Each week, PewterReport.com will rate the top 10 Buccaneers based upon recent play rather than overall talent or importance to the team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers bounced back from a crushing defeat at Washington to beat Atlanta in overtime, 23-20.
These are the Buccaneers with the most momentum heading into the Week 9:
WHICH BUCCANEERS PLAYERS ARE HOT? – WEEK 9
1. RB Doug Martin
Martin is the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher with 612 yards on 132 carries (4.6 avg.) with a team-high three touchdowns. Martin, who had 71 yards rushing at Atlanta last week, has had three 100-yard games this season and has really improved as a pass-catcher with 15 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown.
LAST WEEK: 1
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images
2. QB Jameis Winston
Winston has had an impressive three-game stretch in which the Bucs have gone 2-1 and he has accounted for six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) without any interceptions. Winston, whose leadership continues to blossom, has 12 touchdowns (10 passing, two rushing) and seven interceptions this season while completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,648 yards.
LAST WEEK: 3
3. MLB Kwon Alexander
Alexander starred in Atlanta last week with a career-best and game-high 11 tackles, one interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He’s Tampa Bay’s second-leading tackler with 49 stops and leads the Bucs with seven passes defensed and two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
LAST WEEK: 7
4. DE Jacquies Smith
Smith leads Tampa Bay with five sacks and three forced fumbles, including one at Washington that was returned for a touchdown by defensive end Howard Jones, and two fumble recoveries, including one at Atlanta. Smith also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown against Jacksonville, in addition to 14 tackles on the year.
LAST WEEK: 2
5. WR Mike Evans
Evans had a quiet game in Atlanta with just three catches for 48 yards, but did help draw three key pass interference penalties on the Falcons. He leads Tampa Bay with 24 catches for 386 yards (16.1 avg.) and one touchdown this season after a slow start to the 2015 campaign.
LAST WEEK: 4
6. LB Lavonte David
David is Tampa Bay’s leading tackler with 58 stops (30 solo) and has three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. After a good first half against Washington, David has been nearly invisible in the last two games and has not been much of a factor versus the run or pass.
LAST WEEK: 6
Bucs K Connor Barth – Photo by: Getty Images
7. K Connor Barth
Barth debuts on the Hot list after making his 100th field goal as a Buccaneer in the team’s overtime win in Atlanta. Since re-joining the team in Week 4, Barth has been perfect on all of his PATs as well as his field goals (nine), although none have come from 50 yards and beyond.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED
8. RB Charles Sims
Sims had a quiet game in Atlanta with six carries for 22 yards (3.7 avg.) in addition to three catches for 24 yards. But he’s still the team’s second-leading rusher with 206 yards on 53 carries (3.8 avg.), in addition to being Tampa Bay’s third-leading receiver with 19 catches for 234 yards (12.3 avg.) and two touchdowns.
LAST WEEK: 8
9. DE Howard Jones
In just three games in Tampa Bay Jones has become the Bucs’ third-leading sacker with three QB captures, including one in overtime on third down against Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. Jones also forced a fumble against the Falcons a week after returning a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown at Washington.
LAST WEEK: 9
10. SS Chris Conte
Conte continues his solid play and is the Bucs’ fourth-leading tackler with 41 stops, in addition to four tackles for loss, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and an interception. In a suspect pass defense, he’s currently the best player in Tampa Bay’s secondary.
LAST WEEK: 10
DROPPED OUT: DT Gerald McCoy (5)
WHICH PLAYERS ARE NOT? – WEEK 9
1. CB Tim Jennings
Jennings has been a healthy scratch for the past two weeks after a horrible game at Jacksonville. The veteran cornerback has been replaced by rookie Jude Adjei-Barimah and is only being kept around in case of injury to one of the team’s other corners.
LAST WEEK: 1
2. CB Mike Jenkins
Jenkins is not a starting-caliber cornerback in the NFL anymore, and while he’s physical, he lacks the coverage ability to stay with wide receivers. He is consistently targeted by opposing quarterbacks.
LAST WEEK: 2
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Getty Images
3. DT Gerald McCoy
McCoy is second on the Bucs with 4.5 sacks, but has disappeared over the last two games and has just three combined tackles, including one against Atlanta, although he did apply some pressure to Matt Ryan on the final play in overtime. McCoy has been outplayed by fellow defensive tackle Henry Melton over the last two weeks.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED
4. C Evan Smith
Smith has officially lost his starting center job to Joe Hawley, who stepped in to replace him after Smith injured his ankle in Week 2. Smith has been able to practice for the last two weeks and was a healthy scratch against Atlanta, while Hawley has officially topped the Bucs’ depth chart at center.
LAST WEEK: UNRANKED
5. WR Vincent Jackson
Jackson has just two catches for 27 yards over the last two games, and a two-point conversion catch against Jacksonville. He injured his knee against Washington and missed the Atlanta game even though he did not have a brace on his leg and was seen walking and jogging at practice during the week. When he’s healthy he needs to be more productive.
LAST WEEK: 5
DROPPED OUT: FS Bradley McDougald (3) WR Louis Murphy (4),
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
Well Buc Fans it seems they are some Heroes on the team. I hope Tampa goes after DL and CB from other teams to improve the Injured Bucs Go Tampa
Wonder if McCoy’s shoulder is still an issue? Regardless him and Levonte really need to step it up and play lights out until this secondary improves. Big money for both. Need big production. Kwon is outshining Levonte lately. Especially with splash plays if not total tackles.
I’m cautiously optimistic that Jameis is going to turn out as advertised. Oh, the thought of a competitive Bucs team for the next decade… Why not? Every other team but the Bucs seems to have had the honor. I look forward to seeing how the conversations evolve on PR and how Mac can incorporate more Russian philosophical quotes.
I’m optimistic too. Whatever happens, we’re going to have some fun with it. I’ve got a call into Putin now for some new material. lol.
Just don’t ride a horse shirtless for any future commentary.
Who else out her thinks the Bucs should be at 5-2 in stead of 3-4.
Oh well, I doubt if we belong in he playoffs with our secondary but that record really should be the case.
I couldn’t believe how many times the Falcons threw slants on us last week.
Apparently OC’s recognize our CB’s can’t reroute or defend so they are constantly attacking the middle of the field.
Hard for a DL to get their hands on the QB when the ball is coming out of the QB’s hand in less than 2.5 seconds.
Agreed DRDNEAST we could darn well be 5-2. Blown game at Washington and FG killed us at Texas. In fact I’d go as far to say we SHOULD be 5-2. With any sort of defense this team can be legitimate.
I don’t know about SHOULD- ATL fans could argue that they gave this one away w/ fumbled snaps, etc… That’s the problem though- we Bucs fans use Should,Would,and Could wayyy too often over the last decade.
Here’s to another solid game this week against NYG, and to a Mon where we can say “our Bucs ARE @.500”
You are absolutely correct cgmaster27.
This Aericle isn’t my favorite as it is really a guess from week to week. Why is Smith hot? he probably won’t even play this week. How about Conte not being hot as he too played poorly in the last game?
Thank Goodness Hawley is now a starting Center. He has been doing great and EDS was a problem as I had been pointing out. Tandy was a DB with WVa. And needs to be starting at CB in place of Spencer who should be cut. This team can now be competitive the rest of this season! Get a great DE next year and some good DBs and we will be a playoff team!
all reasons to be excited!!
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