Most Impressive Players in Week 15

As a result, all but one Pewter Reporter predicted, the Bucs lost to the Bengals on Sunday night in an epic second-half meltdown. After the collapse in the third and fourth quarters, not many players put in positive performances. But here were the few most impressive players from Week 15:

CB Carlton Davis

Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase and Bucs CB Carlton Davis III – Photo by: USA Today

Davis had a big job going against Ja’Marr Chase for most of the game. But he showed up consistently, making every catch a contested ball. Chase was targeted 13 times, but only had seven catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. However, most of Chase’s production came when Davis did not report on him. Davis was physically at the catch point and limited separation in what was easily his best game of the season.

Davis also had a critical play to start the game when he was able to intercept Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow on a pass tipped by Keanu Neal. That set the tone for the Bucs defense in what was a phenomenal first half.

W.R. Chris Godwin

Godwin was the engine that kept Bucs’ offense going, catching all eight of his targets for 83 yards and a touchdown late in the first half. Godwin came through with short, contested catches that converted multiple first downs and spun off both Bucs’ touchdown drives. The touchdown was a fun play where Godwin was able to make a screen pass and work into the end zone while dodging multiple Cincinnati defenders.

W. R. Mike Evans

Bucs Wr. Michael Evans

Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Evans was able to capitalize on a game against rookie Cam Taylor-Britt and produced one of his best games all year. Evans made several catches of play action and was able to catch a few big throws, including a 24-yarder to the Bengals’ 9-yard line that set up an eventual touchdown. The Bucs’ all-time leader in most offensive categories also had a 33-yard catch-and-run that was nullified by an illegal block by fellow receiver Chris Godwin.

Evans was also able to hinder a defensive pass late in the 2nd half to help keep Bucs hopes alive, if only for a single play. Before the game, Evans caught five of his 10 targets for 83 yards, closing in and closer to breaking 1,000 receiving yards for the ninth straight season.

W. R. Russell Gage

Gage had a coming-out party of sorts in the losing effort. Looking healthy at last Gage was targeted 12 times, catching eight of the targets for 59 yards and two scores. He was able to create separation, secure most of the catchable balls coming his way and convert for the two scores.

Gage’s yards per reception were low, as they had been all year, but part of that was due to him securing both of his touchdowns in short yardage situations. The former Atlanta Falcon appears to play a role in the Bucs offense as a reliable underlying option. If he can stay healthy, he could be a building block for a hopefully redesigned attack in 2023.

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