Looking back on Bucs’ win over the Panthers

by Gary Shelton on September 22, 2020

in general

Arians enjoyed Sunday's game more./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 2 a.m.

Five Thoughts

In the rush to stop Ronald Jones II's rushing, I suggest we all slow down. Jones has run hard for two games in his Run to Darkness. It's just that Leonard Fournette had the best performance the Bucs' have had in a long time Sunday. So don't throw Jones away. But Fournette should get the lion's share of the carries, shouldn't he?

2. Antoine Winfield had a nice day, but let's not overrate this secondary. Teddy Bridgewater still threw for 366 yards.

3. I like him, too, but has there ever been a player the broadcasters love more than Christian McCafferty? The guy runs for one yard, and the analysts fall all over themselves talking about what a nifty cut he made.

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4. So the Bucs buy into the aging quarterback market, and who shows up? Brett Favre, of courses.

5. I say we should put out a missing person's report on Rob Gronkowski. Who's with me?

5 Bruce Arians Comments

(From his Monday press conference)

(On whether Leonard Fournette could become the team's primary runner): “I love the way it’s at right now. RoJo (Ronald Jones II) had a great run for a touchdown – saw that good blitz pickup. We did screw up the handoff on the draw, but that’s easily correctable. To have Leonard come in with fresh legs in the fourth quarter and pound it like that – very few teams have that combination. Shady (LeSean McCoy) did a good job on third down. I know he had the one catch he’d like to have back that he dropped, but I thought our backs played really, really well other than the handoff fumble."

(On the merging of Tom Brady's philosophies with the Bucs'): "It’s going to take time. It’s both – it’s our offense, [but] it’s letting him have his say like we always do with all our quarterbacks and build a game plan for the best way to beat the defense and put every guy in a position to be successful.”

(On Gronkowski's lack of production): “Not really. He got a nice pass interference call for us [and we] missed him on the over route. We’re not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends – that’s what we have receivers for [and] that’s the way our offense is built. Gronk’s playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I’m not concerned with his pass catches or his targets.”

(On the Bucs' dropped passes): “Oh gosh – we dropped, probably, about 125 yards worth. About seven drops [and] two touchdowns. Maybe three touchdowns, really. You put the ball right there and we don’t catch it – I don’t think I’ve ever seen Scotty [Miller] drop that ball. I know LeSean (McCoy is going to catch it nine times out of ten. The wind did get Cyril Grayson a little bit – that ball moved a little bit – it hit him in the head. But, the guy’s got great hands and that’s an easy touchdown. That should have been three touchdowns. Tom [Brady] should have had a 400-yard day if we just catch it.”

(On Devin White's play): “He should have had 20 [tackles]. He had a lot of pass coverage in that fourth quarter – he got a little gassed. He played a heck of a ballgame and that’s what we expect out of him every single time. He’s going to be a double-digit tackler every game. He’s the leader – he’s calling it [and] he’s checking it. He had to run the deep middle too many times and he got gassed a little bit in that fourth quarter.”

Game Balls

Offense: Leonard Fournette, running back: Fournette showed a nice burst, especially on his 46-yard touchdown run. I'm not saying Jacksonville should have made him happier, but are cupcakes out of line?

Defense: Rookie Antoine Winfield may have been a second-round steal. He had 11 tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit and a forced fumble. He can stay.

Special teams: Don't discount Ryan Succop's late field goal. It was straight.


Quarterback: Tom Brady had a nice first half, but the offense sort of napped through the second half. Still, it was an improvement. Grade: B-.

Running back: Fournette stole the show, but Jones had some nice moments. Hard to forget Shady McCoy dropping a touchdown pass, though. Grade: B+.

Offensive line: No sacks and a hundred yards on the ground. That's better. Grade: B+.

Receivers: The Bucs missed Chris Godwin (who will be back this week), but Evans showed up big. Not enough attention paid to the tight ends, though. Grade: B.

Defensive line: Five sacks and holding McCafferty to less than 60 yards is a good day.

Secondary: Too many completed passes, even with a big lead. Grade: C.

Kicking: No major quibbles. Grade: B.

10 Who Started Over (After two games)

QB, Team Year A-C Yards Td Int. Rating

Joe Kapp, Boston 1970 12-33 104 1 3 17.7

John Unitas, Chargers 1973 19 35 2 3 50.9

Joe Namath, Rams. 1977 27-53 277 3 1 77.3

Jim Plunkett, Raiders. 1982 24-49 310 3 2 78.6

Joe Montana, Chiefs 1993 35-57 529 3 0 102.7

Warren Moon, Vikings 1994 46-71 456 3 3 54.6

Kurt Warner, Cards 2005. 53-88. 591 1 2. 63.6

Peyton Manning, Broncos 2012 43-63. 494. 3 3 87.7

Brett Favre, Vikings 2009 37-48 265. 2 0 110.2

Tom Brady, Bucs 2020 46-71. 456 3 3 79.3

5 More Thoughts

  1. The Denver Broncos are beaten up. They'll play Sunday without Drew Luck, Courtland Sutton and, of course, Von Miller. Tim Tebow is rested and ready.

2. If you were an opposing defensive coordinator, would you worry about the Bucs' tight end?

3. When you saw Brett Favre strolling through the RayJay Sunday, did you , too, think that Warren Sapp was going to come out and jaw at him a little more. Just for old-time's sake.

4. Did. you think that Tom Brady would have won the Super Bowl by now?

5. Hey, the offensive line had a good day. Clip this statement and save it.

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