DAL-TB Grades: Winston’s inconsistency evident, despite win
Here are the top takeaways and highest graded players from Tampa Bay’s 10-6 win over Dallas.
– The skill players on the Cowboys offense didn’t show up yesterday, but the offensive line sure did. All five members of the offensive line finished with a grade of at least +1.5 or better. LT Tyron Smith lead the group with an overall grade of +3.0, and rookie LG La’el Collins brought up the rear with an overall grade of +1.5. The unit as a whole put up a run blocking grade of +5.1, and they allowed just three total pressures (no hits or sacks) in pass protection.
– Those aforementioned skill players, though? RB Darren McFadden finished with a season worst -2.2 overall grade, including a -1.5 rushing grade. Despite the strong performance from the offensive line, McFadden was able to gain just 32 yards on the ground in 17 carries. WR Dez Bryant also had a -2.2 overall grade on the afternoon, catching just five of the 10 targets thrown his way for 45 yards; he also had two drops, including a crucial one on third down with 4:13 left in the game. TE Jason Witten’s struggles also continued. His -2.1 overall grade marks the fifth time this season that he’s finished with a grade of -2.1 or worse.
– On the defensive side, Cowboys fans can be encouraged by the strong play of rookie safety Byron Jones. Jones had an overall grade of +1.4 yesterday; he had a +1.2 run defense grade, and allowed just one-of-three passes targeted at him to be caught for a total of just 2 yards. The rookie was in on all but one snap on Sunday, and he’s now played on all but two snaps over Dallas’ last three games.
LT Tyron Smith (+3.0)
DE DeMarcus Lawrence (+2.6)
RG Zack Martin (+2.1)
RT Doug Free (+2.0)
C Travis Frederick (+1.8)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
– QB Jameis Winston’s (-0.6) game was pretty much a representation of what his entire season so far has been like. He and WR Mike Evans (+2.1) connected on some big gains (the throw he made on first-and-20 with 8:46 left in the fourth quarter being one example), and at times they couldn’t be stopped. Then he made plays that made you want to bang your head against the wall (like the fumble that he luckily got bailed out on by a defensive holding penalty).
– LG Logan Mankins (+4.5) had his best game of the season. His +4.0 run blocking grade led all guards yesterday. He’s now earned grades of +1.5 or better in four of his last five games, after starting the season with a -5.2 over the first three weeks.
– Have the Bucs found something in rookie free agent CB Jude Adjei-Barimah (+1.1)? After playing in just 42 snaps through the first eight weeks, he’s now played in all but six over the last two weeks. He had a +1.1 overall grade against Dallas after allowing five-of-seven targets to be caught for 47 yards, with just three of those yards coming after the catch.
LG Logan Mankins (+4.5)
RG Evan Dietrich-Smith (+2.6)
DE George Johnson (+2.6)
SS Chris Conte (+2.2)
WR Mike Evans (+2.1)
TE Luke Stocker (+2.1)