Big Play Defense

January 1st, 2023

Monster play.

It wasn’t just the offense that made big plays for the Bucs in their NFC South Division-clinching win over the Stinking Panthers today.

By Joe’s count, there were three big plays by Bucs defenders, two of which came from guys who were backups when the season began.

On Carolina’s first possession of the second half, it seemed the Stinking Panthers were marching for a score. Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold went back to pass and tried to connect with tight end Stephen Sullivan down the middle at the goal line.

But cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting was on him like stink on crap. SMB, who has been playing good ball of late, hauled in the pass for a pick to keep the ballgame at 14-10 Carolina.

The next big play of the second half for the defense, at least in Joe’s eyes, was when Joe Tryon-Shoyinka chased Sam Darnold out of the pocket. JTS ran Darnold to the right corner when out of desperation, Darnold threw the ball away.

It came on third down and the Stinking Panthers had to punt. JTS’s hustle got the Bucs defense off the field.

The biggest play of all happened with 2:32 left in the game. The Bucs led 24-21 and Darnold went back to pass and was sacked by Anthony Nelson who forced a fumble recovered by Vita Vea.

On the very next play, Playoff Lenny barreled up the middle for a six-yard run that led to Tom Brady’s QB sneak that pretty much put the game out of reach at 30-21.

So in the second half, it was three key plays by three different plays that helped shut down the Stinking Panthers offense and allowed Tom Brady and Mike Evans to make their magic.

15 Responses to “Big Play Defense”

  1. cmurda Says:

    Vita recovered the Nelson strip sack but still point is valid

  2. D-Rok Says:

    D played good today. And just think, IF the D would have secured those 3 dropped INT’s – just how much better the box score would look!

    Still, I’ll take it. In a must-win game, the Bucs won, and looked much improved doing it.

    Bring it, playoffs!

    GO BUCS!!!

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    JTS is still getting manhandled out of the play most times. His impact is negligible.

  4. Colonel Angus Says:

    The trifecta as Sapp used to call it.

  5. Arn platz Says:

    Anthony Nelson continues to improve and impress.

  6. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe, Vita Vea recovered the ball which was amazing because at the time the ball was knocked out he was being blocked by two players.

  7. orlbucfan Says:

    JTS is slowly getting better and he’s always in the backfield. The Defense will a major reason why Bucs won the Division.

  8. jimm Says:

    don’t forget the punter! his kick of the bad snap was a thing of wonderment.

  9. Beeej Says:

    JTS had 7 tackles, I can live with that

  10. Crickett Baker Says:

    I saw some good plays from JTS and, as usual, he seems to be around the action a lot. He pressured the QB several times. I still think he is going to get better and become one of our best players. And wow, we can really start being confident with our defense!

  11. D-Rok Says:


    JTS ? Yes, he’s ALWAYS in the backfield, about 20 yards past the QB.

    What game are YOU watching?

    Pathetic comments. Are you 12 years old? Go away.

  12. D-Rok Says:

    By my count, JTS had ONE good play today. He chased down a few tackles from behind, becuz he’s ALWAYS behind and ALWAYS one step too late.

    I hope JTS will hit the weight-room this off-season and become a mature man, but right now, he’s just a kid playing a man’s game.

  13. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    JTS was all over the field today. Easily his best game ever. Gholston also seemed energetic and made several plays. They both made a difference.

  14. LakelandSteve Says:

    Defense played well, offense played well, Special teams were not very special except for one stellar play. A blocked field goal, a missed field goal and a missed extra point could have really cost us the game. The play that may have saved the day was Camarda scooping up a one hopper punt snap running around the left end and somehow punting the ball inside the 10. The play won’t show up on the stat sheet but it was one hell of a play by Camarda.

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    SMB has looked so much larger this year, especially late. Nelson and SMB are great resign options for the Bucs with their cap availability upcoming offseason. Dean will be asking for too much.