Looking back on the Bucs’ loss to the Ravens

by Gary Shelton on December 18, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Godwin has struggled lately./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Observations

1. Is Chris Godwin now failing chemistry, too? Godwin has one catch (which he fumbled) on 13 targets the last two weeks. What? Did someone tell him he was supposed to replace DeSean Jackson, and he misunderstood?

2. Were the Baltimore offensive linemen and the Bucs' offensive linemen playing the same positions? The Bucs look like a mine cave-in.

3. Why do I feel like a juror, and in the Trial of Jameis Winston, he keeps presenting evidence for both sides? Every time you think he's going to be okay, he lays an egg. And every time you think it's a bad egg, he'll make a play. Winston wasn't good Sunday, but if you're listing the Bad Bucs of the Day, he'd be in the middle of the pack. I mean, who deserves a medal for this game?

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4. This thought occurs to me. For all they talk about the Bucs and the Pro Bowl, they shouldn't even be allowed to watch it on TV.

5. Consider this: You couldn't reheat a cup of coffee in the microwave during the Bucs' second-half drives Sunday. The four drives took 134 seconds, 126 seconds, 13 seconds and 254 seconds. It takes longer to make fun of the Geico lizard during commercials.

Koetter's seat is getting hotter./CARMEN MANDATO


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

(On not making big plays): "We went from first in the league to I think fourth in the league over the last two weeks in explosive plays. We only had four yesterday. We had one called back, we had a couple drops that would’ve been explosive plays. That very first pass of the game to Chris Godwin, I don’t know if you noticed, but not only did we drop it, but the safety fell down at the same time. That might have been out the gate. We have to be more explosive. We have explosive players and part of that is we’ve gone against good defenses the last two weeks. That’s why they’re good defenses, because they’re not giving up very many explosives. We have to make more than four a game. Our goal is eight and we’re well over eight average per game on the season. We haven’t been explosive enough the last two weeks.”

(On the Bucs' defense): “Our defense has gotten off to a lot better start the last two weeks. We’ve had the same song last two weeks is that our defense is on the field too much and we got wore down in the second half. Then the flip side of that in the complementary football world is we were fine in the first half and then on offense we haven’t been worth a dang in the second half on third down. We didn’t have the ball very much, then we were 0-for-3 on third down in the second half. I think we’re sitting here second in the league in third-down conversions and in the last two weeks in the second half we’ve been terrible. We haven’t been able to sustain any drives, which has led to our defense being on the field too much.”

(On Vita Vea's big game): “Just the continuation of what he’s done here in the last three weeks or so. Vita is really starting to play exactly like we watched on his college tape. He’s playing violent, he’s running to the football, getting off blocks so much better and making plays laterally as well as just knocking the line of scrimmage back. It’s too bad that Vita had to start the year off like he did missing those eight weeks, but he’s really starting to come into his own.”

(On the pass interference call against Mike Evans): “They said he deliberately ran into the defender. Mike was in a stack formation — he was the inside player. He did take an inside release and Hump (Adam Humphries) was rubbing off his back side. Mike had an inside release flag route, corner route on that play. I’m not sure exactly what they wanted him to do different, but they called it. That was a big play.”

(On the Bucs and the Pro Bowl): “We can’t vote for our own players, so I didn’t vote for anyone. I’m not allowed to. That’s going to be up to the people that vote. I think Lavonte (David) has had another outstanding year. He’s playing a position that it’s going to be tough. Let’s face it, it’s going to be tough at his position. JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) has had a nice year. Mike (Evans) set a career high with over 1,300 yards, but there’s good competition at that position. I think the wild card is always what happens with the O-line. Sometimes those interior linemen are more who’s made it before and popularity contests. That’s where between the coach’s vote and the player’s vote, it would be interesting. I’d love to see sometime what those totals were, but of course we never will.”

Nassib has played well for Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

5 of the Best Takes

"Just to be clear about what happened: Jackson took over this game. After that slow start, he made play after play to keep drives going and keep Tampa Bay’s high-octane passing offense (ranked No. 1 in the league) off the field. Sometimes, he spun away from defenders about to sack him and sprinted downfield for gains. Other times, he dropped back and threw strikes to receivers just beyond the first-down sticks. Were there times when he looked like a rookie making his fifth pro start? Sure, never more than early, when he lost a fumble and was lucky not to throw an interception. But “nothing rattles him,” Ravens safety Eric Weddle said, and as the game developed, he was the fastest and best player on the field. Every time the Bucs took the lead, he immediately led the offense to a score that put Baltimore back in front."

