Ira’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-49ers

October 23rd, 2016



Tell the truth, how many of you out there in Buccaneer Land thought the visitors had the mental toughness to rally from a 14-0 deficit on the road?

You can put your hand down, Mr. Licht. The Bucs have reached .500 and Atlanta’s loss to San Diego represents a nice bonus. Bring on the home stand and let’s bring on the takeaways:

* Mike Evans looked like a different player coming into training camp and in this case, looks weren’t deceiving. There’s a maturity surrounding No. 13. He is carrying this passing offense on his back, although Russell Shepard came to play Sunday. Evans has at least five catches in every game and he has reached the end zone against every opponent except Denver. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t make the Pro Bowl.

* This game showcased a resiliency Buc fans weren’t accustomed to in recent years. Since 2012, Tampa Bay had lost 30 of 35 games when the opponent scored first. The Bucs were 4-25 in that span when trailing after the opening quarter, but they never lost their poise at Levi’s Stadium.

* Lavonte David enjoyed his best game of the season, looking like the playmaker that teammates and coaches have been expecting. With eight tackles, including one for a loss, and a forced fumble, No. 54 made an impact from start to finish and perhaps offered a glimpse of what’s to come.

* What can we say about Jacquizz Rodgers at this point? In scampering for 154 yards, he continually made the first defender miss. His startling production has taken the sting out of Doug Martin’s setback and given Dirk Koetter the confidence to call his number 56 times in the past two games.

* Rodgers didn’t do it by himself. Give it up for the guys up front, who kept gouging out big holes against an awful rush defense. Above all, second-year right guard Ali Marpet is simply crushing people.

* Koetter has adjusted well on the fly. His natural inclination may be to throw the ball downfield, but the Bucs ran 41 times in Santa Clara — only the fourth time they have reached that total in the past five seasons. By the way, they are 4-0 in those circumstances.

* After a sluggish start, Tampa Bay’s defense swallowed up Colin Kaepernick, who ended up looking for a place to kneel down and catch his breath. Kaepernick completed 7-of-18 pass attempts in the second half for only 50 yards while absorbing three sacks.

* That turnover table has shifted strongly in Tampa Bay’s favor. The Bucs were minus-9 heading into Charlotte, with only two takeaways in the first four weeks. Two games later, the Bucs are now minus-3 for the season after registering a total of seven takeaways in back-to-back wins.

* Don’t be alarmed by San Francisco’s 160 yards on the ground. Kaepernick rushed for 84 yards by himself and the Bucs did a good job flushing him out of the pocket to his left and making him throw off balance. Coming off a bye week, defensive coordinator Mike Smith threw in some wrinkles that appeared to confuse the 49ers.

* The Bucs are now 3-1 on the road, which doesn’t seem like a major accomplishment until you realize Tampa Bay has topped the .500 mark away from home only once in the past decade. That would be a 6-2 stunner in 2010, when Josh Freeman looked like a franchise quarterback and the Bucs looked like an emerging power. Wrong and wrong.

Ira Kaufman’s columns appear Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on His dynamic podcasts post Tuesdays and Thursdays. Follow Ira on Twitter @ikaufman76.


12 Responses to “Ira’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-49ers”

  1. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Vernon Hargreeves and Brent Grimes look great out there. Keep that bench warm Alteran Verner.

  2. Brandon from Philly Says:

    I think our Oline makes everyone but Charles Simms look great.

  3. cometowin2 Says:

    Both Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith called great games. Well done.

  4. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


  5. DB55 Says:

    Charles Sims, who is that?

  6. ThunderSack Says:

    Pamphille looked great out there today. On one play he crushed two linemen when he pulled.

    The only thing I would say is that the play-calling seemed odd at times. Why run the ball 4 times in a row? Isn’t the point of running the ball to set up the pass?

  7. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    Imagine next year a nice rookie WR to grow with everyone

  8. KingBuc17 Says:

    Yes Game ball needs to go to the OL!!!! Great win!!! now lets get back to our house and start killing people with our change in culture! We need a big win at RJ, to change our culture. Oakland would be a great win to start the three game home stand!!!

    Also, DL and LB played well and a strip sack on the CB blitz. Grimes, VHIII and Mcdougal with the pick!!!…. great job D. JW, way to shake off the slow start???? and bring us back. Evans a pro bowl stud and Shepard played well.

    Agauyo getting better… 3-4

    Go Bucs!

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    Always great to read Ira’s articles.

  10. NJ BucFan Says:

    Verner and Banks need to start practicing at safety in hopes one of them can replace Conte who continually disappoints. Verner seems to know the defense really well but just can’t stay with his guys in man coverage so safety may just be a good change for him.

  11. mdsbuc Says:

    KingBuc17 Says:
    October 24th, 2016 at 2:23 am
    “…now lets get back to our house and start killing people with our change in culture! We need a big win at RJ, to change our culture. Oakland would be a great win to start the three game home stand!!!”

    Indeed. A win Sunday could spark the Tampa Bay Area, put some more fans in the seats, and place a song on our lips. “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.”

  12. RustyRhino Says:


    “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.”

    Should be played anyway, both teams are pirates.

    Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me

    Go Bucs!