Offensive line problems. Three words that have been uttered all season long. Yes, they are essential to address, especially when you have a 500 million dollar quarterback behind the line. The Buccaneers pass rush may be fine with those problems.
Patrick Mahomes has needed more protection all season long. While he has 23 total sacks on the season, he has been hit much more, 45 times to be exact.
Mahomes has been hurried 161 times and pressured 229 times total. If the Chiefs want to protect their half-billion dollar quarterback, the offensive line will need to step up.
He has only been sacked once in the playoffs but hit a few times. The awkward hit that led to a concussion was not entirely the offensive line’s fault.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won’t take anything easy on Kansas City. Their pass rush is impeccable and has helped them a lot throughout the season. It could potentially give the Chiefs problems come Sunday.
Buccaneers Pass Rush This Season
Tampa Bay has been an incredible defensive team this season, and they have the numbers to back it up. Overall, they are the fifth-ranked defense, according to Pro Football Focus.
Behind that stout defense is an excellent defensive line. They are not shy about getting to the quarterback and laying out a few hits. They rank eighth in pass rush at 76.5, putting them in the above-average category.
The Buccaneers pass rush best defensive player is Vita Vea, who did not play in week 12 against the Chiefs. His 89.6 pass-rush grade is the best on the team.
While his stats won’t really show it, he is effective within every snap. In a way, he can be compared to Chris Jones. Two players who don’t have high sack numbers but demand double teams.
While Vita Vea does not get many sacks, the Buccaneers pass rush has a few players who do. Veteran Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett are two of them.
Pierre-Paul has made a resurgence and racked up 13 sacks on the season, to pair with Shaq Barrett’s 11. They both have a pass-rush grade of above 70 and 147 combined pressures between the two.
Against the Chiefs in week 12, the Buccaneers pass rush played a decent game. They finished with two total sacks on Mahomes and may be able to top that on Sunday with the injuries Kansas City is dealing with.
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