After a dominating victory in week three at Denver, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprisingly pulled out a 38-31 win against the Los Angeles Chargers in week four. The first half for the Buccaneers was a nightmare; they were down as much as 24-7. But late game heroics by Tom Brady saved them.
The Buccaneers didn’t start to pick up their play until the second half. Although being down 24-7, then 24-14 in the first half, Brady went full force to help them win. Tampa Bay’s quarterback threw for 369-yards and five touchdowns. Without Chris Godwin in the lineup today, he had to relay on nine other receivers to get the job done.
Mike Evans was tackled awkwardly in the first half and went to the locker room. He came back and practically willed himself to finish the game. Evans had 122-yards and one touchdown. After each play, he hobbled back to the line. A true testament to the player he is.
O.J. Howard had 50-yards and a touchdown, however his season is unfortunately over with a torn Achilles.
Rob Gronkowski got into the mix with 29-yards. And rookie, Ke’Shawn Vaughn had 22 receiving yards. Ronald Jones II had a great game as well with 111-yards.
Brady’s biggest target late in the game was Scotty Miller who had 83-yards and a touchdown. Miller was fantastic yesterday and really helped the Buccaneers take that game.
Even with the late victory, Brady and crew pulled it out. The offense was unstoppable in the second half, and the Buccaneers were able to learn from early mistakes. Plus the dropped balls has been killing the Buccaneers all season, and that trend continued on Sunday.
The Buccaneers’ defense looked very human on Sunday. They only had two sacks from Shaquil Barrett and Jordan Whitehead. But the secondary was a huge issue for the Buccaneers. Sean Murphy-Bunting got burned so many times and really hurt Tampa Bay’s chances early on.
Nothing dynamic really happened until late in the game when Carlton Davis picked off Justin Herbert. But the defense was atrocious throughout the majority of the game. They finally picked up steam towards the end when the Buccaneers had momentum. But other than that, they weren’t anything special.
With a game coming up on Thursday in Chicago, neither the offense nor defense has time to waste when it comes to practice. So they better use the time wisely.
On the Los Angeles side of the ball, rookie Justin Herbert was spectacular. Throwing for 290-yards and three touchdowns, the Chargers’ quarterback had an answer for Todd Bowel’s defense.
Los Angeles wide receiver, Jalen Guyton had 72-yards and a touchdown. Star receiver, Keenan Allen caught for 68-yards. The Chargers’ offense and defense really showed up on Sunday and made it difficult for the Buccaneers to do anything.
One of the major issues with the Buccaneers’ performance yesterday was their lack of discipline. Just like in week one in New Orleans, Tampa Bay took a handful of bad penalties. Eight penalties to be exact, the Chargers weren’t much better, taking seven.
The Buccaneers led in total yards with 484, compared to Los Angeles’ 324. Total rushing yards, Tampa Bay had 115; Los Angeles had a mere 46. Tampa Bay led in every category except in 4th down efficiency.
The Buccaneers by some miracle are a 3-1 -football team. What they need to really work on is being a complete team and not just a one half club. They play a great first half, then shutdown in the second. They can’t win games that way.
Going into Chicago to face the 3-1 Bears will be a heavy task. The Bears are just as good as Tampa Bay; it’s actually a pretty even matchup. If the Buccaneers want to come out with four straight wins, they must work on getting better on both sides of the ball.
If they faced any other team yesterday, they would have lost. Thursday is just a few days away, and time is not on their side.