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Jameis Winston and some special teams blunders. The defense showed up to the field battered with injuries to their top defense tackle Gerald McCoy and his defensive line mate in Vinny Curry. Injuries took a toll during the game as well to linebackers Kwon Alexander and Jack Cichy. That said Cheap O. J. Howard Jersey , defense dominated the first half for Tampa and saved the offense in overtime under newly promoted defensive coordinator Mark Duffner. Let’s take a look at how the different units performed in this game.The offense imploded on itself and it all started up front. The offensive line as a whole played poorly and because of it, Jameis Winston had very little time to set his feet and get comfortable in this game. Donovan Smith struggled to handle Myles Garrett who would eventually cause some real havoc in the 2nd half on a forced fumble of Jameis Winston that turned into a Cleveland Browns offensive touchdown.It was a frequent issue for the Buccaneers offensive tackles to slow down the Browns edge rush in this ballgame. Emmanuel Ogbah and Myles Garrett combined for 3.5 sacks with another .5 sack picked up by Ogunjobi. Jameis Winston is next up and his play at quarterback in this game left a lot to be desired. The offense in it’s totality put up a lot of yardage and produced only three touchdowns, all via the ground. Winston finished with 10 carries of his own for 55 yards and a scramble touchdown. Where Winston struggled was with turnovers through the air, two poorly thrown balls for interceptions, and taking sacks in situations that were ultimately detrimental to the offenses ability to finish drives for points. Winston’s fumble can be put on the offensive line as Donovan Smith was beat off the snap and ultimately allowed for Garrett to get a clean swat of Winston’s hand in the pocket. The interceptions in this one were all on Jameis though. A late game interception nearly cost the team the “W” as he whiffed on seeing the sitting defender over the middle on a short toss that was intercepted. This definitely wasn’t Jameis’ best game, but luckily for him in this match-up he had a defense there to bail him and the offense out late. The ground game via the running backs was very ineffective which was a bit to be expected as the Browns came in with a very stout defense on the season. Ronald Jones got some more action and turned in a touchdown run along with a 9 yard reception. Jones finished with 7 touches for 22 yards. Peyton Barber led the backs in rushing attempts with 11 that went for 30 yards and he was unable to haul in either of the two targets he received. Rodgers saw most of the late game action as Koetter’s most reliable back when the pressure is on. He saw 4 total touches for 19 yards. Receiving the ball is always a strong suit for this offense and the combination of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin came through again. The two combined with O.J. Howard for 230+ yards receiving. Godwin caught 5 of his 6 targets in the game while Mike Evans topped the century mark. Winston struggled to get the ball to DeSean Jackson, connecting on 40% of his attempts to the speedster. Jackson did manage to score on a rushing attempt in the ballgame. The defense had finally arrived, then briefly left only to return late with a huge stop in overtime. The Tampa Bay defense, now led by Mark Duffner, came out and made a statement in the first half against the Browns. Kwon Alexander had his best half to date and the dynamic duo (on Sunday) of Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib. The fun ended for a brief moment in the 2nd half while Cleveland marched themselves back into the game to eventually tie it up thanks to the Buccaneers offense turning over the football and some special teams blunders but JPP and company clamped down when it mattered most. The defensive line was without two starters, the incumbent All Pro Gerald McCoy and free agent addition Vinny Curry, but Carl Nassib and Pierre-Paul helped lead this defense to some big stops. Nassib had two sacks in the game and JPP added another sack of his own, a 6th that tied the teams high from a season ago. Vea made little impact in the game and the same can be said for the rest of the defensive line. Late in the ball game the Buccaneers struggled up the middle and Nick Chubb was able to capitalize with a touchdown. Vea didn’t play poorly, but he didn’t play like a top 15 pick in this one either. The line backing duo of David and Alexander played incredible in the first half and then the unthinkable happened, Kwon Alexander went down with an injury. Alexander is feared to have torn an ACL, ending his season. Lavonte David will have to step up even more in Kwon’s absence as will Adarius Taylor who filled in the rest of the game. Also injured in this game was Jack Cichy who has quite the injury history of his own. The team will need to consider signing a linebacker and really hoping Kendell Beckwith is able to return from his ankle injury sooner than later. The defensive back’s played an okay game which in and of itself is an improvement of drastic measures over recent weeks. Justin Evans was around the ball often in this game and finished with 8 total tackles. M.J. Stewart, Jordan Whitehead and Carlton Davis all had bounce back games after being gashed the previous week. Overall it was a positive performance from a group that has struggled mightily all season long. Special