That picture above is from last season. Defensive end Robert Ayers had a quiet two tackle game against the Panthers, and hasn’t chipped in much at all this season. With Noah Spence out for the season the Bucs desperately needed a strong game from their veteran end Ayers, and got a complete dud.
This week there was a lot of talk about Simeon Rice returning at age 43, but Ayers dismissed the former Buc great, saying it’s a young man’s game. The 32 year old Ayers set out to prove himself right against the Panthers, and showed that it is indeed a young mans’ game. As quiet as Ayers has been on the field, he remains the team’s best hope for pass rush and simply has to find some juice if the Bucs defense wants to improve.
The Buccaneers simply don’t have a chance when their quarterback plays as poorly as he did against the Panthers. Jameis Winston finished the game 21 of 38 for 210 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a fumble. It the worst game of the season for Winston and the Buccaneer offense, despite a healthy array of weapons.
High winds and an injured shoulder surely played a role in Winston’s disappointing game, his decision making and pocket presence were off all game regardless of the injury. Unfortunately in year three Winston is still prone to dud games like this, and perhaps more so if his shoulder has gotten worse. We’ll see if he can bounce back next week in New Orleans.