.”

(On DL Vita Vea’s size being used on offense): "That block he made against the Cardinals, he took out three guys. We’ve only been in goal line maybe four snaps the whole year – we don’t use it a whole lot. I’ve always looked for that guard or defensive player to be a fullback, especially if they can catch. If you can’t catch, we’re probably not going to use you. I think the last [big] guy to catch a touchdown for me was Shaun O’Hara in Cleveland. But, it’s always fun when those guys get the ball, but they earn it by blocking.”

(On how he deals with balancing the positive and negative plays from QB Jameis Winston each week): "Good question – like I said, that’s why I don’t have any hair. We’ve got to get rid of the bad – the really bad, the jump pass. The first one was a great play by [Desmond] Trufant. He’d obviously studied his tape. That’s one of our go-to plays in that formation, so he just undercut it. Jameis might need to see the color. He was looking the safety off, trusting Mike (Evans) to be crossing his face. But, the jump pass – no, we can’t have that one. We just can’t have that.”

Winston had turnovers early, but won the game./TIM WIRT

5 of the Best Takes

"Jameis Winston recovered from two early interceptions to lead the Buccaneers to a comfortable win over the division foe Falcons. Winston showed great accuracy on his deep throws and finished the game with three touchdowns."

-- Pro Football Focus

"Chris Godwin continued his breakout season today in Atlanta. Godwin was especially effective down the field and finished the game with over 100 yards and two touchdowns."

-- Pro Football Focus

"The biggest standout on the day for the Bucs was Shaquil Barrett. He caused havoc all day rushing the passer and was a huge factor in putting the Falcons in situations where they had to be risky with the ball.

-- Pro Football focus

"Lavonte David also had an outstanding game for the Bucs. David made his biggest impact in pass coverage, where he made key stops and almost had a pick-six off of Matt Ryan."

-- Pro Football Focus

Winston, who may not have invented the turnover but has certainly perfected it, would overcome his tendencies and burn the Falcons for 313 passing yards and three touchdowns. His preferred target was Chris Godwin, who while enjoying various mismatches while running down the middle of the field had seven catches for 184 yards, including a 71-yard scoring play.

Another of Winston’s scoring passes found the 347-pound Vita Vea, the nose tackle deployed as a fullback that no Falcon wanted to cover. Much laughter ensued on the Tampa Bay side of the field. 

And, so, the battle for the wet, moldy basement of the NFC South was “won” by the Falcons as the Bucs soared to 4-7. And I refuse to do any math as to whether this loss eliminated them from playoff contention, because that would be an insult to mathematicians dating back to Archimedes

-- Steve Hummer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Game Balls

Offense: There has to be a nifty duo nickname for Chris Godwin and Mike Evans somewhere. Wherever it is, just throw it to Godwin, and he'll catch it. The guy is amazing.

Defense: A lot of us questioned whether an inside linebacker could be a difference-maker. White is. He had two sacks, eight tackles and two tackles for losses.

Special teams: Bradley Pinion averaged 43.8 yards on four punts and nailed three of them inside the 20.


Quarterbacks: He bombed the questions about interceptions. He aced the questions about interceptions. A normal day. Grade: C.

Running backs: More commitment by the coaches. More balance. Grade. B.

Offensive line: No sacks, almost four yards per carry. A good day. Grade-.

Defensive line: Six sacks and three yards per rush. Grade: A.

Linebackers: Big days by White and David. Grade: A.

Secondary: The best day of the season. Grade: A-.

Murphy-Bunting had a good day./TIM WIRT

Unsung Heroes

  1. Sean Murphy-Bunting led the Bucs with nine tackles.

2. Jerome Whitehead had six tackles.

3. Carlton Davis had five passes defensed.

4. Jamel Dean had five passes defensed.

5. Andrew Adams had five tackles

Winston had another good and bad game./TIM WIRT

Winston Stats

Yardage 2nd

Tds 2nd

Ints 1st

Rating 44th

40-plus 2nd

David still leads the Bucs in tackles./TIM WIRT

Random Stats

Rushing Jones 35th

Receiving Yards Godwin 2nd

Evans 3rd

Tackles David 18th

Sacks Barrett 1st (tie)

FGs Gay 5th

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