“No Fly Zone” Largely UnenforcedDecember 30th, 2013
Here’s a sad stat to start your Monday: The Bucs’ heralded pass defense, the alleged “No Fly Zone,” allowed a whopping 30 touchdowns through the air in 2013.
That’s the same total the Bucs allowed last season, when they had one of the worst secondarys in the history of the NFL and the pass rush was even more anemic than it was this season.
Joe finds that TD total to be completely unacceptable, especially considering the three massive upgrades the Bucs made in the secondary, including swapping Darrelle Revis for E.J. Biggers.
The Bucs’ pass defense was so heralded this past offseason; it was given that official team nickname, “No Fly Zone.”
Unfortunately, the good officers at MacDill Air Force base likely weren’t impressed with the Bucs’ enforcement of said No Fly Zone. Tampa Bay finished with the NFL’s 15th-ranked pass defense. That’s not special when you’ve got major talent in the secondary and a good corps of linebackers.
Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Kellen Clemens all had games of 70+ percent passing on the Bucs.
Tampa Bay tied for third in interceptions (21 versus 18 last season). That was good, and they cut down on explosive plays allowed. But the secondary didn’t send ripples of fear through NFL quarterbacks, and their run support was a step down from 2012. Roger Goodell neutering Dashon Goldson didn’t help matters.
The Bucs didn’t get what they paid for.