Take That Koetter, Now Sit At The Kiddie Table!
There are wins, and then there are WINS; however, this win, in particular, had a special feel to it, especially as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. In the first quarter, though, it felt more like Halloween was approaching. Jameis Winston was back to his TRICKS. He threw two interceptions in the first quarter, one of them was on his very first throw. But, the defense TREATED the team after the first interception by standing up and shutting Atlanta down, forcing a punt. After the second one, the defense couldn’t prevent the Falcons from scoring on a one-yard scoring run by Qadree Ollison, which put Atlanta in the lead 10-7 as the first quarter was coming to a close.
It was almost like there were two games on Sunday. The Ugly one in the first quarter, and then the Beautiful one in the next three quarters. There were so many subplots on both sides of the ball that it felt like there were enough of them that they could have come from several different game’s box scores.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most Thankful Moments from the many to choose from in Sunday’s NFC South Division showdown of 3-7 teams. Sunday’s contest was special for many reasons, but one big one was that the Bucs got to stick it to their old Head Coach.
Chris Godwin is hitting his stride, catching his second wind, tearing down the backstretch, and burning down the house. Just when you thought Godwin was on cruise control, he stomps the accelerator and hauls in 7 passes for a career-best of 184 total yards as well as his longest touchdown reception of 71 yards. It’s just not surprising anymore. Godwin is an elite receiver now.
Jameis Winston and overall defense.
It looked like it was the same old, same old in the first quarter. The interceptions were flowing, and I swear after he threw the second one, I was preparing myself for a good 4 or 5 picks maybe even by halftime. I dug in deep, and I was mentally ready for it. Then an interesting thing happened on my way to the funny farm, the potential of the defense came to fruition. The defense that usually has just a player or two making a game highlight reel suddenly had more stars than a network’s allotted time to show them all. Lineman, Linebackers, and cornerbacks all got in on the fun, and Jameis Winston seemed to raise his level of play in response. There were no more interceptions in this one for Winston, just a high level of performance, which translated into stats of 18 of 28 for 318 yards. 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
Davis had 5 solo tackles and his first career interception. First, of many more I’m sure. Since he’s gotten healthy, he has been playing better each week. Let’s hope that continues.
With 3:06 left in the game, Jason Pierre Paul sacked Matt Ryan, causing a fumble, and Suh scooped it up and rumbled into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown. Suh added 4 tackles, 2 of them solo on the day.
Ala Warren Sapp, Vea changes his view of the line of scrimmage, becoming the recipient of a one-yard pass from Winston for the score. Vea added 2 tackles and a sack.
White has been showing up big time in the last 4 to 5 weeks. After a 13 tackle performance against the Saints, he follows that up by racking up 8 tackles, 5 solos, 2 for a loss, and a couple of much-anticipated sacks. I completely believe that if White hadn’t had the injury and had started all 11 games, he would be in the discussion for NFC DROY honors. Expect bigger and better games from White going forward.
Brace yourself, Perriman caught a pass. Can you believe it? A 44-yard reception on his only target for the stone handed speedster.
Not counting Winston’s runs or scrambles, the running game had 26 touches with Jones and Barber getting 12 and 11, respectively. Jones also had 3 receptions. While this is a most welcome distribution, Personally, I’d love to see another 5 to 10 carries. Obviously, what Leftwich did in this game worked. It’s not a knock on him in this game, but I would have liked to have seen the Bucs run more often, featuring Jones, of course. The increase in touches to the backs and others that ran the ball in the game most certainly played a role in the big win.
Bunting played a hard-nosed game and continues to progress. He racked up 9 total tackles, 7 of which were solo.
I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be thankfully digesting this win all week. Go Bucs!!