Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Jets-Bucs

November 12th, 2017

Locker room chatter and more from the Sage of Tampa Bay sports


Hey, it’s a start.

The long, depressing losing streak is over for a Buc team that displayed more energy Sunday. Tampa Bay remains in the NFC South basement and as Luke Stocker noted after the game, “we’ve got a long way to go to get out of this deep hole,” but long journeys often begin with small steps.

The 15-10 triumph was no modern art masterpiece, but for Buc fans, it was a thing of beauty. The Jets had an opportunity to reach 5-5 before their bye week, but they were outplayed on both sides of the ball.

Here’s how it happened:

* I asked Gerald McCoy whether the Bucs had fun because they won or did they win because they had fun. McCoy said that it was an interesting question, then acknowledged it was a little of both. Tampa Bay showed more juice from the start in front of a drab turnout.

* Tampa Bay’s linebacker corps took star turns in a stellar defensive effort. Lavonte David led the Bucs with eight stops, including a third-and-1 tackle that forced a punt. David also recovered a third-quarter fumble forced by Kwon Alexander. who rebounded from a few subpar games. Rookie Kendell Beckwith registered a sack, two tackles for loss and one of Tampa Bay’s 14 QB hits.

* Speaking of that revived pass rush, the Bucs must have been tired of constantly being reminded that six players had more sacks by themselves than Tampa Bay as a team. Six different Bucs dropped Josh McCown, almost doubling the team total, and Robert Ayers stood out up front. Mike Smith blitzed aggressively and he was rewarded with more pressure.

* McCown had no answers from the start as New York’s first five possessions ended with four punts and an interception. Take away a 21-yard dash by Bilal Powell and the Jets averaged less than 2 yards per carry. Tampa Bay’s run fits were far more disciplined. Guys did their job, without trying to do someone else’s.

* A year after posting the stingiest third-down defense in the league, the Bucs entered the game ranked last on the money down, allowing a 49.5 percent success rate that kept Smith up at night. The Jets converted only 3-of-15 on third down and when you couple that with New York’s brutal field position most of the day, it added up to victory.

* Yes, we had a Charles Sims sighting … and it was quite a sight to behold. First, Sims ripped off a 21-yard gain around left end on third-and-15 with the Bucs clinging to a 9-3 lead early in the fourth quarter. Four minutes later, Sims caught a 6-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick on third-and-2, reminding everyone that he can be an effective target out of the backfield.

* The absence of Mike Evans provided an opportunity for Chris Godwin and the rookie showcased his skills with five catches for 68 yards. After earning weekly praise during training camp, Godwin was quiet in the first half of the season with only eight receptions. This kid’s going to be a good one.

* Buc fans don’t even want to think about life beyond Brent Grimes. He turns 35 next year, when he is slated to return to the free-agent market, but Grimes is still showing youngsters how to play corner with athleticism and smarts. He’s making it difficult for the Bucs to let him go. The next time someone asks you to describe ball skills, dial up a video of Grimes picking off McCown deep downfield.

* For the first time this season, the Bucs won when rushing for less than 100 yards. The ground game remains abysmal, averaging 3.6 yards per carry on the year. In 2015, when Dirk Koetter served as offensive coordinator, Tampa Bay averaged 4.8 yards per rush. It’s been a problem for 25 games now, and that’s an eternity by NFL standards.

* It’s obvious that home cooking hits the spot for the Buc defense, which allows only 15 points per game at Raymond James Stadium — compared to 33 points on the road. We’ll see if Tampa Bay can address that woeful road performance at Miami against Jay Cutler and a weak offense coming off a short week.

Ira Kaufman is the most beloved, revered and esteemed Buccaneers columnist in town. He has hung his hat at world headquarters since July 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also see Ira every football Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on FOX-13, Scott Smith’s Tailgate Sunday.

13 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Jets-Bucs”

  1. JimmyJack Says:

    I seen spots of daylight for Doug today. Either I’m blind or Doug can’t hit them. I’m not a big Barber guy but time to give him a look. Doug hasn’t had the goods for two years. It feels like they are using him stubbornly at this point.

    Enough with the pash rush revival talk huh? Gotta give them credit for today but nobody’s going to care about this one if our last half of the season looks like the 1st.

  2. Waterboy Says:

    I’ll have to rewatch that game later this week because I didn’t see any running lanes. The best play that Doug had all day was called back because of 76 holding.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Takeaway #11 Ira: Bucs’ OLine needs to get their act together. Run blocking was abysmal all game long, and OLine penalties at critical times compounded their ineptitude. Even their pass-blocking was meh today.

    Takeaway #12: Dirk Koetter’s play-calling still has me baffled, but that’s OK because it apparently has him baffled too. Easy to tell by the look on his face when the cameras panned to him after some of those bad plays.

    Takeaway #13: Fitz can get the job done, but it won’t be pretty. Hopefully Koetter doesn’t let him throw into the middle of the field any longer though.

  4. JimmyJack Says:

    Waterboy…….Looked like Martin got past the Jets defensive front quite a few times today. You’d like to see him convert a few of those into more then 7 yards. Martins got to hit a sideline there or find a way to make a LBer miss.

    Another thing I’m noticing about Martin is he runs behind the block every time. You never see him find something and make any cuts behind the LOS…….It can’t be doing him any service when the defense doesn’t have to respect the edge.

  5. darin Says:

    Well now mike smith knows what blitzes can do for ya. Why it took him 10 weeks will never be answered. Maybe he wont make that mistake at his next stop. Too little too late smitty.

  6. Jim Says:

    Ira somehow lists ten points on the game without mentioning that Fitz was our QB. Amazing. Maybe this win will be the start of that 5 game winning streak Ira was predicting, um,..6 games ago.

  7. unbelievable Says:

    I only saw 1 play where Martin missed at whole today. Much better than last week. As usual, the oline did him no favors.

    I can think of at least 6 different 10+ yard runs he had called back this season from a holding penalty

  8. unbelievable Says:

    *missed a hole today

  9. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Water boy lay off the sauce. The Jets were tackling him in the backfield. No need to make sh1t up. The line sucks and that is all there is to it.

  10. Pelbuc Says:

    Irrelevant win for an irrelevant team. Should have benched JW and Evans more as it helped their record. Oline can’t run block or pass block and Martin is finished! Boring game to watch.

  11. BrianBucs Says:

    A very bad team beat another very bad team in a very boring game. Nothing more, nothing less

  12. J dubb Says:

    My takeaway…..Ryan Smith and vernon hargreaves (although he left the game) are starting to ease my soul knowing Grimes is leaving at the end of the year. They have both played a lot better the last three weeks. They are both second year guys so we will surely see more hiccups the rest of the season but I believe they are starting to turn the corner ( Hargreaves played well on the outside a few weeks ago, not just the slot).

  13. teacherman777 Says:

    Grimes is the MVP of the team.

    He is the key to our defense.

    He needs to be resigned to another 2 year deal this week!!