Week 2 of the preseason is in the books and the Bucs had a workman like effort in a 12-8 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. There was some good, there was some not so good and we’ll talk about it all right here.
Pieces of Eight
1. Okay no. That throw wasn’t what we’re looking for from Jameis Winston. It was a terrible decision (not to mention a dangerous situation with Winston getting contorted in ways that typically lead to serious injury). It was the first time this season that gunslinger Jameis showed up. Now, gunslinger Jameis has given us moments to never forget but he’s also given us moments we wish we could.
In these first two preseason performances, Jameis has been accurate, his decision-making has been a lot quicker and he seems to be getting the football out of his hands faster than we’ve ever seen which are all very good signs for #3 in year three. If he can find a way to eliminate the throws like he had last night from his game, Jon Gruden may be right in believing he might be an MVP candidate.
2. Now that’s what we’re looking to see from the Bucs’ starting defense. Tampa Bay dominated the Jaguars while their ones were on the field, limiting Jacksonville to just 59 total yards of offense and more importantly 1 yard rushing. Kendall Beckwith seemed at home at SAM linebacker, making play after play. Gerald McCoy was virtually unblockable and the Bucs defense penetrated against the running game making it a non-factor in the first half. Now sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good and Tampa Bay got a little of that with some Blake Bortles ducks, but overall there wasn’t much to complain about with the first team defense.
3. One thing that’s really starting to bug me is the offense’s inability to put the football in the endzone. Tampa Bay’s offense churns up yards like their a machine but get them inside the ten yard line and they can’t finish. Now I’m hoping the reason for that is Coach Dirk Koetter doesn’t want to show just yet how the Bucs plan to use O.J. Howard and D-Jax in conjunction with Evans when they’re goal-to-go. Even so, the fact Tampa Bay didn’t finish off their drives was the primary reason the Jaguars had a chance to win a game they had no business being in.
4. You knew it had to happen. Folk had to miss a field goal and get an extra point blocked. I’m not freaking out about it as Folk has proven to be a solid kicker in his long NFL career. It’s just kind of funny the anointed one Koetter proclaimed was “our (expletive) kicker” does the same thing that got Roberto Aguayo fired.
5. You know, I think the Bucs are going to be okay at running back. While I haven’t seen much from Jacquizz Rodgers or the Dance Machine Charles Sims, I really do like Peyton Barber. The kid can run the rock. If he can do some of the other things that a running back needs to do to get on the football field he may be a special find for GM Jason Licht and the scout team.
Jeremy McNichols showed some wiggle as well. I’d really like to see him carry a few times behind the ones, just to see what he’d look like behind guys who won’t be looking for work in a couple weeks.
6. Speaking of the offensive line, what a solid performance by the ones against the Jaguars defensive line. There were times when Jameis had so much time he was going to his fourth and fifth reads and in the NFL that almost never happens. They were also blowing holes open for the running game. Doug Martin started finding running lanes and began looking like the Dougernaut instead of Doug 2.9. If the offensive line can continue to give Winston that much time to create good things will happen for the Buccaneers offense.
7. Here’s hoping Jameis Winston stays upright all the way through the playoffs. Ryan Fitzpatrick may be a fountain of experience and wisdom for Winston, but he’s not much more than that. I don’t know if Fitz caught lightning in a bottle in 2015 when he threw for 31 TDs against just 15 interceptions but Fitzpatrick has been absolutely dreadful this camp and in the preseason (save for one drive against Cincinnati). Fitz should tell Jameis do as I say, not as I do.
8. While winning these preseason games means nothing it was good to see the Bucs defense hold the line against the Jaguars. It would have been a real shame for Tampa Bay to lose that ballgame after essentially dominating it for three quarters. Ultimately many of the players on the field for the final stanza won’t be Buccaneers and a lot of the times they looked pretty lost out there against Jacksonville third string QB Brandon Allen, who has Jags fans thinking is the next Steve Young after that performance. To rise up after a bad day at the office and make enough plays to finish the game might help these guys get another look somewhere else in the league.
DLT’s Tweet of the Game
I live tweet every game @jcdelatorre and here’s my favorite from this week –
— JC De La Torre (@jcdelatorre) August 18, 2017
Tampa Bay returns to Ray Jay as the Stick Carriers will get nearly three quarters of NFL ones-vs-ones action against the Cleveland Browns.