News & Analysis

PFF ReFocused, NFL Preseason Week 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13, Cleveland Browns 12

Ryan Griffin completed 11-of-17 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ 13-12 win over the Cleveland Browns.

PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.

Final Score

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13, Cleveland Browns 12

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

M.J. Stewart disrupted the timing on a slant route late in the first quarter and then on the very next play swatted an out route intended for Cleveland wideout Rashard Higgins to force the Browns to punt the ball away. Stewart led the way in what was a positive night for a secondary that has taken a fair share of criticism the past few years.

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will be happy to get out of this one healthy, as he was under constant pressure all night. In one of the rare passes where he wasn't under pressure, he threw a dangerous out route that was close to being a pick-six in the late part of the first quarter.

With star wide receiver Mike Evans not dressing, Chris Godwin looked impressive running as the Bucs' top receiver for the night. Godwin took a screen pass in the first quarter, forcing a missed tackle on the play with a nice stiff arm.

If you were wondering where Ndamukong Suh ended up this offseason, he is in Tampa doing what he has done since entering the league, wreaking havoc in offensive backfields. On the first drive, Baker Mayfield was able to inexplicably get away from Suh and defensive end Carl Nassib. Cut to the first play of ensuing drive he took it on guard Eric Kush beating him quickly inside off the line.

Rookie Takeaways

Undrafted South Carolina product Zack Bailey was fantastic in pass protection against Cleveland. He was one of few Tampa Bay offensive linemen that performed well in that area.

Cleveland Browns

No OBJ gave Baker Mayfield the opportunity to spread the wealth tonight and see what he has elsewhere, targeting four different players on his first five throws. It was not the 2018 No. 1 overall pick's night, however. He was consistently off early, and frustration with near misses turned into forced misses as his night came to a close.

The Browns' pass-rush lived in the Buccaneers backfield all night, and it started early and often. Edge defender Olivier Vernon bull-rushed Tampa Bay right tackle Demar Dotson for his first of two sacks on the evening.

Inside linebacker Joe Schobert was all over the field in both facets of the game, including a beautiful pass breakup with the Buccaneers trying to put together a late drive at the end of the first half.

Jaelen Strong and Rashard Higgins were both targeted heavily tonight, but neither picked up their struggling quarterback. Strong had a chance to make a play in the red zone in a one-on-one slant but was unable to haul the ball in.

Rookie Takeaways

After a strong start to the preseason, rookie off-ball linebacker Mack Wilson fell back down to earth a bit this week. He earned negative marks in run defense and coverage in an overall underwhelming performance.

[Editor's Note: All of PFF's player grades and advanced statistics are finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle of each game during the preseason. Sign up today to gain access!]

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