After A Rocky Start, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Right The Ship And Improve To .500 On The Season
The first quarter may have belonged to the 49ers, but it was all Buccaneers after that. Both offense and defense shook off the cob webs after a rough first quarter and flexed their muscle for the remainder of the game. The 49ers have owned the Buccaneers in the past, winning 17 of the 21 meetings between the two, but that was not the case this Sunday as the Bucs took care of business to improve to 3-3 on the year.
The beginning of the game had the ‘here they go again’ feel for the Buccaneers. The 49ers used their first offensive series to march right down the field and score on a Mike Davis touchdown run. The Bucs responded turning the ball over on downs, having a quick three and out, and Jameis Winston throwing an interception on their first three offensive possessions. The 49ers used the very next play after the interception to expand their lead to 14 when Colin Kaepernick found Shaun Draughn,who made a nice play to stay in bounds with the touchdown grab.
That ended the first quarter, and with the start of the new quarter, a different Buccaneers team came back onto the field. The second quarter was all Buccaneers, as Bradley McDougald forced a Colin Kaepernick interception. The Bucs offense built off the solid defense scoring 17 unanswered points before halftime arrived. Jameis Winston threw two touchdown passes in the quarter, one to Mike Evans and the other to Russell Shepard, his two favorite receivers on the night.
Taking a break at halftime didn’t cool off the Buccaneers, as they played as well in the third quarter as they did in the second. The Buccaneers offense added another ten points to give them 27 unanswered points on Mike Evans second touchdown of the day. The defense recovered two fumbles, one on special teams was scooped up by Keith Tandy on a botched punt, and Kaepernick fumbled when he took a sack and it was recovered by Gerald McCoy.
Peyton Barber would add his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the defense held tight, only allowing a San Francisco field goal to secure the victory. The Bucs achieved over 500 yards of total offense, gaining 264 yards passing, and an impressive 249 yards on the ground. Jacquizz Rodgers was a big part of that, carrying the ball 26 times for 154 yards. Rookie Peyton Barber made the most of his work gaining 84 yards on 12 carries and a 44 yard touchdown.
The defense held up strong in this contest. They did give up 160 yards on the ground, but held the San Francisco passing attack to only 113 net yards. For a pass defense that has struggled in the past and ranks 20th in the league in passing yards allowed per game, this was an encouraging sign looking ahead.
After the Falcons overtime loss to the San Diego Chargers, the Buccaneers at 3-3 find themselves only a 1/2 game out of first place in the NFC South. Up next for the Buccaneers is the 5-2 Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are a highly efficient passing team, and the same passing defense that showed up in San Francisco will be needed to continue the winning streak against the AFC West leading Oakland Raiders.