Steelers vs. Buccaneers Recap:

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by laiyongcai92 » Mon May 20, 2019 9:22 am

Steelers vs. Buccaneers Recap: Bucs’ Rally Falls Short As Steelers Defeat Bucs Carlton Davis Jersey , 30-27 It’s no secret: when you make mistakes in the NFL, you lose games. Penalties and turnovers are one-way tickets to adding a mark in the “L” column.The Bucs know this. They went 3-7 in one-score games last season primarily because they made mistakes in both crucial moments and throughout a game on a common basis.An ability to avoid major mistakes was commonplace throughout the first two games of the 2018 season, but it was rendered absent on Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.The game got off to a great start for the Bucs. The defense forced a three-and-out on Pittsburgh’s first possession of the game, but the Steelers returned the favor on Tampa Bay’s subsequent drive. The defense continued to make plays as Justin Evans read Ben Roethlisberger perfectly and intercepted a pass intended for JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Bucs began their next drive in great field position at the Steelers’ 39. It only took a few plays until Peyton Barber broke off an 18-yard run all the way down to the Steelers’ four-yard line. Bucs’ tight end Cameron Brate caught his first touchdown of the season on the next play and gave the Bucs the first lead of the game, 7-0. All of a sudden, Pittsburgh had dug themselves in a hole, but that changed quickly after Roethlisberger found a wide open Vance McDonald coming off a busted coverage. After the reception, McDonald stiff-armed Bucs’ safety Chris Conte into China as he rumbled down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown. Fortunately for the Bucs, the Steelers have some kicking woes of their own. Chris Boswell missed the PAT and Tampa Bay avoided the tie, 7-6.The Bucs were moving the ball well on the next drive, but a nice pass break up by Jon Bostic on O.J. Howard and a sack on the next play took them out of field goal range. The offense had to settle for a Bryan Anger punt that pinned the Steelers at their own eight.A missed attempt by Bucs’ cornerback Brent Grimes to tip a Roethlisberger pass ended up as a 43-yard completion to JuJu Smith-Schuster. To make matters worse, Gerald McCoy was called for a roughing the passer penalty that tacked on an extra 15 yards. Good tackling by the defense held the Steelers to a 38-yard field goal as they took the lead, 9-7.Tampa Bay committed their first turnover of the game on the next drive after Chris Godwin fumbled the ball on a catch and run that would’ve been good for a first down. Pittsburgh took over at the Bucs’ 33 and scored just two plays later when Antonio Brown put Brent Grimes on skates en route to a 27-yard touchdown on a quick pass. The Steelers now led 16-7 and a sense of urgency had begun to develop on the Tampa Bay sideline. The next drive got off to a great start as Mike Evans took a pass 27 yards into Steeler territory. A personal foul on the Steelers brought the ball even further down the field and the Bucs looked to be in good shape. But a Pittsburgh blitz left linebacker Jon Bostic unguarded and Fitzpatrick’s pass was not only tipped at the line of scrimmage, but picked off by Mike Hilton. The defense held strong on the next drive and forced the Steelers to punt the ball, but the offense still couldn’t find their footing as a miscommunication between Fitzpatrick and Evans resulted in another interception.Fitzpatrick threw his third - and most costly - pick of the game after another defensive three-and-out, but this time Bud Dupree took it to the house for six and further increased the Steelers’ lead, 23-7.An amazing 51-yard catch by Evans set the Bucs up with a first-and-goal, but a dropped pass by Godwin in the back of the endzone kept the Bucs to just three points, 23-10.Roethlisberger was absolutely masterful on the Steelers’ next offensive drive. With just 1:15 left on the clock, he drove the offense down and scored a touchdown in just ten plays to give Pittsburgh a three-score lead at halftime, 30-10.Could the Bucs mount a second-half comeback with no running game, an inconsistent pass rush and limited pass protection?The first drive of the second half was a bag of mixed results to say the least. An amazing 2-and-17 pass from Fitzpatrick to Godwin was ruled a 56-yard catch and run for a touchdown after it initially appeared as no one touched him down. But the replay revealed that Godwin’s shoe clipped the shoulder of Pittsburgh’s Hilton on his way to the ground. The Bucs faced a critical 3rd-and-18 just a few plays later and were able to convert on a short screen pass to Godwin that gave the receiver just enough room to run for the first down.Tampa Bay’s red zone woes continued, however, as an illegal shift penalty