After Further Review – Buccaneers vs. Broncos

Well that was a sadly predictable outcome was it not? It’s not that the Buccaneers lost to Denver. Frankly, Tampa Bay isn’t in the Broncos’ league right now. It’s how they did it. Unfortunately, its the same way they’ve lost to the Scams and to the suddenly 1-3 Arizona Cardinals.

Turnovers. Miscommunication. Penalties. It’s really the same darn song its been for years isn’t it? That may be the most frustrating part for Bucs fans. How many times has this team beaten itself?

I don’t want to believe that these are the “SOB”‘s, the Same Old Bucs. Has there been evidence to the contrary?

I haven’t seen it yet. It could start Monday Night in Carolina where everyone will expect the Panthers to use their “slumpbuster in pewter”. Win that game and fortunes may change. Win that one and maybe you aren’t the same SOB’s you’ve always been. Heck, at this point I’d settle for a game where the Bucs don’t turn the football over.

What I Got Right

The defense really did have a pretty decent ball game. Yes, 27 points were on the board at the end of this one and Paxton Lynch certainly moved the ball more than we should have expected him to. Still, Tampa Bay’s defense attacked with pressure (usually from just the front four) and made life uncomfortable for Broncos starter Trevor Siemian, eventually knocking him out of the ball game.

Two players who really played well were Clinton MacDonald, who was a manbeast (especially after the Bucs lost Gerald McCoy) and Will Gholston, who seemed to swallow up Broncos running backs and actually showed he could add a little pressure, too.

What I Got Wrong

I thought the Bucs offensive line played a terrible game on the first watch. Honestly, they did all they could do to handle the Broncos superior front seven. Broncos Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips is one of the best in the business and he dialed up the heat on Winston, knowing that Winston’s never-say-die mentality causes him to hold the ball a little longer than he should and his team could force him into quick decisions.

Now, there were some cringeworthy moments for the o-line for sure, like when Donovan Smith got pancaked by Von Miller on his way to a hit on Winston.  Honestly though, Smith and Demar Dotson kept Miller…contained. He would finish with half a sack, 3 tackles and 2 QB hits. For one of the premiere pass rushers in the game, that’s not bad work. It was the rest of Miller’s teammates who did the damage, many times because Jameis just can’t give up on a play and live to fight another day.

The offensive line was also opening holes in the run game, but running back Charles Sims is a dancer, not a one-cut and go guy like Doug Martin and by the time Sims hit the hole, the speedy Broncos linebackers had sealed it up. Jacquizz Rodgers was much more effective (his style is closer to Martin’s), hitting the holes the line opened up and averaging a solid 4.2 yards a carry.

It’s likely why the Bucs are contemplating putting Rodgers in a starting role and having Sims return to his 3rd down back responsibilities if Martin is unavailable Monday Night.

Commentator Commentary

Meh. Spero Dedes is a below average play-by-play guy – extremely boring to listen to. Solomon Wilcotts has a great reputation as an analyst but honestly, the stuff he pointed out was really common sense for any football fan with a modicum of knowledge. I really didn’t learn anything interesting from his insights (as opposed to Chris Spielman last week who really shined).

It felt like Wilcotts was bored and really kinda was mailing this broadcast in. Dedes put the rest of us to sleep.

The What the Buc Moment of the Game

The idiotic attempt at a lateral by Charles Sims that cost the Bucs 3 points (assuming Aguayo could make the kick). Coach Koetter thinks (perhaps knows) Jameis called for him to try to lateral it, and if that is the case, it was just another example of Jameis trying to do too much and hurting his team in the process.

Around the Dirty South

Atlanta opened up a can of whupass (and a 2 game division lead) on the Carolina Panthers while the Saints benefited from another San Diego Chargers meltdown to get their first victory of 2016.

Were the Bucs Really As Bad as They Looked?

Yeah, pretty much. The defense played well most of the game but failed to generate any turnovers and saw the line decimated by injuries that eventually had them run down. The offense was abysmal and so was their quarterback. Jameis Winston truly needs to look in the mirror and figure out what he wants to be. Heavy is the head that wears that crown. As much as everyone was praising him, now the other side of the coin flips. Jameis is coming under significant criticism for perhaps the first time in his life (for his play on the football field, that is). He’s been a star at every level. Worshiped and adored by Florida State fans and those who watched him play his high school ball.

But this is the NFL, a results driven league, and when you’re turning the ball over 10 times (11 if you pin Sims’ idiotic lateral on him), the heat is going to come. Some fans are calling him a bust and the reason why this team is 1-3. That’s ridiculous. Jameis and the offense had 32 points on the board last week. That should be enough to win, especially at home. The defense certainly shares a lot of the blame for the Bucs being where they are. Sure, Jameis’ turnovers didn’t help, many times setting up scores for the other teams and/or robbing the Bucs of point scoring opportunities, but it would help if the defense’s sudden change defense could hold someone to a darn field goal or maybe force a turnover or two of their own.

There’s no doubt that for the Bucs to have any chance in Carolina or any of their games going forward, #3 has to be better. Tampa Bay has to start winning the turnover battle, now at a shocking -9, and not hand games over to their opponent on a silver platter.

Next Up

The Bucs get to see Coach Gruden in the place where Gruden’s coaching career fell apart – Carolina on Monday Night. Does anyone remember 2008 when the Bucs were riding high at 9-3 and taking on the Panthers on Monday Night? Tampa Bay got destroyed that night, wouldn’t win another game the rest of the season and the Glazers fired everyone, beginning the treadmill of suckitude we are on. Maybe, if we pray really hard and type some Amens in some Facebook posts, we’ll see the Bucs resurgence happen in the same place we saw Tampa Bay’s decline.

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J.C. De La Torre

Want to give JC a piece of your mind? E-mail him at JC De La Torre is formerly a columnist/blogger for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog site where in 2016, he was nominated as best sportswriter in Tampa Bay by Creative Loafing. Previously, he served as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report on Tampa Bay sports, an editor and featured columnist for SB Nation Tampa Bay covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Gators, wrote for’s Blog Blitz and contributed to Pewter Report, one of the top magazines on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. JC is also a filmmaker, comic writer and rabid Whovian.

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