Akiem Hicks And Vita Vea Stopped The Run (Again)

January 2nd, 2023

Bucs DT Akiem Hicks.

Everybody and their brother seemed worried about the running attack of the Stinking Panthers. And for good reason.

A week ago, the Stinking Panthers dropped 320 yards rushing on the Lions. Joe doesn’t care how bad of a defense you have, three bills of rushing is staggering.

So it came down to the Stinking Panthers running game vs. the Bucs’ dynamic duo of run-stuffers in the middle, Akiem Hicks and Vita Vea.

Advantage Bucs.

When Hicks and Vea start, the Bucs are 5-1. When one or the other doesn’t play, the Bucs are 2-7. Well, make that 6-1. Vea and Hicks started yesterday against Carolina. And how did they do on the ground? How’s this for a stat?

The week after running for 320 yards, the Stinking Panthers, in large part thanks to Hicks and Vita, only had 74 yards.

Now that’s what Joe calls “defense.”

27 Responses to “Akiem Hicks And Vita Vea Stopped The Run (Again)”

  1. Goatfarmer Says:


  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hicks & Vea make a dynamic duo but you couldn’t help but notice the contribution from Will Gholston………he was a beast.

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    The D seemed to adjust nicely during the game. A sieve on the first drive, but toughened up as the game went on. That has happened in other games too. Maybe this group is a bunch of quick learners. Bodes well.

  4. bob in valrico Says:

    Credit also goes to will Gholston who also made several TFL’s . Had to smile because the veteran got all shook up after each one.

  5. Infomeplease Says:

    I have no info on how banged up those guys are, but if they could use some extra rest to heal, I hope they sit out the next game!!

  6. Jack Clark Says:

    Now if our defensive backs stopped getting torched in one-on-one coverage our defense would be dangerous

  7. SKBucsFan Says:

    Agreed. Both need to play as little as possible (if at all!) And extra weeks rest could be one of the keys to a stronger defense and a longer playoff run.

  8. NEfan Says:

    Maybe Bowles should move them to the swiss cheese secondary. 347 and 3 tds. Not only did the team save the killer B’s job yesterday, the D saved Sam Donarlds job as well.

  9. SufferingSince76 Says:

    The problem is they aren’t on the field enough.

  10. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    SMB played great in one on one.

  11. DJB Says:

    Love Winfield and realize he is battling injury, but get him out of the slot and let him play safety, you know, the position he was named All-Pro

  12. A Says:

    Tip your hat to the offense too – after the TD that put Panthers up 21 to 10…the Bucs came back to score…21 – 16…that next drive the Panthers had 3 carries for 2yrds…Bucs score again going up 24 to 21…other than Sam Darnold scrambles the Panthers didnt run the ball again. So the last real handoff was with 11min left in the 4th Q.

    I normally don’t like resting players, but we’ve got an old roster with some other players banged up. I think think we might be an exception – Atlanta is a physical team with lots of young players…I don’t think the risk / reward is worth it.

    Go Bucs!

  13. Buc4evr Says:

    They both need to play some in Atlanta. Every time the Bucs starters take a week off they get killed in the next game. Even Brady needs to play in Atlanta.

  14. #8's Ghost Says:

    Hmmm…wished there was another beef available earlier in the year to limit issues when Hicks or Vea go down for a few games…Suh.
    I hope they both can stay healthy for the next 4 games they play in after resting week 18 mostly.
    Time for the real Bucs to appear vs Dallas.

  15. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    When both are in and healthy they are definitely a top 3 DT combo. Hicks motivation can change on a dime but when he’s focused he controls two people. We all should give Gholston a shout out, he has played tough the last few weeks. If Nelson continues to produce he must be retained at the end of season. I do not like Barrett not being around the team when the team invested so much in him and clearly took a chance on him. Right now Nelson is a must keep player. With the run D playing like that yesterday I wouldn’t be afraid of the eagles and definitely not the cowboys.

  16. Show Me the TDs Says:

    How many times are you going to post this article? That’s just plain lazy.

  17. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Vea and Hicks are a lot of weight to try and move out of the way.
    And I agree that Gholston made the most out of all the attention paid to Hicks and Vea.
    The Atlanta game is meaningless, so why not rest our Guys ?

  18. Winny Testaverde Says:

    NEFan ( artist formerly known as ListenFromAfar possibly):

    As a purveyor of quality nicknames myself, I very much enjoy The Killer B’s reference to Bowls n Byron. It’s excellent.

    To your other point…hopefully Darnold fooled Carolina into trotting him out again next year as the starter with no real backup plan.

    Eerily quiet on the bench Brady; begin Operation Trask Force today wouldn’t you say?

  19. D-Rok Says:

    I love me a whole steaming pile of man-meat in the middle of the D. The whole front 7 played pretty well yesterday. Kudos!!!

  20. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    The Atlanta game is not meaningless. When you’ve not played to your potential for the entire year and you FINALLY start looking like you’re supposed to, you do NOT want to lose that momentum.

    Sure, maybe you reduce Vea and Hicks’ snaps, but you do not sit them.

  21. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    I’m with you all that Gholsten is always god in the run game. I think JTS may have played his best game as a Buc even if he didn’t get a sack. He harassed Darnold all game and ran down a lot of running plays from the back side to lead the team in tackles. I’m still not sold on the kid, I feel like he doesn’t understand got to get low and play with leverage but he quietly has a good game

  22. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I agree…..JTS did have his best game….I think he led the team in tackles…..he did apply lots of pressure too…..

    I’m very interested what Ian Beckles will say about him this week cause he’s always 🗑 trashing JTS…..🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

    JTS maybe coming into his own just in time for the Playoffs.

    I’ll tell you what…..LEAVE ANTHONY NELSON in the game all day long!!!!!!…..all he does is make plays!!!!!!

  23. Redeemer Says:

    I say sit em both next week. Meaningless game. Bucs are locked into the 4 seed. The risks far outweigh any possible reward. The record when both play speaks for itself. When you’re not playing a million miles per hour, the chances of injury go way up. They can’t rest everyone, I get that. Only 46 guys can dress if not mistaken. But playing Vea and Hicks makes absolutely zero sense.

  24. Crickett Baker Says:

    Humph! These guys want to play, not sit on the sidelines “resting”. It would be a punishment to them to not let them go out and kick some more butt!

  25. BOAT Says:

    Hicks is really injury prone, but when he is healthy, he’s a damn good player.

  26. Eric b Says:


  27. bucs4life Says:

    There’s another truth that stems from that one. Nunez-Roches is washed up and unfit for the NFL. It is what it is.