Bucs Game Grades

December 9 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kept the Detroit Lions winless on Sunday by sneaking out of Raymond James Stadium with a 15-12 victory. Buccaneer Magazine hands out grades based on the Bucs' performance against the Lions.

QUARTERBACK:

QB BRAD JOHNSON: Johnson completed 31-of-54 pass attempts for 305 yards and threw one touchdown and two interceptions. Johnson was under constant pressure throughout Sunday's game against the Lions. Johnson was sacked four times and threw two bad interceptions. But considering the amount of pressure Johnson was put under by Detroit's defensive line, he did a good job. Johnson engineered a 91-yards drive in the second quarter, which led to FB Mike Alstott's touchdown run. Johnson came up big at the end of the game when he put together a 15-play, 80-yard game-winning touchdown drive. Johnson completed two passes on fourth down and a touchdown pass to WR Keyshawn Johnson on that drive. Johnson then drilled FB Mike Alstott in the end zone to convert the two-point conversion.

GRADE: C+

RUNNING BACKS:

FB MIKE ALSTOTT: Alstott had 12 carries for 66 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Alstott's biggest run of the game came in the second quarter when he took a handoff from QB Brad Johnson and bulled his way to a 24-yards up the field for the first touchdown of the game. Alstott came up huge on Tampa Bay's last drive of the game. He caught a pass on fourth down, which gave the Bucs a first down. The A-Train came up big again when he caught a pass in the end zone for the two-point conversion.

FB JAMEEL COOK: Cook had a huge block, which allowed Alstott to run 24-yards for Tampa Bay's first touchdown of the game.

RB WARRICK DUNN: Rushed six times for three yards (0.5 avg.). Dunn's longest run of the game was for 2-yards. Dunn was ineffective on the ground, but did contribute in the passing game by catching nine passes for 54 yards.

*Tampa Bay's offense had 81 yards and averaged 3.7 yards per carry as a team.

GRADE: C

WIDE RECEIVERS:

WR KEYSHAWN JOHNSON: Johnson hauled in 10 passes for 101 yards, including a game-winning 15-yard touchdown. The touchdown was Johnson's first of the season. On Tampa Bay's game-winning touchdown drive, K. Johnson came up with two huge fourth-down catches to keep the drive alive. Johnson's third reception of the game gave Johnson 86 on the season, which broke ex-Bucs RB James Wilder's NFL record for most catches in a single season without a touchdown.

WR KARL WILLIAMS: Williams caught three passes for 50 yards. All of his receptions came in the first half and all were big. Williams' biggest reception was a 17-yarder across the middle of the field.

WR JACQUEZ GREEN: Green caught two passes for 27 yards. One of his receptions was a one-hander, and gave the Bucs a first down in the first half.

*Tampa Bay's offense converted 9-of-18 third downs.

GRADE: B

TIGHT ENDS:

TE TODD YODER: Yoder had one catch, but it was a 24-yarder down the sideline, which set up Alstott's touchdown run in the second quarter.

TE DAVE MOORE: Moore had one catch for 12 yards.

GRADE B-

OFFENSIVE LINE: Tampa Bay's offensive line had problems against Detroit's defense. The Bucs offensive line allowed QB Brad Johnson to be buried under pressure and sacked four times. Bucs rookie LT Kenyatta Walker struggled along with the rest of the offensive line. Bucs RG Cosey Coleman made a nice block on Alstott's 24-yard touchdown run. Bucs LG Randall McDaniel left the game in the fourth quarter due to fatigue. Guard Todd Washington filled in for him. The offensive line opened some holes in the running game, but too many runs were stopped at the line of scrimmage and for losses.

GRADE: D

DEFENSIVE LINE:

DE SIMEON RICE: Rice recorded tackle, which was his sack on rookie QB Mike McMahon. Rice had another chance at another sack later in the game, but couldn't keep McMahon wrapped up.

DT WARREN SAPP: Sapp recorded six tackles against Detroit, including a sack.

DT ANTHONY McFARLAND: Recorded three tackles.

*Tampa Bay's defense allowed RB James Stewart to rush for 78 yards on 15 carries (5.2 avg.) and allowed their offense to rush for a total of 101 yards.

GRADE: B

LINEBACKERS:

ROLB DERRICK BROOKS: Recorded just three tackles and assisted in another.

MLB NATE WEBSTER: Recorded three tackles and saw extensive playing time against the Lions.

LOLB SHELTON QUARLES: Recorded two tackles, but one was a sack. Quarles did a nice job of chasing and containing McMahon toward the sideline and recorded the sack. Quarles' sack moved the Lions back 6-yards and out of field goal range.

*Tampa Bay's defense only allowed rookie QB Mike McMahon to rush for three yards on two carries.

GRADE: B-

SECONDARY:

SS JOHN LYNCH: Led the team in tackles with six and three assists. Lynch made a nice play in the first half when he closed in on a pass coming toward a wide-open Lions' receiver on the sideline and did just enough to cause the incompletion.

CB BRIAN KELLY: Kelly recorded three tackles, all of which were solo. He did a good job in coverage for the most part, but was called for a bogus pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter that moved the Lions offense 29-yards up the field to the Bucs' 35-yard line. The ball was clearly not catchable and Kelly did nothing wrong on

CB RONDE BARBER: Recorded three tackles. At the beginning of the third quarter, Barber had an excellent opportunity to haul in an interception, but the ball tipped off of his hands and right into a Detroit receiver's hands. If Barber could've caught the pass, he would have definitely run it back for a touchdown.

*Tampa Bay's defense allowed rookie QB Mike McMahon to complete 11-of-25 passes for 165 yards.

GRADE: B+

SPECIAL TEAMS:

RB/FB RABIH ABDULLAH: Forced KR Desmond Howard to fumble on the kickoff after Tampa Bay had taken a 15-12 lead with under 1:00 remaining.

CB RONDE BARBER: Barber recovered the fumble Abdullah forced.

P MARK ROYALS: Royals punted five times and averaged just 37.0 yards per punt. In the fourth quarter, Royals shanked a punt, which went just 23-yards and straight out of bounds. The punt set the Lions offense up at their own 35-yard line.

CB BRIAN KELLY: Made a touchdown-saving tackle on KR Desmond Howard.

S ERIC VANCE: Made a heads-up play by recovering an onside kickoff by the Lions after Detroit kicked their first field goal of the game.

*Tampa Bay's special teams allowed KR Desmond Howard to average 30.7 yards per kickoff return on Sunday, but they took the ball out of his hands when it really counted.

GRADE C+


This story is intended to be read only by subscribers to the Insiders Pass service of BucMag.com and TheInsiders.com. Sharing of the Insiders Pass content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.

Get more analysis, inside information and expert commentary from the Buccaneer Magazine staff by calling 1-800-881-BUCS(2827) to subscribe to Buccaneer Magazine.


Bucs Blitz Top Stories