This past weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the Denver Broncos in Denver for the week 3 matchup. This game was pretty much over before it began. Denver was doing everything they could with an undermanned offense, but the Tampa defense was really on the same page and they had no shot. The final score was 28-10 without a point being scored in the last quarter of the game.
The first thing I noticed was that the defense was flying around all day. With Drew Lock hurt, Jeff Driskel got his head blitzed off on what seemed like every play. He was even benched in the fourth quarter for Denver’s practice squad QB Brett Rypien. He was actually doing well against the pass rush until a tipped ball got intercepted on a fourth down play.
Todd Bowles, the defensive coordinator of the Bucs, was not calling off the guns at all this game. In Shaquil Barrett’s first game against his old team, he got a big time safety in the third quarter. Turnovers come in bunches as they say, and there were plenty to go around for the defense in their first road win this season.
One of the next points I want to highlight is the Rob Gronkowski addition. Gronk recently came out and said he was here to block and didn’t expect to get many targets this year, which may be true. But one thing we know about Gronk is he was always able to dominate the game in the pass catching phase too. He caught a team high six balls for 48 yards.
Gronk seemed to be getting tackled right before breaking off the big plays, which we can attribute to his rust from retirement. As the season flows, he will be turning those catches into big time plays. Tom Brady does not seem like he will force the action to any of his playmakers, even with all of the weapons he has. That leads me into one of the most important takeaways from this game.
‘Tompa Bay’ was not just a phrase the fans made up for fun. He has lots of expectations to take this Bucs team to a Super Bowl, yet Brady has not seemed to take matters into his own hands yet, up until this game. Tom had nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns to his two Pro Bowl receivers Chris Godwin and two to Mike Evans.
The way Tom is spreading the ball has been amazing thus far. A lot of people expect him to have huge numbers in his first year in Bruce Arians’ system, which I’m sure he will, but it was a slow start to the season. This game showed me that the chemistry and timing with his receivers is improving drastically. If he can continue to not force one guy the ball, he will have this offense clicking like it needs to if they plan on contending for a Lombardi.
In closing, the team looked good against a team it was supposed to beat, let’s be real. The defense is picking up right where it left off from the second half of last season, and turning some of those tipped passes into turnovers, which was an issue they struggled with previously.
The passing game was humming against a decent pass rush and good run defense. The two headed monster in Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette was cut off early in the game, and did not have much impact. Chris Godwin hurt his hamstring this game, and was ruled out pretty quickly, which is not good news seeing how he just came back from a concussion. Hopefully he can get healthy soon so he can continue to build that chemistry with Tom. The first road win of the season for them was good, but ultimately expected.