Friday, November 24, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Quarterly Report: Biggest surprises and disappointments

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The NFL season is a quarter of the way complete and the Buccaneers are 1-3. They have a Pro Bowler sidelined by injury on both sides of the ball and their quarterback's turnovers problems have resurfaced.

With a Monday Night Football game at NFC Champion Carolina looming, the Times' Bucs/NFL coverage team looks at the biggest surprises and disappointments so far this season:

Biggest surprise

Rick Stroud, @NFLStroud

Slot receiver Adam Humphries was discovered at a rookie tryout camp. Now he is one of Winston's top targets and a guy who looks like he can do Wes Welker things.

Tom Jones, @tomwjones

The continuing development of second-year offensive linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet. Looks as if the Bucs could have a couple of mainstays up front for quite some time.

Read more:

Bucs Quarterly Report: Reasons for optimism?

Bucs Quarterly Report: The road ahead

Bucs Quarterly Report: Moments to remember, moments to forget

Greg Auman, @gregauman

Adam Humphries can finish second on the team in receptions, so he'll be a success story, as can be Cameron Brate if he establishes himself as a No. 1 tight end with Austin Seferian-Jenkins gone.

Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics

The Bucs miss Doug Martin more than I expected. Tampa Bay is averaging 3.4 yards a carry this season, which ranks 29th. The team averaged 4.8 yards a carry last season, which ranked second (Bills).

Ernest Hooper, @hoop4you

This team's struggle to find a backup running back willing to hit the line with authority.

Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly

That Bucs coach Dirk Koetter apparently can't call plays and manage the clock at the same time. And while it's not truly a surprise, Mike Evans has three touchdowns, or as many as he had all last season.

Biggest disappointment

Stroud

Jameis Winston. After a stellar first game in which he threw four touchdown passes at Atlanta, he has been a turnover machine with 9 through four games.

Jones

The play of Jameis Winston, especially his carelessness with the football. You expect some growing pains, even a bit of a sophomore slump, but to throw more interceptions than anyone in football not named Ryan Fitzpatrick is troubling.

Auman

Brent Grimes came in with a big paycheck and hasn't had a single interception -- hey, nobody in the defensive secondary has one -- and has been regularly beaten in coverage in the Bucs' three losses. Then again, if J.R. Sweezy doesn't get on the field this season, his signing -- and the Bucs failing to identify a major back injury -- would be an even larger disappointment.

Bassinger

The defense. The Bucs are on pace to allow a team-record 512 points. Only three teams have ever allowed that many points: the 1966 New York Giants, the 1981 Colts and the 2008 Lions. Those teams were a combined 3-42-1.

Hooper

The injuries to an already depth-thin defensive line

Fennelly

Too many to list.

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