News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 PFF ReFocused: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28, Denver Broncos 10

Down Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock, the anemic Broncos’ offense watched Tom Brady and the Bucs drag the Denver defense up and down the field in a convincing 28-10 win.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story of the Game

Bucs Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles spent the entire afternoon creating chaos around Denver quarterbacks, pressuring Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien 16 times. With Von Miller out and Bradley Chubb shaking the rust off after a torn ACL in 2019, Tom Brady only faced pressure on 17.1% of his drop backs and picked the Broncos to pieces.

Brady looked sharp throughout, completing three big-time throws and racking up 37% of his passing yards on deep completions for 20 or more yards. Broncos safety Justin Simmons turned in a poor performance Sunday, allowing Mike Evans to bully him on the goal line for two touchdowns and Scotty Miller to blow by for a 47-yard completion.

Bruce Arians should be concerned that the running backs for Tampa Bay couldn't do more against a Broncos defense that allowed 277 rushing yards in its first two games. When defenses sell out to defend the pass, Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones need to produce more than their combined 40 yards rushing.

Sep 27, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Pat O'Connor (79) celebrates his blocked punt recovery in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Watch

Receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler failed to step up in the absence of Sutton. Targeted 12 times, the duo combined for 8 catches and 85 yards. Their 91 combined snaps will increase in the weeks ahead as offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur figures out who will be the Broncos’ top playmaker on the outside.

For the Bucs, Tristan Wirfs was one of two rookies who played a legitimate role in this game — the first-round pick out of Iowa surrendered one pressure on 41 pass-blocking snaps. On the defense, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. looked solid from start to finish. Targeted four times, he allowed just one completion for 27 yards.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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