Have you exhaled yet? The drama was at an all-time high, as the Bucs pulledout a 19-17 winin a sloppy, rainy game. Millions were watching with anxious anticipation, as Nick Folk lined up to kick a 56-yard go-ahead field goal. The long boot hit off the left upright and bounced away – no good.
The Bucs prevailed in a back-and-forth game over the Patriots on Sunday Night Football to increase their record to 3-1 on the season and get in a tie for first place in the NFC South. It was not all pretty, though, as Tampa Bay once again committed many mistakes. Had it not been for a strong drive with four minutes to go by Brady and the offense to take the lead, Tampa Bay would be holding a loss.
Here were the most disappointing players from the game.
P Bradley Pinion
You really can’t start much worse in a game then kicking the ball out of bounds before the end zone on the opening kickoff. Pinion isn’t on the field that often, so when he makes a mistake, it’s more noticeable than others. With the power he has in his leg, I’m curious why he didn’t just kick it out of the end zone. We’ve seen Pinion do that multiple times this season, so it was surprising to not see him do it there. Pinion averaged 42.5 yards per punt on four attempts, with none landing inside the 20. There’s been a decline in his punting since a great first week.
CB Richard Sherman
It was clear that the Patriots were picking on Sherman to start the game. You can’t really blame them, considering Sherman only began practicing with the Bucs on Wednesday. I’ll back Sherman up that his pass interference penalty on third down was a bad call, but he also got beat multiple times by Kendrick Bourne and company on a Patriots scoring drive. The Patriots later attacked Sherman, as they once again took the lead in the fourth quarter after another touchdown. I wouldn’t be too concerned about Sherman moving forward. Once he’s more familiar with the defensive scheme and in playing shape, he’ll be fine. He finished the game with seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
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