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Week 3 Game Recap: Detroit Lions 33, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30


What you need to know

Detroit Lions

Detroitís first team offense struggled in a rainy game against Tampa Bay. Matthew Stafford was under pressure from the right side of his line, but his accuracy was off during the game. The backfield looks like a large committee, with LeGarrette Blount getting the lead work with Ameer Abdullah operating as the second back. Kerryon Johnsonís usage in the offense came after both Blount and Abdullah, while Theo Riddick operated as the passing down back. Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones operated as the trio of receivers for Detroit when they ran 11 personnel, with Golladay and Jones on the outside and Tate primarily in the slot.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It was a sloppy night as far as the weather concerned, with heavy rain soaking the field before the contest and continuing to drizzle sporadically throughout. Peyton Barber was treated as a clear starter and had a nice touchdown run. Ronald Jones finally contributed in the passing game with a deep reception. The passing game should make more use of Chris Godwin this year.

Detroit Lions

QB Matt Cassel
Matt Cassel was the clear backup to Matthew Stafford against Tampa Bay. Cassel with a touchdown pass to Marcus Lucas but was relieved by Jake Rudock in the second half. Rudock himself played well, so Casselís status as the backup to Stafford is still up in the air.

QB Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford started the third preseason game against Tampa Bay and was off in his accuracy. Stafford was not helped by the weather as the game was played in a rain storm. He missed throws wide including to Theo Riddick in the short passing game. Stafford was not helped by his teammates as Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones dropped on target throws. The Lions stalled out in the red zone after two runs set up Stafford with a third and medium he was unable to convert. The right side of the offensive line also struggled, giving up a sack and interior pressure to Stafford. Stafford played into the third quarter with the first team offense in what was likely the final tune up game before week one.

RB Ameer Abdullah
Ameer Abdullah was the second back into the game, working behind LeGarrette Blount. Abdullah was ineffective early as Detroit ran him on the interior on early downs without much room to run. Abdullah was also split out in the formation on a pass play but dropped an on target pass. He was better as the game went along, and the Detroit offensive line was able to generate running room against the Tampa Bay second-team defense.

RB LeGarrette Blount
LeGarrette Blount was the lead back for the Lions, running clearly ahead of Ameer Abdullah and Kerryon Johnson. Blount was used on the interior with the offensive line opening holes for him early in the game. Abdullah, Johnson and Riddick sprinkled in some work with the first team and saw primary usage in the second half. Blount sprinkled in second half short yardage duty, converting a fourth down with good power and effort. Blount appeared to have secured the role of the primary early down back in Detroit heading into week one.

RB Kerryon Johnson
Johnson was the third back in the running rotation and had success running up the middle. Johnson has a patience to his running style that he combines well with power. His film was positive against the Saints, but his usage indicates he is a longer-term patience play instead of an early season contributor.

RB Theo Riddick
Theo Riddick worked as the passing down back for the first team offense. Riddick was good in pass protection but was held to only two catches for seven yards. Riddick played late into the game, spelling Ameer Abdullah and breaking free for a 10-yard touchdown run on his only carry of the game. Riddick had a large runway to run through on the touchdown. Riddick appears to be locked into the passing down role in the Detroit offense with little expectation of consistent carries.

WR Kenny Golladay
Kenny Golladay ran with the first-team offense and had a big play down the sideline after he got lost in coverage. Golladay was also targeted in the back of the end zone but overthrown and added a drop on an inbreaking route.

WR Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones had a quiet game, dropping a ball along the sideline before his lone catch along the sideline. Jones operated on the perimeter of the offense where he is capable of being a deep threat for Matthew Stafford during the season.

WR T.J. Jones
T.J. Jones was the fourth receiver in the offense and managed to win deep down the field on a scramble drew before drawing a long defensive pass interference penalty.

WR Bradley Marquez
Bradley Marquez worked with the second-team offense and scored a touchdown on a red zone pass from Matt Cassel.

WR Golden Tate
Golden Tate was used in the slot on three wide receiver sets. Some of the early training camp reports suggested Kenny Golladay would be used as the WR2 in the offense, but Detroit runs three receiver sets enough to not hinder Tateís volume to a significant degree.

TE Luke Willson
Luke Willson ran with the first team offense but was not targeted during the game. He exited with a knee injury and his status should be updated early in the week. A committee of Hakeem Valles, Michael Roberts and Levine Toilolo operated behind Willson.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick got the start with Jameis Winston looking at a suspension to begin the season. Fitzpatrick went right to work finding his weapons in the first quarter, hitting Jackson and Howard for chain-moving receptions on the right side of the field. He found Mike Evans up the right sideline for a nice gain that was unfortunately negated by an offensive pass interference call on Evans. Fitzpatrick and the offense capped the opening drive off with a 14 yard touchdown run by Barber. Fitzpatrick looked to Jackson several times with Evans out of the game. Tampa Bay pulled Fitzpatrick after his solid first quarter performance.

