The Tampa Bay Buccaneers found a way to get back on track on Sunday. While the win brings the Bucs back to .500, they continue to struggle with consistency on both sides of the ball. During the first half, it looked like the Bucs would run away with the game. in the second half, it looked like the Bucs would blow the lead they had and end up 2-4. Then the ending everyone predicted, Chandler Catanzaro from 59 yards away to get the win.
The Offense: The Good
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were perfect in the red zone on Sunday. That’s twice this season they have been perfect (The first was against the eagles 2-2). Last year Tampa Ranked near the bottom of the league (24th) in red zone percentage. Coming into the the season it was a definite focus. The offense seemed strong early on in the game, but struggled in the second half. at least when they got there, they converted it (Well, besides the kicker).
The offense turned the ball over four times. They dominated the game completely and totally in the first half. The second half rolled around and the offense was nowhere to be found. While the offensive line struggled Jameis Winston isn’t free of blame. The interception to Jamie Collins over the middle and the sacks he took towards the end were unacceptable. There is plenty of blame to go around though, O.J Howard had a bad drop that could have been a crucial first down, Cam Brate fumbled. Overall, the offense needs to be better, the Browns took advantage of the mistakes and it almost cost the Bucs.
I was going to give you the kicking stats, but we all know by the time this comes out on Monday, Chandler Catanzaro will not be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker.
The Defense: The Good
This one is easy. Five sacks is the best output by a Buccaneers defense in quite awhile. Carl Nassib showed that he hasn’t forgotten the Browns cutting him. Jason Pierre Paul got pressure on the quarterback like he has been all season and we even had a Will Gholston sighting. Everyone was getting in on the action even without Gerald Mccoy and Vinny Curry on the line. The play calling on defense was aggressive and as expected, the Bucs defense played free. The play makers made plays. It was nice to see from a defense that had underperformed all season. Unfortunately, the loss of Kwon Alexander for any amount of time, will hurt. Add to the kwon injury the possible loss of Cichy for some time, things don’t look great for the Bucs linebacking core. Kendall Beckwith needs to get back on the field soon.
Bonus stat: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense held the Browns to 3-14 on third down. yeah, wow.
This one was crucial. Baker Mayfield came into the game having thrown five interceptions in only four games. The Bucs defense didn’t force him to make any mistakes. I will point out that the LAvonte David forced fumble on 4th down was basically the same thing. That being said, they still should have been able to force a rookie to make a mistake. Sure, the sacks were there, but if this defense had gotten one turnover at some point in the game, this is a totally different ball game. Let’s be honest, the fumble at the end was sheer luck. The defense has to get better at forcing turnovers. The Buccaneers have only one interception this season. They couldn’t get even get a lucky pick from a rookie quarterback. All season they have been good at getting crucial stops. Someone once told me turnovers come in bunches. Let’s hope the “Bunches” happen soon.