Bucs Pass Rush Comes Vital Assistance For One Night
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – They had been called by their own head coach for a bag darker than a look from Bill Belichick.
Entering Sunday night’s showdown against the Patriots, the Bucs had three sacks in as many games. In spurts, they had been disruptive, but it was not enough. While it’s nice to get a quarterback off your pace, the goal is to get it off the ground.
“Most definitely,” said rookie rusher Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, when asked if his unit felt challenged by coach Bruce Arians.
As downpours flooded the field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, the sight of a rookie pocket passer represented the real perfect storm for Tryon-Shoyinka and his peers.
Tampa Bay finished with four sacks, including two by Washington’s 2021 first-round pick, in the 19-17 win. While Patriots rookie Mac Jones displayed skill and courage in front of an NBC home crowd (31 of 40, 275 passing yards), most of his damage was dealt with short, quick throws brought on by the relentless pressure from defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
It also allowed an injury-exhausted secondary to keep things primarily in front of him.
“I can’t say enough about stepping up high school,” Arians said. “The pass rush was really good. “
It especially shone in New England’s second possession in the third quarter. In second and sixth place on the Patriots 27, veteran William Gholston sacked Jones for a 6-yard loss. On the third try, with Jones in the shotgun, Tryon had his second of the night, thanks to a huge assist from nose tackle Vita Vea.
“He took down the guard and the tackle,” Tryon-Shoyinka said. “It’s Vita’s bag for real.”
The Patriots were forced to punt, and the Bucs responded with an eight-game drive ending in an 8-yard Ronald Jones touchdown.
“Coach Bowles is very aggressive again,” said inside linebacker Devin White. “So when he’s aggressive we can do a lot of good things.”
That night the storm of aggression rarely subsided.
“We knew (Jones) wasn’t a very mobile quarterback,” Tryon-Shoyinka said. “He likes to stay in the pocket with the ball, (take) the second and third options, so we knew it would be our job, the whole d-line, to chase him, to get him out of his place. I think we’ve done a good job on this.
Contact Joey Knight at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.
Tom Brady leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a late field goal and they hang on to defeat the New England Patriots 19-17 in Brady’s opener against his former team on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
• • •
Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter to get updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs beat writer Joey Knight.