-- John Eisenberg, BaltimoreRavens.com

"The biggest play of the Ravens’ 20-12 win over the Buccaneers on Sunday might have occurred with 12:03 left in the second quarter and Tampa Bay ahead by six points.

"On the Ravens’ first play after a Buccaneers touchdown, running back Kenneth Dixon ran over right guard, bounced outside, and stiff-armed some Tampa Bay player into next week before being tackled after a 17-yard gain.

"Right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. started to get excited. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley started flexing. The Ravens started jumping around as if they had hit the lottery, and then they dominated with a running game featuring Dixon and rookie Gus Edwards."

-- Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun

"They have a possible home run hitter in rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, who forces defenses to stay wide and guard against him getting to the perimeter. It’s not ideal to have your quarterback running the ball 20 times a game, but the Ravens can’t worry about that now.

If Jackson gets hurt, so be it. The objective is to win as many games as possible now and worry about his throwing motion and a stronger passing game going into the offseason and into next season.

-- Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun

"The Ravens gave up a 64-yard reception to Mike Evans who had four catches for 121 yards, but cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr shadowed Tampa Bay receivers all over the field. Humphrey, who knocked down four passes and intercepted one, was the best corner on the field, though he did get some help from Winston, who stared down receivers."

-- Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun

"This was a typical Jameis Winston performance; big plays both for his team (his deep shot on a scramble in the first half) and for the opposition (trying to throw a pick on the Bucs’ field goal drive in the third quarter). Today’s performance leaves no clearer view of whether or not he can tame his inconsistencies.

"Ryan Jensen returned to Baltimore for the first time since he signed with the Bucs as a free agent, and his former teammates proved a handful for him. This first season in Tampa Bay has been a struggle for Jensen and this week was no different, as he struggled against the power and short area quickness of Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce against both the run and the pass.

"The Ravens’ rushing total hides a strong showing from the Bucs’ first-round pick. Vita Vea was more than just an immovable lump for the Ravens’ interior offensive linemen, he was disruptive and made his share of plays against run and pass.

"Lavonte David was another bright spot for the Bucs. While their edge defenders were neutered and outflanked by the running threat of Lamar Jackson, David did his best to close down space and turn runs back inside, but in the continued absence of Kwon Alexander, there was a lack of quality support for David to try and contain the Ravens’ ground attack."

-- Pro Football Focus

Lavonte David had a big day for the Bucs./TIM WIRT

Game Balls

Offense: The Bucs have missed having a solid running game for most of the season, but Peyton Barber was everything they needed Sunday. After eight games with less than 50 yards, Barber had 85. With two games left, he needs 238 for a thousand.

Defense: There is no question. Lavonte David was the Bucs' best player Sunday with 12 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery. He has 105 tackles for the year, tied for 18th in the league. But he's within six of the top 10.

Special teams: Bobo Wilson averaged 26.7 on three kickoff returns. It doesn't take a lot to win the special teams award these days.

Despite yards, Evans dropped too many passes./JEFFREY S. KING


Quarterback: Winston was victimized by several dropped passes, and as always, he took a pounding from the defensive line. Winston has been sacked nine times in three weeks, and he was hit four times. Grade: C.

Running Back: Barber averaged 4.5, his fourth-best average of the year. Grade: B.

Wide receivers: Were the Ravens playing in the rain, too The Bucs didn't catch the ball well all day. Mike Evans didn't have as good a day as his 121 yards would lead you to believe. Grade: D.

Offensive line: Remember the collapse on the third-and-one play? That says it all. Grade: F.

Defensive line: The Bucs did not accomplish job No. 1, which was to contain Lamar Jackson. Vita Vea was good, though. Grade: C.

Linebackers: David was terrific with 12 tackles and two sacks. Grade: A.

Secondary: The defensive backs weren't scalded as much as normal. Grade: C.

Coaching: The defense has gotten a little better and the offense has gotten much worse. Grade: D-.

Winston sputtered against Ravens./TIM WIRT

5 Best Plays

3-20-15 -- Jameis Winson was on the run again, but this time, he threw the ball as he was approaching the line of scrimmage for 64 yards, dropping it perfectly in the hands of Mike Evans. A 15-yard face mask was added on. Evans gained to the Ravens' 11, but the Bucs couldn't score the touchdown.

1-3-3 -- No, Barber didn't run a long way for his touchdown. But have you seen the Bucs in short yardage?

1-10-35 -- Hey, it started well. Barber gained 15 yards on the first play of the game.

3-5-46 -- The Bucs didn't fare well on third downs, but on this first-quarter play, Winston found Evans for 23 yards.

2-5-30 -- Evans had the Bucs' three longest plays Sunday. On this one, he caught a pass for 20 yards. Can this guy get some help?

