By Max Luckan
It was an ugly day all around in Tampa, both for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills. Both teams did not play well, and there were plenty of turnovers on both sides. The game lasted well over four hours, because of the many stoppages due to penalties, turnovers and reviews.
However, the game was actually fairly one-sided. The Bucs, who suffered a disappointing loss to the Carolina Panthers last week, were able to somehow dominate the Bills, despite playing a poor game overall. With the 27-6 win over the Bills, the Bucs were able to improve to 4-9 on the season, but it was not a very convincing victory.
Quarterback Grade: D+
Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has mostly played well this season, but against the Bills, Glennon made some mistakes and some very questionable decisions. It appeared as if Glennon’s mind was somewhere else on Sunday. For example, Glennon tossed a shovel pass right at a Bills defender for no apparent reason in the second half. Luckily for Glennon, the pass was not intercepted, although it easily could have been.
Glennon did force some throws on Sunday and he took some chances, some of them were certainly unnecessary. This could just be a small bump in the road for Glennon, who finished by completing only nine of 25 passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. However, Glennon also threw two interceptions.
Offense Grade: C+
To be fair, the Bucs offense did manage to score 27 points against the Bills. But they certainly did not play very well. Running back Bobby Rainey started off the scoring with an 80-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game. Rainey rushed for 127 yards on the day, but most of those came on the one run.
Glennon threw two touchdown passes, one to receiver Vincent Jackson and the other to tight end Tim Wright, but the offense appeared to never really gain any momentum throughout the entire game. It should also be noted that most of the time, the Bucs had a very short field to work with.
Defense Grade: A-
On the flip side, the Bucs defense was very impressive. That being said, they were going up against a rookie quarterback in E.J. Manuel and a struggling Buffalo offense, but the Bucs were able to sack Manuel seven times on Sunday, and they also managed to pick him off four times.
Manuel really struggled against a solid pass rush from the Bucs, and the struggles were highlighted by an inability to run the football. Buffalo’s leading rusher was Manuel, who managed 29 yards against a stout Bucs defense. Overall, the defense, led by Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy, handed in a very well-rounded performance.
Special Teams Grade: A
While the Bucs offense certainly did not look too good against a below average Bills team, the special teams unit played well again. The only major mistake on special teams was a 15-yard roughing the kicker penalty that occurred early in the game. Other than that, the Bucs had great field position for most of the game.
And kicker Rian Lindell nailed two field goals, one from 53 yards out and the other from 32 yards. Bucs punter Michael Koenen pinned the Bills deep in their own territory for much of the game, and as a result, Buffalo’s offense never really got going. Along with the defense, the special teams unit played a solid game for the Bucs on Sunday.
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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.