Tampa Bay Is Team TFL

October 23rd, 2012

Dive deep into the Bucs’ defensive statistics and it’s downright amazing how highly the Bucs rank in various areas of run defense. The “swarm” Greg Schiano preaches is buzzing loudly.

Not counting kneel-downs, the Bucs defense leads the NFL in forcing negative yardage plays (8.7-per-game average), which is even more stunning considering the Bucs only have a flimsy eight sacks through six games.

Those “TFLs” (tackles for loss) Schiano often references? The Bucs lead the NFL in forcing negative runs (28), and Tampa Bay has played one less game than many clubs.

Bucs leaders in tackles for loss (TFLs)
LB Lavonte David                     9
LB Mason Foster                       8
DE Michael Bennett                  5
DT Gerald McCoy                      5

All those numbers represent an amazing overhaul of the Bucs run defense after Tampa Bay repeatedly got gutted and gashed since the December 2008 collapse began in Carolina through the entire Raheem Morris era.

Nobody runs on the Bucs anymore — unless it’s receivers frolicking through the secondary.

Tampa Bay allows 3.1 yards per carry, best in the NFL. Against New Orleans Sunday, the Saints literally could have ended the game in the fourth quarter when they ran Darren Sproles on 3rd-and-3 from their own 39 yard line. There were two minutes left and the Bucs were out of timeouts. A first down there gets the Saints to the kneel-downs. No dice. Sproles got one yard.

As for the Bucs secondary, well, Joe doesn’t want to look at those numbers. Hopefully, up-and-down Christian Ponder will be just what the doctor ordered on Thursday in Minnesota.

12 Responses to “Tampa Bay Is Team TFL”

  1. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Those numbers are always a big reason why the Bucs pass defense is so awful.

  2. tampabaybucfan Says:

    Stuffing the run is a mixed bag…..we force teams to pass….and that creates a real problem for a defense that can’t rush the passer. I have never seen more wide open recievers than against the Bucs.
    Hopefully in the off season through free agency and the draft, we can solve our problems in the secondary and D-line depth.

  3. raphael Says:

    amazing difference in our LB corp now…they went from weak link to dominating….

  4. raphael Says:

    hoping they continue against Adrian Peterson Thursday..

  5. SensibleBuc Says:

    As much as I rag on Schiano about the little cheap college tricks & game management issues, our run D has his fingerprints all over it. We blitz fiercely, we change the line of scrimmage, and we play downhill aggressive run defense. Even Monte’s great Buc defenses never stopped the run like this.

    Next year, when we have more high draft picks, we can seal the deal on defense and find a lockdown corner and more safety help.

    There’s a gleam men!

  6. blackmagic00 Says:

    Wish we could get tfl like that on almost all passing plays. Would love to see brees ryan and newton eat turf all day.

  7. AK Says:

    When you’re coming off a season in which your run and pass defense sucked equally, on (bad) record breaking levels which culminated in us giving up more points than ANY Bucs team in history (and that’s saying something), it’s quite difficult to expect an entire D to do a 180. Stuffing the run is a good place to start, and the poor pass D highlights exactly where the upgrades need to take place in the draft and free agency. There’s my positive spin.

  8. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    The success against the run is due to Bryan Cox, I believe.

    The pass rush will suffer even more on Thursday when Teo-Nesheim goes against my pre-draft favorite, Matt Kalil, and McCoy get doubled.

  9. Mavsmoney Says:

    “Nobody runs on the Bucs anymore — unless it’s receivers frolicking through the secondary.”

    This is why joebucsfan is the number 1 place to go for bucs coverage. Absolutely hilarious.

  10. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Focusing on stopping the run is great, and I’m not complaining, but at the same time if you don’t have a pass rush your secondary is going to get torched. It’s happened most of the season so far.

    The loss of Clayborn has allowed the opposing OL to focus more on McCoy and Bennett and that tactic has shut down our pass rush. Miller and Te’o-Nesheim/Johnson cannot rush the passer and they don’t require any real attention by the OL. If Sheridan tries to compensate by blitzing, and the other team has a good QB like Brees or Manning, they simply take advantage by lighting us up with quick passes. The only time the blitzes really work is when you have an average or worse QB back there like Quinn.

    Question is, if we can’t muster a pass rush will Ponder handle the blitz like a Brees or Manning…or will he handle it like a Quinn? The answer will go a long way towards determining whether or not the Bucs come away with a win on Thursday night.

  11. Pete Dutcher Says:

    The bad stat…we are the 25th ranked defense at the moment. I believe we are capable of better, and that it is coming.

  12. DaMayan Says:

    Lavonte David should strongly be considerd for DROY.