The Buccaneers came into this game being one game behind the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC South division lead. With the Falcons easily handling the Arizona Cardinals today the Buccaneers really needed a win to still have a shot at the playoffs.
More from The Pewter Plank
- Devin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on Twitter
- ESPN predicts surprising outcome to Devin White trade saga
- Updated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicamp
- Todd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with Bucs
- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
The Buccaneers may have gained some new fans this week. After beating Kansas City at home they came back to Tampa to take on the Seattle Seahawks. In a game where the Bucs knew that the Falcons won earlier, they needed to win to keep up in the division. This was the most exciting game for Bucs fans all season. The Bucs offense came to play early and the defense did the rest.
The Bucs won a defensive slugfest 14-5. That’s not the score of the Rays vs Mariners baseball game, that was a professional NFL game. The Bucs came to play today so let’s look at who stood out and who needs to step up.
Winner: Cornerback Alterraun Verner
I have to give this man some props. Two days after the passing of his father he came to play against the Seattle Seahawks. Like last season when Kwon played in honor of his fallen brother, Verner had his best game of the season. Towards the end of the first half the Seahawks were driving and almost in scoring range. Verner read the pass perfectly and stole it away from Doug Baldwin. The Bucs unfortunately ran out of time to score before the end of the half but it was definitely the emotional boost the Bucs needed to get this team some energy.
Loser: Tight End Luke Stocker
A tight end known for his blocking had an unfortunate incident today. With the Bucs deep in their own territory Luke was bull rushed by Frank Clark and as he was falling down he pulled Clark with him. The penalty occurred in the end zone resulting in a safety for the Seahawks. The Bucs did not allow a lot of points today and when you cause a play that gives the other team points, you are going to be a loser this week.
Winner: Defensive Line
What a difference a week makes. Last week against Kansas City the Bucs put no pressure on Alex Smith and although he didn’t put up huge numbers he was able to move the ball well. This week against one of the weaker offensive lines in the NFL, the defensive line pressured the heck out of Russell Wilson all day long.
Rookie Noah Spence is second in sacks for rookies this year, recorded 1.5 today. Practice squad player Ryan Russell had a big one late after just joining the team this week. Gerald McCoy had 1.5 and he even had one in the fourth quarter! The Bucs line had five sacks today, Kwon Alexander had one, and with all the pressure they put on Wilson they were able to shut down an incredibly potent offense for the entire game.
Loser: Offensive Tackle Demar Dotson
Late in the fourth quarter the Bucs were driving and in the red zone. Winston threw a touchdown to Cameron Brate and things looked locked up. However, just like every week it seems, Demar Dotson had a drive killing penalty. Illegal use of hands was called, a completely unnecessary penalty, taking six points off the board. The next play it was third and eighteen and Winston forced a pass to Mike Evans resulting in a bad interception. Demar Dotson is the worst offensive lineman on the team not because of his blocking but because of the stupid and ill-timed penalties he causes week in and week out.
Winner: Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Mike Evans is still the best offensive weapon the Bucs team has. Evans looked like a man on a mission in the first half today. He scored two touchdowns on the team’s first two possessions. They were the only points the team had, and the only points the team needed. Evans had to face one the toughest corners in the entire league this year and he came to play.
Recording eight catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Evans is the most targeted receiver in the league and week in and week out he is making plays. The only issue I have is Winston is forcing throws to him. This team needs a strong number two next season to give them one of the best passing offenses in the league.
Loser: Kicker Roberto Aguayo
In a game where points where there was 19 total points, the Bucs could’ve used the added insurance. Before the two minute warning Aguayo missed a 48 yard field goal. Aguayo has been surprisingly consistent after the bye but this week he missed his lone field goal attempt. With a mark of 9/11 since the bye week fans were starting to ease off the rookie kicker. He’s still got a lot to prove if he wants to have a long-term career as an NFL kicker. One positive is he didn’t miss any extra points, which we all know is not automatic anymore.
Bonus Winner: Bucs Fans
It’s amazing guys, the Bucs are on a three game winning streak. I don’t even know how long it has been since the last time they’ve won three in a row. Not only that but they beat two of the top seven teams in the NFL and their defense has only surrendered three touchdowns in those three weeks. After a slow start to the season the Bucs are actually relevant entering December. Get excited Bucs fans we are not looking towards the draft we are looking at the playoffs.
The Bucs are still one game behind the division leading Atlanta Falcons. If there is one game this team needed to jump-start them, beating the Seattle Seahawks is a GIANT step towards late season relevancy. The Bucs are 6-5 on the season heading into the home stretch of the regular season. Every game here on out is huge and it will be fun to watch if the Bucs can make a run at January football.