Bucs finally play their stars, beat Houston

by Gary Shelton on August 29, 2021

in general

Brady played well for the Bucs./(Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers via AP)

Sunday, 3 a.m.

Don't worry about the result. You'll forget it in 13 minutes.

The efficiency? That may last a little longer.

For the Tampa Bay Bucs, the highlight of a 23-16 preseason victory over the Houston Texans was that, frankly, the Bucs looked like the Bucs again. Finally, they looked like they might be prepared to open a season.

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Tom Brady led the Bucs on two touchdown drives of 90-plus yards, lifting the Bucs to 13-0 lead. He hit 10 straight passes at one point, and overall was 11 of 14 for 154 yards. He used Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Mike Evans well, carving up the Texans in his brief appearance.

“I was pleased with everything but the first series on offense," said Bucs' coach Bruce Arians. "We can’t start against Dallas with a penalty and a three-and-out and give them field position. Other than that we had a nice rhythm. I loved the speed of the offense, the speed of the defense. Once we got going, we saw the things we wanted to see. Some young players stepped up, others didn't. We've got some rookies the game is a little big for."

For the Bucs, who had lost pre-season games to Cincinnati and Tennessee without their stars, it had to be somewhat comforting to see.

Of course, one of the major goals of a preseaon is to judge the end of their roster. A few players were loud in their final arguments to make the team.

For instance.

-- Defensive end Joe Tryon-Shoyinka had five tackles and a sack.

-- Quarterback Kyle Trask hit 12 of 14 passes and threw his first touchdown pass.

-- Offensive lineman Robert Hainsey played for the first time.

-- Receiver Jaelon Darden caught three passes for 35 yards and had a 17-yard punt return.

-- Linebacker K.J. Britt had eight tackles.

-- Cornerback Dee Delaney had two interceptions. A competitor for the position, Herb Miller, had one.

"We have to go back and grade the special teams' tape, not the defensive tape," Arians said.

The Bucs have to be down to their 53-man roster by Tuesday.

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