Looking back on the Bucs’ loss to the Rams

by Gary Shelton on January 24, 2022

in general

Arians' team waiting for news./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Thoughts

1. Was that game-tying fourth-quarter drive the last we will see of Tom Brady? An entire franchise waits in the balance, because neither Blaine Gabbert nor Kyle Trask is as good as Jameis Winston was, let alone Brady.

2. Speaking of which, could Brady let Rob Gronkowski know if he is retiring or not.

3. Is everyone certain that the Bucs played all four defensive backs? At times, it seemed like there were only two.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

4. Yes, the Bucs deserved to lose. Yes, the Rams outplayed them. Still, that was a horrible decision to blitz and expose a team's safeties in the final minute of play.

5. Has anyone seen Shaq Barrett since New Year's?


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On if he considers the upcoming season a rebuilding one): "It's a reload like it is every year. Our [priority] in free agency will be our guys – see how many that we can get back and then build a team from there. I always look forward to that part of it, and then the draft. Each year is so different and so new. Last year, to get everybody back was amazing. I doubt we can do it all again this year, but we're sure going to give it our best."

(On what he might have done differently this season): "About the only thing I would have done different was play the last 40 seconds different yesterday, because the rest of it is what it is. You come to work each day and there's challenges. You have to meet those challenges, and this team did that, and this coaching staff did that. Yeah, I mean there's no regrets of any kind. Would I do it differently? No. I'd play the last 40 seconds maybe better yesterday, but other than that no regrets."

(On if everyone was on the same page on the Bucs' final blitz): "It's who you are. No regrets. And I think everybody did get the [call]. Going back and looking at it, we just didn't have – everybody got the call. I was wrong about that. They all got the call. We had [Ndamukong] Suh come up the middle. We've just got to cover better in that situation when we're going after the quarterback. They only needed, like, possibly 12 yards for that field goal, so I don't question that call whatsoever. But when we do that, we've got to get to the quarterback."

(On if he will look back on 2021 as a successful season): "Yeah, I think with everything that went on this season – it’s never a success unless you're putting rings on your finger and confetti is coming onto your head, but that only happens for one team. But I'm very, very proud of this team. We did not reach our goal, but I like the way we fought to get there."

(On if it's possible that there is a potential replacement for Brady already on the roster): "I'd be comfortable if it is. I like what we have, but again, you never know what's behind Door No. 2. We kind of went down that road two years ago and there was Tom Brady. We'll have to wait and see."

Game Balls

Offense: It wasn't Tom Brady's best game, but again, he was missing two of his top three receivers, his best offensive lineman and a running back and he brought his team back to tie.

Defense: Lavonte David had 11 tackles and provided a lot of fire.

Special teams: Are you kidding?


Quarterback: When the pressure gets to Brady, it's hard for him. Still, this could have been a comeback for the ages: Grade: B+.

Receivers: Once again, Mike Evans was money. He could have used some more help. Grade: B.

Offensive line: They were crushed by the Rams front four. Grade: F.

Running back: Leonard Fournette started the game well, but he finished with just 51 yards. Grade: B.

Defensive line: Absolutely no pressure from the edge. Clearly outplayed by the Rams: Grade: F.

Linebackers: Good day for David. Grade: B+.

Secondary: The Burn unit was dreadful. Grade: F-.

Most Disappointing Units

1. Secondary.

2. Special teams.

3. Offensive line.

4. Defensive line.

5. Coaching staff.

Most Important Decisions

  1. Tom Brady.

2. Chris Godwin.

3. Carlton Davis.

4. Leonard Fournette.

5. Ryan Jensen.

5 Closing Quotes

Rob Gronkowsi: “It’s been an unbelievable ride. There’s no doubt about it. My decision for coming back was definitely solidified being here. I was very happy to come back and play football. Just being a part of this organization from [the front office], to all of my teammates here, I have much love for everyone in this organization. Last year, we won the Super Bowl – which is unbelievable. It’s unfortunate with how everything went yesterday, but it was still a very successful season, no doubt about that."

Ryan Jensen: "It was a tough year, tough way to end it, but this locker room was special. Locker rooms like this don’t come around very often. It was tough and I think that’s what makes it that much more difficult to go out that way when you have a group of guys who fought through a lot this year. [We] just came up short.”

Ali Marpet: "We had a special team. We had a really special group of coaches, players, highly-talented guys and guys that wanted to battle for each other. That showed.”

Devin White: “As far as myself, I have to be more consistent with my play [week in and week out]. Whether I’m dealing with injuries or whatever it is, I have to be consistent. I’m always going to have that mindset that the defense goes where I take them with my energy and playmaking ability. That’s what was asked of me when I was drafted here. I just feel like the biggest thing I learned is to be more consistent. Don’t let the game get bigger than what it is and do my part. I feel like everybody would feed off of that. Just feed off of my energy because obviously they look for me to be that guy.”

Jensen: "It’s been a crazy ride. Twenty years from now when you look back and get together with this group of guys and we look back at what we went through these last two years with battling COVID, with Tom [Brady], winning the Super Bowl and this last game yesterday, it’s just crazy. It’s amazing. To get to that mountain top and staying there is difficult and that’s this league. That’s why you don’t see back-to-back champions all that often. It’s very rare. Getting to that mountain top, everybody is always trying to get there and when you’re there all year you’re going to get everybody’s best shot. That’s what we had all year and I’m proud of everybody, especially in my room, answering the bell the best to their ability and kicking butt all year.”

Most Post Season Passing Yards, NFL History

Rank         Player                                                               Yards

1.              Tom Brady                                                      13,049

2.              Peyton Manning                                                 7,339

3.              Ben Roethlisberger                                            5,972

4.              Aaron Rodgers                                                  5,894

5.              Brett Favre                                                        5,855

Most Post-Season Passing TDS, NFL History

Rank         Player                                                                 TD

1.              Tom Brady                                                         86

2t.             Joe Montana                                                        45

2t.             Aaron Rodgers                                                    45

4.              Brett Favre                                                          44

5.              Peyton Manning                                                   40

Most Post-Season Receiving Yards, Bucs History

Rank         Player                                                               Yards

1.              Mike Evans                                                        440

2.              Keyshawn Johnson                                             375

3.              Chris Godwin                                                    232

4.              Rob Gronkowski                                                226

5.              Cameron Brate                                                  213

NFL Mock Drafts

Pro Football Focus Roger McCready, CB Auburn

CBS Trey McBride, TE Colorado State

NFL.com Jahan Dotson, WR Penn State

CBN.com Kenyon Green, DT Texas A&M

Sporting News Jahan Dotson, WR Penn State

Previous post:

Next post: