Perished Bucs OL Adds More to the List of Tom Brady Grievances as Playoff Hopes Start to Dwindle

Published 12/03/2022, 6:00 PM EST
Nov 27, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs off the field after the Buccaneers lost to the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports | Reuters

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost on Sunday night to a struggling Cleveland Browns side. The loss at FirstEnergy Stadium brought TB12 and the Bucs below .500 again after they recovered from that hole once this season. However, things may have taken an even nastier turn with Tristan Wirfs’ injury in that game.

Brady and Co couldn’t hold a 7-point lead against the Browns who ultimately overcame the Bucs in overtime. Right tackle Tristan Wirfs had to be carted off in overtime and is out for the next 3-4 weeks due to a high ankle sprain. This leaves just one person from the offensive line that protected Brady from lifting the Super Bowl in 2021. Donovan Smith is all that Tampa Tom has for the moment.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost center Ryan Jensen due to a knee injury in the pre-season training camp, while guard Alex Cappa left for the Cincinnati Bengals. With Ali Marpet’s retirement and Tristan Wirfs’ ankle problems, Tom Brady is solely dependent on Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith.

Donovan Smith’s current form doesn’t bode well for Tom Brady

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8-year veteran tackle Donovan Smith won the Super Bowl ring in 2021 with Tom Brady’s dominant offense leading the way. However, his performance this season isn’t quite the one Smith had hoped for initially. The Bucs LT ranks third in the league in sacks allowed (6) and 11th in giving away yardage for penalties. And it’s not like Donovan Smith compensates for his lack of performance with fitness. Smith also missed a couple of games this season because of a hyper-extended elbow injury.

Nov 27, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Taven Bryan (99) gets a hand on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) during overtime at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

In Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Donovan Smith made some costly errors. His false start on 3rd and 6 near the end of the 4th quarter cost the Bucs 5 yards. This made it harder for Tom Brady to stretch the 7-point lead and take it beyond the Browns’ reach. Smith was also responsible for illegally using his hands and disrupting a first down and 37-yard gain for Brady and RB Rachaad White.

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Josh Wells will start in the left tackle position in the Buccaneers’ next game against the 4-8 New Orleans Saints. Their divisional rivals have some heavy-hitting names like defensive lineman Cameron Jordan and linebacker Demario Davis. “They have one of the best linebackers playing in football in Demario. Very good in the secondary,” Brady said. Can Donovan Smith protect the five-time Super Bowl MVP from the Saints’ defense on Sunday?

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Soumyapriyo Ganguly

461 articles

Soumyapriyo Ganguly is an NFL writer at Essentially Sports. He holds a degree in Economics and Statistics from the Indian School of Business and Finance. Rivu is a sports nerd with his favorites being Soccer, American Football, Basketball, UFC, and Formula 1.

Edited By: Hitesh Nigam

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