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, 27-9, at Raymond James Stadium. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Tampa Bay, though it surely upset those who want the team to have a better position in next year’s draft. Regardless, the Bucs are now 4-7 and currently in possession of the No. 10 pick in the 2019 draft. That aside, it was just good to see Tampa Bay play the way it did on Sunday. The last two seasons have been frustrating, so it was nice to have a reminder of what a well-rounded team looks like.Let’s get into the Buccaneers of the Week from week 12.Honorable MentionWhile he doesn’t crack the top five, Cairo Santos’ performance is worth talking about. The kicker was successful on all three of his extra point attempts in addition to making field goals from 41 and 39 yards out. He is now seven-for-seven on extra points and two-for-two on field goals with the Bucs. Tampa Bay’s issues in the kicking game have certainly been well-documented. It’s only been two games and cautious optimism is suggested. But with that said, is Santos the solution to what has been a long-running problem for the Bucs?5. Jason Pierre-Paul (One point)A huge reason for Tampa Bay’s strong defensive effort on Sunday was pressure from the front four. 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens had no chance to get comfortable, which played a role in his quarterback rating of 21.1 and passer rating of 62.1. The Bucs picked up four sacks and 10 quarterback hits, with Jason Pierre-Paul playing a big part in that. He came up with a sack and two hits on Mullens. The sack brought his 2018 total to 10 1/2, officially making him the first Buccaneer to record double-digit sacks in a season since Simeon Rice in 2005. Pierre-Paul has been instrumental in the defensive line’s improvement this season. His 10 1鈦? sacks are enough to determine that trading for him was more than worth it, but his production has exceeded that number. His pressure off the edge has created chances for other linemen to get after the quarterback. On Sunday, his presence helped Gerald McCoy, as well as the next two players on this list, put heavy pressure on Mullens. With as banged-up as Tampa Bay is at linebacker and in the secondary, the defensive line needs to collapse the pocket as often as possible. The group did that on Sunday, with Pierre-Paul continuing his excellent 2018 campaign.4. Carl Nassib (Two points)Bucs general manager Jason Licht has made his fair share of bad free agency signings. However, he very clearly found a gem in Carl Nassib. The Browns cut ties with their 2016 third-rounder before the 2018 regular season began, leading to a pretty quick signing by Tampa Bay. Nassib’s impact has been huge, especially in the last several weeks. With Vinny Curry struggling with injuries throughout the season and Noah Spence failing to see the field, the Bucs have seen Nassib step up to fill the gap. He has quickly become one of the more productive players on what has otherwise been a disappointing defense.Nassib set the tone early in Sunday’s win over the 49ers, getting to the quarterback and knocking the ball loose on the defense’s first drive. San Francisco ultimately recovered the fumble www.authenticstampabaybuccaneers.com
, but it set the offense back and eventually led to a punt. He wasn’t done there, as he would come up with a quarterback pressure and six-yard tackle for loss on back-to-back plays later in the first quarter. Overall, he finished with two tackles (both for loss, one sack), a forced fumble and two quarterback hits. He is up to 5 1鈦? sacks on the year, which is good for third on the team. At 12 points in the Buccaneers of the Week Standings, he has a top five spot through 12 weeks. 3. Vita Vea (Three points)There have been complaints about No. 12 overall pick Vita Vea all year long, but perhaps Sunday will silence the haters just a bit. The big defensive tackle was extremely disruptive in the win over the 49ers, racking up three tackles for loss. One of those three was a sack, which was his second of the season. The Buccaneer defense as a whole had seven tackles for loss, so the fact that three of those came from the rookie is significant. He had some nice moments throughout the earlier part of the season, but tangible production was lacking. On Sunday, it came through in a breakout game.With an injury forcing Vea to miss all of training camp, the whole preseason and the first three games of the regular season, his development was always going to be a process. As with any rookie, he has had his share of rough learning experiences. But he showed on Sunday, albeit against a bad San Francisco team, that he clearly has the ability to be a force up the middle. Without much left to play for this season, the Bucs certainly hope to see their 2018 first-rounder string together some nice performances to end the year. For his three tackles for loss on Sunday, he earns three points and his first appearance in these weekly standings.2. Mike Evans (Four points)On Sunday, Mike Evans did something that only two other receivers have done in NFL history. In the first quarter, he eclipsed the 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers T-Shirt
