The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were home for a big game against the defending Super Bowl Champions and their stifling defense. The game started out with the Broncos picking off Winston on his first pass attempt. This one was a mess from the start, so let’s take a look at today’s winners and losers.
Winner: Defensive Tackle Clinton McDonald
Gerald McCoy went down early in this game with a calf injury and the Buccaneers line really needed to get a boost from somewhere. Clinton McDonald came through with 1.5 sacks and was a beast up the middle. He finished the game with eight tackles and performed admirably in the absence of pretty much every other Buccaneers defensive linemen.
Loser: Offensive Line
Did you really expect the offensive line to have a good game against a top pass rushing defense in the NFL? The Buccaneers pay calling was not great but they couldn’t get a good run off outside or up the middle and Winston was pressured all day. Winston was hurried 20 times, knocked down 15, and sacked 6 times. They also only had 72 rush yards on 2.8 yards per carry. Proving they really miss Doug Martin and Luke Stocker. Man if only the Bucs had a pass rush like the Broncos.
Winner: Linebacker Kwon Alexander
Kwon Alexander has quietly become the Buccaneers best defensive player period. Recording seven tackles, a sack, and controlled the middle of the field. The one two punch of Kwon and Lavonte are up there for top linebacker duos in the NFL, now if they could only find a way to get off the field.
Loser: Safety Chris Conte
He just seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whether it’s penalties or blown coverage he needs to get off the field. Honestly fourth round rookie Ryan Smith should be on the field to see what he can do. He can’t be much worse than what Conte is now. I mean pass interference in the end zone and defensive holding on third down is just poor play all around.
Winner: Tight End Cameron Brate
He may not have had the best statistical game but he’s a top two target of Jameis Winston from here on out. He has been super reliable and comes down with almost every pass that comes his way. He had solid numbers today with five catches and 67 yards. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a complete afterthought with Brate on the field. Now only if they can get all their other players healthy they may have a solid team.
Loser: Cornerback Brent Grimes
He just always seems to slip and be trailing receivers. He had a few opportunities at picks that were dropped but he allowed big plays and touchdowns because he can’t get off the turf. The Buccaneers secondary has struggled and Grimes has yet to prove to me that he is a capable number one cornerback. Vernon Hargreaves has been the best corner on the team but he’s just rookie. Grimes needs a pass rush to be effective and when the Bucs can’t keep a healthy player on the field everyone is going to have trouble covering NFL receivers.
Hey look on the bright side atleast they don’t have to face an angry division rival on a prime time game….. Oh wait. Welp it’s about that time to be looking forward to next season. Sorry Bucs fans.