followed by a sack essentially killed the drive and they had to settle for another field goal to cut the lead to 17 and make the score 30-13.Godwin had an up and down dayDouglas DeFelice-USA TODAY SportsThe good news was that the defense received a great amount of rest due to the Bucs’ drive taking 7:53 off the clock, but the bad news was that they failed to score a touchdown in the red zone for the third time (2/5) in this game. A lack of a pass rush kept the Steelers offense moving on their next drive, but just when Tampa Bay needed a play, they got one. A strip-sack courtesy of Jason Pierre-Paul forced Pittsburgh to attempt a 47-yard field goal by Boswell.Even though the Bucs didn’t recover the fumble on the strip-sack, the end result was the same as Boswell’s attempt bounced off of the right upright and left the score unaffected.As it turned out, that was the breath of life that Tampa Bay needed to get back in the ball game.They drove all the way down to the Steelers’ four-yard line when Fitzpatrick scrambled to his left and chucked a high-arching pass to a wide open Godwin in the back of the endzone. All of a sudden, it was a game after the Steeler lead was cut down O. J. Howard Jersey , 30-20. Pierre-Paul carried on with his day of harassing Roethlisberger in the pocket and the Bucs’ defense held tough once again, but there was an abnormal amount of cheering throughout the stadium - especially for a defensive stop. As the cameras panned over; viewers - amongst others - realized that it was DeSean Jackson sitting back awaiting the punt.It turns out that all of the excitement foreshadowed one of the more exciting plays of the game that was unfortunately wiped out due to a penalty. Jackson used his world-class speed to cut through the punt return unit for an electrifying 83-yard touchdown that sent Raymond James into a frenzy.Fitzpatrick and the offense didn’t let the penalty phase them. Instead, they created big plays of their own, culminating in a beautiful, 24-yard pass to Evans that cut the lead to just one score, 30-27.Tampa Bay was in business. Pittsburgh was on its heels. Such is life in the NFL. But John Conner wasn’t having any of it. On 1st-and-10, Conner immediately broke off a 27-yard run that was the catalyst to finishing the game off for Pittsburgh. Another nine-yard run by Conner and a subsequent quarterback sneak by Roethlisberger further dismantled the Bucs’ chance at a comeback. The Steelers rushed for a total of 30 yards as a team before that drive. In those three plays, they ran for 37. The defense held firm on the next three plays which included some excellent coverage by Carlton Davis on Antonio Brown that not only prevented a first-down conversion, but gave the Bucs the ball back with a chance to score. The offense was red hot and they had scored on their last three possessions. Could they do it one more time?It was an anti-climatic response as Fitzpatrick and the offense went three-and-out and then watched from the sideline as Big Ben ducked, dodged, and weaved his way out of a McCoy sack in order to complete a throw to the one and only Smith-Schuster to put the final nail in Tampa Bay’s coffin. Stats from the game:Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mike Evans set new records today. Fitzpatrick is the first quarterback to throw for over 400 yards in three consecutive games, while Evans broke former Bucs’ receiver Jimmie Giles’ all-time receiving touchdowns record.Tampa Bay’s red zone issues continued today and were a big reason why they trailed for most of the game. The Bucs were 2/5 on scoring opportunities inside the 20 and were 2/4 in goal-to-go situations. The Bucs recorded three sacks and now have seven on the season, good for almost a third of their entire 2017 total. At this pace, they will finish with 37.5 sacks on the season. Ben Roethlisberger was a nightmare. He finished 30/38 for 353 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. His ability elude pressure and the fact that it sometimes took three guys to get him down is what hurts you the most, though. Not only did Mike Evans pass DeSean Jackson as the team’s leading receiver, but he is just 31 yards away from the leader, Michael Thomas, who has 38 receptions compared to Evans’ 23. Jameis Winston is determined to make the most of his latest opportunity to prove he's Tampa Bay's long-term solution at quarterback.The fourth-year pro sparkled in his first start in a month, throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers' 27-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday."Jameis played quarterback the way you need to play it in the NFL until you get into desperation time, which we never did today," coach Dirk Koetter said after the Bucs (4-7) snapped a four-game losing streak."Jameis wasn't perfect, but he played a good game. I'm proud of him. It's been a difficult