[Editor's note: This grade recap was originally published on Oct. 23, and edited on Oct. 24 to reflect corrections made during our review process.]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34, San Francisco 49ers 17
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 34-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Quarterback grade: Jameis Winston, 79.5
While the Bucs' signal-caller showcased some difficulty when under pressure (four of nine, 37 yards, one touchdown, one interception), Jameis Winston simply assaulted the 49ers’ secondary when deciding not to blitz (13-of-16, 144 yards and three touchdowns).
Top offensive grades:
HB Jacquizz Rodgers, 89.8
WR Mike Evans, 83.5
WR Russell Shepard, 80.0
G Ali Marpet, 66.6
HB Peyton Barber, 65.7
Ground attack engulfs 49ers
Despite being without star running back Doug Martin or his protégé, Charles Sims, the Tampa Bay ground game fired on all cylinders en route to collecting 250 total rushing yards. Jacquizz Rodgers pieced together an all-star performance for his top grade of the season against the overwhelmed defense. The sixth-year back out of Oregon State was able to avoid four tackles and average 4.08 yards after contact on 26 attempts. Capping off the ground game dominance, WR Mike Evans submitted another fine performance despite added attention from the 49er secondary. While Evans was charged with dropping a deep pass, he was able to secure each of his eight remaining catchable targets and finish the game with an average of 3.20 yards per route run over 30 snaps in route.
Top defensive grades
DI Gerald McCoy, 86.3
CB Brent Grimes, 84.6
LB Kwon Alexander, 83.3
DB Vernon Hargreaves III, 77.4
ED Noah Spence, 76.3
Haunted by the sound of approaching footsteps
The Buccaneers' pass rush made a mess of the 49ers’ offensive game plan, pressuring Colin Kaepernick 15 times, sacking him on four, batting away two passes and additionally forcing him to scramble from the pocket on six occasions. DI Gerald McCoy proved the most disruptive while recording his top grade of the season, achieving six pressures, one sack, batting away one pass and recording three run stops.
Quarterback grade: Colin Kaepernick, 74.8
Kaepernick less than stellar
Kaepernick’s continued inaccuracy plagued the offense throughout and the offensive line did him zero favors. Kaepernick accumulated a mere 143 passing yards on 34 attempts, 41 yards coming on the first drive and 36 of those gained during garbage-time check downs. Kaepernick would complete only two of nine attempts for six yards when under pressure and only twice attempted throws of 20 yards or more – both incompletions.
Top offensive grades:
G Zane Beadles, 80.1
T Joe Staley, 76.0
HB DuJuan Harris, 75.9
T Trenton Brown, 66.3
WR Jeremy Kerley, 59.3
Offense proves increasingly inept without Carlos Hyde
The 49ers’ running backs averaged 4.0 yards per carry as the Tampa Bay run defense kept them bottled up for much of the afternoon. DuJuan Harris was able to earn a respectable 75.9 grade after eluding four tackle attempts and collecting both of his receiving targets. The remaining offense, as a collective, flopped during the humbling defeat.
Top defensive grades:
CB Tramaine Brock, 81.2
DI Mike Purcell, 75.1
LB Aaron Lynch, 74.6
DI DeForest Buckner, 74.5
ED Ahmad Brooks, 72.1
Rookie Buckner shines
The 49ers’ 2016 first-round selection out of Oregon, DeForest Buckner, produced a solid effort outside of being flagged for a late hit on the quarterback in the second quarter. Buckner pressured the quarterback twice, one ending in a hit, recording seven solo tackles and five run stops. However, San Francisco was again gashed by the opposing ground game that greatly overshadowed the solid individual performances from Buckner, CB Tramaine Brock, DI Mike Purcell, and LB Aaron Lynch.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Tampa Bay HB Jacquizz Rodgers
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