Two wins in a row? Three wins in the last four games?
Yes, the Buccaneers are playing much, much better these days.
They beat the Jaguars today in Jacksonville, converting turnovers into points to build an early lead, then making a big play in the fourth quarter to seal the victory when the Jags were trying to get back in it.
The biggest star of this game? Look no further than rookie Devin White. He had an interception that led to a touchdown. Then he found the end zone when Shaq Barrett stripped the ball from Nick Foles, White picked it up and took it to the house.
Jameis Winston had a ho-hum kind of day. But he did not turn the ball over, and that is the biggest stat of them all.
Over the last two days, the story for the Bucs has been the defense stepping up and making plays. Who would’ve thought that? The Colts come to Ray-Jay next Sunday, and Buccaneer Bri (a.k.a. me) will be there for that one. I can’t wait.
This week, I start a new feature called “Bucs Extra.” It will focus primarily on other elements of the game that might otherwise go unnoticed.
What a little pass rush can do
The Buccaneers sacked Nick Foles three times in this game, and disrupted him on many other plays. Remember when Tampa Bay had no pass rush whatsoever? Gerald McCoy, Jason Pierre-Paul and Kwon Alexander all sacked the Super Bowl MVP. That helped ease the pressure a bit on an injury-plagued secondary. Ryan Smith also had a strong game. The defense allowed over 400 yards for the second week in a row, but they made enough key plays to be a factor.
Struggling running game
As great as the offense has been, the Bucs have struggled to get much of a running game going through two weeks. 43 yards rushing isn’t going to cut it. Second-round pick Ronald Jones has been a healthy scratch for each of the first two games. What’s up with that? He did struggle in the preseason, but I wonder if there’s more we don’t know.
Can this issue please go away someday? Chandler Catanzaro missed an extra point that really could’ve come back to haunt the Bucs. The PAT needs to be automatic; end of story. He also missed a FG last week in New Orleans. Ever since Connor Barth’s basketball injury way back in the day, our kicking situation has been a mess.
With a 31-20 loss to the Eagles at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs are 0-5. There are two things to ponder: will the Bucs win a game this season, and how much longer will Greg Schiano be the head coach? That second point is the one most fans like me are screaming about. First, a quick recap of Sunday’s game:
Mike Glennon played fairly well. He threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns, both to Vincent Jackson, who finished with 114 yards receiving. The Bucs actually had the lead at the half, and were only down by one in the fourth quarter. But this time, the defense was not at its best. They allowed Nick Foles to throw three TD passes, including two to DeSean Jackson.
That’s the game in a nutshell; now back to Schiano. How much longer will the Glazers wait before they pull the trigger on this guy? In my opinion, it can’t some soon enough. First you have the fiasco with Josh Freeman. Then there’s the report in USA Today that Schiano was the one who leaked the information about Freeman taking part in a substance-abuse program. Then you have all those penalties – a sign of an undisciplined team. That’s coaching. Finally, consider this: Schiano has only won one of his last eleven games. The Bucs opened the pocketbook in the offseason and brought guys in to win NOW. Schiano hasn’t done that.