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


Oct 13, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback

Nick Foles

(9) is pressured by Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker

Lavonte David

(54) during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won 31-20. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to 0-5 on Sunday after another second-half collapse, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles. And while most of the attention lately has fallen on head coach Greg Schiano, the players on the field are still responsible for their failures, and should be praised for their solid performances.

So let’s take a moment to forget about the state of the franchise and the inability of the head coach, and consider the best and worst performers for the Bucs on Sunday.

Three Up: Three Best Bucs Players Against Philadelphia

  • Vincent Jackson: That toe-tapping catch on the fade route is reason enough to be a top performer, but throw in his other touchdown and his general good day and he’s a clear choice as one of the three best Buccaneers on the day. Sunday’s performance was the kind of effort I expected from Jackson all season, because he’s incredibly tough to cover. But drops and poor quarterback play have held him back so far.
  • Tim Wright: I have no problem admitting when I was wrong, and I was very wrong on Tim Wright. He started to show flashes of ability during Week 4, and he absolutely broke out during Week 6. It’s a bit of a shame he didn’t get to play with Josh Freeman, as we know from history that Freeman can be proficient when throwing to a talented tight end. But those days are gone, and Mike Glennon is developing a “safety valve” relationship with Tim Wright.
  • Lavonte DavidLavonte has been the best 4-3 outside linebacker in the NFL this season. He’s rushed the passer in a way we didn’t see in his rookie season, and he’s continued to dominate against the run. Add in his above average play in coverage, and this is a superstar in the making at linebacker for the Bucs.

Three Down: Three Worst Bucs Players against Philadelphia

  • Jeremy Zuttah: While the entire middle of the offensive line was woeful all day, Zuttah combined a lack of protection and blocking for the pass and run with costly penalties. He was being beaten on many plays, and committed penalties to try to correct his mistakes. It was a very disappointing day for a usually reliable player.
  • Tiquan Underwood: Is this really the player that half of Buc Nation was so upset about losing? Underwood was downright awful, showing a lack of effort on multiple plays. He should not be on this team, as he proved during training camp and the preseason. The offensive pass interference penalty showed an incredible lack of awareness, as the defender had no chance at the ball and Underwood was turned around and shoved into his facemask.
  • Johnthan Banks: Banks was not good enough to handle Riley Cooper on Sunday, and that’s concerning. The rookie corner for the Bucs has shown some great moments so far in his career, but Sunday was full of very forgettable plays. Being the non-Revis corner is tough, and Banks will continue to get picked on as long as he’s across from Darrelle. Let’s see if he finds a way to bounce back and show some resilience.