Game-balls: Bucs 38 Cardinals 35

Who is your Week 8 Player-of-the-Week?
Who is your Week 8 Player-of-the-Week? /
Who is your Week 8 Player-of-the-Week?
Who is your Week 8 Player-of-the-Week? /

It’s time to vote on game balls and see who you’re going to pick to be the Player-of-the-Week. Last week’s POTW was Josh Freeman who went 23/40 for 212 yards and touchdown in a comeback win over the St. Louis Rams.

This week, the pickings are even better. After coming off a major offensive outburst and creating four turnovers, the Buccaneers offense finally looked the part of an NFC contender yesterday and despite still struggling in several phases of the game, the Bucs defense looked opportunistic when it had to be and was downright nightmarish to throw against. I’m going to give out five game-balls and like last week, you all will have an opportunity to vote on the Player-of-the-Week. This week an honorable mention game-ball also goes to Max Hall, who despite playing just two quarters threw two touchdown passes to the Buccaneers, twice as many as Josh Freeman. All kidding aside though, here the week eight game-balls.

LeGarrette Blount– Have you ever seen a 250 pound man hurdle a guy at full speed? Blount did that and a lot more on Sunday. Yeah, to be fair we also have to talk about the fumble which let Arizona back into the game in the 3rd quarter, but much like the whole Bucs team Blount was resilient and fought back. On the day he ran the ball 22 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Thoroughly debunking the myth that these Bucs can’t run by having the offense’s best running day of the season behind a patchwork line. Still, I just can’t get over the 48 yard run that sealed the game for Tampa. After leaping a guy, Blount turned on the jets and it took Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie‘s 4.3 speed to catch him. This guy could be special.

Aqib Talib– I’ve said this before but Aqib Talib my be the most underrated corner in football. Yesterday he was superb, playing great coverage and coming up with not one but two key interceptions, one of which he took to the house. On his career Ronde Barber has been paired with some very good corners, Donnie Abraham and Brian Kelly come to mind, Talib is easily the best of the bunch.

Geno Hayes– It was almost right as I was commenting that the Bucs linebackers were fairly unremarkable that Hayes came up with the Bucs first big play of the game. Down 7-0 in the first quarter, Hayes stepped in front of a Max Hall pass and took the first of the Hall INT’s the other direction for a Bucs touchdown to even the game. He also notched five tackles.

Josh Freeman– While the Cardinals were playing musical quarterbacks and tossing four picks, Josh Freeman looked and felt the part of the better quarterback. On the day he went 18-25 for 278 yards and a beautiful deep touchdown pass to Mike Williams. Freeman looked comfortable, he made good decisions and along the way the Bucs offense looked the best it’s been all year.

Mike Williams– Though Williams is still far from the consistent receiving threat he’ll eventually grow into, he’s still a lot better than almost any 4th round receiver I’ve seen in the last decade. Williams had a career-high 105 yards and scored a touchdown on a long bomb. On the year he now has 4 TD’s, giving him the 3rd most of any rookie receiver in franchise history (behind Michael Clayton and Kevin House).

So who is your Player-of-the-Week?