Buccaneers rookie stepped up when Tampa needed him most

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports) /

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka was one of the few bright spots for the Buccaneers last night.

The Buccaneers needed a huge game from their defense last night. Tampa got that game in many ways, but there were still plenty of sloppy moments.

The secondary struggled to contain Mac Jones, even if he did only throw passes that hugged the line of scrimmage. The success of the short passing game against the Buccaneer defense is concerning for a team that will face that scheme a lot in the coming weeks.

The success of the pass against Tampa has been partly due to a banged-up secondary, but the pass rush hasn’t made matters better either. Almost every NFL quarterback can look like a star with four or five seconds in the pocket to survey the field.

The sack numbers coming from Tampa before the last game did not create much optimism for the unit, but last night showed there are plenty of reasons why this group can still be great.

Vita Vea, William Gholston, and Shaquil Barrett looked like their usual selves. Mac Jones was under constant pressure from one of the best interior duos in the NFL, and it was about time that Gholston and Vea finally got some snaps together in a large sample size. Barrett also showed why the Buccaneers paid him so much a short time ago, and Tampa added a rookie star to this formidable unit.

With Jason Pierre-Paul out, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka took over the starting role last week. The Rams game flashed some moments that indicated JTS was on the verge of regaining his preseason glory, and last night made it official.

Tryon-Shoyinka shot out of a cannon on every play. The speed and finesse from such a large player were enough to make everyone wonder why he sunk so low in the draft. JTS made it home twice to pick up two huge sacks, and his pairing with guys in the middle like Vea and Gholston was a match made in Heaven.

Two heavy hitters on the inside to soak up blocks and offensive attention made it almost look easy for Tryon-Shoyinka to find Mac Jones and drive him into the dirt. One of the hits on Jones was so violent that it is surprising that it didn’t draw a flag.

This game proved that the lack of sack production from the rookie over the past few weeks was not a cause for concern in Tampa. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka has found his rhythm, and it seems extremely unlikely that anyone is going to slow him down too much after what he did last night.

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