Tom Brady and the Bucs suffered, “The worst loss of the Brady era” when they went to Pittsburgh and fell to a subhuman Steelers crew, followed by “The worst loss of the Brady era” when they let a team that was halfway intimidating them in Carolina, it all motivated them to lose where the Baltimore Ravens ran more than 200 meters. The Buccaneers were beaten 41-21 by two one-win teams who were both without their best players, before putting up a better effort in their third straight loss to Baltimore. The last three weeks have therefore been difficult in Tampa.
On a three-game losing streak against the defender superbowl this game seemed to be set for a heavy hit. The LA Rams, however, have also had a slump this season. While that might seem unlikely to fans who’ve seen the 2022 Buccaneers stumble throughout the season battling lesser opponents, there’s always a chance Tampa will come out, play to their talent level and that’s it. is why we watch the matches.
Every time Tampa plays, it comes with certain expectations for the team as well as the players on the field. Reality can be the equivalent of expectation but it can also be its literal antithesis, here it is:
Who we think would do well and did:
Vita Vea- In his first year as captain, Vita Vea has been… different. The Buccaneers’ run defense has been relatively poor in 2022 and the first nose tackle is destined to bear some of that blame. One area where Vea has improved considerably is his passing rush. He has always shown his potential as a passing thrower, but this season has been a celebration for him in that regard. Vea had two sacks against Matt Stafford today and now has a team-high 6.5 on the season.
Jaelon Darden – A surprising regular addition to this roster, Darden has turned into a very decent comeback man. He’s come a very long way from the player we used to see on match days. Darden is becoming a quality returner for Tampa Bay. Despite a blocked field goal, the Bucs’ special teams unit has improved tremendously lately and played a huge role in today’s victory.
Cade Otton This is officially an expectation for the future. For weeks Cade Otton saw more and more action, with his reps increased he did mostly positive things. Otton is a rookie born into a football family and he was instrumental in his freshman year in Tampa. The tight end had a team leading 68 receiving yards, none of which was more important than his one-yard catch to give the Bucs a late lead. The rookie can now add a game-winning touchdown catch to their portfolio.
Who we think might struggle and did:
The Buccaneers’ hasty attack- Tampa Bay has struggled this season with its rushing offense. The Bucs have been bottom of the league’s rushing offense this season and that didn’t change on Sunday. The other part of the trend that continued was the Buccaneers’ commitment to keep running the ball even when they weren’t successful. The Bucs had just 51 rushing yards that day, despite 20 rushing attempts.
Who we think might struggle and who didn’t:
The buccaneers run the defense- Tampa Bay, just a few seasons ago, had the most feared run defense in the league. Anchored by a gigantic defensive front, the idea of other teams arriving in Tampa and running the ball was laughable. It wasn’t too long ago that teams were abandoning the idea of running the ball completely against the Bucs. This year, the Buccaneers have been an entirely different entity. After giving up 200 yards, Tampa Bay managed to stiffen up against the Rams. As with everything there is a trade off, although their performance was better they also faced one of the worst running teams in the NFL so any success could be taken with a grain of salt.
Surprise of the game:
Scotty Miller – Russell Gage was Tampa Bay’s weekly injury at wide receiver and Julio Jones couldn’t get through the game healthy. On one of the Bucs’ most successful and only credible records, Scotty Miller was a constant target of Tom Brady. Scotty Miller finished the day with a team leading seven catches, but it was the catch he didn’t make that stood out the most. With the game on the line, Tom Brady was able to lead the Bucs onto the field for a chance to win. Scotty Miller, wide open in the end zone, pounced and dropped the perfect pass that could have meant a sweet sweet win for the Tampa faithful. The sinking feeling and pain of that moment was then offset by the fact that the Buccaneers were given a second chance at redemption. Another late game drive where Scotty Miller landed a few more crucial late game catches and Tom Brady finally delivered the game-winning touchdowns to let Miller off the hook.
Jake Camarda – Jake Camarda is a position pinball in the field and he’s really fun to watch. The punters and kickers aren’t often exciting, but they can change the game, and Tampa Bay is blessed with solid players in both positions. Camarda’s day was already impressive before he tied the all-time team record for longest punt by a Buccaneer. Jake Camarda is now tied with Sean Landeta, engraved in the history of the Bucs.
The reality is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in first place in the NFC South. Amid a disappointing season, the Buccaneers are in the driving seat for a playoff berth, albeit a relatively unearned one. The 2022 season is still very capable of many different outcomes. The Bucs have a lot to sort out and their schedule isn’t getting any smoother as it progresses. It will take more of what they showed today, and more. Next week, Tampa Bay will look to string together the winning streak while making history by taking on the SEagle Seahawks.