Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
Tampa Bay Bucs v San Francisco 49ers
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Bucs had their chances but couldn’t capitalize.

Missed chances and defensive coverage busts that refuse to be fixed highlighted the Battle of the Bays as the Bucs fell to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, 27-14.

This one was never likely going to be a win, so a non-blowout would’ve been satisfactory. The 49ers almost made it so, being up 27-7 at one point, but the Bucs did score again and put themselves deep in San Francisco territory multiple times with a chance to come back. It simply came down to lack of execution, as key drops destroyed the offense’s chances late.

Early on, it was massive defensive busts and a lack of pressure that allowed Brock Purdy to once again dissect Todd Bowles’s defense. To make matters worse, Jamel Dean, Carlton Davis, and Lavonte David all existed with rough-looking injuries that could make the unit’s issues with communication even worse.

Well, let’s shout out some good performers and move on:

Offensive Top Performer: OT Tristan Wirfs

I’m basically ignoring the sack allowed on the final drive — the first one Wirfs has allowed all year. The game was already over and Wirfs was playing through a nasty-looking lower leg injury that kept him out for several plays and clearly hampered him.

Before that, he absolutely dominated every matchup the 49ers threw at him for nearly 4 full healthy quarters. Chase Young, Nick Bosa, Clelin Ferrell…it didn’t matter. Wirfs’s transition to left tackle was on full triumphant display against what is supposedly the NFL’s most lethal pass rush. They had their wins on other linemen, but this unit as a whole held up well enough to give Tampa a chance late.

Wirfs led that charge, and he once again demonstrated why the Bucs will soon pay him top 5 offensive line money. Hopefully he can heal up okay and remain his usual dominant self through the NFL’s final 7 weeks.

Mike Evans once again was solidly productive, grabbing 5 passes for 43 yards and a score. Baker Mayfield didn’t play great, but he honestly did fairly well and got let down majorly by both Deven Thompkins and Cade Otton late — both dropped perfectly thrown passes in the endzone.

He finished completing 29-of-45 passes for 246 yards, a TD and an interception that came off a deflection that wouldn’t have even happened if Otton did his job.

Defensive Top Performer: EDGE YaYa Diaby

Diaby is starting to put his tool kit together, and he’s becoming particularly intriguing as an interior rusher with his excellent power and motor. He created two sacks on Sunday, bringing his season total up to 4 while also recording 4 solo tackles. He’ll continue to take more snaps away from players who aren’t producing with their opportunities.

Antoine Winfield Jr. kept up his end of the bargain as the only non-liability in the secondary. He logged 16 combined tackles trying to cover for the follies of his fellow defensive backs.

Lavonte David also played well with 7 solo tackles and a sack before being forced out with a groin injury. Hopefully it’s not too serious so he can end what is likely his final season in Tampa with a flourish.

Special Teams Top Performer: P Jake Camarda

Camarda gets back into the top performers with his some great punts against San Fran, including a gorgeous 56-yarder that went out at the 2-yard line. The defense immediately allowed only the 5th 98-yard touchdown drive in franchise history and first in seven years, but at least Camarda did his job well!

He averaged 48 yards per kick on 3 punts total.

We will also shout out Thompkins, who partially redeemed his dropped TD with a beautiful 51-yard punt return that kept Tampa’s chances alive late (before the Otton drop).

By admin