The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played their best game of the season on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, yet managed to lose the game in overtime after surrendering a 21 point lead. But there are still positives to draw from the game, and lessons to be learned from how the players played.
So let’s take a look at some of the information provided by Pro Football Focus, and get an idea as to who the top performers were for the Buccaneers, and which players struggled or were held out of action.
On the offensive side of the ball, no player earned a better grade than quarterback Mike Glennon. He earned a +3.5 grade for the day, his first positive grade of the season. He was 17 of 20 on “aimed passes,” which eliminates throwaways and spikes, with one dropped pass. He was very accurate, but a majority of his throws were short.
13 of his 20 aimed passes were 10 yards or fewer, but he completed every one of those attempts. He was 13 of 13 on short throws, and four of seven on long throws.
Fellow rookie Mike James also had a big day, playing 54 of the 71 snaps and earning a +2.9 grade. He lost some points due to a penalty, but was otherwise as good as advertised, playing a majority of the snaps as a replacement to Doug Martin.
Erik Lorig was back to his old habits again, earning a solid +2.4 grade in run blocking on only 28 snaps. He’s fully healthy again and proving that he’s among the best of a dying breed at the fullback position.
The only Tampa Bay receiver to finish with a positive grade was Tiquan Underwood, who earn a meager +0.1. And that’s only due to credit he was given as a screen blocker, not as a pass catcher. The other receivers all finished in the negatives, including Vincent Jackson, who earned the second-worst offensive grade on the day, a -2.1.
But the worst grade of the day went to Davin Joseph, who continues to struggle as he gets back into game shape after struggling with injuries over the offseason. At -4.7, Joseph posted his eighth straight negative grade, and he’s currently the third-worst guard according to PFF’s grade, and he is the worst right guard.
In snap count news, Tom Crabtree played more snaps than Tim Wright, but that’s because Crabtree was called upon 11 times more than Wright to be a run blocker. Wright was on the field for more passing plays than the former Green Bay Packer tight end.
It should come as no surprise that Mark Barron posted a positive score for the day, as he earned a +3.2 grade for his 12 tackle performance (according to PFF’s tackle numbers, which are taken independently from the NFL’s). Four of his tackles were considered stops, which means they prevented a successful play by the ball carrier. This is a statistic that Lavonte David dominates, and Barron was able to get in on the act on Sunday as well.
But the surprise should come when you learn that Barron was not the highest graded Buccaneer, but it was instead Gerald McCoy. McCoy lost a chunk of points for his personal foul penalties, but still finished with a +5.6 grade for the day. This is thanks to a dominant performance rushing the passer, as he forced Russell Wilson out of the pocket on multiple occasions. The Buccaneers didn’t contain Wilson when he ran outside, but McCoy did everything he was supposed to do up the middle.
The worst grade on the day went to Mason Foster, who racked up 5 missed tackles on his way to a -5.1 grade. Foster was graded as a liability against both the pass and run on the day, and his missed tackles are proof of a Sunday he’d rather forget.
It’s interesting to note that Leonard Johnson only played 18 snaps, and in doing so posted his highest grade of the season of 0.8. Johnson is clearly best suited in a role as a backup, which is not a bad thing if he can perform well coming off the bench.
It should also be noted that defensive tackles Gary Gibson, Akeem Spence, and Derek Landri all played between 23-26 snaps. There is only one starter at defensive tackle for the Buccaneers, and that’s Gerald McCoy. The other tackle is a revolving door throughout the game, although Spence has made the biggest impact over the course of the season during his time at the position.
On a depressing note, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim continues to play large amounts of snaps at defensive end, registering 41 of 63 possible plays on Sunday. Da’Quan Bowers played only 14, while William Gholston and Steven Means combined for 13.