Players with lesser known names have started raising their hands on the Tampa Bay roster due to multiple absences.
TAMPA – Moments after wide receiver Antonio Brown ran off the field in what will become known as his last appearance to the Tampa bay buccaneers, the quarterback Tom brady threw a perfect pass on third and 20 down the right wing to wide receiver Cyril Grayson for an exact 20-yard gain and hit the first try.
It was at the end of the third quarter, with the Bucs falling to the New York Jets by 14 points on the road and Tampa bay suddenly ran out of his biggest player on the third down of the past two seasons away from the injured wide receiver Chris godwin.
Brady turned to the lesser known Grayson, who was elevated from the practice team due to COVID-19 cases among the Bucs For the past two weeks, he did not participate in any collegiate play at LSU and had been with six teams before reaching Tampa bay.
In that same series, Brady found another low-ranking receiver (although this was a first-round pick in the 2015 draft) in Breshad perriman –who was called up permanently from the practice team a month ago – running down the middle of the field for a 32-yard complete pass, followed by a dart to tight end Cameron brate in fourth and goal.
Brady found Grayson once again with 21 seconds to go at regular time, for a game-winning 33-yard touchdown to position himself as the NFC’s No. 3 seed heading into the final week of the regular season.
Head coach Bruce arians He told the players in the locker room after the game (according to NBC’s Peter King), “I want you to know that I will take the guys out of this locker room and go play anyone in the world.”
But the reality is that – although they are already without the distractions caused by Brown– His path to a second consecutive Super Bowl became much more difficult, especially when considering all the players absent on both sides of the ball due to injuries.
The wide receiver Mike evans see more double coverage and opponents will focus on the tight end Rob gronkowski, especially without the main corridor Leonard fournette, who is likely to return for the playoffs, and with substitute status Ronald Jones II airborne with an ankle injury.
Fournette has been on injured reserve since he injured his hamstring in Week 15 and Evans he’s just coming off a hamstring injury.
Jones you are wearing a walking boot for an ankle injury. He has not been ruled out for the last game of the regular season. Arians indicated that they will “wait and see.”
Before sunday Gronkowski Y Brady they had had trouble staying on the same page for two weeks, too, however, Gronkowski finished the victory over the Jets, 28-24, with seven receptions and 115 receiving yards.
But in the meantime, they will have to keep getting more out of Grayson, Perriman and sophomore wide receiver Tyler johnson. Neither of those receivers has the ability to run routes or stop and run with Hall of Fame caliber. Brown, which has a great impact on running deception passes.
But nevertheless, Grayson Y Perriman they have speed, Grayson is most effective in a straight line, while Perriman It has shown that it can outmaneuver defenders on cross routes. Johnson He hasn’t shown much as a blocker (he was pushed a bit against the New Orleans Saints), but he competes for the ball and appeared on a play of second and 10 on the final drive for a 27-yard reception to set up the winning score.
Grayson he had six receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown in that game. During the last two weeks, Grayson He has nine receptions for 162 receiving yards and a touchdown. Against the Jets, Johnson he finished with four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown. Perriman, who came off the reserve / COVID-19 list last week, had two receptions for 41 yards.
They trusted in Grayson Y Johnson significantly during the victory series, which did not have a single shipment to Evans or Gronkowski. In fact, before Sunday, Grayson, Perriman Y Johnson they combined for 501 receiving yards (less than 11 percent from passing attack) and 25 receptions (less than 8 percent from passing attack) with two touchdowns.
Yet against the Jets, they were responsible for about 42 percent of the passing attack in terms of yards.
They will need more than Brady, of course. But unlike last season, when, at times, it seemed like they were playing someone else’s offense, he is in full control of this attack and can elevate those around him, similar to what he did in his later years with the New England Patriots.
You can do that in the average 2.50 seconds it takes to get off the ball (the second fastest of any player in the league) versus the 2.57 he had last year, which was eighth better, and significantly better than the 2.62 seconds that had in the first five games of last season.
And although there were some setbacks on Sunday, since Brady He was hit four times, his pass protection has been stellar this season. He’s been pressured just 12.2 percent of the times he’s been late to pitch, the best percentage of all quarterbacks in the league.
His contact percentage (pressure consists of contact and no contact with hurried pitches) of 9.3 percent is also the best in the league. They need to rely on that, and this group’s carry blocks (another injury-hit position) to set up screen passes.
However, the Bucs They also need to get more out of their defense, which struggled against carries Sunday.
They really missed Shaquil barrett Y Jason Pierre-Paul, with a sack against the Jets. They missed the safe tackles from inside linebacker Lavonte David and they didn’t have any steals.
David has been on injured reserve with a foot injury since Week 15. Pierre-Paul He has been dealing with a rotator cuff tear all season, but has missed the last two weeks. Barrett he sprained his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament in Week 16. The hope is that he will return for the postseason.
“Everyone is going in the right direction,” he said. Arians. “We will wait and see you with Lavonte, but he is moving in the right direction. We will worry about next week, next week, but they are moving in the right direction.”
Considering that the other five teams that qualified for the NFC playoffs – the Green Bay Packers, the Los Angeles Rams, the Arizona Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles – are averaging 27.15 points per game, the Bucs they will need to recover very quickly.