5 Bucs to watch in today’s Rams’ game

by Gary Shelton on January 23, 2022

in general

Mike Edwards needs to be solid./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 3 a.m.

Someone's going to step up. Someone's going to be better than you'd expect.

If the Tampa Bay Bucs are to win, they're going to need a good player, maybe two, to be great.

That's the way big games are won. The Bucs -- facing a formidable Rams team -- will need a great game from Tom Brady, of course. And Mike Evans. And Lavonte David.

But, right about now, they need an emergence. They need someone to be

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this week's Brashad Perriman, or this week's Cyril Grayson. They're going to need a member of the supporting cast to be a star.

So, here they are: Five Bucsworth keeping an eye on:

  1. Tom Brady, quarterback: The weapons of the Bucs have been slowly stripped away, but as long as Brady is running things, they've got a chance. He might drive you (and the Rams) crazy with short passes, but if he isn't turning it over, the Bucs are in the game.

2. Tristan Wirfs, offensive tackle: The Bucs won't officially decide whether Wirfs can play until today. But offensive linemen are a different cut of athlete. It was obvious when Wirfs couldn't go a week ago. His presence calms things.

3. Shaq Barrett, outside linebacker: Barrett hasn't taken over a game lately. Last week, he didn't have a tackle. But if he can affect Rams' quarterback Matt Stafford, it will help the secondary.

4. Mike Edwards, nickel back: Edwards played well last week, but with Cooper Kupp in the slot, he's going to have to play even better. As it is, the Bucs' secondary seems to be overmatched.

5. Leonard Fournette, running back: Fournette has been hurt, but he's still bound to get 20 touches today. If he can make a difference running the ball, it will help Brady tremendously.

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