Looking back on Bucs’ win over New York

by Gary Shelton on November 4, 2020

in general

Arians says the Bucs are different now./STEVEN MUNCIE

5 Thoughts

  1. The Bucs could have lost this game via their old bugaboo, playing down to the competition. It's a valuable lesson. Even a mediocre team can give another one fits if it lacks energy.

2. Still, the Bucs are 6-2 for the first time since 2008. In Week Eight that year, the Bucs were coming off a narrow 12-9 win over an ordinary Carolina team.

3. Boy, do the Bucs miss Chris Godwin.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

4. How many touchdowns does Antonio Brown have to catch before you start defending him to others? I'd say three.

5. IF the Bucs let receivers catch in front of them the way they did Monday night, Drew Brees will carve them up.


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On how the Bucs have progressed since their Week One game against New Orleans): “I think probably lightyears, offensively for sure. Special teams and the kicking game – we’re a lot better. Defensively should be the same or better because of the way we’re playing. I think [in] two phases – having no preseason games and going into the first week making some mistakes we shouldn’t make on offense, turning the ball over and a couple fiascos in the kicking game – I think we’re a different ballclub now.”

(On managing to win without playing your best): “Like I’ve always said, you learn a hell of a lot more by almost losing than you do by losing. We learned a lot in Chicago by losing, but I think we found a few things about ourselves now that we’ve won a ballgame like that and it wasn’t our best execution"

(On where Antonio Brown can help most): “Just being an explosive player with the ball in his hands. He’ll have a role and we’ll see how much we can get him taught. The first practice will be a walkthrough because we’ve got a short week coming off Monday night. We basically miss a practice this week on Wednesday because of the short week, so it will be a walkthrough practice and basically all learning.”

(On if the third-down conversion rate needs to improve): "I think so. Each game is so different. I think our explosive plays lead to more touchdowns, but our third-down conversions in this ballgame, obviously, were not very good. We had some potential guys open, we just didn’t make the plays. I think it’s been really solid. We’ve been in the 50 percent [conversion] range for three or four weeks until last night.”

(On Mike Evans being unselfish): "I think that’s always been Mike. I’ve praised him for it all the time. That whole receiver room – it’s about we, not me. You never know – adding A.B. (Antonio Brown) could open up a lot of things for Mike because he’s been getting double covered a ton. Last night we put him inside a lot and he did a really good job – could’ve had a few more targets. Getting Chris [Godwin] healthy [and] bringing Antonio in could really help Mike.”

Game Balls

Offense: He wasn't as sharp as he has been, but Tom Brady threw for 279 yards with no running game and no Chris Godwin. IT was his third straight rating of more than 100.0 and his fifth in the last six games.

Defense: Is there any doubt? Safety Antoine Winfield made the game-winning play (despite the controversy) by knocking away a two-point conversion. He also tied for the team lead in tackles with seven. This guy is a rookie?

Special teams: On a team that has usually had sloppy kicking, Succop has been a find. He had four field goals and an extra point Monday night. For the season, he's made 15 of 17 field goals.


Quarterback: Brady threw some wayward passes Monday night, but he was still the best part of the Bucs' offense. Grade: B+.

Running back: An awful night. Ronald Jones II fumbled early, then disappeared. Leonard Fournette wasn't great, either.

Offensive line: The line had been one of the pleasantries of the previous few games, but they Giants beat them Monday night.

Receivers: They missed Chris Godwin. Terry Mickens had a good night. But more explosion is needed, which is why they gambled on Antonio Brown.

Defensive line: They didn't tackle as well, and while they had three sacks, they were in position for more. They also gave up 100 yards rushing for the first time. Grade: C.

Linebackers: Devin White and Lavonte David weren't as dominating as usual. Grade: B.

Secondary: Too many plays (or opportunities for big plays). Grade: D.

Special teams: Succop's kicking won the night. Grade: A.

Ex-Buc of the week

Raheem Morris, head coach, Falcons: Morris is now 2-1, and the Falcons have stopped blowing leads.

NFL Passing Touchdown Leaders

Russell Wilson, Seattle 26

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City. 21

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay 20

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay 20

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee 17

Fourth Quarter Comeback Leaders

Peyton Manning 43

Tom Brady 38

Drew Brees 36

Johnny Unitas 34

Dan Marino 33

Ben Rothlisberger 33

NFL Power Ratings

Source Bucs' rank

NFL.com 3


CBSsports.com 4

Yahoo.com 4

Bleacher Report 4

Player Rankings

Passing Yards Tom Brady 4

Rushing Yards Ronald Jones II 5

Catches Mike Evans 43

Tackles Devin White 8

Interceptions Carlton Davis III 1 (tie)

5 More Thoughts

  1. Shaq Barrett isn't have the season he had a year ago, but he's not as far away as you'd think. He had terrific pressure Monday night. The sacks will come.

2. Rookie Tristan Wirfs remains solid. According to Pro Football Focus, he gave up no pressures on 66 snaps against the Giants. Rookies Andrew Thomas and Shame Lemeiux of the Giants game up nine on 69 snaps.

3. Don't forget. Even if the Giants got that call at the end of the game, they had to make the two-point conversation, then (tougher) had to beat Tom Brady in overtime. That's not easy.

4. The call the Giants ought to be squawking about is the helmet-to-helmet called against Cameron Brate. Nothing wrong with that one.

5. What? Giants fans think that Roger Goodell, watching at home, got on his phone and called the officials and told them to give the benefit of the doubt to a rookie just because he plays on Tom Brady's team? Right.


Previous post:

Next post: