10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons

September 11th, 2016



The last time the Bucs opened a season with a divisional road win, Ray Perkins was stalking the Pontiac Silverdome sidelines in 1990, berating officials.

Tampa Bay has fired seven head coaches since that point, so Sunday’s victory was especially notable.

Here’s 10 more tasty takeaways from the shootout at the Georgia Dome:

* With some help from the AFC West, Dirk Koetter needed only 60 minutes of football to carve out a little Buc history. Sunday’s win, coupled with Carolina’s loss to Denver and Oakland’s comeback at New Orleans, marks the first time in franchise annals that the Bucs own sole possession of the divisional lead after Week 1.

* Although the pass rush was spotty, Tampa Bay’s rush defense continued its stout play The Falcons ran 22 times for only 52 yards as dynamic middle linebacker Kwon Alexander led the way, slicing through the gaps and staking a powerful claim as this defense’s most indispensable player.

* Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brandon Myers and Cameron Brate took turns contributing big catches from the tight end position. It was particularly gratifying to see Myers, so often overlooked in previous game plans, latch onto his first TD reception in a Buc uniform.

* The Bucs returned six starters on each side of the ball from last year’s season opener, a home debacle against the Titans. Mike Evans, inactive vs. Tennessee because of a hamstring injury, certainly announced his presence in a big way and appears destined for a monster season.

* Quite a debut for new punter Bryan Anger, who averaged 49.4 yards with a 45.0 net, placing two of his five punts inside the Atlanta 20. He is an upgrade on Jacob Schum — perhaps a significant upgrade.

* The Bucs deserved to win, but the Falcons helped out with dumb penalties to keep drives alive. A third-down incompletion was nullified by an unnecessary roughness call, and ex-Buc Adrian Clayborn was ruled offside when a third-down run by Winston came up a yard short. Tampa Bay scored touchdowns on both possessions.

* Speaking of flags, the Bucs showed more discipline in their first game under Koetter’s command. Tampa Bay fans can live with six penalties for 48 yards, especially considering the Bucs were called for double-digit flags five times in their first six games in 2015.

* An interception thrown by Winston, caused by a miscommunication with Vincent Jackson, proved to be the game’s only turnover. The Bucs had lost 30 of their previous 34 games when losing the turnover battle.

* Tampa Bay wasn’t crisp at the start, but the Bucs kept their poise in a hostile environment. Hard to believe, but the Bucs had been 1-20 since 2013 when trailing after the opening quarter.

* Great scene at the end as Mike Glennon and Jackson combined to give Koetter a Gatorade shower, dousing jubilant GM Jason Licht in the process. Nice to see the classy Glennon carrying something other than the clipboard.

19 Responses to “10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons”

  1. Pete Mitchell Says:

    Great game! got a win against a struggling team, like you’re supposed to. A lot remains to be “cleaned up” before the Arizona game. Let’s hope the boys have a solid week of practice and come out firing in Phoneix.

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    Ira glad you mentioned Glennon. He looks more comfortable with the Surface. a lot more confident switching windows. He did a fine job today supporting the franchise.

  3. head ball coach dirk Says:

    Tmax love the negativity. Here’s to hoping number 3 is never ever holding a surface for the next 14 years! (Except preseason..and now it’s a surface who knows what the heck it’s going to be a year from now)

  4. Atlbuc28 Says:

    Sorry but that wasnt a win against a struggling team… Pete…

  5. Cobraboy Says:

    Pete Mitchell Says:

    Great game! got a win against a struggling team, like you’re supposed to. A lot remains to be “cleaned up” before the Arizona game. Let’s hope the boys have a solid week of practice and come out firing in Phoneix.

    I wouldn’t call Atlanta struggling at all.

  6. BigStinky Says:

    Hopefully JW3 doesn’t spot Arizona 7 points as well. He is going to have to have a perfect game if we are going to start out 2-0. I hope we can score 30+ points again next week because we are gonna need it. How bad is JS56 hurt “cause we need more than 3 sacks next week? Keep it up Bucs!

  7. Brian Says:

    I expect J. Smith to be DONE.. Shame he cant stay healthy. Bucs need him! And the Falcons are not struggling on O.

  8. JonBuc Says:

    Nice nuggets, Ira…and a top flight free agent aquisition Joe(s) picking up Mr. Kaufman after becoming a “salary cap casualty” of the fish wrap. 🙂

  9. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Atlanta had a top five offense last year…they won their first five before their D finally let them down.

    In fairness…Atlanta and Tampa both drafted UF DB’s…The Bucs got VH3 who contributed nicely today for a rookie…the Falcons drafted SS Keanu Neal to be Quinns answer to his use of Kam Chancellor in Seattle. And Neal was living up to expectations until he was injured. He’ll be back. We were fortunate to catch them when he was hurt.

    Julio rolled his ankle in the 2nd half and was unable to really contribute after that.

    We have a very good team! But it’s the NFL and luck plays a big part especially the bad luck of injuries. Hopefully Jack Smith will be back.

    Coach K was correct. Never apologize for any win in the NFL…on any given Sunday…all NFL wins are excellent…NFL wins against division on the road are extra special.

    We don’t have to diminish this achievement at all.

  10. tmaxcon Says:

    head ball coach dirk

    Don’t be an over sensitive Drama Queen. I was complimenting the fine job 8 did…. nothing negative about a team win.

  11. Blake_BucsFan Says:


    More often than not in this great game, it’s better to be lucky than good.

  12. Blake_BucsFan Says:

    ^ And today we were both!

  13. DB55 Says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Jac I think Howard Jones can step in easily n produce.

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    WELP…what about depth at WR?

    We have none and we don’t need it right now. We’ll adapt with what we’ve got.

  15. NCMike Says:

    Hey tmax…… Still waiting on your bet that 8 is out of the league in 2 years

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh and nice notes Ira.

  17. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Depth isnt too bad tbh. Would always be nice to have more, but i think we will be fine. Indidnt see shorts on the field at all, he is a piece of the puzzle that will find his spot in the coming weeks.

    Players lined up at reciever today:

    I think we have some pretty decent depth there… Plenty of weapons to target even if someone were to go down. And lets not forget Shorts will be available in a few weeks as he gets more comfortable with the offense.

  18. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    This was a very solid win. The Falcons threw all of their new stuff at us. We adjusted, settled down and were successfully aggressive in the second and third quarters. The no huddle was a thing of beauty. Our final offensive drive may not have resulted in points but was a good one nonetheless. My only concern after today is Vincent Jackson. He lacks chemistry with Winston and doesn’t seem to fit well in this offense. He looked a bit timid making those cuts into the middle if the field and his body language is not very positive. We shall see. Great, great start to the season and I hope we can make a real statement next Sunday.

  19. Owlykat Says:

    Trubucfan–ShortIII did play in the Atlanta game catching kickoffs in the end zone, but did not run any back which is why you did not notice him. It is just as well because speed is not Short’s forte. His 40 time is 4.59 so even if he broke away he is not a threat to go very far. The Bucs should be using Ryan Smith in that capacity since he is much faster and can take it to the house like he used to do in college. Hump is too valuable to be risked running back kicks. My question is why wasn’t Spence used to replace J. Smith when he was injured? He should have been in there on third downs! He is never going to get significant playing time as the backup on the right side because we need the starter playing every down he can with his great play!