QB Jameis Winston
Winston didn't take the field until a few minutes into the second quarter, with Tampa Bay leading Detroit 7-6. He didn't look very sharp at first, overthrowing Desean Jackson and taking a sack on 3rd and 7. Winston caught a break with a defensive holding call that extended the drive for Tampa Bay. Shortly after, Winston hit Jackson for a beautiful gain up the left seam. Winston kept the drive going later with a nifty scramble on 4th and inches, then hit Chris Godwin for a touchdown in the right corner of the end zone a couple of plays later. Winston got a chance to lead a 2 minute offense at the end of the first half when Tampa Bay got the ball back with 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Unfortunately the offense sputtered and gave the ball back to Detroit before the half.

RB Peyton Barber
Barber came out of the gate strong, piling up yards on Tampa Bay's opening offensive drive. Barber scored on a 14 yard run from the Detroit red zone, side stepping a linebacker in the backfield and shooting off right tackle. The Bucs apparently saw all they needed to see after the touchdown run as Barber did not see the field after the first quarter. None of the other Tampa Bay running backs were able to get anything going on the ground after Barber exited the game, though they did make a couple of nice plays in the passing game.

RB Ronald Jones II
Jones saw his first snaps during Tampa Bay's second offensive drive of the game. After a short carry, Jones split out wide left and took off down the sideline, hauling in a Fitzpatrick pass for a beautiful 37 yard gain. Jones continued to see snaps well into the third quarter, but couldn't get anything going in the ground game. His 1st quarter catch was his only target of the game.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers
Jacquizz trotted out with Winston to join the offense in the second quarter. He didn't see much action, logging a few carries and catching his only target for a five yard gain in the third quarter.

RB Shaun Wilson
Wilson saw action in the second half. He caught a swing route out of the backfield for a nice gain up the left sideline late in the 4th quarter. Wilson carried the ball just three times for short gains.

WR Mike Evans
Evans left the game early after his only passing target- a 22 yard reception down the right sideline that was negated for offensive pass interference on Evans. After the catch, he took a big hit to the lower back from a defender and stayed down for a while. Tampa Bay says that he's fine, but pulled him from the game as a precautionary measure. Evans was back at practice Monday.

WR Chris Godwin
Godwin snagged a quick curl route for his first reception of the 1st quarter. He split out wide right and Winston found him in the end zone late in the 2nd quarter. Godwin made an outstanding leaping effort to secure the touchdown over his defender. Winston hit him on a short crossing route at the end of the second quarter for a nice run after the catch. Godwin was all over the field and looks to be another serious weapon in a crowded wide receiver group.

WR Adam Humphries
Humphries made a strong catch with a defender draped over his back for a short gain deep in Detroit territory in the 2nd quarter. Winston found him for a first down late in the 2nd quarter as the Bucs marched downfield in the 2 minute offense. Humphries nearly had a big gain up the seam on the next play, but the ball was knocked from his hands by a defender. Humphries had an amazing 109 yard return of a Detroit field goal attempt at the end of the first half. Matt Prater attempted a 62 yard kick but came up short, and Humphries took the ball out of the end zone where he was able to weave his way through defenders for a score as time expired. Humphries rested in the second half.

WR DeSean Jackson
Jackson hauled in an out route from Fitzpatrick early on for a short gain during Tampa Bay's first offensive drive. He caught another short pass on an identical play during Tampa Bay's next offensive series. Fitz hit him one last time for a 19 yard gain before exiting the game. Jackson followed shortly behind him, resting after the first half.

WR Freddie Martino
Martino had a bad drop on his first target, a deep crossing route that would have converted third and long deep in Detroit territory at the end of the 2nd quarter. Martino redeemed himself later in the third quarter, splitting out wide left and outrunning his defender to the end zone, where he made a leaping grab for the score.

WR Justin Watson
Watson hauled in his first target in the third quarter for a gain of 18 yards. He drew a defensive pass interference penalty that moved the Bucs down the field close to the Detroit red zone later in the drive. Watson had a diving catch for a short gain in the 4th quarter and another out route for a gain of 12. Griffen looked Watson's way four times, and Watson managed to secure three of his targets. HIs only miss was a diving effort down the left sideline with defenders all over him.

TE Antony Auclair
Auclair caught his only target, an out route in the third quarter for a 12 yard gain.

TE O.J. Howard
Howard showed off his size and speed with his first reception in the first quarter, splitting out to the slot and towering over his defenders for a big catch up the seam. Howard caught another toe-tapper on an out route during the Bucs second offensive drive. Howard drew an offensive pass interference call in the 2nd quarter, but the play really highlighted his physical dominance as one helpless defender bounced off his huge frame and he drug several more down the field after the catch. Howard is really big and really fast.