Looking back on the Bucs’ loss to the Giants

by Gary Shelton on November 20, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Good news? Winston is starting again./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Observations

1. Ladies and gentlemen, start your mock drafts. It's the only pleasure left from this season, and while you're at it, you can discuss whether you thought this team might have a higher draft choice (and a worse record) than last year.

2. The thing that Ryan Fitzmagic reminds you of is that, in the end, magic is just an illusion.

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3. The Bucs have made two of the worst offensive lines in the league look good the last two weeks. Yeah, the Bucs had some sacks. But the Redskins averaged 4.6 yards per carry and the Giants averaged 5.3. At this rate, Elton John could gain  100 yards against the Bucs running behind the Rolling Stones.

4. The Bucs have had plenty of seasons when they've had only three wins after 10 games, so why does this feel worse? Well, one, because it's now, and the present tense always stings more than the past. Two, this team teased us with a 2-0 start. And three, this isn't a talentless bunch of bumpkins. There are areas where this team is good. And it's wasted.

5. Just wondering, but how much would Jon Gruden be worth in a trade with the Raiders these days? He has a bloated contract, and the only hump the Bucs need to get over is four wins. How about a sixth-round pick and the rights to Chandler Catanzaro?

Koetter seems headed for an ugly ending./CARMEN MANDATO


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

(On Jameis Winston, who sources say will start at quarterback against the 49ers): "He played better. He got us into the end zone four straight times. ... For the most part, he made good decisions with the football."

(On Vita Vea's production): “He’s in shape. His production isn’t matching up to that right now. We’re just not getting much production out of Vita, but it’s not anything to do with his conditioning or anything like that. He’s just got to get off blocks better. He’s penetrating and he’s just not getting off blocks consistently enough.”

(On Jason Pierre-Paul's season): “Jason’s been our most productive and our most consistent player on defense. He plays extremely hard. He’s fought through multiple injuries and continues to do that to play. He’s set the standard very high for everybody else on defense — for everybody on our football team really, from an effort and fighting through injuries standpoint. JPP’s individually having a good season.”

(On whether Fitzpatrick's final interception was a  50/50 ball): “That wasn’t a 50/50 ball. That was a bad decision. A 50/50 ball is a ball that’s thrown deep against the proper coverage and that’s not what that was. You know, I’m sorry if I have to disagree with that, but that’s just not – I’m not going to lie about that. That wasn’t an opportunity ball, that was a poor decision.”

(On the health of tight end O.J. Howard, who hurt his knee): “O.J. is still being evaluated. They had to get some further tests. That information’s going to have to be sent for a second opinion and we’re probably not going to know that maybe until late tomorrow or Wednesday. We’ve got some good news today, but he does have an injury — that’s for sure.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick had three more turnovers./STEVEN MUNCIE

5 of the Best Takes

"After 24 games of nowhere football (and a 4-20 record), the Giants are 2-0 in their last two, victories compiled against the woeful 49ers and the dreadful Bucs (by a grand total of seven points) — but back-to-back wins nonetheless. And that’s called a good place to start.

"Perhaps this flies in the face of that segment of the Giants’ citizenry that would’ve preferred a mad dash for 2-14 and another top-two pick in the draft, and if it does: good. These days we spend way too much time treating our teams like futures markets, as if history insists tanking is a surefire way to fix things. Sometimes it is. Sometimes, losing becomes a virus you can’t cast away."

-- Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

"Four interceptions? It’s so nice to have Ryan Fitzpatrick in the house. He tossed up three of ’em before getting benched for Jameis Winston, who threw one to B.W. Webb in the closing seconds.

If (Jameis) Winston (129.9 passer rating) started, the Giants would have been in trouble."

-- Paul Schwartz, New York Post

"The Giants and Buccaneers both made cases Sunday for being the more frustrating 3-7 NFL team through 11 weeks, which is scary to think, because Tampa Bay is an absolute mess. But the Giants had something the Bucs didn’t at MetLife Stadium: The Giants had Saquon Barkley."

-- Pat Leonard, New York Daily News

"Eli Manning’s lone incompletion on 18 attempts was a pass intended for a wide-open Saquon Barkley on a wheel route down the right sideline late in the second quarter."

-- Leonard

"The tale of two quarterbacks continues this season, as the Giants brought the reign of terror on the Fitzmagic show and then allowed Jameis Winston to mount a furious comeback only to fall short after a failed onside kick. Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick took his shots and continued to test tight coverage, resulting in three interceptions. Winston took over and did more to take what was given to him though he benefited from a couple of dropped interceptions, as well.

The poor play of Fitzpatrick put Tampa Bay in too big of a hole that Winston wasn’t able to overcome. Perhaps head coach Dirk Koetter needs to rotate his quarterbacks weekly to feed the hot hand."

