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5 Standouts Against New York

Posted Nov 13, 2017

A few top performers from Sunday’s win over the New York Jets

1. LB Lavonte David
Linebacker Lavonte David led a stellar effort by the Bucs’ defense on Sunday with eight tackles, including two for a loss. Most notably, the turnover machine recovered a fumble forced out of Jets’ running back Bilal Powell’s hands by fellow linebacker Kwon Alexander in the third quarter. David scooped the ball up with plenty of running room and blockers to boot, but the play was blown dead, with the referees initially ruling Powell down by contact. Coach Dirk Koetter would challenge the play and win, giving the Bucs the ball back and an easy three points on a Patrick Murray field goal from 37 yards. David’s fumble recovery was his fourth of the season, the most in the NFL. His four fumble recoveries also tie for the most in a single season in Buccaneers’ history. The inside linebacker has 10 fumble recoveries in his career, which marks the second-most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2012.

2. WR Chris Godwin
The rookie wide receiver made his first career start against the Jets, with wide receiver Mike Evans out for Sunday’s game. The Penn State-product had seen limited action so far in 2017, but made sure to take advantage of his expanded role. He caught six passes for 68 yards, many of which came after the catch. Godwin kicked off the second half with two back-to-back first-down grabs of 16 and 12 yards, respectively. The drive would lead to a 49-yard field goal that gave the Bucs the lead back. On the Bucs’ next possession following Kwon Alexander’s forced fumble, Godwin nabbed a 20-yard catch, tip-toeing down the sideline for a couple extra yards on a drive that would tack another three to Tampa Bay’s point total. Godwin noted that his best catch of the day came at the very end of the game, when he cemented the Bucs’ victory by recovering an onside kick attempt by the Jets.

3. The Bucs’ Pass Rush
The Bucs were able to find their elusive pass rush in a game that saw six sacks of Jets’ quarterback Josh McCown. All six sacks came from six different players. Five came at the hands of the defensive unit up front. Defensive end Will Clarke broke the seal, dropping McCown for a loss of eight yards right before the two-minute warning of the first half. Later in the drive, rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith recorded another eight-yard sack and the first of his NFL career. Defensive end Darryl Tapp punctuated his Buccaneers’ debut with a sack of his own at the end of the third quarter. The last three sacks all came in the fourth, with defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. and defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald getting in on the action. The sacks on McCown from Ayers and McCoy came within one play of each other on a drive that resulted in the Jets turning the ball over on downs as the game clock was winding down.

4. RB Charles Sims III
Running back Charles Sims was able to make things happen on the ground and with his hands in Sunday’s contest. He scored the Bucs’ lone touchdown of the game on a six-yard reception from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter. Additionally, the 27-year-old running back had a 6.7 yard-per-carry average. He helped to round out the ground game and complemented the effort by fellow running back Doug Martin, who finished the day with 51 yards of his own. The Bucs ran the ball a total of 31 times during the course of the game, the most since their win over the Chicago Bears in Week Two.

5. K Patrick Murray
Tampa Bay’s fan base is breathing a little easier with each week, as Bucs’ kicker Patrick Murray continues to be consistent. He was three-for-three on the day, hitting from 29, 49 and 37 yards. Murray scored the only Tampa Bay points until the fourth quarter touchdown by Sims. He has made seven of eight field goal attempts since becoming a Buccaneer and is five-for-five on extra points.