The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tasted the sweet nectar of victory for the first time in the 2017 season, defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 12-8 in a closer than the stats indicated type game.
After reviewing the tape, what did I get right in my DLT’s Doubloons article? What did I get wrong? Let’s find out.
What I Got Right
Jameis had a brilliant ball game with the exception of one or two plays. It was revealing watching the episode of Hard Knocks and Dirk riding Jameis, “You are too good to do this kinda stuff. You can’t do this. You can’t.”
Dirk doesn’t want to coach the playmaker out of Jameis but this wasn’t making a play, this was as the coach said, greed. Jameis can get greedy and when he does, bad things happen for the Buccaneers.
What we really need to talk about is Winston’s overall improvement. Jameis is completing 71.4% of his passes. That’s a 10 point improvement over his previous career best. It’s also not like he’s suddenly become Captain Checkdown either, Winston is still at a healthy 7.0 average per pass, down just 0.4% from his career average.
Now imagine if Mike Evans holds on to that 42-yard bomb in the second quarter?
What I Got Wrong
Jeremy McNichols wasn’t as great as I originally thought, only averaging 2.9 yards a carry and barely having an impact in the game. It’s been tough sledding for the rookie, as we’ve seen in Hard Knocks he’s struggled to pick up the playbook.
He got his most extensive action of the preseason but didn’t record a reception and managed 32 yds on 11 carries.
The Monday Night Football crew used the Bucs and Jaguars game as their first tune-up of the season. Of course, Jon Gruden is always brilliant. He is one of the most entertaining commentators of the networks covering the league. Unfortunately, he’s paired with one of the most boring play-by-play guys in the business in Sean McDonough.
What The Buc Moment of the Game
Doug Martin capped the best drive of the preseason by the Bucs offense with an impressive run to the pylon.
Touchdown Doug Martin, capping an 83-yard drive!
Offense back out there! Who’s next? pic.twitter.com/aIZwDsDcDn
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) August 18, 2017
Were the Bucs as Good as They Looked?
In the first half, yes. Tampa Bay dominated the game and looked every bit of a playoff contender. The second half left a lot to be desired, but many of the players on the field during the second half won’t be on the Bucs 53 man roster.
The Bucs’ starters have their biggest test of the preseason, playing deep into the 3rd quarter of the third game. Job one for this one is getting out without any major injuries to starters. Being this is the last dress rehearsal of the season for most of the ones, the Bucs offense needs to put some points on the board and the defense needs to continue to dominate as they did on Thursday night.