The Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason is in the books following their 23-16 win over the Houston Texans. This was our first extended look at the starters and the unofficial dress rehearsal for opening night. There was a lot to like from this game, but here are the things that stood out the most.
Starting offense looked crisp
The Bucs starting offense just about picked up where they left off last year. After a dysfunctional first drive, Tom Brady picked apart the Texans defense en route to a Chris Godwin touchdown. Later, the Bucs got things going on the ground and capped off the drive with a Ronald Jones II 13-yard touchdown run.
This group looked as crisp as you could hope. Especially considering how few snaps they played coming into this game. It comes as a surprise to no one that Brady and the offense are ready to go with the regular season just a week and a half away.
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka dominates
If there was a star of this game, it was Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. He was constantly in the backfield and pressuring the quarterback. This was highlighted by a strip-sack that became a fumble recovery for the Buccaneers in the second quarter.
This was Tryon-Shoyinka’s third preseason game where he brought down the opposing quarterback. His athleticism and hustle have been more than opponents have known what to do with. Without doubt he is gaining the coaches trust and will be on the field perhaps even more than we expected in 2021.
Number one goal achieved
Every preseason has the same goal for teams across the league: keeping their players healthy. Now that the Bucs have made it through the final game, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Kyle Trask shows a spark
This was undoubtedly Trask’s best game as a pro. He finished 12/14 for 146 yards and a touchdown. It’s also worth noting that Ryan Griffin didn’t play in this game, which indicates that Trask will be the Bucs third quarterback this year.
This was always assumed to be the case due to the draft capital the team invested in Trask a few months ago. However, this performance makes it feel like he’s earned his place.
K.J. Britt is it
The Bucs rookie middle linebacker stood out against Houston. He led the team in tackles, including two on the one yard line to prevent a score. He also made plays on special teams which is a big priority for this Buccaneers team.
This doesn’t take away from his shortcomings (speed and coverage ability), but it did leave a positive impression. Britt can come in, enforce the run defense, and cover kicks. That’s exactly what the teams want him to do.
The Buccaneers’ defensive line depth is very strong
In a game where Ndamukong Suh did not play, it felt like his replacements kept making plays. Khalil Davis showed flashes and was able to recover Tyrod Taylor’s fumble. Pat O’Connor continued to consistently make plays, including batting a ball at the line of scrimmage.
Despite question marks about the future of this position, in the here and now the Buccaneers are very strong up front.