Week 17 Recap: Falcons @ Bucs


The season is over and Tampa Bay finishes with a disappointing loss. Jameis Winston and Shaq Barrett have a historic game. Nonetheless, and ironically, Winston finished the season with a pick-six.

Ronald Jones Goes Over 100 Yards

Tampa Bay’s running game was worked well, for a change. Ronald Jones rushed for a total of 106 yards on only 11 carries. That is an average of 9.6 yards. He did lose a fumble on the very first offensive play of the game. Other than that, his performance was highly impressive.

All in all, the Bucs as a team rushed the ball for 136 yards on 21 carries for an average of 6.5 yards. That is very solid and a lot better than Tampa Bay has done all year.

Jameis Winston Passes For Over 5,000 Yards

Winston was able to become one of the very few quarterbacks to pass for more than 5000 yards in one season. His stats for this game were 13/24 for 201 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

To be fair, he had to work without his clear-cut number 1 and number 2 receivers and any quarterback is in trouble if your two favorite targets are sitting out.

Consequently, Breshad Perriman stepped in just nicely again as Winston’s go-to guy. Perriman finished with 134 yards and a touchdown on five catches.

Bucs’ Pass Rush Shines

Shaq Barrett needed a half-sack to break Warren Sapp’s franchise record of 16.5 sacks. He did not have one sack, he had three. So Barrett is the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers sack record holder with 19.5. That concludes his outstanding season and the Buccaneers’ front office will try to find a way to keep Shaq in Tampa.

Beyond that, Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks as well. Vita Vea had another one. In total, the Bucs sacked Matt Ryan six times.

Tragic Figure Of The Game: Matt Gay

Just when the Bucs thought they might finally have found the answer to their kicking woes, Matt Gay proved that he is not the guy. He missed three-out-of-three field goals in this game, which is simply unacceptable. Chances are, if he had made only one of his kicks, it would most likely have been enough to win the game.

Basically, Gay lost that game for the Bucs. Expect him to be gone next season as there will be, yet again, a new kicker in town.

Bucs Lose In Bucs Fashion

With the loss to the Falcons, the Bucs finish the season with a 7-9 record. That gives Tampa the 14th overall pick in the upcoming draft in April. Jason Licht and the front office now have some serious evaluating to do and figure out whether Jameis Winston is their guy for the future.

Hopefully, they stick with Winston. Of course, 30 interceptions are way too many to be successful. However, it was his first year in Bruce Arians no-risk-it-no-biscuit offense. Considering that, and the fact that his numbers so far in his career compare very much to those of legendary quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning, the Bucs should definitely stick with him.

There will be a lot going on in the offseason and the upcoming weeks will certainly be very exciting.

Happy New Year!