Vanishing ActNovember 26th, 2012
There were a lot of things to point to for the Bucs dropping a completely winnable game against the Dixie Chicks yesterday. Leaving points on the field, missing receivers who stood alone in their own zip codes, missed field goals… Joe could go on.
But what is developing on this sad Monday is the narrative that the Bucs’ defensive line hung the Bucs’ subpar corners out to dry.
We’ve heard this from two prominent sports voices in the area and now columnists are picking up the mantle such as Alan Dell.
The Bradenton Herald scribe takes the defensive line out for a verbal lashing of sorts, claiming when the Bucs needed the defensive front perhaps more than in any other game this season, they were ghosts.
The Bucs can talk all day about how they are the better team and the Falcons made one or two plays more, but that was not the case. When three of your four leading tacklers are defensive backs — as it was for Tampa Bay on this day — that’s a problem.
The Bucs front four did a disappearing act. Gerald McCoy didn’t have a tackle, and Michael Bennett, who has been their best in the trenches this year, had one.
Dell has a point. A team can get away with having undrafted free agents and guys off the street (Danny Gorrer?) guarding the likes of Julio Jones and Roddy White so long as your defensive front is bruising Matty Ice regularly.
If your defensive line is playing patty-cake with the Dixie Chicks offensive line, and you are scraping the NFL barrel for warm bodies to play corner, then you are basically turning the game into a glorified, high-paid seven-on-seven flag football track meet that rarely ends in your favor.