Bucs Game Grades

January 6 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers concluded the regular season on a sour note by losing to the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium, 17-13. The Bucs blew a 13-3 fourth quarter lead and the offense couldn't capitalize off of generous field position and 11 Philadelphia penalties. Sunday night's game featured mostly backups, and the Bucs finished the regular season with a 9-7 record. The Pewter Pirates will visit the 11-5 Eagles next Saturday.

INACTIVES:

Tampa Bay

WR Keyshawn Johnson, DE Marcus Jones, K Martin Gramatica and RB Warrick Dunn.

Philadelphia RB Duce Staley, DE Hugh Douglas, CB Troy Vincent, LT Tra Thomas, WR James Thrash, TE Chad Lewis and S Brian Dawkins.

QUARTERBACKS:

QB Brad Johnson Johnson played two series and completed 3-of-4 passes for 46 yards. Johnson led Tampa Bay to a field goal on his second and last drive of the game.

QB Shaun King King looked like a quarterback that sat on the bench most of the season. King was rusty and completed 19-of-28 passes for 148 yards and threw one interception. While King didn't receive the greatest time to throw from his offensive line, he made his fair share of mistakes.

GRADE C-

RUNNING BACKS:

FB Mike Alstott The A-Train rushed three times for 11 yards (3.7 avg.).

RB Aaron Stecker Stecker had a somewhat impressive night rushing. Stecker carried the ball 12 times for 35 yards (2.9 avg.), and his longest run of the night was an impressive 13-yarder. Stecker also scored Tampa Bay's only touchdown of the game in the second quarter. Stecker caught three passes for eight yards.

RB Rabih Abdullah While Stecker was impressive, Abdullah was even more impressive. Abdullah rushed eight times for 34 yards (4.2 avg.). Abdullah's longest run was 12-yards long. Abdullah was also a big contributor in the passing game, where he hauled in two passes for 26 yards.

GRADE: B-

WIDE RECEIVERS:

WR Milton Wynn The Bucs rookie wide receiver caught four passes for 69 yards, including an impressive 36-yard pass play in the first quarter that set up Brien's field goal.

WR Karl Williams Williams caught two passes for 18 yards.

WR Jacquez Green Green caught one pass for seven yards, but he also dropped a huge third down pass, which if caught, would have given Tampa Bay a first down. The Bucs were forced to settle for a field goal.

WR Frank MurphyMurphy caught three passes for 25 yards, including a 15-yarder from QB Shaun King.

GRADE: C+

TIGHT ENDS:

TE Todd Yoder Yoder saw plenty of action against the Eagles. Yoder caught two passes for 20 yards.

TE Dave Moore Moore didn't see much time playing on Sunday night, and didn't catch a pass.

GRADE: C

OFFENSIVE LINETampa Bay's offensive line had mixed results against Philadelphia's defense. The Bucs allowed three sacks and their running attack could only manage 71 net yards. LT Kenyatta Walker didn't get a look at DE Hugh Douglas because the Eagles Pro Bowl defensive end didn't dress (injury). Walker did, however, play the entire game against the Eagles. C Todd Washington filled in well for C Jeff Christy, but the offensive line as a whole was inconsistent.

GRADE C

DEFENSIVE LINE:

DE Simeon Rice Rice saw a lot of plenty of time since DE Marcus Jones did not play due to a shoulder injury he is resting. Rice made an impressive open-field tackle on a Eagles running play. Rice grabbed Eagles RB Correll Buckhalter with one hand and held on for dear life. Rice brought Buckhalter down for a loss. Rice recorded six tackles.

DT Warren Sapp Sapp didn't play long and didn't record a tackle.

DT Anthony McFarlandMcFarland played a bit longer than Sapp, and recorded two tackles.

DE Steve White White filled in for Jones and recorded four tackles.

DE Ellis Wyms Tampa Bay's rookie defensive end recorded two tackles.

DT James Cannida Cannida saw a lot of action against the Eagles and recorded 12 tackles.

*Tampa Bay's defense allowed Philadelphia to gain 111 net yards rushing.

GRADE B-

LINEBACKERS

MLB Nate Webster Webster played most of the game at middle linebacker in place of Jamie Duncan. Webster recorded 14 tackles.

LB Al Singleton Singleton recorded six tackles.

LB Jeff Gooch Gooch recorded a whopping 22 tackles and .5 sack against Philadelphia.

LB Derrick Brooks Brooks didn't see much playing time and recorded no tackles.

LB Shelton Quarles Quarles stayed in the game a lot longer than most starters, but most of his playing time came on special teams.

MLB Jamie Duncan Duncan didn't play long and recorded no tackles.

GRADE B

SECONDARY

FS John Howell Howell was all over the field on Sunday night and was the Bucs rookie was pretty impressive, too. Howell recorded 16 tackles and had some Lynch-like tackles. Howell recovered a fumble forced by CB Dwight Smith in the third quarter, but an inadvertent whistle blew the play dead and made Howell and Smith's effort all for none.

S John Lynch Intercepted Eagles QB Koy Detmer in the second quarter, which set up Stecker's touchdown run. Lynch recorded one tackle.

CB Donnie Abraham Abraham played the entire game against the Eagles. Abraham was beat for Philly's first touchdown of the game. But Abraham also made some nice pass breakups, including a nice interception in the fourth quarter off a deflected A.J. Feeley pass. Abraham recorded eight tackles and had a very active night.

S David Gibson Gibson recorded 10 tackles and a couple of them were very impressive.

CB Brian Kelly Kelly recorded 10 tackles and teamed up with LB Jeff Gooch for a sack. Kelly saw a lot of playing time on Sunday night and had a strong showing against the run and in pass defense.

CB Dwight Smith Smith recorded six tackles. Smith forced a fumble in the third quarter of Sunday night's game, which FS John Howell recovered. But a referee inadvertently blew his whistle, which disallowed Bucs head coach Tony Dungy to challenge the ruling of an incomplete pass on the field.

CB Ronde Barber Barber didn't see much playing time, and didn't record a tackle.

FS Dexter Jackson Jackson recorded two tackles and saw more playing time than most of the starters.

*Tampa Bay's defense allowed Eagles rookie QB A.J. Feeley to throw two touchdowns within a 26-second span late in the fourth quarter to erase Tampa Bay's 10-point lead and win the game.

GRADE: B-

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Doug Brien Drilled 2-of-2 field goal attempts. Brien's first field goal was from 42-yards out in the first quarter. Brien's second field goal was from 23-yards out in the second quarter. Brien didn't appear to have much on his kickoffs in terms of depth.

RB Rabih Abdullah Abdullah had a solid outing as usual in terms of kickoff coverage.

P Mark Royals Royals punted six times and averaged just 38.5 yards per punt.

PR Karl Williams Williams returned two punts for four yards. But Williams made a crucial mistake when he fumbled a Philadelphia kickoff with 2:00 left in the game. The Eagles recovered Williams' turnover and scored the game-winning touchdown a few plays later.

KR Frank Murphy Returned two kickoffs for 34 yards (17.0 avg.).

GRADE: C


Copyright 2001 Buccaneer Magazine/BucMag.com

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