NFC South: 2013 Week 10 NFL Buzz

Upon Further Review: Buccaneers Week 10

November, 12, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- An examination of four hot issues from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 22-19 victory against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night:

[+] EnlargeBrian Leonard
Kim Klement/USA TODAY SportsBrian Leonard rushed for 57 yards on 20 carries after Mike James was injured.
The depleted backfield. The Bucs lost rookie running back Mike James to a fractured ankle early in the fourth quarter. Backups Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey did a nice job filling in, but can they do it for the rest of the season? The Bucs don’t have much choice besides Leonard and Rainey because Doug Martin and Jeff Demps already are on injured reserve.

The run defense. Tampa Bay’s run defense, which was ranked No. 1 in the league last season, was ordinary in the first eight games of this season. But that changed Monday night. The Bucs held the Dolphins to two yards of net rushing (a franchise record).

Schiano Watch. One win isn’t enough to take coach Greg Schiano off the hot seat, but it does provide some hope that he might keep his job for next season. If the Bucs can build off this game and win the majority of their games in the second half of the season, Schiano could have a chance of sticking around.

Revis is ready. The Bucs didn’t unveil the full Darrelle Revis in the early stages of the season because he wasn’t fully recovered from the knee injury he suffered last year. But the Bucs have been taking the reins off Revis gradually in recent weeks and that trend continued. Revis helped limit Mike Wallace to four catches for 15 yards. Revis also recorded an interception.

Locker Room Buzz: Buccaneers

November, 12, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- Observed in the locker room after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 22-19 victory against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night.

James out: The first player out of the locker room was on crutches. It was rookie running back Mike James, who left the game early in the first quarter with an ankle injury. And the postgame news wasn’t good at all. Coach Greg Schiano said James suffered a fractured ankle.

Backups stepped up: Schiano said backup running backs Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey were excellent with ball security and that helped seal the win.

Surprise score: Left tackle Donald Penn said he’s been lobbying all season for the Bucs to use the tackle-eligible pass. They used it Monday night and it resulted in a Penn touchdown.

Foster is back: Schiano said middle linebacker Mason Foster bounced back in strong fashion after having a couple of rough games.

Locker Room Buzz: Carolina Panthers

November, 10, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- Observed in the locker room after the Carolina Panthers' 10-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers:

Happy owner: I'm sure Jerry Richardson gets to the locker room after just about every game, but this was the first time I've seen him this season. And he was one happy owner, shaking hands like a politician after winning an election.

Full belly: Thanks to quarterback Cam Newton recovering his own fumble with about two minutes to go, coach Ron Rivera still had his lunch. "I about threw up,'' Rivera said as he studied the statistic sheet.

All tied up: Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was doing a nice job tying his necktie as the locker room emptied, but he did a nicer job tying up the 49ers. They had 45 yards in the second half.

Unknown voice: I'm not sure who said them, but the words "survive and advance'' rang through the room as players celebrated their fifth straight win.

Hardly see Hardy: Defensive end Greg Hardy was all over quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the field, but you could hardly find him as he sat fully dressed in sweats deep in his locker with a total look of satisfaction.