5 Bucs Who Need to Play Well Today

by Gary Shelton on January 9, 2022

in general

Evans after 1,000 yards again./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Here at the end of the part of the season that no one will remember, the Tampa Bay Bucs are expected to win. Of course they are.

It is, after all, a bottom-line league. No one will remember how many key players are hurt, or how many receivers have left the room (some of them side-straddle hopping their way to unemployment). The Bucs are at home, and they play a fairly weak team in Carolina, and they have Tom Brady. Of course they are expected to win.

But who will lead the way?

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Five Bucs who will figure prominently in the game.

  1. Tom Brady, quarterback: Tom Brady is one first down (10 yards) from reaching 5,000 for the season. He's 241 yards away from a personal best, an advantage to the 17-game season. But the important thing today is whether Brady can steady the ship with so many players missing.

2. Mike Evans, wide receiver: Evans, too, is near a milestone. He needs 54 yards to reach 1,000 for the eighth straight season. With Grayson and Tyler Johnson sharing his huddle, Evans needs to take over.

3. Cyril Grayson, wide receiver: Grayson has been a pleasant surprise lately. He needs to be again. After all, don't the Bucs need an anti-Brown?

4. Vita Vea, defensive tackle: The Bucs' run defense has begun to leak lately. The Panthers barely tried to run in the first meeting of the two, but they ran fairly well against New Orleans last week, and they'll see all the gaps in the Bucs' run defense. Vea needs to plug some holes.

5. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, defensive end: Tryon-Shoyinka played too much finesse last week. He sees to be a force against the Panthers.

The Bucs and Panthers play today at 4:25 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.

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