The defense bounces back
For the first time all season, the defense led the way for the Buccaneers. After firing Mike Smith last week, Tampa Bay had their best effort of the season. The Bucs limited Cleveland to just 305 total yards.
Tampa was uncharacteristically strong on third down. The Browns converted just 3 of 14 tries. Baker Mayfield was also on the turf a ton as the Bucs sacked him five times.
Despite the four turnovers by the offense, the defense held steady. In the first half alone, when the unit has given up an average of 30 points in their last three contests, they pitched a shutout. Talk about a turnaround.
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It wasn’t an impressive win by any means, but if the defense can replicate Sunday’s performance, Tampa Bay will be in every game.
Offensive line issues
One of the significant keys heading into Sunday’s ballgame was the Buccaneers offensive line play. Myles Garrett and company were poised to wreak havoc in the trenches.
That’s what happened as Garrett dominated his matchup and made multiple Tampa Bay offensive linemen look foolish.
The biggest struggles came from the right guard position. Both Caleb Benenoch and Evan Smith were called for holding penalties.
Both guards also faced problems in the running game and one of the main reasons as to why Peyton Barber had a tough day on the ground.
Donovan Smith faced similar issues. Smith got beat off the edge on multiple instances and gave up a crucial sack late in the game.
Early on in the season, the offensive line looked like to took a step in the right direction. Over the past few weeks, it has regressed mightily.