49ers schedule 2022: Toughest defense No. 3, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium, all the talk will focus on quarterback Tom Brady, his boyhood team and all those rumors about how he could have potentially forced his way back to the Bay Area to play for the red and gold.
Yeah, that story won’t go away.
But equally as intriguing will be how the Bucs defense will look to frustrate Trey Lance, too.
OK, so Tampa Bay wasn’t quite as dominant, defensively, as it was two seasons ago when it shattered the Chiefs’ hopes of winning back-to-back Super Bowls. But the 2021 version was still good enough, finishing with the league’s fifth-best scoring defense (353 points allowed) while being tied for seventh in yards per play (5.2).
Sure, veteran defenders like EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh aren’t back in the fray this year. But the Buccaneers banked on getting much younger and more athletic during the offseason, highlighted by former Houston pass-rusher Logan Hall in the NFL Draft in Round 2.
If Hall even turns out to be a modest force, plus with now-head coach Todd Bowles still influencing the defense at a high level, there’s no reason to believe this will be anything but a massive home challenge on the 49ers schedule this season.