The unsung heroes were the guys in the trenches IMO.
Defense: Drew Brees doesn’t get sacked much, because he gets rid of the ball before anybody can touch him. And he got sacked zero times, so no splash plays from the D-line. But the pressure from the D-line forced Brees to throw the ball prematurely which resulted in bad decisions and poor timing. The guys on the receiving end of the turnovers get the glory, but this all started in the trenches with pressure from the line that forced Brees to make the poor decisions. Brees made the mistakes, but there was a reason for that – The play of the Bucs D-line.
Offense: It seemed like even on the running plays where nothing was there, the Bucs got two yards just from the push up front. 2nd and 8 isn’t the worst thing in the world. The Bucs O-line seemed to be getting a good push on the running plays all day. Zero interceptions, zero fumbles and one sack on Brady, and even though he had to throw some balls away he seemed comfortable in the pocket all day.
I’m giving my game ball to the Big Uglies, the guys in the trenches.
Great post! The pressure got SO CLOSE to Brees so many times! They definitely deserve a shout out. Offensive line was damn near fantastic in this game! Both sides of the ball imposed their will against two very good lines!! Shout out to Stinnie! The only time I heard his name is on the penalty. Way to step up young man!
Our edge/OLB was disappointing again, but agree the big uglies did their job. They held the line well and controlled gaps for the most part. Roches and McLendon even popped through for a late pressure or two. Suh didn’t have his best game, but we have him playing way more snaps than would be optimal.
The oline has back to back dominant type performances. I’m sure playing 6 of them on 1/5th of the snaps helped. Gronk’s impact is also hard to overestimate. Still, we pushed around and sealed off another high quality dline. Gave our QB plenty of time to throw on almost every drop back. I still want to invest heavily there with draft assets, but I’m over the moon with how that unit has played through 2 playoff games.