, we’ll break down the Buccaneers’ top five players of the week. Point values will be distributed to each, which will then be added up for our weekly Buccaneers of the Week Standings.Despite a nightmare of a first half on Monday night, the Buccaneers barely came up short against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 30-27 loss was Tampa Bay’s first of the season, but there was no shortage of exciting moments as the team tried to climb back from a 30-10 halftime deficit. Let’s get into our top five Bucs from week three.Honorable MentionsThis week’s honorable mentions would likely have made the top five if not for a glaring mistake or two. Chris Godwin caught five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown, but some big drops (including a couple in the end zone) and a costly fumble kept him out of this week’s top five.Gerald McCoy was pretty disruptive throughout the night, finishing with 1鈦? sack and 1 1鈦? tackles for loss. However, a (questionable) roughing the passer call tarnished his night, as did missing a sack late in the game. With the Buccaneer defense needing a stop, McCoy got into the backfield on second down, but failed to finish. As a result, Ben Roethlisberger found JuJu Smith-Schuster for a first down that iced the game.Justin Evans came up with an early interception to set up Tampa Bay’s first touchdown. Through three weeks, he has unsurprisingly been the secondary’s most consistent performer.No. 5: Kwon Alexander (One point)Kwon Alexander finds himself on this list for the second straight week after another strong performance. He totaled eight tackles (five solo) and came up with 1鈦? tackle for loss. The intensity and leadership that the fourth-year linebacker brings to the defense was on full display this week. With the bright lights of Monday Night Football on him, he appeared to be flying around to the ball even more than usual, if that’s possible.Alexander was a big part of the run-stopping effort, one that looked pretty strong until Pittsburgh’s final drive. Dealing with James Conner isn’t easy, but No. 58 played a part in holding him to 61 yards on 15 carries. The pass defense struggled throughout the night, something that has been a theme in all three games this season. With that in mind, it’s possible that we’ll see more blitzes called for Kwon in the coming weeks. Regardless, he will more than likely return to this list multiple times throughout the rest of the year. He just consistently plays at a high level.No. 4: Ryan Fitzpatrick (Two points)After his performance in the first half, it was crazy to think that Ryan Fitzpatrick would be on this week’s list. Amazingly enough, some Fitzmagic reappeared over the final 30 minutes to get him in the top five for a third consecutive week. He just couldn’t earn the top spot this week after throwing three interceptions in the game’s first two quarters. Those turnovers, one of which went for an easy pick six, put Tampa Bay in a huge hole. The veteran was almost able to get out of it, but came up just short.After the first 30 minutes of the game, it seemed like the magic was gone. It seemed obvious that the Bucs would have to start Jameis Winston on Sunday against Chicago, even on a short week. But Fitzpatrick did what he could to bring the team back. He ended the night with 411 yards and three touchdowns to three interceptions on 30-of-50 passing. He is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in three straight games. He might start next week against the Bears. He might not. Either way Gerald McCoy Jersey
, what a ride these three weeks were for the journeyman. No. 3: Lavonte David (Three points)In case anyone forgot, Lavonte Davis is a really good player. He was all over the field on Monday, racking up nine tackles (eight solo) and THREE tackles for loss. He was a huge part of the defense’s second-half effort in which they shut out the Steelers over 30 minutes. With the emergence of Kwon Alexander over the last few years, it’s probably been pretty easy for some to forget just how good David is. He is one of the main pillars of a Tampa Bay defense that badly needs its front seven to produce.The three tackles for loss from David were all huge, obviously, but the timing of a couple of them made him an even bigger star on Monday. It felt like whenever the Bucs needed a stop, it was No. 54 that was there to deliver. He is playing at a Pro Bowl level this year. If he’s still somehow being overlooked by the rest of the league, he shouldn’t be for long. His first appearance on this list is well-deserved, that’s for sure. No. 2: Jason Pierre-Paul (Four points)When it comes to consistent production from Buccaneer defenders through the first three weeks of the season, the list starts with Jason Pierre-Paul. When the Giants traded him back in March, he surely felt some added motivation to prove that he still has a lot left in his career. In three games, it’s clear that he has more in the tank. Following his debut on Buccaneers of the Week at No. 4 after his performance against the Eagles, he’s up to No. 2 this week. JPP was electric against Pittsburgh. He picked up five tackles (all solo) with two sacks (plus another tackle for loss) and four quarterback hits. He was in Ben Roethlisberger’s face all night, which is something the Bucs needed. The secondary was overmatched against the likes of Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald (????). So, it was up to the front seven to apply some pressure. The group as a whole tallied three sacks, 10 tackles for loss and nine hits on the quarterback. Without Pierre-Paul, that effort is significantly weaker. He has been Tampa