Looking back on the Bucs’ win over Atlanta

by Gary Shelton on December 7, 2021

in general

Chris Godwin was terrific./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Thoughts

  1. Chris Godwin had quite a day with a record 15 catches. Not only that, he's not Antonio Brown.

2. Speaking of Brown, he looks stupid even by Brown standards, which are considerable. To avoid a free shot he could have had from team doctors, he paid for a fake vaccination card, gave up three weeks of salary and is in danger of getting cut. Oh, and he got to watch Godwin star.

3. The year after Jon Gruden won a Super Bowl, he was 7-9 and people still thought he was smart. The year after he won it, Bruce Arians is 9-3 and people seem to think he's their forgetful uncle who is plaid shorts and polka dot shirts.

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4. I'm sure he'd drop the pass, but I think the late John Candy could get open on this secondary. Especially on third down. And if not, they'd hold him.

5. Yeah, Tom Brady made a dumb pass. Bucs' fans have seen it before.


(From Bruce Arians' Tuesday press conference)

(On the combination of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski):  "They're both at a really high level right now. That chemistry – that takes time to build, and when you get it – you know, I saw it with Peyton [Manning] and Marvin [Harrison] and [Philip] Rivers and [Antonio] Gates. The guy turns around, there's the ball. They just look at each other and they know what they want. It doesn't have to be the play called, just go beat the guy that's trying to guard you. But, yeah, it's really fun to watch."

On if there are any comparisons between Chris Godwin and former Steelers' receiver Hines Ward): "There's a ton, a ton. They play the same position. It's the same thing I asked Larry Fitzgerald to do in Arizona. Once you go into that position, you're going to do a lot of grimy blocking, but we're going to get you the ball. Between the numbers, Chris is devastating, but he's also really, really good outside. That's the thing that separates him from a couple other guys, that he's still a really good player outside, also."

(On the Bucs' low sack totals): "It's a combination. We get the ball out quick sometimes, but we can hold it for a while when we we’re taking shots down the field. I thought the offensive line did another fabulous job, the running backs did a good job picking up some blitzes and giving Tom plenty of time to throw it back there. If you're going to throw it 51 times and he doesn't get touched, it's not too bad."

(On playing the Buffalo Bills this week): "It's going to be a hell of a challenge. When you've got a dual-threat quarterback like Josh [Allen], it's not easy. They're in empty sets and you're expecting passes and they've got quarterback powers and quarterback counters. He's their leading rusher, just about, and then he can sling it around to all those great receivers he has. So, it is a really big, big challenge defensively for us. Offensively, same thing. They've got a hell of a pass rush and a ton of speed. I think Leslie Frazier is one of the best coaches in the league, as is Sean McDermott, so yeah, we're going to have our hands full and we're going to need a lot of fan support."

(On Ndamukong Suh's case for the Hall of Fame: "I'd say he's got a big case, yeah. If you talk about consistency and a great level of play for a long, long time, I don't know how many people have done it better than Suh. He's still a handful and he's got a regimen. It's just like Tom [Brady] – they know how to take care of themselves and they're in peak form on Sunday. I don't mess with either one of them – just get out on Sunday and play your ass off."

Game Balls

Offense: Tom Brady had a great afternoon, but he's thrown four touchdowns before. No Bucs' receiver had ever caught 15 passes before. Toss it Godwin. He'll catch it.

Defense: Antonio Winfield tied for the team lead in tackles with 10. He's been terrific lately.

Special teams: Bradley Pinion averaged 44.3 yards per punt with a 60-yarder and two inside the 20.


Quarterback: Another great day for Brady, even with that hiccup before halftime. Grade: B+.

Running back: Not a great day running the ball, but Leonard Fournette made a nice touchdown catch. Grade: B.

Offensive line: The run game could have been better, but Brady wasn't sacked. That's job one. Grade: B+.

Receivers: Godwin, Mike Evan and Gronkowski were all terrific. Grade: A.

Defensive line: Where was the outside pressure. Give points to Suh and Vita Vea, who each had two sacks. But Jason Pierre-Paul might be hurt worse than we feared. Grade: B.

Linebackers. Devin White had 10 tackles, too. Too much room for receivers and not enough oomph in the running game. Grade: B.

Secondary: Too many third-and-longs given up. This team makes other quarterbacks drool. Grade: D.

Most Disappointing Bucs

  1. Antonio Brown.

2. O.J. Howard.

3. Ronald Jones II.

4. The secondary.

5. The edge pass rush.

Bucs' Career Touchdown Passes

1.              Jameis Winston (2015-19)                                   121

2.              Josh Freeman (2009-13)                                      80

3.              Vinny Testaverde (1987-92)                                  77

4.              Tom Brady (2020-Present)                                  74

5.              Doug Williams (1978-82)                                      73

NFL Receiving Touchdowns Since 2010

1.              Rob Gronkowski (TB)                                         92

2.              Jimmy Graham (CHI)                                           84

3.              Antonio Brown (TB)                                           83

4.              Dez Bryant (Free Agent)                                       75

5.              Mike Evans (TB)                                                 71

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