road," Koetter added. "He sees what that looks like. He needs to consistently play like that and he can be one of the best."Winston, benched last month after turning the ball over 11 times in 14 quarters, completed 29 of 38 passes without an interception.The No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft has shared the starting job with Ryan Fitzpatrick this season. Each has played well enough at times that Tampa Bay leads the NFL in passing yards and total offense,, however a porous defense and the league's worst giveaway/takeaway ratio has undermined the team's chances for success.Winston led TD drives of 73, 75 and 85 yards. His 6-yard scoring pass to Cameron Brate put the Bucs up early, and later teamed with Adam Humphries on a 28-yard TD on a play the quarterback extended by scrambling to his right before throwing back toward the center of the field.It was the same type of play that often comes back to haunt Winston, who's been criticized throughout his career for poor decision-making."He was wide open. It was a decisive decision Justin Evans Jersey ," Winston said. "When you're decisive with the ball, it's no thinking about it. You trust your instincts and make the throw."Tampa Bay (4-7), meanwhile, had four sacks and forced turnovers on defense for the first time in eight games, with Ryan Smith and Isaiah Johnson coming up with the team's first interceptions since a loss to Pittsburgh on Sept. 24. Midseason acquisition Cairo Santos also made two field goals and three extra points."We made all our kicks. We got two takeaways. We didn't turn it over. Life is good," Koetter said.Matt Breida rushed for 106 yards for the 49ers (2-9). Nick Mullens threw a 13-yard TD pass to Dante Pettis in the second quarter, but couldn't get the ball in the end zone after halftime and finished 18 of 32 for 221 yards and two interceptions.Looking to cut into a 13-6 deficit, the 49ers settled for a field goal after driving inside the Bucs 1 early in the third quarter.It was all Tampa Bay after that."It's frustrating. We definitely had our chances and didn't take advantage of them," Mullens said. "That starts with me."San Francisco played without linebacker Reuben Foster, whom the 49ers plan to release after the second-year pro was arrested at the team hotel in Tampa and charged with one count of domestic violence.Foster was jailed late Saturday night and released on $2,000 bond Sunday. The 2017 first-round draft pick out of Alabama will be placed on waivers officially on Monday."We just tried to make sure it wasn't a distraction," Mullens said. "That's how we approached it. I don't think it was."Coach Kyle Shanahan said the decision to cut Foster was immediate."Too many things have happened. We tried to help," Shanahan said, adding that Foster likely wouldn't have played anyway because of a hamstring injury."I care about Reuben, but nobody is bigger than the team. ... Our No. 1 rule is you got to protect the team, and he has put us in a bad light too much. Hopefully this will fix him and he can be successful somewhere else," Shanahan added.Winston, who sat out the first three games of the season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, made his first start in a month. He was benched after throwing four interceptions in a loss at Cincinnati on Oct. 28, however Fitzpatrick was not much better protecting the ball in subsequent losses to Carolina, Washington and the New York Giants."I don't have anything to prove to anyone. What we have to do is win," Winston said. "The easiest way to win is to keep everything simple and not beat yourself."MOVING FORWARDMullens has not played well since his dazzling debut 鈥?16 of 22 passing, 262 yards, three TDs, no interceptions 鈥?in a 34-3 victory over the Raiders. He threw two picks in a 27-23 loss to the Giants the following week. Sunday was his first road start."I didn't think he played very well ... but no one played very well in the passing game," Shanahan said, adding he wasn't sure if Mullens or C.J. Beathard will start next week against Seattle.INJURIES49ers: Played without injured WRs Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin and RB Alfred Morris. ... S Jimmie Ward left the game in the first quarter with a broken forearm. ... S D.J. Reed (heel) left the game in the second half.Buccaneers: LB Lavonte David (knee) and S Justin Evans (toe) remained sidelined for the second straight week. ... T Demar Dotson limped off with a knee/hamstring problem late in the first half and did not return. ... CB Carlton Davis II (knee) was shaken up in the third quarter and sat out the remainder of the game. ... DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) left briefly before returning in the fourth quarter.UP NEXT49ers: at Seattle, next SundayBuccaneers: Home vs. Carolina, next Sunday
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