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Bucs at Bears: Winners and losers

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# 15.11.2018 - 08:25:33

A week after falling short in a comeback bid against Pittsburgh , Tampa Bay was absolutely blasted by the Chicago Bears on Sunday. You can’t really put it into words. It was UGLY. It was downright embarrassing for the Buccaneers.After starting 2-0, this team has quickly reverted back to its old form and there are a lot of questions to answer during the bye week. Tampa Bay has the second worst defensive in the league and is allowing 358 yards through the air per game.Something has to change. Whether it’s the coaching staff, some of the coverages, blitz packages. It’s all a mess right now.Winners1. DeSean JacksonDeSean Jackson has rebounded from a rough first season with Tampa Bay and he’s recorded 100 receiving yards or more in three of the teams first four games. He was at it again on Sunday against the Bears. Jackson caught a 48-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick on the Buccaneers third possession that helped them cut the deficit to 14-3. Later in the first half, Fitzpatrick and Jackson hooked up again for a 42-yard gain.The former Philadelphia Eagle and Washington Redskin has already recorded 424 recieving yards and three touchdowns this season for the Bucs. He had a total of 668 yards and three scores a season ago. The most insane part of Jackson’s play has been his knack to come away with huge gains.He’s averaging a career-high 24.9 yards per catch right now. If he stays within that range as Jameis Winston returns to the starting spot, look for Jackson to finish the year with a big season.2. Jason Pierre-PaulOn a day where Tampa Bay’s defense got torched, Jason Pierre-Paul was one of the lone bright spots. He finished with a team-high seven tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack.Pierre-Paul was consistent all afternoon in putting pressure on Mitchell Trubisky. He brought the second-year quarterback down in the first-quarter to net his fourth sack in four games.If Pierre-Paul continues to produce at this rate, he’ll be the first Buccaneer to record double-digit sacks in a season since Simeon Rice did it back in 2005. 3. Bryan Anger/Chandler CatanzaroDespite Tampa Bay’s defense falling apart and the offense stalling, the specialists still performed well in the loss to Chicago.Anger was forced to punt five times and he averaged 42.8 yards per kick, which is right on par with his season average. He also dropped one punt inside the 20-yard line, obviously that didn’t help the Buccaneers defense very much. As for Catanzaro, the fifth-year kicker continued to add to his solid season. He knocked in 30-yard field and an extra point in the blowout loss. However, Catanzaro is 5/6 on field goals and 13/14 on extra points. Solid kicking is something the Bucs have missed in recent seasons. Losers1. Mike Smith/DefenseIt was an ugly Sunday for Mike Smith and his defense against Chicago. Seriously, it’s hard to remember a Tampa Bay game where they were worse on defense and that’s saying something.The Bears scored five touchdowns and field goal in the first half on only seven total possessions. They made Trubisky and his wide receivers look like the greatest show on turf. Trubisky threw for 354 yards and six touchdowns while not turning the ball over. He threw the most touchdowns in a first half by a Bears quarterback in over 50 years. Chicago had 483 yards of offense and 28 first downs while converting 50%of its third downs. Lost in the midst of a 2-0 start, Tampa Bay’s defense wasn’t seen as a big enough issue as it is due to the offensive explosion. However, this Mike Smith led defense has allowed at least 30 points in three of its four games.Like I said above, something has to change here and quickly. It doesn’t matter how good the Buccaneers offense is if the defense falls apart like sand on a rock.3. Offensive lineTampa Bay’s offensive line did a great job of protecting the quarterback during the first two weeks of the season but they’ve taken a step backward in losses to Pittsburgh and Chicago.After allowing just two sacks in the first two games, the Buccaneers have surrendered a whopping seven sacks in two weeks, culminating with a season-high four against the Bears.It wasn’t pretty up front. This team has struggled to run the ball consistently all season and when they can’t protect the quarterback, it all falls apart on offense. The Bucs averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and allowed Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick to each be sacked twice. This unit has to get back on the same page over the bye week.3. Mike Smith/DefenseYep, you’re reading this correctly. They were that