3 Up, 3 Down: Naming the Best and Worst Performers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Saints


Sep 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive tackle

Akiem Hicks

(76) rushes as Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard

Davin Joseph

(75) blocks during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers lost another heartbreaker on Sunday to the New Orleans Saints, but not every single player is to blame for the loss.

So as we do every week, let’s take a look at the three of the best and worst performances for the Bucs this past weekend.

3 Down, Most Disappointing Players:

  • Mike Williams: The Buccaneers gave Mike Williams the contract extension he wanted, and he’s only repaid them with dropped passes, fumbles, and pre-snap penalties so far this season (and pre-season). Williams was particularly frustrating against the Saints, earning two flags and failing to make an impact in the passing game. He also couldn’t get a foot down inbounds after a great throw from Josh Freeman for what would have been a first down. Mike is going to need to step his game up to make his contract feel less “Mike Clayton-ish.”
  • Luke Stocker: I have nothing against Luke Stocker as a person. I have everything against Luke Stocker the football player. This guy just adds nothing to the team, and is routinely beat on his blocking assignments. Stocker has gone out for a pass almost 40 times this season, and not once has he helped out his quarterback in any meaningful way. Nate Byham is a better blocker, and an extra receiver would be a better threat running routes. There seems to be no good reason for Stocker to be on the field as often as he is.
  • Dashon Goldson: Other than delivering a hit to Darren Sproles that earned a suspension and hurt his team in a tough Week 3 matchup with the Patriots, Goldson failed in pass coverage against Jimmy Graham, and otherwise did little but throw his weight around (and throw his helmet around) into some tackles. Goldson wasn’t awful, but he was brought in to be so much more than a cheap shot-dealing enforcer. He’s supposed to be a leader and an All Pro at his position.

3 Up, Most Impressive Players:

  • Lavonte David: As guest poster Michael pointed out in an article posted on Monday, Lavonte David should be known across the league for his fantastic play at the linebacker position, not for his questionable decision to shove Geno Smith out of bounds. David had another fantastic game against the Saints, hustling to defend against the run, chipping in as a pass rusher for the second game in a row, and performing well in pass coverage as well.
  • Mason Foster: Foster played fewer than half of the snaps for the Buccaneers on defense, but he took advantage of every play he got. Everyone knows about his key interception, but he was also integral on the goal-line stand for the Bucs in the first half.
  • Davin Joseph: After a rough Week 1, it’s clear that Davin has his legs back underneath him and is ready to be the Pro Bowl guard we all know he can be. He and Demar Dotson paved the way for Doug Martin on several occasions, which is a positive sign for an offense that is going to need to run the football to be effective at all.