Teams kept this game much closer than it ever needed to be. Chandler Catanzaro at the end of the day is a hero thanks to his NFL record setting overtime field goal of 59 yards Buccaneers DeSean Jackson Jersey , but he left his mark all over this game thanks to his inability to come through and make kicks. Catanzaro missed an extra point earlier in the game and then failed to knock in a potential game winning field goal as regulation expired. The kicking game in Tampa continues to be a train-wreck. The punt coverage team had a late blunder that squandered an otherwise sound game from the unit. Late in the ball game with the Buccaneers leading by 7, the punt coverage failed to bring down the returner and gave the Browns a 1st down in the red zone from 16 yards out. The Browns would then score on a pass play to Jarvis Landry to lead to a 23-23 tie. The Tampa Bay return men saw zero action on kickoff’s and Adam Humphries had 4 returns on 9 punts with a top return of 13 yards. 465 yards worth a punts from Colquitt gave Humphries little room to wiggle out any big returns. Final Reactions. Watching the defense step up with two starters absent and shut the door after several turnovers by the offense was really the story of this game. For the better part of 2.5 years under Dirk Koetter, the defense has failed when it needed to succeed most. For a brief Sunday afternoon, that changed as Pierre-Paul and Nassib led the charge up front. If the Buccaneers can get this style of defense and energy on a Sunday where the offense is firing on all cylinders then teams will have to really watch out for what this team can do. The Buccaneers head to Cincinnati next week and will face a veteran quarterback with several good weapons out wide, this should be a very good test for the Duffner led Buccaneer defense. On September 16th, which was week two of the NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sat at 2-0 after beating the New Orleans Saints on the road and the Philadelphia Eagles at Home. It seems like a lifetime ago, but that actually happened. These Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 2-0 at one point. What an anomaly that was.The saints haven’t lost since and the Eagles haven’t been what everyone thought they would following their super bowl victory. Nonetheless, it was still an impressive two wins for then starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers, but since then Tampa Bay has shown their true colors of years past and boy oh boy is it ugly. So where do the Buccaneers go from here? I’m glad you asked. Well, first things first, Dirk Koetter needs to be relieved of his job. The Cleveland Browns saw no real change midway through their season and fired Hue Jackson, and the Buccaneers should do the same. What else is there to see over the final 6 games of the season? The ship isn’t going to do a 180, the Buccaneers aren’t going to win out, heck, the Buccaneers might lose out. The team has dropped six of their last seven games and things are spiraling out of control. Someone different is calling the plays every week, whether it be Todd Monken Buccaneers Jason Pierre-Paul Jersey , or Dirk Koetter. The fan base has no clue every Monday who the quarterback is going to be on Sunday. The defense is on pace to be the worst defense in NFL history. The offense is turning the ball over at an all-time rate, while the defense hasn’t forced a turnover since Week 3. Yup, that’s right, it’s been almost two full months since the Buccaneers defense has taken the ball away.For the better part of two years now, Dirk Koetter has waisted talented football teams. Sure Jason Licht has whiffed on players here and there, but he has done more than enough to surround Dirk Koetter and this coaching staff with talent. I give Koetter a pass for that first year because he was a rookie head coach in the National Football League, that’s no easy task, but the last two years are on him, plain and simple. Not everything is his fault, but a good majority of it is and the problems that have plagued this team for the last two years aren’t getting fixed and seem to be only getting worse and that falls directly on Koetters shoulders. When the Buccaneers sat at 3-5, Koetter had a chance to save himself with games against the injured Redskins and a bad Giants team to get back to .500, but both resulted in losses in typical Buccaneer fashion and all but sealed Koetter’s fate as the head coach. As I mentioned before, Koetter isn’t the only problem with this team. This defense needs a complete overhaul, and by overhaul, I mean pretty much everyone outside of 4-5 players need to go. It’s that bad. The only players, who to me are completely untouchable on the defensive side of the ball, are Jason Pierre-Paul Cheap Lavonte David Jersey , Carlton Davis, Lavonte David, Justin Evans and Carl Nassib. You can add Kwon Alexander into the mix, but who knows what his health will be come 2019. The Buccaneers need to start from scratch on the defensive side of the ball. Whomever the GM is next season, I can guarantee that drastic changes will be made. The Buccaneers have the highest paid defensive line in the league and outside of Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib, every single player has under-performed. They are 19th in the league with 25 sacks, but JPP and Nassib have combined for 14 of those sacks. The defensive line has a crew full of run stoppers in a pass happy league. This, of course comes back to Mike Smith’s philosophy of stopping the run as their first priority instead of containing the high octane offenses in the NFC South. The one consistent thing that the Buccaneers do well is manage the salary cap, which allows them to move in different directions with players, even if it’s only after one year. As of right now, the Buccaneers have close to $16 million dollars available to spend next off-season, but that number will likely be closer to $25 million if the NFL continues to increase the salary cap.The Buccaneers can free up extra cap space by making these five moves. 