-- Pro Football Focus

Peyton Barber averaged 5.9 yards per carry./STEVEN MUNCIE

Game Balls

Offense: The gut reaction is to give it to Jameis Winston, who brought his team back to get close. But playing from behind isn't that hard. Let's go with Peyton Barber, who had the second 100-yard day of his career and averaged 5.9 yards per carry.

Defense: Jason Pierre-Paul went home and had 1.5 sacks and seven tackles (third on the team).

Special teams: Some places, they don't give a merit badge for extra points. But after this year, Cairo Santos going five-for-five was nice to see.

The Bucs missed David on Sunday./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS


Quarterback: The Bucs always seem to have one good and one bad, don't they. The trouble is, the wrong guy is playing when the game is decided. Does anyone know how to run the single wing: Grade: C.

Running back: Peyton Barber looked like a big time running back Sunday. Grade: A.

Offensive line: The Bucs averaged five yards a carry and the line gave up only one sack. That fourth-and-one failure still stings. Grade: C.

Defensive line: The Giants' line is a mess, and New York averaged 5.3 yards per carry. Grade: C-.

Linebackers: The Bucs were down to "what's left" at linebacker. Lavonte David and  Kwon Alexander were both out, and it showed. Grade: D.

Secondary: The Bucs forced one incompletion all day, and that was on an overthrow. Grade: F-minus.

Winston was sharp on Sunday./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Best Plays

4-1-1 -- Fitzpatrick had his final brush with glory when he wedged in for the score to make it 14-7.

1-8-8 -- Winston brought his team to within a field goal with a hard slant to Adam Humphries.

2-10-41 -- Winston found Mike Evans for a 41-yard score, but it was too late.

2-6-6 -- Winston scrambled left, then fumbled at the three. The ball went into the end zone where Mike Evans recovered. Yeah, that's a highlight play.

1-30-21 -- A team doesn't pick up many first downs when it needs 30 yards. This took one play, when Fitzpatrick hit Humphries for 31 yards.

Fitzpatrick missed on a fourth-and-one early../CARMEN MANDATO

5 Worst Plays

2-8-35 -- Two plays after the Bucs cut the lead to three points, Eli Manning hit Evan Engram for a 54-yard pass to set up the winning score.

4-1-5 -- Early in the game, the Bucs were close to tying the score when the Giants stuffed them on a fourth-and-one play.

2-9-11 -- Fitzpatrick's pass bounced around Giant defenders until it was intercepted and returned for a score.

2-2-21 -- Fitzpatrick threw the ball up for grabs in the direction of DeSean Jackson. The wrong team grabbed it.

1-10-48 -- Gee. Who thought the Giants might throw toward Odell Beckham, who caught it for a 41-yard gain.

Howard, who was hurt, continues to be a force./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Unsung Heroes

1. Jameis Winston isn't exactly unsung, but he isn't singing lead these days. Still, he had a 129.9 rating, the fourth-highest of his career.

2. Isaiah Johnson had 10 tackles for the Bucs. Hey, someone has to make them.

3. Jerome Whitehead had eight tackles himself, which gave the Bucs 18 from their starting safeties. That's about 10 too many.

4. Carl Nassib has been a solid contributor at right end. He had six tackles and a half-sack.

5. O.J. Howard continued to be a force, catching five balls for 78yards.

Vea didn't make the stat sheet./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Bad Days

1, Ryan Fitzpatrick keeps winning the quarterback job. Then he keeps losing it. Six turnovers in two weeks should end his season, but who knows?

2. Vita Vea threw another no-hitter. No tackles. No assists. No reason why this team drafted him

3. Eli Manning. Hey, the guy threw an incompletion. Sue him.

4. The Bucs' secondary didn't have a pass defensed all day.

5. Dirk Koetter. He started the wrong quarterback and played the wrong defensive players (his own).

Bucs' haven't shown muscles much./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Bad Defenses

1. 2018 Bucs 28 395.9

2. 1986 Bucs 28 395.8

3. 2011 Bucs 30 394.4

4. 2012 Bucs 28 379.9

5. 2017 Bucs 32 378.1

Koetter has lost seven of last eight./JEFFREY S. KING

3-7 Starts

1984               3-7                6-10

1989               3-7               5-11

1993              3-7                  5-11

2006             3-7                 4-12

2018             3-7                  ???

