The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should benefit from Vita Vea in Super Bowl LV.
In case you haven’t heard, Vita Vea came off of injured reserve for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just in time for the NFC Championship, where he didn’t exactly pop on the stat sheet, but popped on the field nonetheless. The massive Vea had a massive impact. His 6-foot four-inch and 347-pound frame clogged up the interior of the Green Bay offensive line, which allowed the Buccaneers pass rush to wreak havoc, and gave Aaron Rodgers yet another NFC Championship loss.
Vea only played 33 snaps or 46%, but he still made his presence felt. On Vea’s very first snap, it took what looked like the entire Packers’ offensive line to contain him, setting up an easy sack for Jason Pierre-Paul. Vea may not have recorded a tackle, assist, or sack, but if one does need numbers to help them tell the story, take this tweet into consideration:
Simply put, the Buccaneers’ defense is better when Vea is on the field, which they should be fortunate they’ll have at all. Putting it mildly, it’s pretty much a medical marvel Vea was able to come back at all. The fracture he suffered on his right leg and ankle during the Buccaneers’ week five defeat against the Chicago Bears was gruesome, and now he finds himself as an unlikely participant in the grandest stage of them all, the Super Bowl. Simply put he is built differently, and one doesn’t even have to look far to figure this out. Vita Vea’s actual full name is Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau Vea. So there’s that.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, Vita Vea should continue to be a destructive force for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For starters, Vea should have more rest to heal up and has already shaken off the rust. The Kansas City Chiefs will also be without their left tackle Eric Fisher, the man they made the first overall pick in the 2013 Draft. While Fisher wouldn’t have been blocking Vea, the left tackle will have to deal with the wrath of the Buccaneers’ outside pash rush running free thanks to Vea clogging the middle. It’s something that Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes will have to prepare for, with the latter already taking this into consideration. Speaking of Vea, Mahomes had this to say to SB Nation’s James Yarcho:
"He’s a guy that you gotta know where he’s at on every single play. He’s obviously super disruptive in the run game but he’s just as good as a pass rusher. You don’t see guys like that playing that position that can rush the passer that much.He’s a special talent. I have to know where he is every single play in order to not let him disrupt the entire game."
That is pretty high praise from the quarterback looking to take the torch from the Buccaneers’ quarterback this Sunday. Having Tom Brady certainly helps the Buccaneers’ chances in Super Bowl LV, but what also helps is having Vita Vea on the field, which deserves a lot more attention.