Linebackers and the secondary
The loss of Drue Tranquill is still felt throughout the linebacker group. Even considering that though, it’s hard for me to say the linebackers played bad today.
Sure, Kyzir White got burnt a few times in pass coverage, but he also made some awesome instinctual plays throughout the game. Denzel Perryman mostly did his job as well, in addition to registering one of the few QB hits on Brady.
Kenneth Murray has really impressed through the first four games and continued to make his presence felt today. He had six solo tackles and 10 total against Tampa Bay, plus it felt like he was all over the field on some snaps.
Murray leads the team in tackles with 33 on the season. He’s been super impressive in the second level, and I say that as someone who was initially skeptical of the draft pick.
The secondary, on the other hand, was not great. They started well in the first half with a Michael Davis pick-six. Perhaps they got into Brady’s head or just blanketed the receivers really well. Whatever they did in the first half, it was completely erased by an abysmal effort in the second.
Casey Hayward took a big step back from the season he had been having up to this point. Mike Evans torched him on quite a few plays and he struggled when it came to locating the ball. With Chris Harris out, Davis struggled in the second half and had a few poor tackling efforts. Brady seemed to take the pick-six personally when he decided to pick on Davis later on.
The cornerbacks and safeties were poor in this one. Nasir Adderley was late in coverage on a few occasions and just didn’t have the same level of play from the first few games. Rayshawn Jenkins was generally fine but wasn’t particularly impactful.
Other than Desmond King, I can’t say there was a single good secondary performance.