Defense Turned Around In Second Half

November 11th, 2012

Joe just couldn’t believe his eyes watching the Bucs play in the first half. Joe knew Philip Rivers would at some point slice apart the Bucs defense, given the Bucs have the worst pass defense in the league.

But Joe never envisioned Rivers simply ravaging the Bucs the way he did in the game’s first 30 minutes.

Yeah, some will say the Bucs couldn’t get heat on Rivers. They could, but it didn’t matter. When you let a running back run free in the flat, when you let Antonio Gates get off the line of scrimmage without breathing on him, of course receivers will be free as wild turkeys in Tennessee.

Rivers didn’t need any time for his receivers to get open. They already were. So the moment a Bucs defender started charging at Rivers, he simply flipped a ball to a running back or Gates and there was a first down if not a touchdown.

Joe wanted to vomit at halftime. In the name of Monte Kiffin, what the hell was going on here?

Well, the Bucs, more importantly Bucs defensive coaches, learned from their mistakes in the first half. They started to contain running backs in the flat. They began to have Lavonte David nail Gates at the line, not just disrupting his pass route, but blowing up the play.

“We kept playing, kept grinding,” Bucs defensive end Michael Bennett said. “Of course we made mistakes in the first half. If they score, that’s a mistake.

“They kept a lot of people in in the first half and were hitting check-down routes, which is what they are known for. That’s a great team. Rivers is a great quarterback. They have a lot of good receivers, good running backs.

“We didn’t make the same mistakes that we made in the first half. That was the difference. Unless [Rivers] was going to sit back seven yards we weren’t going to get to him and he didn’t do that.”

7 Responses to “Defense Turned Around In Second Half”

  1. Mike J Says:

    Real nice effort by the defense. They were on the field a ton, but rather than wearing down, they actually seemed to get stronger. They, er, look to be in good condition….

  2. Pete Dutcher Says:

    The line almost hit Rivers many times. Still a hair from becoming a sack machine.

    I don’t agree that it was as bad as you make out in the first half, Joe. Yeah, sure…the Chargers moved and scored. But I was enjoying things anyway.

    I think this team is going to become more known for offense than defense in upcoming years.

  3. Orlando bucs fan Says:

    It really was that bad in the first half the problem I had was with third down conversions. It seemed like they converted almost all of them. Joe any idea what the third down conversion rate was?

  4. Sneedy16 Says:

    With Carolina next the Bucs have a chance to go 6-4. I really do not fear the Carolina passing game as much as the running game.

  5. Sneedy16 Says:

    @Orlando bucs fan

    It was 5 out of 6 I think on 3rd downs in the first half

  6. Pruritis Ani Says:


    You make a very good point about this coaching staff. Each game I ve noticed they were able to successfully make adjustments at the half. No matter what the outcome of the game I can say, they have learned from their mistakes and corrected or at least tempered areas of vulnerability. I don’t think they get enough credit for that aspect of the game.

  7. Sandbagrudy Says:

    I was surprised to hear Teddy Bruschi bigging up the Buccaneers linebackers on the espn nfl show friday he named lavonte David and Mason foster as up and coming superstars in the nfl he actually picked the Buccaneers to win