Buccaneers game grades: 2017 Week 3 loss in Minnesota
The Buccaneers offensive line isn’t going to be the story of this one. Which is a good thing for them.
Had the line become the story, then it would mean Vikings like Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph had big impacts on the final score.
As it stands, they did not. Griffen did come away with one sack of Jameis Winston, but it was on a superb play by the veteran defensive lineman, rather than a slight on the offensive line.
Second-string nose tackle Shamar Stephen also came away with a sack, as the Vikings got in to the Bucs’ third-year quarterback two times on the day.
I came into this game with big concerns about Donovan Smith and how he might hold up against this Vikings defense.
Instead, I should have been worried about Ali Marpet.
Marpet with two bad snaps in back-to-back series, including one on third down to open the second half.
Later, the stud lineman who moved to center this season had a snap infraction after he improperly moved the ball prior to the snap.
These are mental mistakes, and simply can’t happen if the Buccaneers are going to be real competitors for the NFC South division crown.
The center makes the whole thing move. If he’s not right, the entire offense can’t be right.