Let’s look back at the second game of the preseason for the Buccaneers. What kind of progress did they make?
The Buccaneers have completed two preseason games with a record of 1-1. The team results, however, aren’t important, but the player results are. Are they making progress towards the opening of the regular season? Is the team becoming a cohesive unit? Are any players stepping up and making a name for themselves? These are the important questions of the preseason.
We asked that question here at the Pewter Plank prior to the game.
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Prior to the game, we went roundtable to talk about the issues we wanted to see the Bucs progress on in the game against the Jaguars. Overall it was an up and down night, but did they address the concerns we had here? Let’s talk about it.
Two of the topics mentioned were the running game and the offensive line. Since they are somewhat related, we are going to take them together. Other than in a couple of spots, the running game wasn’t much different from last week. Granted, Doug Martin didn’t play in the game, but nobody stepped up with the additional reps.
The yards per carry did jump to 3.6 which is better, and they did put up 158 yards, but it’s still not where they need it to be. They never got to a point in the game where the running attack was consistent. The line just didn’t get a consistent push. Peyton Barber led the way with 40 yards on 11 carries. Charles Sims was the notable back that saw action, with 20 yards on five carries.
The running game just needs more consistency. In the passing game, however, they looked good, only allowing one sack. This was a good sign for obvious reasons.
The wide receivers did not put in a good showing. Nobody really did anything to put a stamp on a roster spot behind Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and Adam Humphries. After a strong showing last week, Russell Shepard had a drop in the red zone. There were drops all over the field. Austin Seferian-Jenkins led the team with three catches, meaning no wide receiver posted more than two. The quarterbacks weren’t great, but the receivers did them no favors.
Winston only went 3-10, but did lead a 14 play scoring drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Mike Evans. Mike Glennon also led a touchdown drive and was the top passer of the night for the Bucs, going 11-19 for 120 yards. He was just barely over 50% completion percentage, but he had no help from his wide receivers.
Ryan Griffin, on the other hand, is hard to watch. The numbers aren’t horrible as he went 5-10, but the eye test is horrible. He has a terrible problem with ball placement. Whether he is throwing wide, behind guys, or whatever else, the accuracy just isn’t there. We won’t hear much from him in this league unless that changes.
The discipline was better. The numbers only say a little better, as the Bucs went from ten penalties last week to eight this week. However, only one penalty extended a drive by recording a first down. The most influential penalties are the ones that earn the opponent a first down, and the Bucs only gave up one first down via penalty. The Jags gave the Bucs eight. That is a step in the right direction in the discipline category.
The special teams was very up and down. Roberto Aguayo missed two more field goals, making all of us sweat. There are no excuses, he needs to get better. But, there were no turnovers in the return game this week, which was a nice change. The Bucs also averaged 11 yards per return on three punts, which is very solid. That’s a very nice sign.
It was an up and down night. Week three is approaching, and it’s the dress rehearsal. All eyes will be on that one.