Buccaneers Game Grades: 2017 Week 6 loss to Arizona Cardinals
Let’s start with the big question about the Bucs defensive backfield. What has happened to Vernon Hargraves? Starting at a play Vernon should have made back in the first quarter, he reads that the play is going to be a run. Hargarves moves up into the gap, unblocked, and misses the tackle.
Staying on Hargrave still, one bright spot in his play from Sunday was when David got the force fumble for a touchdown. Instead of playing 8-10 yards off the line, like he has been, you can see Hargraves playing 5 yards off which in return helped close the running lane causing the ball carrier to run onto David for the fumble.
Brent Grimes is the prime example of how a true veteran player plays the game. Looking back at his interception, Grimes multi tasks by playing his zone tight while keeping an eye on the quarterback. This allowed him to change his direction of movement before the ball made its way to the intended receiver.
We got a few looks at Javion Elliot who recorded no stats for the day. He did get beat a bit on a few plays, but luckily the ball wasn’t thrown his way on those plays.
Since starting against the New England Patriots, safety Justin Evans has showed flashes of a good football player. He finished the day with one assisted tackle and six solo. He has athleticism to cover his areas of responsibility. With more reps, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be a starter on this team.
T.J. Ward also returned this game, but still seems he needs some time to fully understand the defensive playbook.
Carson Palmer made to many deep connections with his receivers for the Buccaneers defensive backfield to go home happy about. At times it seemed as they weren’t aware of their assignments early in the game. Also the aggressiveness was not there as far as playing closer to your man.