Sitting at a two-four record at the bye week, the Bucs record is not what the players, coaches, and numerous fans anticipated them to be at for the duration of their week off.
There’s been a series of ups and downs this season for the Bucs, with the highest of highs coming in an upset win more than the Los Angeles Rams in Week four, to the lowest of lows coming from final Sunday, exactly where seven turnovers committed in London gave Tampa Bay their worst loss of the season and two straight defeats.
With the players getting a week off just before they play the Titans in Week eight, we examine the fantastic and the terrible from the offense, defense, and unique teams.
Enhanced Rushing Attack
Bruce Arians stated the Bucs have been going to run the ball a lot more when he took more than as head coach and he has stuck to his word. The Bucs are averaging 98.two yards per game, which is 13 yards larger then the Bucs’ 85.five typical by means of six games in 2018, but you also have to aspect in who was operating the ball. Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick have been the Bucs second and third top rushers in 2018, accounting for 433 yards of the Bucs rushing offense.
Winston this year has only ran for just 38 yards. The Bucs are having production from their operating backs the way it ought to be, giving assistance so the offense is not one particular dimensional.
The greatest support to the run game this year has been the improvement of Ronald Jones. In his second year, Jones has benefitted from the new coaching employees and a lot more importantly, a confident thoughts set. Even though he and Peyton Barber have shared the carries, Jones is the one particular that has offered a correct spark when in the game, generating defenders miss and hitting the hole. The run game has had an influence this season, which couldn’t be stated a year prior. At some point Jones ought to develop into the starter, only assisting the result in.
All-Pro Season For Chris Godwin
Godwin has hands down been the greatest offensive player for the Bucs this season. He is effectively on his way to the 100-catch season that Arians had predicted this offseason, and is also on the path to his initial Pro Bowl, if not All-Pro honors. Godwin leads all of the NFL in getting yards and touchdowns, with 662 and six respectively.
At instances it appears like Godwin and Winston are just playing pitch and catch out there. Godwin certainly positive aspects from defenses focusing on Mike Evans, but 3 straight games of more than 125 getting yards is impressive no matter who your teammate is. Arians also stated he’s one particular of the greatest blockers in the run game, once again proving how beneficial he is. Godwin is the Bucs’ group MVP by means of six games.
As well Quite a few Sacks
The greatest story this previous week was Jameis Winston’s six-turnover fiasco in London. Some of these interceptions can be attributed to poor protection but Winston bears some duty for the quantity of time he’s been taken down in 2019.
The Bucs have been sacked 13 instances in the final two games and 25 instances on the year, which is third worst in the NFL.
“The greatest point is holding onto the ball and having sacked,” Arians stated on Winston’s challenges. “First of all, you do not want him to get hurt. When you make one particular guy miss, or you scramble to the side of the field [and] there are no receivers, throw it away. It is pretty uncomplicated.”
The offensive line continues to take one particular step forward and one particular step back, going from shutting down Aaron Donald to permitting seven sacks in London. Even with promising performances from Ryan Jensen, Donovan Smith and Cappa, it nonetheless hasn’t been adequate to hold Winston up suitable.
The Disappearance of O.J. Howard In The Pass Game
Absolutely everyone had such higher hopes for Howard coming into his third year, with the only query coming into coaching camp was if he could keep healthier for 16 games. But a slow begin to this season has turned the query regardless of whether he can nonetheless be viable for the offense.
Howard has 13 catches for 176 yards and no touchdowns this year. He was shut out in Week two at Carolina and has 3 catches more than the final two games with some drops mixed in amongst there. Meanwhile, Cameron Brate has had 12 catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns although playing substantially much less snaps. Howard’s been an critical aspect blocking in the run game, but a lot more is anticipated from the former Alabama star as a getting threat.
Very best Run Defense In The NFL
Christian McCaffrey (twice), Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara. These are the greatest operating backs in the league and a lineup of players that the Bucs shut down all in consecutive weeks.
The Bucs defense have a league-low 68 yards rushing permitted per game and it is a lot more impressive provided the players they have stopped. Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh have clogged up the middle, permitting no teams to discover their footing in the ground game. Teams like the Rams and Saints didn’t even bother attempting to run against the Bucs mainly because of how fantastic their front has been. They’ve basically forced teams to pass the ball on just about every down.
