The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Report Card Following Their Win over the Miami Dolphins
Naturally, the 2013 Buccaneers are still the 2013 Buccaneers and blew their 15-0 lead, taking the game to the wire. This win demonstrated what this Buccaneers team could have been, but it was far from perfect just as their season has been to this point.
Here are the grades the Bucs earned for their long-awaited first win of the season:
Mike Glennon: C+
Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon was less than impressive against Miami, going 11-of-21 for 139 yards with one touchdown and an interception. There was that cute touchdown pass to tackle Donald Penn, but Glennon didn't do much more to help the Bucs win the game.
Glennon made a few nice intermediate passes, but he wasn't particularly accurate and made several bad decisions, one of which resulted in an interception. After six starts, is Glennon showing enough progress for the Bucs brass to believe he could be the quarterback of the future?
Mike James: Incomplete
Poor Mike James. He was running the ball down Miami's throat with five carries for 41 yards when he went down with an apparent leg injury. The Buccaneers can only hope his injury isn't season-ending.
Brian Leonard: B+
Fortunately for the Bucs, Brian Leonard filled in nicely, running for 57 yards on 20 carries. He showed patience behind his blockers and was reliable in blitz pickup. The Bucs could do worse at running back moving forward.
Bobby Rainey: B+
Recent addition Bobby Rainey was a pleasant surprise for the Buccaneers, scoring a touchdown and running for 47 yards on eight carries. He isn't the quickest and certainly not the biggest guy on the field, but he made some nice moves to keep the Bucs alive late in the game.
Vincent Jackson: B-
Vincent Jackson had a quiet night with three catches for 28 yards, thanks in large part to coverage by Miami cornerback Brent Grimes. While Jackson made some key catches for first downs, he continues to struggle with drops.
Tiquan Underwood: B-
Tiquan Underwood is an enigma. On one hand, he runs messy routes and too often isn't in any position to make a play. On the other hand, he made some clutch catches to move the sticks. His play against Miami demonstrates why he goes from the roster to the street and back on the roster so frequently. He led the Bucs with three catches for 64 yards.
Donald Penn: A
To quote John Madden, "I love to see a fat guy score." Not only did 340-pound left tackle Donald Penn catch a touchdown, he locked down the left side and kept Mike Glennon clean for most of the game.
Jamon Meredith: B
Questionable holding call aside, guard Jamon Meredith was key in the dominant run game the Bucs had against Miami.
Jeremy Zuttah: B
Yet another holding call for center Jeremy Zuttah, but given how well the entire line played, it's hard to fault him too much.
Davin Joseph: A-
Guard Davin Joseph looked like Davin of old against Miami. Running that power O made the Bucs unstoppable. It's a wonder why the Bucs move away from it.
Demar Dotson: A
Right tackle Demar Dotson was also vital to the success of the Bucs run game in that power O play. Like Penn, he was solid in pass protection for most of the game.
Gerald McCoy: A-
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy continues to prove he is one of the best, if not the best, defensive tackle in the league. While he didn't reach quarterback Ryan Tannehill until the end of the game, he imposed his will on the Dolphins' offensive line and helped limit Miami to four rush yards.
Akeem Spence: B
Tackle Akeem Spence was drafted this year to be the run-stuffing over tackle, and he is certainly doing his job. For all the deserved credit McCoy gets for manhandling offensive lines, Spence is an unheralded piece of a stout interior Bucs defense.
Adrian Clayborn: C+
Clayborn was invisible most of the game. However, he deserves only some of the blame. Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan sent Clayborn on so many useless stunts, the former first-round pick should consider moving to Hollywood and driving cars on-camera for Michael Bay.
Da'Quan Bowers: C
A Da'Quan Bowers sighting! The half-sack Bowers shared with McCoy helped seal the deal for the Bucs, but this cannot be the role Bucs general manager Mark Dominik had in mind for the former second-round pick. Bowers was otherwise invisible.
Lavonte David: A
Is it too early to say that outside linebacker Lavonte David is the best 4-3 OLB in the NFL right now? David recorded his first career safety against Miami and another four tackles.
David is among the most instinctive players in the league and a superb tackler. It would be a travesty if David were not voted to the Pro Bowl this year.
Mason Foster: B+
Middle linebacker Mason Foster had himself a nice game as well, recording a game-high six solo tackles. He blew up his fair share of Miami run plays. If he could be a little more consistent, Foster might get more recognition as a top-tier middle linebacker.
Dekoda Watson/Jonathan Casillas: C
Most of Watson and Casillas' contributions came on special teams, though Casilllas made a few tackles on defense.
That is how you finish a game. Granted, Darrelle Revis' interception of Tannehill's fourth-down Hail Mary pass was not a game-changer, but he made quite the splash to seal the Bucs first win of the season.
Revis was all over the field, playing the run and holding down receivers. However, Revis doesn't get the "A+" because he was legitimately beat by Mike Wallace on a deep throw that fortunately went out of bounds.
Leonard Johnson/Johnathan Banks: C
Banks and Johnson did nothing of real note, but they were part of a Bucs secondary that was unnecessarily abused by the Miami pass game.
Mike Adams: D
Cornerback Mike Adams was Ryan Tannehill's "whipping boy" throughout the game. If the Dolphins completed a pass, odds were good the receiver was being covered by Mike Adams. Adams may be a special teams ace, but he is a liability in coverage.
Mark Barron: B+
Strong safety Mark Barron was clutch against Miami, notching five solo tackles. His blitz at the end of the game stalled Tannehill long enough to get McCoy and defensive end William Gholston the sack. Barron shows improvement each week he plays. He already established himself as a great run defender, but his coverage skills are actually showing progress.
Dashon Goldson: C
Is this what the Bucs are paying $41 million for? Goldson drew a key personal foul call in the second quarter that kept a Dolphins touchdown drive alive and played soft zone coverage to allow the touchdown on that drive. He flew around like a missile as usual, but in a pass-happy league, Goldson is not earning his paycheck.
Michael Koenen: B-
Punter Michael Koenen took the Buccaneers through another roller-coaster ride with his uneven punting. He had a miserable 21-yard punt in the third quarter but kicked a beauty that pinned the Dolphins deep late in the game. Like the rest of the team, Koenen needs to find some consistency.
Rian Lindell: A
There is no arguing with perfection. Lindell hit both of his field-goal attempts of 24 and 35 yards.
The Bucs coaching staff: B-
The Bucs played a typical Greg Schiano game. They dominated most of the first half but nearly blew it through the second half. Some of the plays the Bucs coaching staff called defied logic. Once again, they decided to throw late in the game despite running the ball successfully up to that point, on 3rd-and-1 no less.
If anything, Schiano was lucky the Bucs pulled out the win. Miami head coach Joe Philbin pulled his team out of its funk going into the second quarter and took the momentum away from the Bucs.
Schiano might feel good about this win now, but one win won't help him keep his job, especially if it takes a massive distraction like the Jonathan Martin-Ritchie Incognito scandal to help the Bucs defeat an opponent.