Best Opponents' Quarterback Rating

1. Eli Manning                               155.8

2. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago         154.6

2. Cam Newton, Carolina            133.2

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans       129.5

4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta                   125.5

Fewest Opponents' Incompletions

1. Eli Manning, Giants         1

2. Cam Newton, Carolina      6

3. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago  7

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans 8

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh 8

Alex Smith, Washington 8

Running Back Draft

2.  Saquon Barkley, Giants            158    728        4.6

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks       62    300        4.8

31. Sony Michel, Patriots                 106   453       4.3

35. Nick Chubb, Browns                  94    579      6.2

38. Ronald Jones, Bucs               19             42    2.2

43. Kerryon Johnson, Lions.      118       641     5.4

Defensive Tackle Draft

         Player                          Tackles           Sacks

12. Vita Vea, Tampa Bay                   3         1

13. Da'Ron Payne, Washington       34        3

29. Taven Bryant, Jacksonville.       10        0

57. P.J. Hall, Oakland                      12        0

69. B.J. Hill, Giants                         32        2

Mock Draft

Walterfootball.com               7        Daniel Jones, QB               Duke

Drafwire.com                      10        Jachai Polite, DE               Florida

Bleacher Report                  7         Ed Oliver, DT                    Houston

CBSsports.com                    7         Greedy Williams, CB        LSU

NJ.com                                 7         Drew Lock, QB                 Missouri

Bucs in NFL Power Ratings

Sporting News                 29

Massey Ratings               24

Fansided                          28

Bleacher Report             28

Oddshark                       25

Random Stats

Passing Yards Per Game          7. Fitzpatrick             295.8

..              ..                      ..      13. Winston                 276.0

Interceptions                               2. Fitzpatrick             12

.                                                       3. Winston                 11

Rushing Yards Per Game        25. Barber                     54.3

Receiving Yards Per Game       4. Evans                       95.7

Punting                                       31. Bryan Anger          44.5

Pierre-Paul has been solid./jEFFREY S. KING

More Random Stats

Sacks           8. Jason Pierre-Paul            9.5

Tackles      22. Lavonte David                71

Interceptions  57. Justin Evans              1

Penalties          19. Donovan Smith           9-70

TE Receiving   10. Howard                    34

Team Stats

Total Offense        1

Passing Offense   1

Rushing Offense  27

Points Per Game            8

Red Zone percentage.     57.6

More Team Stats

Total Defense          27

Passing Defense       28

Rushing Defense       14

Turnover Margin.    32 (-23)

Opponents in Red Zone   32

Opponents' QB Rating   32

Least Valuable Players

1. Ronald Jones

2. Vita Vea

3. Noah Spence

4. Chandler Catanzaro

5. Mitch Unrein

Jason Licht's Biggest Oops

1. Ronald Jones

2. Roberto Aguayo

3. Chris Baker (free agent)

4. Noah Spence

5. Vita Vea

5 Coaches Worth Recycling

(If Replaced)

1. Mike McCarthy

2. Jim Harbaugh

3. Mike Tomlin

4. Bruce Arians

5. Pete Carroll

5 Closing Thoughts

1.Here's an insider's explanation for why the referees keep calling Mike Evans for pushing off. Mike Evans keeps pushing off.

2. Bucs' opponents have punted 47 times this year. Can anyone remember any of them?

3. It won't get nearly enough discussion because of the losing streak, but the Bucs missed their linebackers Sunday. Is Derrick Brooks busy?

4. The Bucs got everything they could have hoped for from Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it's time for Jameis Winston to finish out the season. Then you make a decision.

5. If I'm Jimmy Garoppolo, I limp, I hop and I hobble my way to the pocket this week. Hey, he's off crutches. For opposing quarterbacks, a game against the Bucs leads to a career day.

Looking Ahead

5 Best 49ers

1. Joe Montana

2. Jerry Rice

3. Bill Walsh

4. Ronnie Lott

5. Steve Young

5 Favorite 49ers

1. Eddie DeBartolo

2. Freddie Solomon

3. Jerry Rice

4. Fred Dean

5. Ken Norton Jr.

5 Famous Fans

1.Robin Williams

2. Dana Carvey

3. Jeremy Renner

4. Jennifer Garner

5. James Harden

Best Game

If you are wondering when the Tony Dungy era began for the Bucs, and when the Warren Sapp era really got going, look back to the opener of the teams playing in 1997.

Sapp led the Bucs to a 13-7 win, getting two and a half sacks and 11 tackles in perhaps his most destructive game. He knocked Steve Young out on the third play of the game, and he knocked Jerry Rice out for the season in the big Bucs' win.

Yes, you could say that the Bucs' 31-6 win in 2002 meant more, because it was in the playoffs and it was the first post-season step toward the Super Bowl. But for those of us who were there, that win over the 49ers was the start of something big.

5 Predictions

San Francisco 27, Tampa Bay 23

Dallas 21, Washington 10

Carolina 30, Seattle 28

Pittsburgh 30, Denver 17

Philadelphia. 28, N.Y. Giants 21


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