Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Instant analysis: Breaking down the Bucs' 30-13 win over the Browns

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — Finally, the Bucs looked like they know what they are doing. That was the big takeaway from Tampa Bay's 30-13 victory over the Browns in preseason game No. 3 at Raymond James Stadium.

Here are some other thoughts immediately following the victory.

• Bucs QB Jameis Winston looks ready to go. Not that we were getting nervous or anything, but after two so-so games in the first two preseason outings, Winston finally looked like the quarterback the Bucs need and, quite frankly, needed to see on Friday night.

He was supposed to play into the second half, but after a 16-for-25, 259-yard, two-touchdown performance in the first half, the Bucs did the smart thing and sat down Winston for the second half. And, you would assume, the rest of the preseason. Next up for Jameis? Atlanta on Sept. 11.

• Hey, how 'bout that Roberto Aguayo! The embattled kicker, who had missed two field goals and an extra-point in Tampa Bay's first two preseason games, was put to the test on the very first drive of the game.

All week long, the buzz in the newspaper and on sports-talk radio (and pretty much every outlet that talks NFL) was how the Bucs used a second-round pick to take a kicker and that kicker turned out to be, so far, second-rate. And speaking of buzz, you could feel a buzz in the air as soon as the Bucs failed to convert on a third-and-short on the first possession because that set up what everyone knew was going to be a field-goal attempt.

Aguayo trotted onto the field and, surprisingly, was greeted with nothing but loud cheers and applause. With the crowd fully behind him, Aguayo calmly split the uprights on a challenging 48-yard field goal. For the moment, crisis averted. The fans cheered. And you can bet GM Jason Licht exhaled.

Aguayo went on for a perfect night: three field goals and three extra-points. Now he's the greatest second-round pick ever, right?

• The Bucs certainly have found themselves a reliable third-down receiver. Adam Humphries, who seemingly came out of nowhere last season, seemed to be everywhere Friday night.

For much of the first quarter, Humphries could be found running loose and wild downfield in wide-open pockets of the Browns secondary. You even get the sense that Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston is almost looking for him exclusively on third down. And who could blame Winston if Humphries is going to catch anything in his general vicinity?

Oh, did we also mention that he ripped off a 73-yard punt return for a TD?

• Oh, the Bucs have a No. 1 receiver, too. Mike Evans had five catches for 115 yards. No drops. All beast.

• Still not sure what to make of cornerback Brent Grimes. He was burned for a touchdown pass last week in Jacksonville. On Friday, he was toasted twice. The first was a 44-yard completion from Robert Griffin III to Josh Gordon on Cleveland's first possession. True, RG3 had about two days to throw the football because of a complete lack of pressure, but Grimes was turned around so badly that it's a wonder he didn't get motion sickness.

In the second quarter, RG3 and Gordon hooked up again for a deep completion, this one for 43 yards and a touchdown. And the guy he beat? Grimes.

Comments
Clayborn shining for Falcons as Bucs come to town

Clayborn shining for Falcons as Bucs come to town

The Bucs face the Falcons twice in their final six games, and as they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn has had a nice two-week run.Clayborn had a huge game nine days ago with six sacks in a win aga...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Debunking the Jameis Winston conspiracy theories

Rick and Tom podcast: Debunking the Jameis Winston conspiracy theories

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones debunk the Jameis Winston conspiracy theories as he will miss a third consecutive game this weekend in Atlanta.The guys explain that Winston’s absence is purely medical and has nothing to do with the...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin’s not at fault for struggling running game

Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin’s not at fault for struggling running game

TAMPA — RB Doug Martin had just 38 yards on 19 carries in Sunday’s win against the Dolphins, but coach Dirk Koetter said his team’s struggles running the ball shouldn’t go squarely on his running back."In my opinion, he is not the reason we’re not mo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

TAMPA — The Bucs are sticking with Ryan Two and Oh Fitzpatrick at quarterback for Sunday’s game in Atlanta. But this isn’t a case of just riding the guy who has the cool head and hot hand. Doctors would not clear starter Jameis Wi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs’ season

Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs’ season

ST. PETERSBURG — It isn’t easy avoiding The Jameis Winston mess.But it’s worth a try. If only to see some thin shafts of light.It’s worth considering that the 2017 Bucs, their death certificate already signed, have shown signs of life. Okay, near lif...
Published: 11/20/17
WR Bernard Reedy, cut by Bucs, signing to Patriots’ practice squad

WR Bernard Reedy, cut by Bucs, signing to Patriots’ practice squad

Former Lakewood star Bernard Reedy, waived by the Bucs on Friday, cleared waivers on Monday and will be signing on Tuesday to join the New England Patriots' practice squad.Reedy, 25, handled all the Bucs' punt and kickoff returns in the first nine ga...
Published: 11/20/17
Bucs QB Jameis Winston not medically cleared to throw; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start again

Bucs QB Jameis Winston not medically cleared to throw; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start again

Doctors would not clear Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to begin throwing after an evaluation of his shoulder injury Monday and he could miss one or two more weeks.The Bucs have gone 2-0 under backup Ryan Fitzpatrick since Winston was shut down to gi...
Published: 11/20/17
Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

On Sunday, the Buccaneers and Dolphins played one of those football games that gets only an obligatory mention at the end of highlight shows. In that spirit, this week’s Turning Point will focus mostly on the final three minutes of Tampa Bay’s 30-20 ...
Published: 11/20/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: One last look at Bucs-Dolphins

Cannon Fodder podcast: One last look at Bucs-Dolphins

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman looks back on Tampa Bay’s wild 30-20 win over the Dolphins, their second straight win and first on the road this season, the good and bad of that, plus a major off-field story now surrounding QB Jameis Winston. List...
Published: 11/20/17
Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

The topic for the Times' set-up package  for Bucs-Dolphins in Sunday's editions was Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Admittedly, it's not James Winston vs. Marcus Mariota, but the two defensive linemen were taken back to back in the 2010 NFL Draft...
Published: 11/20/17