December 21st, 2012

Now Joe knows, and just about every semi-conscious Bucs fan knows, that the Bucs’ pass defense is as wretched as it comes. So much so Joe wouldn’t be shocked if Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik drafts two corners with the first four picks of the draft in April, in addition to grabbing some free-agent corner.

So last night while Joe was researching the Rams, Joe came across an eye-opening stat from one of his old friends, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Bernie is one of the best football writers in America and is a numbers cruncher. He’s always looking for answers under the hood with rigid research. Well, apparently Bernie was mining for information on the Bucs and came up with a gem claiming the Bucs’ pass defense isn’t as horrid as Joe or most Bucs fans may think it is.

Does this mean [Sam] Bradford will have an easy time or a good day? Nothing is certain. Interestingly, one of Tampa Bay’s strengths has been third-down pass defense. Without going into the numbers, I suspect that’s because of the third-and-longs being set up by all of those runs being slammed by the Tampa Bay rushing defense. But the Bucs have been outstanding on third down, making eight interceptions and allowing a mediocre passer rating of 78.5.

Bradford has struggled on third downs this season; it’s one of the weaker parts of his performance. On third down he’s completed only 55 percent of his passes, with more INTs (4) than TDs (3) and a passer rating of 69.0. A big part of the problem is pass protection; Bradford has been sacked 18 times on third down, the second-highest total among NFL quarterbacks. But his passer rating ranks 23rd among QBs that have attempted at least 100 passes on third downs. So Sunday’s game could be determined by Bradford vs. the Bucs on third down.

Joe nearly fell off his chair reading this. But this is why Bernie is one of the best to dig up information.

So here is a match-up to watch Sunday: How the Bucs work the Rams on third down passing situations. It will also be interesting to see how/if the Bucs shut down Steven Jackson, who is some 91 yards short an eighth straight 1,000-yard season.

14 Responses to “Surprise!”

  1. Adam Says:

    I’m more interested in the blonde in the photo.

  2. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    that’s quality info right there……these 2 teams were in the same boat heading into the season. Jeff Fisher wasn’t interested in coaching here. Anxious to see which team wants it more on Sunday!

  3. Gus Says:

    But our pass d is horrid on first and second down.

  4. buccanay Says:

    Now this is a REAL story. Good stuff! Be interested to see how Josh’s # are on 3rd down.

  5. Have A Nice Day Says:

    The Bucs still allow a 42% 3rd down conversion rate, which is tied for third worst in the league. The passer rating may be low, but we still allow the conversion so that stat is kind of pointless.

    The INTs, however, are nice to see.

  6. McBuc Says:

    It seems the other teams do not get to third down that often…they could be 2nd ad 15 then BOOM, 30 yard pass! I hope the Bucs come to play and destroy the rams.

  7. knucknbuc Says:

    Stats are misleading Joe, because if you’ve been watching the same bucs team that I have been all year this is easily one of the worst 3rd down D’s in the league.

  8. Eric Says:

    This kinda sounds like the stats they use to say the economy is in good shape.

  9. thegregwitul Says:

    Interesting stat, appreciate the post Joe. I think the Bucs bounce back this week. I still think it’ll be a close game, but we might be able to close the year with a two game winning streak, which would match my predicted 8-8 record coming into this season.

    Even more so then the pass defense, I really hope Josh Freeman has a bounce back game.

  10. Red86 Says:

    @ Eric: 😀 lol.

    @joe: Wait are you even a Bucs fan at all? Do watch or even listen to the games? If so then what the point of posting an obivous misinform article about how good our pass defense?

    Joe’s cutting off your insults right here. And Joe’s system doesn’t accept massive links like you put in.
    Red86- How about you actually tell Joe what’s inaccurate in the data linked here from the St. Louis writer. Oh yeah, that’s right, you can’t. You don’t get to come on here and make accusations of Joe’s motives and insult Joe. –Joe.

  11. buccanay Says:

    and BTW…wish our main stream sports writers here did work like the guy in St Louis. This s the type of stuff real fans want to read. It takes real work for a story like this.

  12. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    Let’s hope that GMC goes to chapel Saturday night and God reminds him to rush the QB and not just to disrupt.

  13. ladyz Says:

    For us to have a bounce back game we will need different players ( mentally ) to take the field and take charge. Nothing would maker me happyer.

  14. Red86 Says:

    The site has accepted multiple links from NFL dot com from me and others before. Those sites proved everything I said about the Bucs pass defense. That aspect of the defense isn’t something to be complimenting at all.

    A 42% 3rd & out on defense. 349 point scored against the defense. 42 total tds score with 27 td from the pass along. They only contribute just 4 td off a turnover. QBR is very decieving it contain yardage+comp/att+ td/turnover ratio. Just talking about 3rd downs along makes the qbr looks bad because 3 &10-25 don’t really make a big impact to qbr. COmpared to a long pass for a Td with one pass. Here what the article from the St Louis coverage said: “But the Bucs have been OUTSTANDING on third down, making eight interceptions and allowing a mediocre passer rating of 78.5.”

    Tell me when does being ranked #27 rank on 3rd down on defense is worthy of being called outstanding? Here you reply after their article: “Joe nearly fell off his chair reading this. But this is why Bernie is one of the “BEST” to dig up information.” No one is perfect, yet you can look at the games and tell that the pass defense isn’t outstanding in third down.

    The point of that post is to show that in all the Freeman arguements you and other refused to acknowledge how bad the pass defense. Several stats and as well as post from other and myself said that Freeman is in a slump. But to go as far as saying the guy should be gone. He suck, he’s horrible, and etc. was constantly posted even after seeing the same stats you now want to defend. Even insults, jabs, and all caps was traded. Many including yourself praise Nick Foles and wanted the guy over Freeman. In a game that the team had two score lead with 6-5 mins left in the game. Foles walked the “outstanding” passed defense down the field twice. After the sub par first half from Freeman, threw 2 tds for the lead. But nooo it Freeman’s fault. IN the Giants game the defense gave up 25 points in the fourth quarter along after being up in the first half. SMH.