Once again the Bucs win on the road, overcoming the Titans 30 points to 14 and looking dominant in stretches. Again, I’m not going to get overly excited, after all the Lions went undefeated before losing 16 straight games during the regular season. What I will do, is applaud the individual effort of a great many of the players, as follows.
Ryan Fitzpatrick did what was asked of him and did it well. Yes, he did miss on a couple of long passes, but he did make the defense back off and respect that long ball.
Todd Monken opened up the playbook a little and showed that he needs to be the guy calling plays in the regular season.
Peyton Barber is clinging to that starting role and doesn’t look like letting go anytime soon. Solid running and looks like he’s capable of being the workhorse out of the backfield.
The offensive line worked well as a unit, good pass blocking and opening seams for the running game. This group will be the life or death of the offense, so it’s great to see them starting to gel. Hopefully an upward trend and things can only get better.
All the wide receivers looked good with great routes and getting balls that were on target. It was awesome to see players being moved around and I expect this will have more impact during the regular season when a counter defense is called.
The defensive line created good pressure, but again, only came away with a single sack. Maybe Coach Buckner can answer if this is the pass rush, or is he holding something back?
Linebackers we’re flying around and making plays, this will be a hard group to pare down when cut day comes. The defensive backs were solid throughout, although at times weren’t tested by Blaine Gabbert or Luke Falk.
Chandler Catanzaro went perfect on the night and greatly alleviated concerns in his ability to make kicks.
You might have noticed that Jameis Winston hasn’t been mentioned yet? As brilliant as the Bucs franchise QB was we have to remember that another 5 games will be played before Winston takes a meaningful snap, 3 of those games Jameis won’t be anywhere near. This is a player who has been known to play hot and cold; however we can all be hopeful that this is a taste to show that it’s finally clicked for Winston.
Honourable mention goes to Ryan Griffin. If the worst happens to Fitzpatrick, I’m actually very comfortable with Griffin being the backup and the team needs to find a way to keep this guy around. I really don’t think he can be snuck onto the practice squad, so the Bucs may need to carry 3 Quarterbacks through the season.