Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Behind Doug Martin’s 123 rushing yards and Charles Sims’ 85 receiving, Tampa Bay’s offense put up three touchdowns and set up three more field goals, while converting a perfectly executed 2-point conversion to put the stamp on Sunday’s 38-31 victory. Jameis Winston rebounded strong and came up clutch in the fourth quarter, including 3-for-3 on third down completions.
Jameis Winston showed poise and resilience to come back from a five-turnover game against Carolina with a turnover-free game against Jacksonville. The rookie’s stats aren’t anything to remember – 13 of 19 for 209 yards – but he made the throws he needed and was especially clutch on third down. Winston completed 3 of 3 passes on third down in the fourth quarter, helping to ice the game with smart check downs and a laser to Mike Evans for 13 yards. While he nearly made two critical mistakes – a backwards pass-fumble that was later reversed and a back-foot throw that was almost picked by a lineman – Winston otherwise showed good pocket awareness and turned in a 122.5 QB rating, a career high. The former No. 1 overall pick also ran the ball four times for nine yards and threw an exceptional out-route pass to Vincent Jackson for a 2-point conversion.
You can’t say enough about the performance of Doug Martin and Charles Sims on Sunday, leading the offense in rushing yards with 123 and receiving yards with 85. Martin was light on his feet, juking out Jacksonville defenders on numerous runs after bursting through the open lane. The fourth-year pro, who rushed for two touchdowns, broke off a few 15-plus yard runs while also proving to be a factor out of the backfield, with three receptions for 35 yards and another score. On the subject of catching out of the backfield, no one was more reliable in the passing game Sunday than Charles Sims. The former Mountaineer has emerged as a true passing threat, adding four receptions in Week 5, including a 56-yarder on third down in the third quarter that set the Bucs up for a field goal. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has done a great job creating space for Sims and maximizing Martin’s ability in the running game.
The wide receivers certainly didn’t light up the stat column – three receptions for Mike Evans and two for Vincent Jackson – but they made a few clutch catches and were physical in the run game. While Winston had trouble connecting with Evans, who still doesn’t appear to be in 2014 form, he found his No. 1 wideout on a second-down play to the three-yard line that set up Martin’s one-yard TD run and another time in the fourth quarter to convert a third-and-8. Vincent Jackson, last week’s leading receiver with 10 receptions for 147 yards, put himself in the stat column on the third offensive play of the game and then again in the fourth quarter. After a 14-yard catch on second down, Jackson was relatively quiet the rest of the day, before coming up huge on a 2-point conversion catch. Louis Murphy was held without a reception on the afternoon, but the game plan on Sunday was clearly to run the football and you don’t fix what’s not broken.
The offensive line is steadily coming together and continued their progression on Sunday, even without starting left guard Logan Mankins (groin). Aside from two sacks and two holding calls on Ali Marpet, all five lineman made plays and threw key blocks that set up big gains/touchdowns. On Doug Martin’s 10-yard receiving score, for instance, Gosder Cherilus can be seen shoving Jags end Jared Odrick out of the way while Marpet set the lead block at the second level on linebacker Telvin Smith. Both blocks cleared the way for Martin’s one-juke touchdown. As for pass protection, Winston was sacked twice and only once by a defensive lineman. Donovan Smith held defensive end Chris Clemons in check, as the second-round pick continues to find his stride at the blindside tackle. And Kevin Pamphile shored up the left side, particularly in the running game. Overall, the five-man front turned in another solid outing and paved the way for a second straight 100-yard rushing game.
The Bucs still miss Austin Seferian-Jenkins as a receiving threat, particularly in the red zone, but Brandon Myers came up with two nice receptions for 34 yards. Myers caught the opening play from scrimmage for 17 yards and added another 17-yard grab in the second quarter that eventually led to Martin’s one-yard TD. Myers proved to be valuable in the run game as well, helping to seal the edge an numerous attempts. Still, Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter are counting down the days until Seferian-Jenkins returns, which could be in Week 7 against Washington.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I actually agree with these grades for once, thank god for Doug Martin or this offense would be in serious trouble
All I can say Buc Fans. Tampa has turn the corner. To be in the Games Can’t wait when Tampa plays Altanta.I feel that Tampa could revenge the last year loses.Go Bucs
A “B” grade for Quarterback when he had a 122 QBR? It’s not his fault he didn’t get over 300 yards passing because the Bucs ran the ball 40 times!
WRs and TEs might even be a little high in their grades because almost half of the passing yardage (85 yards) came from Sims out of the back field.
Kudos should go to the offensive coordinator for his best called game to date.
Yes a B, he completed 13 passes vs the worst team in the league had a horrible backwards pass that wasn’t called correctly by the refs, had a near int on one bad pass, I think he improved this game but to give him a Aaron Rodgers type of grade is rididculous
Did you see the replay JonnyG? Knee was clearly down with the ball still in his hand.
Agree with grades except tight end should get a B. Myers proved why his contract was renewed. He is both a more than capable blocker and receiver and knock on wood, never seems to be hurt, unlike our other TE’s.
Also, don’t agree with your comment about Evans not being in 2014 form. He beat a WR in the first half and had two steps on him but had to wait for an underthrown ball. Hit in stride it would have been an easy TD.
How about a poll on whether Martin’s new nickname is either the “Douggernaut,” or the “Douganator.”
To quote the DI in “Full Metal Jacket.” The muscle hamster has been “Born again hard.”
@drdneast: I don’t mean to sound like a jerk (hopefully I don’t)…but I think we had that debate three years ago when he said he hated the nickname Muscle Hampster and we all went through the blog posts to arrive at Dougernaut…do you think we need to do it again, or can we just keep using Dougernaut?
Don’t forget, “MartinScoresEasy.” Always liked that one … especially Sunday when he was my fantasy back.
I agree with these grades for the most part. The passing game wasn’t lighting up the scoreboard but then again, when the running game is going so well it doesn’t make much sense to abandon it.
I think you can technically add Fragel to the list of effective blocking TEs. The announcer commented that every time he was put in, the Bucs ran behind him. As obvious as it was, it worked almost every time so I think they deserve a B grade for blocking even if there weren’t many yards picked up by TEs.
WRs also did well in run blocking. Again, not many yards but they played their role well in the run game so I could see a B grade being justified. A means to an end, a very welcomed end. Go Bucs!
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