Jensen (66) had a tough day for the Bucs./TIM WIRT

5 Worst Plays

3-1-30 -- The Ravens went right through former teammate Ryan Jensen to dump Peyton Barber for a three-yard loss.

4-3-33 -- If the third down play wasn't bad enough, Winston misfired to Chris Godwin on the ensuing play. These two plays were with an eight-point deficit, so there still was hope.

2-9-13 -- Jameis Winston hit Adam Humphries for an eight-yard gain, but Mike Evans was called for an offensive interference violation, negating the gain.

4-1-7 -- Some teams have no problem with short yardage.Jackson kept the ball for a five-yard gain.

1-10-23 -- Right after a kickoff, Winston threw an interception on first down to Marlon Humphries.

Vita Vea was good against the Ravens./STEVEN MUNCIE

Unsung Heroes

1. Linebacker Riley Bulloch, the former practice squad player, started and had eight tackles, third on the team.

2. Defensive tackle Vita Vea had nine tackles in his best game of the year. There is hope for him yet.

3. Safety Andrew Adams had seven tackles and a pass defensed.

4. Defensive back Josh Shaw had four tackles and introduced himself to his Bucs' teammates.

5. Carl Nassib had three tackles and a tackle for loss.


If the Bucs finish 1-1, Licht will be tied with Dominik.

Tale of the Tape: General Manager

Dominik                                                                                       Licht

2009-2013                           Seasons                                    2014-2018

28-52                             Record                                         27-51

1                                   Winning Seasons                           1

4                                  Losing Seasons                               4

Josh Freeman                 3  Worst  Draft Picks                   Ronald Jones

Mark Barron                                                                            Roberto Aguayo

Da'Quan Bowers                                                                     Noah Spence

3 Best Draft Picks

Gerald McCoy                                                                        Mike Evans

Lavonte David                                                                      Jameis Winston

Doug Martin                                                                          Ali Marpet

Peyton Barber ran the ball well Sunday./TIM WIRT

5 Close Losses

Opponent                     Margin          Score

Pittsburgh                         3                  27-30

Cincinnati                         3                  34-37

N.Y. Giants                       3                  35-38

Atlanta Falcons               5                  29-34

Baltimore                          8                12-20

Might the Bucs reunite Fisher, Winston?/STEVEN MUNCIE

5 Solid Choices if the Bucs Change Coaches

1. John Harbaugh

2. Mike McCarthy

3. Josh McDaniels

4. Jimbo Fisher

5. Mike Kafka

Was Willie prepared for his current job?/ANDREW J. KRAMER

5 Shaky Choices if the Bucs Change Coaches

1. Lovie Smith

2. Chip Kelly

3. Mike Shula

4. Ray Perkins

5. Willie Taggart

Lovie was worse than Koetter./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Bucs Coaches Worse than Koetter

1. Leeman Bennett 4 .125

2. Richard Williamson 4 .211

3. Lovie Smith 8 .250

4. Ray Perkins 13 .332

5. Greg Schiano 11 .344

* -- Through 46 games, Koetter is 19-28, a .413 percentage

Koetter's Bucs can get grounded./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Fewest Points Under Koetter

The Bucs scored only 12 Sunday, but they've done worse in the three years under Koetter.

1. 3       Washington             2018

3       Carolina               2017

3. 7       Arizona                2016

7       Denver                 2016

5. 10     Chicago               2018

10     New Orleans         2017

Winston wasn't sharp in Baltimore./TIM WIRT

Wobbly Winston

Sunday was the worst rating Winston has ever had while throwing one interception or fewer. His worst days:

1. 9-18-16 Arizona 4 39.2

2. 10-2-16 Denver 2 40.1

3. 10-28-18 Cincinnati 4 47.7

4. 10-29-17 Carolina 2 49.2

5. 12-16-18 Baltimore 1 54.9

Brees was difficult to handle./TIM WIRT

Opposing QB Ratings (Best)

1. Eli Manning, NY Giants           155.8

2. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago         154.6

3. Cam Newton, Carolina            133.2

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans       129.5

5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta                   125.5

Cam Newton had a long day against Bucs./STEVEN MUNCIE

Opposing QB Ratings (Worst)

1. Cam Newton, Panthers 66.2

2. Nick Mullens, 49ers 89.6

3. Lamar Jackson, Ravens. 91.0

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans. 90.9

5. Nick Foles, Eagles 98.8

Roethlisberger was good against Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

