By Max Luckan
While there was inclement weather that forced a lengthy delay in Chicago for the Bears and Baltimore Ravens game, it was a “Rainey” day on a sunny afternoon in Tampa, as the Buccaneers and running back Bobby Rainey took care of business with ease against the reeling Atlanta Falcons.
The Bucs started off fast and tricky and never really let up the rest of the way. Of course, the Falcons were able to make the game a little closer near the end, but all in all it was never close. For the first time this season the Bucs scored over 40 points on their way to a 41-28 victory over the Falcons.
Quarterback Grade: A
Mike Glennon was nearly perfect. Perfection would warrant an A+ grade, and Glennon came about as close as you can get to that grade against the Falcons. While Glennon may have had his worst game last Monday against the Miami Dolphins, he probably had his best game against the Falcons, completing 20 of 23 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Perhaps more importantly, Glennon did not turn the ball over, which has kind of become the norm for him.
Bucs head coach Greg Schiano has to be pleased with Glennon’s performance throughout his first seven starts in the NFL. And Glennon has shown that he has potential so far.
Offense Grade: A+
When a team scores 41 points on offense, it’s very hard to not give them a perfect grade. The Bucs racked up 410 yards on offense, which is very impressive given their lack of offense so far this season.
Running back Bobby Rainey has emerged as a key weapon for the team on offense. On Sunday, he carried the ball 30 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Rainey also had a receiving touchdown. Rainey could not have done it without the Bucs offensive line, which has been phenomenal the past three games. Schiano’s adjustments seem to be working on the offensive side.
Defense Grade: B+
The Bucs defense played very well for the first three quarters. But then in the fourth quarter, they got sort of sloppy, allowing 420 total yards on Sunday. Of course, the fourth quarter was largely irrelevant given their huge lead, but the defense was unable to finish strong.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was the team’s best player on defense, sacking Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan three times. Linebacker Mason Foster and safety Dashon Goldson both picked Ryan off, and Atlanta’s offense was pretty much shut out for three quarters. Rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks showed some positive light, while safety Mark Barron made key plays in the secondary, including a fumble recovery. However, the Bucs have to remember to finish games strong.
Special Teams Grade: A+
After getting off to a questionable start in the first two or three weeks of the season, the Bucs special teams unit has been the most consistent unit going forward this season. Against the Falcons, the Bucs executed a surprise onside kick perfectly and were able to recover.
Later in the game, Dekoda Watson was able to block a punt, which gave the Bucs excellent field position. This unit really gave the Bucs the spark they needed. Kicker Rian Lindell made two out of three field goals, but the one he missed never really had a shot anyway. Eric Page had some decent kick returns, and overall, this unit has been solid for the Bucs.
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Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.