Charles Sims had a TD catch against the Browns – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Buccaneers offense came out and dominated in the first half, putting up 305 yards of total offense, behind Jameis Winston’s 259 through the air. Below is PewterReport.com’s unit grades. Take a look and see if you agree.
The Buccaneers talked about a fast start all last week, and a fast start is exactly what they showed the fans and those watching nationally on CBS. The main cog in the fast start was of course Jameis Winston who in less that three full quarters, put up numbers many NFL quarterbacks would love to be able to produce a few times a season playing the full four quarters. Winston went 16-of-29 for 269 yards and two touchdowns, finishing with a QB rating of 125.3.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images
The backups came back down to earth as Mike Glennon and Ryan Griffin combined to finish 4-of-10 for 26 yards.
If there was any negative for a Bucs offense that scored points on their first four possessions, it was a lack of consistency in the running game. Of course Doug Martin and Charles Sims only combined for eight carries between them for 31 yards, and there was never an opportunity to find any sort of rhythm. Russell Hansbrough, Peyton Barber and Storm Johnson all saw extended action but none were overly impressive, and Johnson hurt his chances with a fumble in the second half that was a case of Johnson trying to “do too much” according to head coach Dirk Koetter.
Sims did catch a touchdown pass in the first half after dropping one the play before, and finished with three catches for 16 yards.
Bucs WR Mike Evans hauls in a 34-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/PR
With Winston starting fast and having a hot hand, the Bucs starting wide receivers had a great first half, combining for 232 yards. Mike Evans had 115 yards and touchdown pass, while the veteran Vincent Jackson got involved early with 78 yards, and Adam Humphries nabbing two catches for 39 yards.
After those three, the depth chart is still up in the air. Kenny Bell and Freddy Martino each logged one reception, but Donteea Dye left the game with a hamstring injury after the opening kickoff, and Russell Shepard, Andre Davis and Jonathan Krause failed to record a catch on the night.
The right side of the line didn’t have their best game, but in all, the Buccaneers offensive line didn’t surrender sack all night, which was an impressive feat as the team faced a 3-4 defense for the first time this season. Having two joint practices certainly helped, but under the lights at full speed, the Bucs line did an overall good job of keeping Winston and the other quarterbacks upright on the night.
Demar Dotson struggled a touch, but Josh Allen, a surprise starter due to some key starters unable to play, held his own, and Koetter said on Saturday that Donovan Smith may have had his best game from a technique standpoint.
Winston didn’t seek his tight ends in the first half, instead he looked to push the ball down the field, which he did successfully. Austin Seferian-Jenkins had the only catch on the night from the tight end group, as Cameron Brate wasn’t targeted and Brandon Myers was only looked at once in the game.
Without a second view, it is difficult to determine how the unit performed blocking wise.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
Lots of cuts coming next week. So many decisions and then 4 days later, 20 more. Will bucs keep 3 QB’s ? Will bucs keep 6 or 7 receivers ? How many TE’s ? Is Noah Spence finally pushing for a starting position ? And, low and behold, it would appear that VH3 has moved into a starting position. Or is that my imagination ? I am so happy to see our Kicker having a good night. Maybe that headache is behind us. Running back and receiver are going to be tough. Nobody has distinguished themselves at running back.
Hard to fault the RB’s when both starting guards are out and in fact we were down to the third string in Josh Allen who always seems to play capably when called upon.
Still, as I mentioned in another post, I’d like to see these RB’s quit juking around so much like they auditioning for a part on Friday Nigh Lights, All those jukes may be great in high school and college, but in the NFL all it does is give the defense time to catch up with you.
I hear ya with the RB’s. The thing that bothers me the most is how Chris Sims has happy feet before he hits a hole. If he would just take off and rip through the hole he would get a lot more yardage. But instead, he kind of dances around, stutter stepping, and then takes off when the hole is starting to close. This drives me nuts.
I do get the fact that sometimes he has to be patient for the hole to open up, but it seems to me he still stutter steps too long before he goes north for the hole.
Looking at Spence he seems very small compared to his teammates and opposition. There is a huge difference between preseason and regular season games. I hope that he doesn’t get shredded. Other than that not too concerned.
I went over the roster after the game to make my annual prediction of the final 53 man roster. It’s a bit different than the one I did at the beginning of Training Camp. I’ve come to the conclusion that keeping Ryan Griffin as the third QB as insurance should Glennon be traded or leave after the season would be of little value. Guys like him are a dime a dozen. Peyton Barber and Mike James should be the back-up RB’s. I think Licht will potentially keep five TE’s and only five WR’s until Murphy returns. I haven’t seen Vitale do enough to assure a place on the final roster and may then be destined for the Practice Squad. Kenny Bell may also be placed on the Practice Squad in hopes he can become the player Licht’s dad recommended. Hard to tell about the O-line where versatility will help the youngsters chances.
On defense, I could see six DE’s and only three DT’s due to the cross training. I’m keeping both Howard Jones and Kourtnie Brown. LB’s will feature a couple of rookies. Luuuuuuuuke Rhodes and probably Devante Bond. I think it’s the end of the line for Major Wright. Tough to call the battle between Banks, Verner and Robinson. Trade?
Punter is also too close to call. I went with Bryan Anger.
“Licht’s dad” – LOL
Scubog, I think you’re pretty much on spot. There’s definitely going to be some tough decisions in a few days. My thinking is similar to yours; I do believe there is probably a WR, DT, QB not on the team now who will be next week at this time. Thursday is Glennon’s time to shine or hit the road along with Griffin. So far neither have any value for them to stay on this team.
Wow! I agree with everything you posted about who we should keep. And, there may be a trade.
I agree with all of Scu’s picks except Bell. If they want to try to fix his deficits on the practice squad that is OK. I also agree that neither Glennon or the third QB are backup material. I am sure Licht can find a better backup. Trade Glennon to the Jets for their former first round pick who carved us up in the past from W.Va.
I think it would be wise to keep Glennon at this point. Just because he hasn’t had that great of a preseason is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. He’s a proven reliable QB in real game situations, and knows the offense pretty good. I don’t think there is anybody out there who could come in and do a better job if Jameis was to go down. But I don’t see reason to keep Griffen.
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