The Buccaneers continued their mid-season turnaround with an impressive road win against a solid Philadelphia Eagles football team on Sunday, whipping their opponent 45-17 on a cool day not far from the Rocky Balboa statue. While it wasn’t quite an upset of Rocky-like proportions, it was still an unexpected dominating performance by the Buccaneers who now are .500 for the first time since 2012. Below are the grades for the offensive units. Take a look and see if you agree.
No one in the local media were more pro-Jameis Winston than PewterReport.com. But even as high as we were on the former FSU Heisman winner, we couldn’t have envisioned a five-touchdown, no-interception game in only his tenth start, and on the road in a hostile environment. And if you ask the Bucs front office and coaching staff, it is doubtful they would admit looking into the future and seeing Winston’s afternoon in Philadelphia that finished 19-of-29 for 246 yards and five touchdown passes. Winston was sharp all afternoon, decisive on his throws, and looking every bit the part of the franchise quarterback the Bucs have been looking for since 1976.
The last couple weeks, teams were able to slow Doug Martin down and keep him under 100 yards rushing. On Sunday against the Eagles, Martin made up the lost yards over the previous two games, busting out with the second best rushing total in franchise history, carrying 27 times for 235 yards. Martin is just a good first half against Indianapolis from eclipsing a 1,000 yard season.
Charles Sims continued his development, running hard and confident, and being one of the better receiving threats out of the backfield since the days of James Wilder. Sims finished with 43 yards on 10 carries, and also added three catches for 26 yards including a highlight-reel type 14-yard reception for a score.
Jameis Winston did a great job of distributing the ball on Sunday, finding six different players, including all four active wide receivers at least once. The Bucs receivers were sure handed on a chilly Philly afternoon, especially Mike Evans who has had seven drops over the previous two games. The 2014 first-round pick led the Bucs with 63 yards on four receptions and a score.
Vincent Jackson made his return from injury and also came up with four catches, and a score on a red zone slant from Winston. Having Jackson on the field opened things up for everyone. On Sunday Jackson finished with 56 yards on his four catches.
Rookie free agent Adam Humphries is getting more comfortable in the slot, and he had his most productive day of his young career, coming down with four receptions for 50 yards against Philadelphia.
Even seldom used receiver and special teams standout Russell Shepard got in on the action Sunday, hauling in a Winston pass for his first NFL touchdown.
The Bucs tight ends were an integral part of Sunday’s incredible rushing totals, helping to pave the way for Martin’s outstanding day, while also being good in pass protection, although Luke Stocker did get beat for a sack in the second quarter than led to a Winston fumble. fortunately for Tampa Bay, the Bucs recovered the lose football.
Cameron Brate continued to fill in nicely for the injured Austin Seferian-Jenkins, catching three balls for 47 yards and a touchdown.
When you a big reason for a record setting offensive performance, you can excuse a handful of penalties. The line wasn’t perfect, but held their own against a pretty good pass rushing Eagles defense. Guard Evan Smith and tackle Gosder Cherilus both had multiple penalties on Sunday, but none turned out to be drive-stalling mistakes, as the Bucs offense was able to overcome the miscues. you would be hard pressed to find many fans or media members who were concerned with the offensive line coming into the season, but this unit is not only very good, they actually are one of, if not the deepest group on the team.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year at the trading deadline, I heard a lot of people calling for the Bucs to trade Doug Martin. Also saw more of that in the offseason.
A lot of so called “fans” who consider themselves pro player personnel evaluators said Martin wasn’t that good to begin with, was injury prone and one in particular said his over 2oo yard effort against the Raiders in his rookie year was meaningless because it was against the Raiders,
This was all said on a very popular
Buc fan blog which harbors a lot of trolls and haters of the Bucs and all things Lovie.
It’s great to see Dougie prove all of the haters wrong.
I loved the way he kept stiff arming that CB until he finally knocked him down. Damn Conner Barwin for knocking him out of bounds before he get into the end zone.
I wasn’t keen on the Bucs drafting Sims early in that year’s draft because I always thought Dougie was just fine catching the ball. I will admit Sims made a fantastic catch for TD Sunday, so it seems to have worked out fine.
