By Danny Cox
No one wants to go winless during a season, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were really feeling that way come Monday night. With the Jaguars getting their first win of the season on Sunday, the Bucs didn’t want to remain without a victory on the season and were determined to come out on top against the Miami Dolphins.
It wasn’t pretty, but luckily the Dolphins had a few distractions and a couple missing players that really helped the Buccaneers along.
Coaching Grade: B
Coach Greg Schiano has been under a lot of fire from the media and especially the Tampa Bay fans. Many want his head or at least his job as the Bucs went 0-8 to start the season. Monday night started out very different from any other game yet this year, but soon it started to look very similar to the first eight.
Luckily, Schiano had just enough up his sleeve to get the players’ heads straight and make sure that they didn’t give up when times got tough. It may be too little, too late to save the season, but Schiano was able to get his team right and doing enough to get that monkey off of their backs and get their first win.
Offense Grade: C
It’s really hard to say that Mike Glennon is the future at quarterback for the Buccaneers, but he is who they have right now. Glennon completed just over 50 percent of his passes for a mere 139 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. It wasn’t a great performance, but it wasn’t awful either.
The running game was expected to suffer with Doug Martin’s absence, and it did just that – it wasn’t horrible though. Brian Leonard, Bobby Rainey, and Mike James combined for 143 yards on the ground and that’s not too shabby. Rainey broke a 31-yard run during the game and scored the eventual game-winning touchdown.
Defense Grade: A
You’ve really got to hand it to the Buccaneers defense. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a decent game with 229 yards and two touchdowns, but he was intercepted by Darrelle Revis and it was a big one. That’s a decent performance for any passing defense, but it was the rushing defense that needs to be applauded.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers allowed just two yards rushing. Yes, just two. That is a franchise low for Miami and an incredible feat for any defense in the history of the NFL. Miami may have only had 14 attempts, but two yards gained means they averaged a mere 0.1 per carry.
Special Teams Grade: B
Rian Lindell did exactly what he needed to do by hitting both of his field goal attempts (24 and 35 yards), and one of those ended up being the difference for the Bucs big win.
Michael Koenen punted five times for 212 yards and a 42.4 average.
Eric Page did well in the punt return game as he averaged close to 30 yards on two returns and that helped a lot in making sure the Bucs had good starting field position.
For more Bucs news and updates, visit Bucs Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.