Fewest Incompletions

1. Eli Manning, Giants         1

2. Cam Newton, Carolina      6

3. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago  7

Drew Brees, New Orleans 7

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans, 8

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh 8

Alex Smith, Washington 8

Mullins was mortal against the Bucs./STEVEN MUNCIE

Most Incompletions

1. Mullens, 49ers 14

2. Newton, Panthers 13

Foles, Eagles 13

Dalton, Bengals 13

5. Mayfield, Browns 11

Ronald Jones has had a forgettable season./TIM WIRT

Running Back Draft

2.  Saquon Barkley, Giants      223    1155       5.2

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks       82    413       5.1

31. Sony Michel, Patriots        177    765       4.3

35. Nick Chubb, Browns           164    860       5.2

38. Ronald Jones, Bucs           23     44     1.9

43. Kerryon Johnson, Lions      118       641     5.4

Vea had his best game against the Ravens./CARMEN MANDATO

Defensive Tackle Draft

12. Vita Vea, Tampa Bay                    31           2

13. Da'Ron Payne, Washington       47            5

29. Taven Bryan, Jacksonville.       19        0

57. P.J. Hall, Oakland                      21        0

69. B.J. Hill, Giants                          45          5

Bucs Mock Draft

SBNation                           9. Greg Little, OT             Ole Miss

Walterfootball.com          8. DeAndre Baker, CB     Georgia

Bleacher Report                9. Jachai Polite, DE          Florida

Draftwire.com                   8. Greedy Williams, CB.  LSU

CBSsports.com                 8. Byron Murphy, CB        Washington

Bucs don't rate very high in power rankings./JEFFREY S. KING

Power Rankings

Sporting News.                26

Fansided                            26

Bleacher Report               27

Massey                              22

Oddshark                         24

Evans is third in the NFL in yardage./JEFFREY S. KING

Random Stats

Passing Touchdowns              25. Winston            14

Interceptions Thrown              4. Winston     13

.                          .                         .7. Fitzpatrick 12

Rushing Yards Per Game        19. Barber                54.4

Receiving Yards Per Game        3. Mike Evans       94.9

Receiving 1st Downs                   9. Mike Evans        58

Pierre-Paul had his second straight week without a sack./TIM WIRT

More Random Stats

Sacks                      12. Jason Pierre-Paul 11.5

Tackles                  18. Lavonte David 105

Interceptions         14. Andrew Adams 3

Net Punting           32. Bryan Anger 38.6

Penalties               9. Ryan Jensen 10-110

Could Aguayo run better than Jones?/CARMEN MANDATO

5 Closing Thoughts

1. It's interesting how the final days of a disappointing season wind up. Here in Tampa Bay, an argument seems to have sprouted between whether Jason Licht or Dirk Koetter is more to blame for the familiar quicksand this team finds itself in. As they come down the stretch, I have Licht by a nose.

2. I know that Roberto Aguayo was a failure here, but wouldn't he be a better running back than Ronald Jones? Especially between the tackles?

3. I think to save his job, Koetter needs to win three out of the next two. Maybe four.

4. It's ghastly to consider, but the Bus now have 29 losing seasons, 13 winning seasons and one .500 season. Shouldn't that qualify for disaster relief?

5. If there is a legacy of the current Tampa Bay Bucs, it is that they turn the ball over, they suffer penalties, they play close but lose close and they don't travel well (2-13 in their road games over the last two years). Has there ever been a better game plan for failure?

Looking Ahead

Best Dallas Cowboys

1. Emmitt Smith

2. Roger Staubach

3. Bob Lilly

4. Tony Dorsett

5. Troy Aikman

Favorite Dallas Cowboys

1. Troy Aikman

2. Michael Irvin

3. Emmitt Smith

4. Chuck Howley

5. Don Merideth

Famous Cowboy fans

1. Denzel Washington

2. LeBron James

3. Chris Rock

4. Jamie Foxx

5. Kelly Clarkson

Best Game

The Tampa Bay Bucs were in their best days when they played the Cowboys in 2000. On the other hand, the Cowboys were getting a little long in the tooth.

Troy Aikman was 34 and in his last year. Emmitt Smith was 31. Michael Irvin had retired the year before.

It shouldn't have surprised anyone, then, that the Bucs ran their way to a 27-7 victory over Dallas behind Warrick Dunn's 210-yard afternoon.

Shaun King quarterbacked the Bucs, but he threw for just 65 yards and the Bucs considered replacing him with Eric Zeier in the first quarter. They didn't, however.


Dallas 20, Tampa Bay 17

Cleveland 30, Cincinnati 20

Houston 27, Philadephia 20

New Orleans 31, Pittsburgh 21

Carolina 24, Atlanta 23

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