Instant Analysis: Bucs Defeat Lions

Tampa, August 34, 2018 – Heavy rain and a lightning delay didn’t stop the Bucs from putting together a solid showing in the first home game, first preseason home game of the 2018 season. The starters played the full first half and totaled some impressive numbers leading after the first half of the game with a 20-6 score. Final Score: Lions 33, Bucs 30.

The Bucs used several offensive formations to keep the Lions off balance. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston distributed the ball to multiple receivers. At the half, seven different Bucs players caught at least one pass from the first and second team quarterbacks. Fitzpatrick and Winston combined for 142 passing yards, 12 of 17 and one TD pass by Winston.

Defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and William Gholston absolutely owned the middle of the field. Combining for four solo tackles and a sack each, both veteran tackles disrupted plays in the backfield that will not go on the stat sheet…all night long. At the end of the first half the Lions rushed for just 33 yards with LaGarrette Blount leading the pride with 21 yards on 7 attempts. Collectively the Bucs held the Lions to an average of 2.8 yards per rush and one first down on the ground in the first half.


If there wasn’t enough action in the game, Clemson alum Adam Humphries returned a Matt Prater 62 yard field goal attempt 109 yards for a touchdown zigging and zagging on his way to the end zone.


Wharton High Alum Vernon Hargreaves III was back in action tonight after missing a few weeks due to an aggravated groin injury…Covered well, ending with 2 tackles. Bernard Reedy from Lakewood saw the field mostly in the second half but ended the game with zero receptions. Hillsborough High graduate and South Florida Bull Nigel Harris ended the game with 4 total tackles and 3 solos.

1. Offensive line – The starting unit was fantastic again. What was once the weakness of the team just a year ago has now become the strength. 199 offensive yards in the first half and averaging 4.6 yards per rush.

2. Defensive line – Detroit struggled to find running lanes and much of that came to the disruption of the Bucs defensive line. Lions QB Matt Stafford found himself departing from the comfort of the pocket because of the pressure applied by McCoy and company.

3. Receivers – On 16 targets, the first half receivers caught 12 passes and produced 142 yards and 1 TD reception. The passing game created a softer defense for the Bucs to penetrate with the running game eating up 62 yards on the ground during the first half.


The Bucs are back home again next Thursday versus in-state opponent Jacksonville for the final preseason game for 2018 on August 30th.