Jacquizz Rodgers propels Bucs with career night
If there was any doubt that Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers jerseys go as their run game goes, that should have been settled last night.
The Bucs edged the Carolina Panthers in an ugly 17-14 contest on Monday night behind a career-high performance from Jacquizz Rodgers. Rodgers carried the ball 30 carries for 101 yards and caught five passes for an additional 28 yards.
Tampa’s only two wins of the season have come with their two highest rushing totals. A Week 1 victory over the Falcons featured 90 total rushing yards, including 62 (on 3.5 yards per carry) from bell cow Doug Martin jersey.
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“I think when you look back last year, we ran it like that,” head coach Dirk Koetter said. “When we’re making efficient runs, we keep running it. We did it last year with Doug (Martin). And I think we had a good run-game plan … Jacquizz was making yards. When you’re on the road and you’re turning the ball over, we just felt like with them playing their backup quarterback, it was take the crowd [out] of it, slow the game down a little bit, and that was the best strategy tonight.”
It was also no coincidence that Winston threw the fewest number of passes (30) that he’s attempted in a game with cheap NFL jerseys all season. The second-year signal-caller was averaging a league-high 44.25 attempts per game heading into Monday Night Football.
On one hand, this game was not played well enough by either team to truly deserve a win, and if Tampa Bay tried to replicate the same “formula” next weekend in San Francisco, they could easily lose to a bad 49ers team.
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It’s also obvious that a good running game helps a quarterback. This is true across the entire NFL. But Monday’s game was a nice reset button for Winston, who posted a 40.1 passer rating the week before in a loss to the Denver Broncos. Monday night’s passing totals would have been higher had it not been for a few untimely drops, which also seems to be coming into play for Winston more than he’d care for.
“He’s a better athlete than Hargreaves,” an AFC personnel executive told MMQB. “More competitive, too.”
Competitiveness was one of Hargreaves’ strong suits at Florida, so the suggestion that Tabor is even more so isn’t to be taken lightly. But it’s the notion that he’s also a better athlete with wholesale jerseys than the No. 11 overall pick of the 2016 draft that is more striking. Hargreaves has started every game of his rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and has broken up three passes over his last two games.
“I think (Tabor will) run faster than Hargreaves, but I don’t know if he’s a better athlete. From an athletic standpoint, and what’s needed at the position, I think they’re fairly similar,” said NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein jersey. “Tabor’s a little longer, but I don’t see a huge difference.”
Zierlein ranked Tabor as the No. 8 player in college football at the midseason point, and Tabor’s production on the field has backed that up. Despite being suspended for UF’s season-opening win over UMass, Tabor leads the team in interceptions with four.
Even with Hargreaves gone, however, there are questions about whether Tabor is even the top cornerback prospect on his own roster. An NFL executive told NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah last month that UF’s Quincy Wilson is the better player, and an AFC college scouting director suggested the same possibility to MMQB.
“By the time we found out (about the arrest), we were into meetings this morning and we’ve been on the practice field,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Friday, per the team’s official team website. “(General manager) Jason (Licht) and I will be getting together this afternoon and whatever is going to happen will be forthcoming.”
He wasn’t kidding. While Seferian-Jenkins offers good size and athleticism, Friday’s gaffe was the final straw in Tampa, where the pass-catcher has been low on production and high on drama.
Seferian-Jenkins was kicked out of a Bucs practice in August by Koetter for not knowing where to line up, an incident the player called a “wake-up call.” He later saw upstart Cameron Brate take over the starting position, although Seferian-Jenkins saw more snaps than Brate in Week 2.
That won’t be the case in Week 3, though, as Koetter and the Bucs have lost their patience with a player who seemed to be on a different planet under the new regime.