Bucs QB Rush Not Totally PutridDecember 12th, 2013
Each week Greg Bedard, the Xs and Os guy from theMMQB.com, breaks down and grades defensive linemen and defensive lines in the NFL. This week something jumped out at Joe.
Yes, once again, Bedard rates Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy as the second-best tackle in the game (trailing only Houston’s J.J. Watt). So for the GMC haters, just admit you were wrong. You will feel better. Otherwise, just crawl under a rock for everyone else’s sake.
But the thing that really caught Joe’s attention was how Bedard grades the Bucs defensive line as a whole.
To hear former Bucs players who have access to microphones, guys Joe respects a great deal for their insight, the Bucs are putrid beyond belief in pressuring the quarterback. Well, per Bedard’s grades, while the Bucs may not make people forget the Steel Curtain or the Fearsome Foursome, but Bucs are mired in the middle of the pack.
Bedard has the interior line of the Bucs graded in a tie for 18th place. Again, not great, probably not good, but certainly not horrible.
Sacks are not the only element Bedard factors, but pressures, hits on the quarterback, etc. Of the 11 sacks from Bucs interior linemen, GMC has five. Some teams that earned a lower grade than the Bucs are New England, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and — this stunned Joe — in last place, Chicago.
Oh, and per NFL stats. the Bucs are 18th in team sacks with 31, four more than last year’s season total and the Bucs have three more games to play.
Oh, and then there’s this little nugget from Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune:
After registering a season-high seven sacks during their 27-6 victory over the Bills on Sunday, the Bucs surpassed the 30-sack plateau for the first time since they recorded 33 in 2007. Tampa Bay now ranks 18th in the league with 31 sacks.
So, are the Bucs miserable beyond words with harassing quarterbacks? No. Could they improve? Sure. The Bucs just may not be as bad as we may think they are up front on the defensive side of the ball.