Sunday, November 19, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fennelly: Bucs-Browns report card

RECOMMENDED READING


It was the preseason home opener, the first chance for Bucs fans to see their team in action at Raymond James Stadium. The first thing they didn't see Saturday was a player on either team kneeling or sitting during the national anthem — and the Browns were in town. It was the players' right every bit as much as their right to not stand. Anyone have a problem with that?

Even better for Bucs fans, Jameis Winston stood after he was smacked in the back by Cleveland rookie defensive end and No. 1 NFL draft pick Myles Garrett early in the game. The life of this Bucs season passed before our eyes in an otherwise miserable 13-9 loss. Winston shook it off and threw an interception four plays later.

That summed up the night. Pathetic offense. Drives that didn't finish. True, it's preseason. Keep telling yourself that, Bucs fans.

Can we get a touchdown here?

Grade: F

The Bucs' first-team offense has two touchdowns in three games. Winston, who went 17-for-27 for 200 yards Saturday, hasn't throw a touchdown pass in the preseason, though he came close with that ball Donteea Dye couldn't hold on to as he hit the ground after a great job getting his feet down in the end zone. Winston and most of the starting offense (though no Mike Evans or DeSean Jackson) played into the second half but couldn't close. And this was the final rehearsal for them before the season opener. Can't wait to see Hard Knocks and listen to coach Dirk Koetter on the sideline. And could they throw the ball to O.J. Howard less?

Takeaways, at least

Grade: B

Vernon Hargreaves got his second interception of the season off a deflection by Lavonte David, and rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith forced a fumble that was recovered by teammate and fellow linebacker Adarius Glanton. Takeaways were key as the defense surged at one point last season. It will have to do it again. Noah Spence stopped the second-team Browns offense with an 11-yard sack. Reserves hung in there.

Folk legend grows

Grade: A

Do we have a kicker? Nick "Money" Folk was 3-for-3 on his field goals, from 31 yards, 42 yards and 43 yards.

Among the missing …

Grade: C

No fewer than 15 Bucs didn't dress for the game, including four starters on offense and four on defense. Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson didn't play. Precautionary. Don't blame the Bucs a bit. See Edelman, Julian. What needs to be blamed here is the NFL and its owners, who insist on charging for these preseason games as if they were regular-season tilts. It remains an abomination and insult to fans everywhere.

Tell me that wasn't cool

Grade: A

I don't care how many times I see it, who can take their eyes off parachutists as they descend into a stadium spewing red smoke and carrying the American flag? I'm all in, mouth open. Saturday, it was Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates and Army Sgt. 1st Class Mike Puma, paratroopers from U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base. Almost nailed it right on the 50-yard line. And a great rendition of the anthem by Cienna Wesley.

Did we mention the offense couldn't finish?

Grade: D

Yeah, we heard, we heard: It's preseason.

Comments
Bucs-Dolphins: Social media reactions to Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

Bucs-Dolphins: Social media reactions to Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

The Bucs won their second straight and snapped a six-game road losing streak Sunday. And they did it after blowing a 13-point lead.Here’s a sampling of reactions on social media to Tampa Bay’s 30-20 win over the Dolphins in Miami Gardens:...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

Bucs-Dolphins: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

The Buccaneers won their second straight game Sunday in Miami Gardens, breaking a six-game road losing streak in the process. Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s instant analysis from Tampa Bay’s 30-20 win over the Miami Dolphins:WINNING IS WINNIN...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Bucs offense awakens in time to beat Dolphins, 30-20, on late field goal

Bucs offense awakens in time to beat Dolphins, 30-20, on late field goal

MIAMI GARDENS — Just when the Bucs offense had disappeared for the entire second half, Ryan Fitzpatrick rallied to set up a last-minute field goal, and Patrick Murray’s 35-yard kick for the lead with four seconds left. A wild final play resulted in a...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
New Winston accuser hires Kinsman attorney

New Winston accuser hires Kinsman attorney

The unnamed female Uber driver who has accused Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston of groping her in Arizona in 2016 has hired a familiar name to represent her: John Clune, who represented Zephyrhills' Erica Kinsman in her civil lawsuit against Winston."...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Live blog: Bucs at Dolphins

Live blog: Bucs at Dolphins

Follow our live coverage of the Bucs’ game against the Miami Dolphins this afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. You’ll find news, analysis, photos, video and more from Times reporters, columnists and photographers — all in real time. View...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs rookie TE Antony Auclair active against Dolphins

Bucs rookie TE Antony Auclair active against Dolphins

The Bucs' inactives for today's game at Miami are largely as expected, though rookie TE Antony Auclair is getting the nod as the third tight end, rather than veteran Luke Stocker.Auclair, an undrafted rookie from Canada, played only one other time th...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Former Winston teammate: I was in car, nothing inappropriate happened

Former Winston teammate: I was in car, nothing inappropriate happened

Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby has released a statement in defense of Jameis Winston, saying he was in the back seat with the Bucs quarterback  during the Uber ride in 2016 and "nothing inappropriate" happened.The NFL is investigating an allegat...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates during the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first: Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL pla...
Published: 11/18/17
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Published: 11/18/17
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?With WR Mike Evans back from h...
Published: 11/18/17