Buccaneers Report Card: Offense


Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) talks to his teammates on the sidelines in the second half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This loss hurts more than others due to the fact that the Bucs were once again relevant in the playoff race and lost a very winnable game against a team that had lost the previous 5 out of 6 games. In a game where it is hard to imagine a team not being pumped up for in a rare primetime contset, this team came out flat in all phases of the game and because of it, the playoff hopes are all but gone for this young team. These are my grades for each position on the offense.


Jameis Winston was feeling the pressure of St. Louis’ front seven all night as noone could account for Aaron Donald, the best defensive tackle in the game. It seemed like the entire offense came out deflated and played like last week’s loss was their last hope. Winston was not very accurate in the first half and missed on some key throws, including a deep ball to Mike Evans that looked like it could have been a touchdown. The second half in garbage time boded well for Winston in which he threw for over 300 yards alone and tossed 2 touchdowns. Winston ended the game with career highs in pass attempts (50) and passing yards (363). Despite the numbers, Jameis did not play very well and losing Vincent Jackson to an injured knee last week clearly affected his play with lack of many options to throw to.

Grade: C

Running Back:

Once again game flow is the only reason Doug Martin didn’t have another great day on the ground. He finished the game with 18 carries for 91 yards but didn’t get the ball much in the second half as usual due to the score not being in the Buccaneers favor. He looked like the Dougernaut of all year running with intensity and power and tearing apart the Rams defense almost every time he touched the ball. After this game, I still feel like the Bucs need to find a way to keep Martin this offseason as he is the key to opening up this offense and letting Winston succeed. As far as Sims goes, he also had a good day by adding 7 carries for 50 yards and showing how good of a 1-2 punch these two running backs could really be.

Grade: A

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends:

Mike Evans looked much better this game in my opinion and only dropped one pass which is not a bad day. He finished the day with 9 receptions for 157 yards and showed at times that he could be the number 1 receiver for this team in the future. Yes, I have seen the dropped balls this season (9 and leads the NFL) but that has a large part to do with the massive amounts of targets that he is seeing especially when Vincent Jackson is not in the lineup. A lot of the stats for this one were elevated because of garbage time as well but he did make some nice catches and got open on a consistent basis. Adam Humphries was the next most effective receiver securing 6 catches for 60 yards. He has shown at times that he could turn into the #3 receiver with his shiftiness and good hands, it will be interesting to see him develop. Austin Seferian-Jenkins still has yet to show what all the hype has been about finishing with just 3 receptions for 29 yards and a late TD. I still am part of the few that believe he will be special eventually but I am getting sick of waiting and want to see an impact game soon! Overall, the receivers put up good number largely in part to game flow but didn’t play badly.

Grade: B

Offensive Line:

The Bucs offensive line has been inconsistent all season and this was one of the rough games. Run blocking was there as they opened up holes for Doug Martin and Charles Sims on a consistent basis. Pass blocking however was not a strength Sunday as Jameis was feeling the pressure for most of the night against one of the better front sevens in the NFL. This needed to be a game where the O-line dominated and showed what they could be but instead it was another mediocre performance at best. I still think the Buccaneers are missing a few pieces on the line and need to address it this offseason. However, give this line time and it could be great with Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet growing with every game.

Grade: C-

Offensively the first half aside from Martin was a disaster but picked it up in the second half due to chasing points. This offense has a lot of talent but is still a playmaker at receiver and a couple offensive lineman away from being one of the best in the NFL.