Heading into the month of February, it was completely fair to say...
Cleveland no match for Winston and Bucs’ front seven
There was quite a bit of jubilation at Raymond James Stadium this Friday night as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) hosted their first home game of the season against the visiting Cleveland Browns (0-3). The night was full of highlight moments for the home team as Jameis Winston and company would guide the Bucs to a 30-13 victory. The defense played its part throughout the night as they totaled eight sacks on the night. It was even a big night for rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo as he went 6 for 6 in all of his kick attempts. For the Browns, its just another zero in the win column as they try to gain something positive out of the preseason.
This was a game that was essentially over in the first quarter. Aguayo would be the first to strike first as he connected on a 48 yard kick early in the game. After Cleveland’s Patrick Murray tied the game up, it was all Buccaneers for the rest of the half. Winston went 16 for 25, 259 yards, and two scores, starting with a short TD pass to Charles Sims III from 3 yards out. This was followed by an amazing 73 yard punt return by slot receiver Adam Humphries for another touchdown. The score was 17-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Mike Evans had a productive first half as well, leading the receiving corp with 115 yards. This included a beautiful 34 yard touchdown catch towards the end of the second quarter. While the turnovers didn’t generate for the defense, the front seven made their presence felt all game long. All three Cleveland quarterbacks were brought down to the grass at one point or another. Jacquies Smith led the game with two sacks, and rookie Noah Spence contributed with sack of his own. While Robert Griffin was able to muster a score late in the first half, that’s all the Browns offense could do against the constant pressure of the Buccaneer defenders. Griffin would have go 8-14 for 119 yards and one score.
Next up for the Buccaneers are the a home matchup against RGIII’s former team the Washington Redskins (2-1). Tampa Bay lost a close game to Kirk Cousins and the crew at FedEx last season, so the Bucs could be looking for a bit of redemption. Cleveland will close out the preseason at home as well against the visiting Chicago Bears (0-2). Lots of pluses for Pewter Nation tonight, and with the offense and defense both clicking, it could be a long night next Thursday for the boys from DC.