Easy to do Monday Quarterbacking. I was one of them over and over saying to trade martin. It was based on 2 years of injuries; I’m glad I was wrong and happy to admit it. I wonder why it took him so long to get in tip top shape? Oh it couldn’t be because he was going to be a Free Agent?
I was one who said here on record we should not trade Martin. He has over 1500 yards then has an injury and we put the worst O line together last year I’ve ever seen and blame him? Dumb. Anyways Great game. Clean up the penalties on the O line and its an A. More like B to me, but not complaining. Those penalties against a better team could lose games.
Also why is not Dotsun in there? Hope they aren’t being petty because he held out. He is still the best O lineman on that team and chemistry is not the issue as far as not putting him back in. We have made multiple changes this year. Play Dotson!
Cherilus is doing a great job so “if it aint broke…” Having a starting caliber Olineman available as a backup is a great problem to have
plpes808; I agree with you.
Fredster, Dotson never officially held out from any meetings he was contractually required to attend. If you remember, he said he oouldn’t hold out because it would cost him a 100K.
It is kind of a luxury to have a starting tackle and center sitting on the bench wanting to play.
I bet Tom Brady wishes the Patriots had those troubles.
Correct, never missed required participation… I was kinda hoping to see a few of those guys get some snaps in the 4th, though, including Glennon
True, but They had Pamphile playing TE on some running plays lately. EDS filled in for Marpet and that didn’t hurt the chemistry or “break what wasnt broke”why can’t they use Dotson for a blocking TE at least? Can’t tell me Pamphile is better athlete or tackle than Dotson, so I have to wonder if Dotson not 100% or it has to do with the threatened holdout? Why would you want a better player on he bench. He’s better than Cherilus too IMO.
Understand your point, Fredster- also remember coach saying something about not losing your position because of injury, and putting the best players on the field regardless… Speaking of backups- I guess we get to see what Carter can do as a starter
Actually WiitheBrewer, it was Dirk Kotter who made the reference about not losing your job due to injury.
When Lovie heard that he countermanded it saying whoever was playing best would start.
That is why Joe Hawley is still starting at center.
Lovie is an experienced coach and I can assure you he doesn’t get wrapped up and concerned about players contracts and negotiations.
That’s not to say he isn’t looking at next year when Dotson will no doubt try to renegotiate his deal.
He actually has both tackles at a bargain basement price.
I can’t say Dotson is a better tackle and really can’t tell that much of a difference between the two.
I do think only one will be here next year. The question is which one will it be.
We always kept hearing about how good Dotson was and could be. But I never saw it myself. He got beat and had a lot of penalties too. Not saying he’s a bad player; just that I don’t think he’s much better than Cherilus, so I would keep status quo for now. Me, I’d put the big 6′-9″ Dot in as a blocking TE eligible. Talk about a Dunkaneer.
That’s actually a really good idea.
I have to agree with you Scubog. Every game I watched, Dotson was getting a penalty. He was our best O-lineman last year, but that doesn’t mean he was good. Probably better than Cherilus, but I can’t say for sure. Also, Dotson hasn’t played in a game since last year. Right now he is a question mark. Atleast we know what we are going to get with Cherilus. Cherilus isn’t setting the world on fire, but there are plenty of teams that would love to have him right now. A solid starter. And all of this hurts to say because I graduated from the same college as Dotson. USM doesn’t get many guys in the league so I tend to root for all of them that do make it, but I can’t disagree with what I see. Cherilus should continue to start until he proves that he doesn’t.
Entre, the whole O line sucked so bad last year so I wouldn’t grade Dotson on anything he did last year. Also the penalties are horrendous this year too and the O line while blocking better is still getting way too many. Dotson is better than Cherilus. Also stupid Pamphile negated a TD today with that hold speaking of penalties! Can’t tell me Dotson wouldnt be better as blocking TE. He is more athletic with his basketball background. This O line played like crap today against colts period so don’t want to hear about how we can’t change whats not broke. Winston was under duress whole game. Horrible.
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