bad.Honorable loser1. Mike Smith/DefenseJust in case I haven’t hammered the point home by now. The Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles used the NFL draft to add another playmaker O. J. Howard Jersey , restock their depth chart and get a rugby star.After using their only pick in the first two days to select South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert with the 52nd overall spot, the Eagles turned to defense in the fourth round Saturday. They took Pitt cornerback Avonte Maddox and Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat five picks apart. TCU offensive lineman Matt Pryor was picked in the sixth round and Philadelphia moved up 17 spots to draft Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata with No. 233.Then the Eagles re-signed veteran running back and return specialist Darren Sproles, who tore an ACL and broke his forearm on the same play in Week 3 last season."Everybody in the building is excited to have Darren back," said Howie Roseman, the Eagles executive vice president of football operations. "He's that kind of guy."Mailata, 6-foot-7, 346 pounds, is projected as an offensive tackle. He began to pursue a career in the NFL last year and trained in Florida the past few months."I knew if I made the decision, I'd be all in," said Mailata, who looks dominant running with the ball and knocking tacklers over in highlight videos. "Walking away from something I know very well to do something foreign was a big risk."Maddox, chosen Saturday at No. 125, played four seasons in college. Despite his size — 5-foot-9 and 184 pounds — Maddox is known for his tough, physical play. He had seven sacks along with eight interceptions over the past three years."This is a guy that fits in with our DB room," said Joe Douglas, the Eagles vice president of player personnel. "It's a group of highly competitive guys, and he's going to blend in perfectly, and even stand out to a degree. Even though he's not the biggest guy, he will attack and support."Sweat, 6-foot-5 and 251 pounds, was picked at No. 130. He had 14陆 sacks in three seasons and gives the Eagles even more depth on a deep defensive line.Pryor, 6-foot-7 and 338 pounds, started 21 games at right guard and six at right tackle in his final two seasons.Here are some other things to know about the Eagles' draftGrummelET UP FOR 2019The Eagles added Baltimore's second-round pick next year by trading out of the first round Authentic Chandler Catanzaro Jersey , and sent a 2019 seventh-round pick to New England to move up 17 spots to get Mailata. They have eight picks in 2019 plus they'll likely get compensatory picks for losing free agents Trey Burton and Beau Allen.READY TO PLAYMaddox will compete for the nickel cornerback spot. Patrick Robinson, who had a pick-6 in the NFC championship game, left in free agency. Maddox also will get a chance to contribute as a returner."It can be anything on special teams," Maddox said. "And if they need me to play in the slot, I'll try to do my best there. And if they need me to play outside, I'll do my best there. Anything that they need me to do, I'll do it."VALUE PICKSweat would've gone earlier in the draft if it weren't for medical concerns going back to a knee injury suffered in high school."He was much higher rated than where we got him," Roseman said. "We have a lot of trust in our medical staff. Dr. (Peter) DeLuca has done a great job for us for a long time. When he tells us that the guy's ready to go, we rely on them and we trust that."Sweat only missed three games and sat out a bowl game last year to prepare for the draft."I think without the injury hopefully it would have been different," he said. "I wouldn't say frustrating. It's been more motivating if anything."OVERLOADED D-LINEThe addition of Sweat plus free agents Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata strengthens a line that already features Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Tim Jernigan, Chris Long and Derek Barnett."That's what we call 'rich man problems,'" Roseman said. "We're excited about that. That's how we're going to build this. We're always going to put priority on the lines. You can never have too many."MULTI-TALENTEDGoedert, who will team with Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz to give the Eagles another weapon at the position, rides a unicycle in parades in his hometown, Britton, South Dakota. He said the skill helps him on the field."It helps with the balance for sure," Goedert said. "If you get hit a little bit on the legs, you can torque your body to stay upright. So I think the balance definitely plays a big factor."STILL NEEDNot a lot considering they are champions. Maybe some help on the offensive line.
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