Tampa Bay Buccaneers Win First Game of the Season Thanks to Winning in the Trenches


Nov 11, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Donald Penn (70) catches the ball for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There are plenty of big names at the skill positions in Tampa Bay, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Darrelle Revis, Mark Barron, Lavonte David, Dashon Goldson, and Vincent Jackson are among the best at their positions in the entire league.

But they’re not the main reason why the Buccaneers won on Monday.

It was the play of the front five on offense and the front four on defense which gave the Buccaneers a victory against the Miami Dolphins, as the Buccaneers dominated in the trenches all night long and earned a victory as a result.

Offensive Line

Mike Glennon saw the occasional pressure, including being hit as he threw on his lone interception of the night. But apart from a few busted pass protection calls, the offensive line was nearly flawless.

No matter who was lined up at running back for the Buccaneers, they had room to run and gain good yardage. Jamon Meredith has been a welcome addition at left guard, as both he and Davin Joseph can pull to either side on running plays and help pave the way for the running backs.

The Miami Dolphins actually have talent in their front seven, so it was impressive to see the offensive line hold their own and put up an impressive performances. There were mistakes and penalties that will need to be corrected, but overall the Buccaneers did a great job blocking for the run and pass on Monday Night.

Oh, and Donald Penn scored a touchdown, which was a fitting reward for the job he and his teammates did against Miami.

Defensive Line

Gerald McCoy is a beast.

The Buccaneers defensive tackle was getting off the ball quicker than the offensive line for Miami all night long and causing chaos in the middle. He was chasing down running backs and the quarterback until the final whistle, and continuing to show why he’s earned the respect and praise of Warren Sapp, and will likely one day see his name and number on the Ring of Honor where Sapp’s name is now displayed proudly.

But the rest of the defensive line was fantastic, as rookie William Gholston, much-maligned Da’Quan Bowers, and the hard-working Adrian Clayborn all chipped in to stop the run and put some pressure on Ryan Tannehill.

The defensive line was in control, which freed up the linebackers and defensive backs to fly around and make plays. Lavonte David’s safety was allowed thanks to the respect the Tampa Bay defensive line earned as they forced a blown assignment and an open hole for David to shoot through and make the tackle.