The highlight of the defense has been Shaq Barrett and his nine sacks, but teams are focusing on him now and he’s cooled off more than the final two weeks. A single of the a lot more impressive units on the defense has been the middle linebackers and how deep their depth has been.
Lavonte David has been a rock on defense, continuing to be one particular of the most underrated players at the position. He’s in on most plays although flying about the field, and it is no surprise that he leads the defense with 41 tackles. The wonderful depth of the Bucs linebacker came from the production of Kevin Minter, who replaced an injured Devin White for 3 games.
Minter hasn’t missed a beat when taking more than for White. And speaking of White, he’s had to battle by means of some challenging injuries to begin the year, but in his return in Week six, White led the group in tackles with eight. He’s got a lot of football left ahead. Out of all the positions on defense, inside linebacker is the least regarding in terms of worrying about placing in a backup ought to a starter go down.
This is a narrative that has been beaten into the ground currently, but it nonetheless rings correct. The Bucs secondary has produced rookie and backup quarterbacks appear like Super Bowl MVPs. Vernon Hargreaves has struggled going against opponents quantity one particular wide receivers. Carlton Davis, although far better than in his rookie season gets flagged also normally for holding and pass interference penalties. M.J. Stewart has enhanced but nonetheless struggles at instances, and Sean Murphy-Bunting is nonetheless understanding how to play at this level.
The Bucs continue to get torched in the passing game with 304 yards per game, final in the NFL. As fantastic as the run defense has been, it does’t truly matter if you can not quit any one on second and third down. Receivers are left wide open, and no one particular appears to have an answer. The speedy rookie Jamel Dean has returned from a knee injury, but that does not imply it will repair every thing.
Lack Of Pass Rush Outdoors Of Shaq Barrett
The begin to this season for Shaq Barrett was practically nothing brief of spectacular. By way of 4 games Barrett had nine sacks with 3 forced fumbles and interception. But given that then he’s received a lot more double teams as offenses important up on him, and Barrett has gone sackless in the final two.
Barrett’s nine sacks make up a majority of the 13 on the season. Carl Nassib has two, Will Gholston has one particular, and Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea every have a half sack. Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen had all day to throw final Sunday, as did Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a week prior. As a great deal as the secondary has struggled, they haven’t received a great deal support from the pass rush unless Barrett is the one particular performing it. Aid could be on the horizon, even though, with Jason Pierre-Paul returning prating for the duration of the bye week.
Matt Gay’s Improvement Because Week three
Worry of the Bucs kicker curse produced waves to Raymond James Stadium when Matt Gay missed a game winning 34-yarder in Week three as the Bucs fell to the Giants 32-31. Gay also missed an further point on the initial score of the game and had his subsequent one particular blocked. Because that game, Gay has regrouped and been productive for the Bucs, particularly from extended variety.
In weeks 4 by means of six, Gay has hit all 11 further points and produced all 4 of his field ambitions. 3 of these 4 field ambitions have been beyond 40 yards, hitting them from 41, 54 and 58 yards. He tends to make the longest of field ambitions appear uncomplicated and appears to have figured out how any early kicking problems he had been getting.
Return Game Disaster
Field position is so critical in the NFL and the Bucs haven’t been capable to flip it a great deal. Each the kick and punt return game has failed to garner any sort of massive return. Bobo Wilson had two.eight yards per punt return on this season and has given that been released by the Bucs for a lack of production. T.J. Logan was particularly brought in by the Bucs to return kicks. It is been his only duty for Tampa Bay and he’s been a non-aspect as effectively.
Touchbacks are widespread on kickoffs and that will take place, but when taking kicks out Logan has averaged just 18 yards per return. Logan also had a head scratching return in Los Angeles with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Bucs up 11. Rather of taking a the touchback, he returned the ball for just 11 yards and pinned the Bucs back deep in a challenging scenario. Winston sooner or later threw a choose six to reduce the game to eight, but the Bucs held on to win. Logan could have a possibility to be the new punt returner and see if he can be an upgrade.