Bay’s best defensive lineman through the first three games. If he keeps it up, he might just be the first Buc to record double-digit sacks since Simeon Rice in 2005.No. 1: Mike Evans (Five points)The Tampa Bay offense largely went through Mike Evans on Monday night. He is the team’s No. 1 receiver, so that isn’t too big of a surprise. But to see him pick up his second 100-yard game in three weeks was a lot of fun. He caught six passes for 137 yards and what looked to be a crucial touchdown in the loss. Even with the number of talented pass-catchers all over the field for the Bucs, Evans has been a huge key in the strong play of Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has been a steady presence, coming through right when the Bucs needed him most.With Jameis Winston coming back sooner rather than later, Evans will definitely adjust. His connection with the young quarterback is one of the biggest parts of the Buccaneer offense. But as evidenced in these first three weeks (and back in 2014 when he was catching passes from Josh McCown and Mike Glennon), it doesn’t really matter who is under center for Tampa Bay. Evans will put his head down and produce either way. His consistency is something the Bucs will be relying on for the rest of this season and for years to come. This is his third week on this list and his first at the top of it.Updated Buccaneers of the Week Standings through week three:Ryan Fitzpatrick— 12 pointsMike Evans— 10 pointsDeSean Jackson— 7 pointsJason Pierre-Paul— 6 pointsKwon Alexander— 4 pointsLavonte David— 3 pointsOffensive Line— 2 pointsVernon Hargreaves— 1 point The Buccaneers dropped to 3-4 on Sunday with a 37-34 loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati. Jameis Winston put Tampa Bay in a 34-16 hole before Ryan Fitzpatrick led a huge comeback to tie the game at 34 with just over one minute left. From there, the defense fell apart and allowed a game-winning field goal as time expired. The Bucs didn’t get a whole lot from their 2018 rookie class in Sunday’s loss. Let’s check in on how those guys looked in week eight.CB Carlton DavisIf the Bucs had a rookie of the week award, this week’s would absolutely go to Carlton Davis. The cornerback out of Auburn is developing faster than any of his fellow rookies and he is doing so while being thrown right into a huge role. He has pretty much had to be the No. 2 corner (and sometimes even No. 1) from the start of the season. Brent Grimes was hurt for a short time and Vernon Hargreaves III went down for the season in week one Authentic Jameis Winston Jersey
, so there was no easing in for Davis. Despite having to adjust quickly, he is playing better than anyone could have expected.On Sunday, he matched up with A.J. Green for much of the day. The same A.J. Green that has been wrecking the NFL for years was largely held in check by Davis, who has played less than 10 games in the league. That has to encourage the Bucs. He totaled two tackles and a pass defended, playing all 66 snaps on defense. There hasn’t been a lot to love about the 2018 class for Tampa Bay thus far, but Davis has been a fairly consistent bright spot throughout the year. As the secondary continues to undergo a rebuild this offseason, Davis will be a good guy to build around.DT Vita VeaTampa Bay’s first-rounder is still very clearly a work in progress, but he is making strides simply by getting more snaps. With Gerald McCoy out on Sunday, the Bucs needed Vea a bit more. He ended up playing 47 snaps (71 percent), assisting on one tackle. Tampa Bay as a whole struggled a bit more against the run on Sunday. That doesn’t look good on Vea, whose top priority is stuffing the run up the middle. There was good and bad for the rookie against the Bengals. He continued to push some guys around up front in an attempt to collapse the pocket, but there were also a couple of times that he got manhandled and taken completely out of a play. He is still working his way into the NFL game, so there are going to be growing pains. Considering what has gone on elsewhere in the rookie class, Vea is among the least of Tampa Bay’s worries.RB Ronald Jones IIAfter seemingly taking steps forward in recent weeks, Sunday was rough for Ronald Jones. He played just 11 snaps (12 percent) before going down with a hamstring injury. He will now miss “significant time.” It’s a tough blow for the second-rounder, who hasn’t caught on quickly like Tampa Bay expected him to. On Sunday, he had negative yardage on the ground and caught just one pass for four yards before leaving with the injury. Going forward, the Bucs will have to ride with Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers and potentially undrafted rookie Shaun Wilson until Jones is ready to go. Regardless of whether or not he returns this season, year one has definitely been a disappointment for the former USC star.The best of the restOverall, the rest of the rookies didn’t do anything too notable one way or the other. Jordan Whitehead played 52 snaps (79 percent). He picked up four tackles, including a big tackle for loss on a fourth down early in the game... M.J. Stewart had a forgettable day. One of the big knocks on him as a prospect is his lack of speed, which was on display at times throughout Sunday’s game. He eventually left the game with a leg injury, finishing the game with two tackles while playing 44 snaps (67 percent). It’s still somewhat hard to believe that Tampa Bay picked him before Carlton Davis... Justin Watson caught one pass for five yards, playing 12 snaps (14 percent) on offense and 18 (55 percent) on special teams... Alex Cappa and Shaun Wilson were both inactive.