Quarterback Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense look to be headed in the right direction in 2017, despite not reaching the end zone Friday night in a 23-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Lavonte David JerseysCornerback Vernon Hargreaves also showed that he has taken to coach Dirk Koetter's call to play more aggressively. The kicking woes continued for Roberto Aguayo -- he lost serious ground to Nick Folk.

QB depth chart: Winston went 9-for-13 for 99 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Vincent Jackson JerseysHe threw for four first downs on that opening drive but twice missed Mike Evans on fade routes in the end zone. Backups Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin alternated after that, and it was not promising. Fitzpatrick ran in a 6-yard touchdown, but had a dreadful series in the fourth quarter. In a span of three plays, Doug Martin Jerseyshe was nearly picked off, fumbled and then was intercepted. Griffin went 4-for-9 for 57 yards and left the game with a shoulder injury.When it was starters vs. starters, the Bucs looked ...: Pretty good. Mike Evans JerseysEvans caught four passes on seven targets for 58 yards. On defense, Hargreaves made an outstanding, touchdown-saving interception at the goal line on a pass intended for Brandon LaFell. He also had a pass breakup on third down, Jameis Winston Jerseysforcing the Bengals to settle for a field goal.

One reason to be concerned: While the Bucs' defensive starters had a nice outing, the backups struggled, making Bengals backup quarterback Jeff Driskel look like an All-Pro in the second half. There was no pressure up front; there were missed tackles and miscommunication. Justin Evans was nowhere to be found when Robert McClain was expecting help over the top on Josh Malone’s touchdown. Backups along the offensive line also struggled in protection.

That guy could start: Javien Elliott looks like a solid nickelback, Gerald McCoy Jerseysfinishing with three combined tackles and a pass breakup. Between an overwhelming number of first-team reps in practice and his performance in Friday’s game, he should clinch the job.

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