Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. All is not lost this year. The Buccaneers and Panthers sent their “B-teams” on the field Monday night as the Bucs steal one in Charlotte to remain unbeaten in the NFC South.
It was ugly. Very, very ugly. Yet, somehow the Buccaneers found a way to squeak out a win in Charlotte for the first time since 2012, coincidentally the last time they beat the Panthers. Dirk Koetter had some extremely questionable play calls especially at the end of the game, but a win is a win and going 2-0 in the division – both games on the road – is a huge boost for this team going forward. Let’s pick six, shall we?
Six Topics Suitable For Discussion
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Dirk Koetter: Wake Up! For a defense that gave up 500 yards to Matt Ryan last week, the insane misuse of Jameis Winston deems explanation. You decided to truly air it out on one drive and what happened? Touchdown to Mike Evans. Other than that, you called a game strictly not to lose and it almost bit you in the butt. How on earth did you find yourself trusting Roberto Aguayo to win that game rather than Jameis? Because of a few high passes and a throw to Evans who was double covered? Nevermind Evans was held the entire route, blowing the play up. No no no…we’re going to stop trusting our number one pick and franchise quarterback and put the game in the hands of Jacquizz Rodgers and Roberto Aguayo…
Roberto Aguayo Goes From Goat To Hero? No. Absolutely not. Yes, he made the game winning kick, but he missed two before that and is 4/8 on the season. He’s not getting a pass because he finally got his act together and did his freaking job. Jon Gruden’s story about Sebastian Janikowski was an eye opening one as well as entertaining. I wonder if he shared that with Koetter before the game because I’m sure Koetter feels the same way.
Greg Olsen Almost Beat The Bucs By Himself. Nine receptions for 181 yards? And the worst thing about that is he was wide freaking open every time! You can’t let him run free through the secondary like that because those results are exactly what will happen. For a team that hadn’t allowed much of anything to opposing tight ends this year, the Buccaneers let Olsen feast on them all night long.
Jacquizz Rodgers: Have A Day, Young Man! We’ve been screaming about this for three weeks now. Rodgers is far more suited to take on the Doug Martin role than Charles Sims ever was and it showed tonight. He couldn’t get much going in the second half, but a lot of that can be placed on Koetter for his horrendous play calling and not exposing the Panthers secondary. Quizz had ten carries in the opening drive and finished with 30 carries for 101 yards. One would think that kind of work load would’ve opened up the play-action pass game a little more, but sadly it did not as Koetter decided to run the most conservative offense in his 21-game Buccaneers tenure.
Brent Grimes Found His Hands, Vernon Hargreaves Continues To Grow. It took five games, four dropped passes, and a lot of mistakes, but Brent Grimes finally did what the Bucs paid him to do: take the ball away. He dropped a pick six earlier in the game, but found redemption in the form of an interception in the end zone on a pass intended for Olsen. That saved the Bucs game and potentially their season. As for Hargreaves, I talked about how he needed to be the one on Benjamin in this game and sure enough, he took him on for the majority of the night. Benjamin finished with five catches for 70 yards and his longest reception of 18 yards came when he was covered by Grimes. VHIII is living up to the hype.
Thank God For The Bye Week. The Bucs’ next game is Sunday 10/24 in San Francisco where we will (likely) see the returns of Doug Martin, Gerald McCoy, Robert Ayers, Luke Stocker, Clinton McDonald, and have a healthier Noah Spence. This will be crucial for the Bucs to continue to build off what their healthy squad did in Atlanta and what the next men up accomplished in Carolina. It’ll make for a long stretch of eleven games, but getting healthy is a major boost.
Six Numbers To Consider
1.000 – Buccaneers’ winning percentage in the NFC South
4 – Touchdowns by Mike Evans, tied for most through five games in Bucs’ history
-5 – Bucs turnover differential on the year after winning the turnover battle 4-0 vs. Panthers
8 – Jameis Winston’s rank on the Buccaneers’ all-time passing leaders list
2 – Games back of the Atlanta Falcons, who come to Tampa on Thursday November 3rd
129 – All purpose yards for Jacquizz Rodgers in his first start as a Buc
Six Best Tweets
This Olsen guy is pretty good. Wish we had tape on him