Looking back at Bucs’ win over Jacksonville

by Gary Shelton on December 26, 2023

in general

Mayfield has earned a raise./TIM WIRT

5 Thoughts

  1. There are some Bucs’ fans who would still rather see Kyle Trask and his three career completions start at quarterback. My question is whether their heads blow up when they see the kind of coin that Baker Mayfield gets next year after a very nice self-gamble.

2. I could see them losing to the Saints, although they’re dogs. I could see them losing to the Panthers, although the organization is lost. So does it occur to anyone else that the Bucs are in great place for a hugely disappointing season? This will only occur to you if you have seen previous Bucs’ seasons.

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3. And if the Bucs do make the playoffs, do they have to win one game — maybe two — for this to be a successful season? Before you answer, remember how many games you thought the Bucs would win this year.

4. Is it just me, or at this point, has Joe Tryon-Shoyinka thrown more no-hitters than Nolan Ryan?

5. Good to see Devin White play well again. It’s only, oh, 37 weeks in coming.


(From Todd Bowles’ Monday press conference)

(On the Buccaneers going for their third straight NFC South division title on the heels of the New Orleans Saints winning four straight division titles): “It’s definitely been hard to dominate any division. In our division, the Saints had been running it for quite a while. We won a couple games – we won it the last two years. We’re trying to win it a third year, but it’s always going to be tough sledding when you’re in a division and going for a title at the end.”

(On if QB Baker Mayfield was able to relate to the young Buccaneers roster as he’s only a few years removed from being drafted, himself): “I think he’s relatable because he’s different and I think we have a different team. I think we needed to go a different way. It’s worked out for us. The attitude that he brought in, I think would be infectious on a young or an older team. I think that’s just who he is. That part is not that big of a deal, but the leadership he’s shown and the way we’ve tried to change the team around has been outstanding. He leads the veterans, as well – he sits with the offense and the defense. He really brought camaraderie and chemistry together in the offseason, as well as summer training camp, to have these guys on the same page so that when we hit hard times, we wouldn’t panic.”

(On what he noticed about the team’s pass rush on Sunday against the Jaguars): “We put in some things that we could kind of use that kind of helped us out during the game. Getting up in the score usually doesn’t happen for us – we’re usually fighting tooth and nail. When we get up and get ahead, we can be even more aggressive, so that allowed us to take advantage of some things.”

(On what’s enabled OLB YaYa Diaby to have such a successful rookie campaign): “When we drafted him, the biggest thing for me was that he was a shutdown run defender and he could close off the edge. We knew he could run straight ahead. We didn’t know that much of the pass-rush arsenal that he has because he played inside as a three-technique at Louisville. We knew he was very athletic and once we saw him when he got in and we saw the movements, we said, ‘This guy has a chance to be a very good football player.’ He’s continued to grow and grow and progress and you’re kind of seeing a lot of that right now.”

(On the number of young players contributing to the team right now and if they just needed opportunities or time to acclimate to the system): “It was a matter of them getting their shot, but we had a lot of young guys make the team. They were going to be playing no matter what. It’s a matter of them settling down in situations and understanding situational football – how to play, when to take advantage of their athleticism and when to play scheme-fit defense for our part. Those guys have done a great job at it. They continue to get better and better – you can see the confidence growing in them and it’s growing at the right time.”

Game Balls

Offense: Yes, Mayfield was good. But Mike Evans now has 13 touchdowns and 1,153 yards. Someone ought to notice.

Defense:  Yaya Diaby had one and a half sacks Sunday. He’s up to 6.5 for the year. Which makes his future enticing.

Special teams. Chase McLaughlin barely beats out Jake Camarda for the award.


Quarterback: He wasn’t perfect. Still,Baker Mayfield’s rating was over 100 for the sixth game this season. Grade: A-.

Running back:  Rachaad White didn’t have the numbers he has had recently, but he was good on the team’s final drive. Grade: B.

Receivers: Mike Evans and Chris Godwin combined for 13 catches and 164 yards. Grade: A.

Offensive line: Not quite as good as they have been. Grade: C+.

Defensive line: Diaby led a good pass rush. Grade: B.

Linebackers: Devin White had a solid game to re-establish his role. Grade: A.

Secondary. Antoine Winfield is always terrific. Grade: C+.

Power Rankings

  1. Baltimore

2. San Francisco

3. Miami

4.  Detroit

5. Philadelphia


13. Tampa Bay

Bottom 5

32.  Carolina

31. Arizona

30. New England

29. Washington

28. L.A. Chargers

Mayfield’s  Best 5

  1. Green Bay                 158.3

2.  Houston                      119.4

3. New Orleans                116.9

4. Jacksonville                 116.7

5. Chicago                       114.5

Mike Evans Most Yardage

  1. Green Bay                   171

2.  Carolina                       162

3. Tennessee                    143

4. Houston                         87

5. Jacksonville                    86

Seeking Plateaus

Player                                   Goal                    Needed

Baker Mayfield              4,000 Yards                 402 Yards

Mike Evans                    1,200 Yards                  37 Yards

Chris Godwin                 1,000 Yards                108 Yards

Rachaad White               1,000 Yards               127 Yards

Todd Bowles 100 Games 1 Game

Most Seasons with 12 or More TDS

Jerry Rice * 8

Terrell Owens * 7

Marvin Harrison * 6

Randy Moss * 6

Mike Evans 5

* Member Hall of Fame

NFL Statistics

Quarterback Rating Baker Mayfield 9th

Rushing Yards Rachaad White 9th

Receiving Yards Mike Evans 8th

Punting Jake Camarda 5th

Scoring Chase McLaughlin 11th

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