,000-yard mark for the fifth straight season. With that, he joined Randy Moss and A.J. Green as the only receivers to put up 1,000-plus yards in five consecutive seasons to start a career. Coming into the game, he needed 43 yards to hit the mark. He nearly got there with his first catch of the day, which was a 42-yarder down the sideline to set up Tampa Bay’s first touchdown. By the end of the day, Evans had six catches (on eight targets) for 116 yards.Evans has already etched his name in franchise history in countless places, owning records for career receiving yards, career touchdown catches and single-season touchdown catches. He is well on his way to owning the record for career receptions, but before he gets there, he might break another team record. With 1,073 yards in 2018, he is 350 yards away from breaking Mark Carrier’s 1989 record for single-season receiving yards. Evans has been a bright spot for Tampa Bay in each of his first five seasons, even when the team hasn’t been winning. It’s no surprise to see him at the top of the Buccaneers of the Week Standings this late in the season. 1. Jameis Winston (Five points)When he came off the bench during Tampa Bay’s week 11 loss to the Giants, Jameis Winston played well. That led to discussion throughout the week as to whether or not he could keep that up in week 12. He did more than that against San Francisco, playing one of the cleaner games of his career. The 24-year-old finished 29-of-38 for 312 yards and two touchdowns while not turning the ball over once. His efficiency was near a personal-best: Sunday was also just the second time in his career that Winston has thrown multiple touchdowns and not turned the ball over. In his first start since Oct. 28, the 2015 No. 1 overall pick was smart with the ball. He took sacks when he had to, checked down when necessary and scrambled effectively to extend plays. Considering the Bucs are facing a decision about his future, Winston did a whole lot to help his case in Sunday’s game. When he takes care of the ball, he can be very good quarterback in this league. He just has to prove that he can do that consistently. He’ll get his next chance to do so next Sunday against the Panthers, but for now, he earns five points in this week’s standings. Updated Buccaneers of the Week Standings through week 12:Mike Evans— 23 pointsJason Pierre-Paul— 21 pointsRyan Fitzpatrick— 17 pointsPeyton Barber— 16 points(TIE) Carl Nassib/Jameis Winston— 12 pointsDeSean Jackson— 11 pointsLavonte David— 9 pointsO.J. Howard— 8 points(TIE) Kwon Alexander/Chandler Catanzaro/Adam Humphries— 6 pointsChris Godwin— 5 points(TIE) Vita Vea/Cameron Brate— 3 points(TIE) Offensive Line/Jacquizz Rodgers— 2 points(TIE) Vernon Hargreaves/Bryan Anger/Carlton Davis— 1 point The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had a lost season and currently sit at 5-10, which is good for last place in the NFC South Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hats
, yet again. The Buccaneers will play host to the Atlanta Falcons this week in the season finale. Tampa Bay lost the first matchup of the season 34-29. Since that game, Mark Duffner took over as the interim defensive coordinator after the Buccaneers fired former defensive coordinator Mike Smith. Smith’s defense was on pace to be the worst in NFL history in several defensive categories, but since the firing, the defense has been better for the most part. Wednesday, Duffner spoke to the media ahead of the season finale and commented on several defensive topics, including what the defense has improved on the most since week six.“I think our ability to generate rush has been one of the areas for sure. We’ve also cut down explosive plays which is important for us to get done – so that’s been a plus for us,” Duffner said. “Obviously, there’s much, much [more] room for improvement across the board. We’re having I think less mental errors and these type of things. The execution is what we’re striving to be as consistent as possible and I think we’ve taken some strides in that.”One of the talking points all season long for this defense was the development of the rookies on the defense. Those rookies are Carlton Davis, Vita Vea, M.J Stewart and Jordan Whitehead. Most of them have had their ups and downs all season long, but from week one, Carlton Davis has been the most consistent and Duffner commented on his long term status as a starter in the NFL “I think he is. I think he’s got the length and the speed and the change of direction. He’s certainly a confident player – that’s a spot you need to be confident in. He’s got a lot of the attributes that we think are necessary for a guy to be a successful corner. So yeah, I’m excited about where I think he’s heading, Davis said.”A big question Tampa Bay faces this off-season is the contract situation of Gerald McCoy. McCoy is due to make $13 million next season and his production hasn’t quite matched the cap number. He is also turning 31 in February. Duffner did speak highly of McCoy today in terms of what he does for this team.“He’s out there in pre-practice. He’s out there before practice working out and doing sprints, doing different things – skills, bag drills, rush drills and things of that nature that is not required. He’s doing the extra, if you will, Duffner said. “A lot if of it’s what he does in the classroom in terms of the study – very studious in terms of his preparation. Again, a lot of extra work on and off the field – on and before practice.”Duffner has certainly made his case to return next season as the Buccaneers defensive coordinator and another high first round pick on defense including the possible return of Kwon Alexander could really elevate this defense. We’ll see which direction the Glazer family chooses to go.