Nobody would have predicted that the New York Jets would have a better record than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers entering week 10 of the 2017 NFL season. The Jets were 4-5 entering the game, while the Buccaneers were 2-6. Nevertheless, the Buccaneers needed just one touchdown to beat the Jets 15-10 and snap their five-game losing streak.
Week 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Takeaways
Bucs Offensive Line Prevails in Battle of Two Mediocre Units
The Buccaneers offensive line of Donovan Smith, Demar Dotson, J.R. Sweezy, Ali Marpet and Kevin Pamphile won the day because they protected their quarterback better than the offensive line of the Jets. Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked just once, while Josh McCown for the Jets was sacked six times for 43 yards. And while the run blocking still needs to improve, they did enough for the Bucs to run the ball for 90 yards. They totaled 30 yards on four penalties and yielded just 2.9 rushing yards per carry on 31 rushing attempts. All in all, it ended up being one of the better days for a group that’s maintained its health but has struggled throughout the season.
Bucs Continue to Ride Hot Kicker
After the debacle of taking one of the historically great collegiate kickers in Roberto Aguayo in the second round of the NFL Draft, who couldn’t survive training camp in his second season, the Buccaneers have struck gold with Patrick Murray. Since his first game against the Arizona Cardinals, Murray has converted all five of his extra point attempts and made four field goals in five attempts, two of which were from 50 yards. Murray went to college at Fordham, which was the same college that Vince Lombardi went to. He played for the Buccaneers as a rookie in 2014 and was successful with 20 made field goals in 24 attempts, including five field goals from at least 50 yards in six attempts. Murray missed 2015 and played just two games with the Cleveland Browns in 2016. Murray has not only been one of the hottest kickers in the NFL, but has been the Buccaneers best offensive player in their five-game losing streak. The Buccaneers rode the hot hand again for three more field goals, including one from 49 yards to survive.
Two Streaks Snapped
One reason the Buccaneers were able to snap their five-game losing streak was because Charles Sims caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick with six minutes left in the game. The lead went from 9-3 to 15-3 at the time. It was the key to fending off the rally from McCown, who racked up over 100 passing yards and a touchdown after having just over 100 passing yards through three and a half quarters.
Tight end Luke Stocker caught a touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick last week against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter. Prior to that, the Buccaneers had not scored a touchdown in seven quarters since their week seven game against the Buffalo Bills. In that first quarter against the Bills, the Buccaneers took a 3-0 lead on a Murray field goal from 50 yards. That was the last time the Buccaneers held a lead in a game until Murray kicked a 29-yard field goal with 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter against the Jets.