1. Cut or trade Gerald McCoy and save $13 million dollars. Look, McCoy has been a great player for this organization for many years, but it’s time to move on, for both sides. He hasn’t looked himself for the majority of the last two seasons and is turning 31 years old in February. He has even said himself that his knees are starting to bother him and that he only has a few more years left. To me, this is a no brainer and the team could spend $13 million in better places. 2. Cut Vinny Curry and save $8 million dollars. Curry has simply been a huge disappointment for Tampa Bay this season. He is battling ankle issues, but in the games where he has been healthy Buccaneers Ali Marpet Jersey , I’ve hardly noticed him. He will also be 31 years old next season and an $8 million dollar cap hit for someone who doesn’t consistently get to the quarterback is far too much. 3. Cut William Gholston and save $3.75 million. No excusing Jason Licht for this one, it was a terrible move. What more can you say? In a day and age where defensive lineman need to be able to rush the passer, 1 sack in the last year and a half is simply unacceptable. 4. Cut Mitch Unrein and save $3.75 million. He has yet to play a game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has been in the concussion protocol since early August. You honestly have to wonder if he will ever play football again at this point, but the team can spend that money elsewhere, maybe to help their putrid offensive line. 5. Cut DeSean Jackson and save $10 million dollars. Jackson just isn’t fitting in with the Buccaneers and the experiment is turning into a disaster. It seems like everytime he is targeted the ball gets intercepted. Maybe the new regime will want to keep him and find better ways to get him the ball, but I just don’t see it. The Buccaneers have the weapons to replace Jackson’s production as a team. He will also be 32 years old next season and one has to wonder when father time will cut into his big play ability. Those five moves would free up an additional $38.5 million dollars for Tampa Bay, which would put them at around $64.5 million dollars in available cap space. I could also see them moving on from Cameron Brate, who has been a lost cause this season. This move would free up an additional $7 million dollars. Outside of Koetter and the defensive issues, there is another glaring issue for this football team, and that’s the offensive line. It’s simply atrocious. I get that Koetter has his vertical scheme and this offensive line is asked to do a lot, but my god every play the quarterback is under pressure way too often.The Caleb Benenoch experiment has been a failure and he continues to prove that week by week. The Buccaneers will need to find a solution at left guard next season. Whether it be Alex Cappa, who has yet to dress for an NFL game or an outside option, a change needs to happen. Demar Dotson is a shell of his former self and has gotten beat way too many times this season, but is due a modest $4.85 million next season, so it wouldn’t shock me to see him get one more year, simply because there may not be a better option out there. Ryan Jensen, who is the highest paid center in the NFL Cheap Donovan Smith Jersey , is currently playing like a top 20 center, not a top 5. Ali Marpet is fantastic and the Buccaneers are fortunate to have locked him up for the long haul before he got to FA. The last remaining player is Donovan Smith, and the Buccaneers will face a tough decision on what to do with the former Nittany Lion. Smith, is in his fourth year and is having an up and down season in a contract year. Sometimes the effort is there, other times it is not and you wonder what the hell he is doing. He is still way to inconsistent, which is why it’s going to be extremely difficult to pay him the money he wants. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Buccaneers move on and look towards the draft for his replacement. So to recap, that’s four of five positions on the offensive line that are either under-performing or are way too inconsistent. That’s simply too many and an issue that must be fixed by the new regime that takes over.We didn’t dive deep into the Jameis Winston debate in this article, but that’s due to the fact that the next six weeks will likely decide whether or not the team picks up his fifth year option.It is going to be an interesting next few months inside the walls of One Buc Place, but in order for this franchise to be turned around, three things must happen. Hire a competent, well rounded coaching staff that will help develop Jameis Winston and adapt to his style of play, fix the defense in nearly every way outside of a few players and retool at least two offensive line positions this off-season. It’ll be a fun one, folks. At least we get to look forward to another off-season of changes.


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