5 Bucs who will be important vs. Jets

by Gary Shelton on January 2, 2022

in general

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka needs to play well./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 am.

No way to state this any plainer: The New York Jets are a mess.

This shouldn't surprise anyone. For years, the Jets have been a mess. They are the doormats of a weak division, with an offense that gets lost and a defense that chases opponents across the goal line.

In other words, there are no excuses for the Tampa Bay Bucs not to play well. Not the absence of their pass rushers, not the limitations on their

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wide receivers. The Jets have won four times this year, they lead the league in points allowed and they're entrenched, once again, in the basement of the AFC East.

Here then, are the five Bucs who need to perform the best in today's game.

  1. Ronald Jones, running back Jones gets a crack at the NFL's second-worst rushing defense. The Jets have given up 27 rushing touchdowns this season. With Leonard Fournette out, Jones needs a big game.

2. Byron Leftwich, offensive coordinator: Leftwich catches a lot of criticism (evidently, Tom Brady calls all of the plays that work). But it's time the Bucs started hitting on all cylinders.

3. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, defensive end: with Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul both out, the Bucs need pressure from somewhere. Devin White will get there some on the blitz, but Tryon-Shoyinka needs to pitch in. Rookie Zach Wilson has been sacked 35 times this year.

4. Tom Brady, quarterback: Again, you can't omit Brady from any list of necessary Bucs.He has a chance to pass 40 touchdown passes again.

5, Mike Evans, wide receiver: Evans needs 101 yards for an eighth 1,000-yard season. Considering that Antonio Brown was hobbled during practice this week accents how much Evans is needed.

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