By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports contributor
In the final preseason game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took to the road to face off against the rebuilding Houston Texans and the plan was to give the starters half of the work.
From the looks of it, they didn’t exactly need it, but regardless, the offense looked sharp as ever. Quarterback Tom Brady led two scoring drives and threw for 154 yards on an efficient 11-of-14 passing in leading Tampa Bay to a 23-16 victory over Houston this past Saturday night.
It was a stark contrast of how the Buccaneers looked in their first two preseason contests against the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans, in which the Buccaneers didn’t look too sharp and lacked depth seemingly. The win over the Texans provided Tampa Bay fans a bit more breathing room to believe the defending Super Bowl champions will be just fine heading into September 9th’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
With Brady getting in the most work he’s had all preseason in live-action, the 44-year old signal-caller threw darts all over the field. Brady connected the most with wide receiver Chris Godwin, who caught three passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Brown caught the most passes on the day, nabbing four for 42 yards. Running back Keyshawn Vaughn got the bulk of the work in the backfield carrying the ball 15 times for 29 yards.
Brady wasn’t the only Tampa Bay quarterback that looked good, as rookie signal-caller Kyle Trask took the field and was solid. The former Florida Gator completed 12-of-14 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown in his outing. The game was the best showing Trask has had in his three preseason showings for the Buccaneers.
Now the Buccaneers will head into the season carrying Brady, Trask, and Blaine Gabbert as the gameday quarterbacks. Ryan Griffin became the odd man out once Trask was drafted. Griffin was released on Tuesday by Tampa Bay. Much speculation went around that the Buccaneers would not be carrying four quarterbacks and that Griffin must be the most likely candidate to be cut when it came down to it.
The Buccaneers’ defense was flying around and looked much more up to par compared to previous games. The unit flew around the field and forced two fumbles and picked off three passes in the process. It was a return to mid-season form for the Buccaneers’ defense being able to force the multiple turnovers.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.