It’s The Defense

August 12th, 2013
Led by receiver Vincent Jackson, the Bucs offense is playoff ready, based on a calculation from NFL insider Pat Kirwan.

Led by receiver Vincent Jackson, the Bucs offense is playoff-ready, based on a calculation by NFL insider Pat Kirwan.

Last year as the Bucs’ pass defense created a spike in local pharmaceutical sales for Nexium, Joe was of the opinion that it was Bucs franchise quarterback Josh Freeman’s Six Flags ways that doomed the Bucs in a push for the playoffs.

Pat Kirwan seems to take a different side. The former NFL assistant coach and front office man who, among his many gigs co-hosts one of the best football shows in the free world, “Movin’ the Chains,” with Tim Ryan heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, pumped out a take that would seem to suggest Freeman’s vanishing act in the latter part of the season had nothing to do with the Bucs watching the playoffs on their couches last January.

@PatKirwanCBS: The 12 teams in playoffs last yr averaged 27 touchdown passes from offense..can your favorite team do that this yr?

Well, the Bucs — and Freeman did just that. The Bucs had 27 touchdown passes, the average Kirwan cites for a playoff team.

If one is to believe in numbers — which never do tell the whole story — the Bucs should have been in the playoffs.

But if one is to subscribe to Kirwan’s theory, the Bucs offense is playoff-ready as Joe types this, which sort of reinforces what Keyshawn Johnson told the Tampa Bay pen and mic club Saturday when he popped into One Buc Palace.

Johnson talked about how drastically the NFL has changed and that in today’s game, defense is almost an afterthought. He mentioned how the Packers lost but one game in 2011, with an NFL-record worst pass defense. Keyshawn also mentioned that Bill Belicheat doesn’t care if teams score on him because with Tom Brady, the Patriots can score just as easily if not quickly.

Now is Freeman the next Brady or Aaron Rodgers? No. Not yet, but it will be interesting to see how much he has improved with a second year under offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.

For those who dismiss this, Joe only points to Alex Smith. Nearly run out of football, Smith had nothing but a revolving door of offensive coordinators and head coaches until he found stability with Jim Harbaugh. And what happened? He was a special teams fumble from leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

28 Responses to “It’s The Defense”

  1. BucFanForever Says:

    This is why stats are for losers.

  2. Bojacksonsucks Says:

    Another stat that may put the late season swoon on the defense. The Bucs had a higher ranked offense than 7 of the 12 playoff teams.

  3. jvato24 Says:

    That 2011 Packers team also led the league in turnovers, Defense doesnt matter anymore yet SF had the #1 Defense last season and the Ravens were no slug on D, and the top Offenses were eliminated in the playoffs

  4. rocmontana Says:

    @javato24 I disagree with u flacco as hot as he was and kaepernick playing as well as he did combined wit the run game they had one of the best offenses as well

  5. Buddah Says:

    Freeman marched the team to go ahead scores with under three minutes left against Washington, Philadelphia and Atlanta T home only to see the defense fold. That would have made them 10-6 and put them in the playoffs. The myth that he chokes in the fourth quarter is bunk. Also he rallied the team against New Orleans only to have Williams step on the line to negate the tying touchdown and against Carolina on the road he rallied to tie and win the game. You can ‘t win games when the other team has the ball for most of the game.

  6. Chris Says:

    Yeah 27 tds. Lets not forget here. 5tds 10 INTs and barely 50% completion and led a merely 18 ppg. The defense struggled yes but the offense spun out in te final 6 games and a lot of that responsibility is on freeman.

  7. tampabaybucfan Says:

    Dominick & Schiano know that the defense needed help. They acquired Revis & Goldson….then picked a defensive player in the 2nd, two in the 4th, and 5th round. That’s 6 key players added to the defense.
    Buc championship teams always had great defenses.

    Ask Shaun King!

    “Shaun King, one of two Buc Quarterbacks that lost a NFC Championship Game when his defense gave up 11 or fewer points.”

  8. Bucfever40 Says:

    Hard to believe the Packers only lost one game with a pass defense that was that bad….record setting bad, but it also illustrates how good Aaron Rodgers really is. Even in today’s NFL, if you can’t stop a team from making that final winning drive, you’ll never win the big one. We have that QB that can take us down the field, and on paper, we have also improved our defense, so if we don’t go deep into the playoffs, we should know exactly where the problem lies.

  9. Couch Fan Says:

    I think its absolutely ridiculous to say Freeman had nothing to do with not making the playoffs.

    We were 6-4 with that awful defense and we were still in playoff contention UNTIL FREEMAN began his 2nd melt down in as many seasons.

    So Freeman gets credit when he plays well and we win, and he gets no blame when he plays like crap and we lose…. yea sounds fair and balanced. LOL

  10. Chef Paul Says:

    It was Free’s meltdown AND the defense. Fix those 2 things and we win about 5 more games. defense SHOULD be much improved. And Freeman without excuses SHOULD be improved. Great season lies ahead

  11. Couch Fan Says:

    I would say the play calling and game management also had a small part in the losses as well. Special teams wasnt so special either. The blame can be spread out but to suggest Freeman had 0% to do with it is absurd.

  12. Chef Paul Says:

    Agreed Couch. There is a lot of negativity in this here corner of the interwebs. But we should all be STOKED about this upcoming season. We have a lot to look forward to. This year we will be arguing about who’s to blame for the WINS and not the losses. It will be great

  13. Couch Fan Says:

    I hope your right! GO BUCS!!

  14. tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Couch

    I agree that our playcalling & gameplans need improvement. Too many times we settled for field goals only to see our leads evaporate because of our defense.
    Too many 3 & outs late in the game with predictable calls….run up the middle on first & second and then a risky pass on third.
    Our offense put pressure on a weak defense that usuall broke instead of bent.

  15. Couch Fan Says:

    Agreed. We need to go full throttle from beginning to end. We have the offense to force our will on opponents. I’ve always hated the idea of playing it safe just because you got the lead. Not playing it safe is what got you the lead. Unless of course there is only a couple minutes left.

  16. Chris Says:

    I think at certain points our play calling did get conservative. But ask yourself why? My conclusion was freeman was TO prone.

  17. Couch Fan Says:

    I can’t argue with that.

  18. Tiny tim Says:

    Wow Joe……………I know I’m not Kirwan, but I gave you and your readers a list of all playoff teams and the total points they scored and the total points scored against them as compared to the bucs a while back (since everyday you have an article geared for hater fans to bash freeman). The list stated everything Kirwan mention. With the amount of points the bucs scored, had that offense been with any other playoff defense, they would have made the playoffs easily based on points for and points against. The bucs were the only team (as compared to playoff teams) where the defense gave up more points than the offense scored.

    You can’t win like that as I have stated many times. I know I won’t get any credit because I am not Kirwan. When I get time, I will provide you and your readers the list again.

  19. Tiny tim Says:

    Oh yea, the two superbowl representatives only scored 8 (49ers) and 9 (ravens) more points than the bucs did for the season. Yea, it is pretty obvious where “most” of the blame should be placed.

  20. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Yeah what does this former GM guy Kirwan know anyway? The people in this comment section are much more qualified to talk football.

  21. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    “Love is blind; hate is deaf.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  22. Couch Fan Says:

    Funny how most fans seem to think a mans “qualifications” on a certain subject depend solely on his opinion compared to there own.

  23. Chris Says:

    ^^^ yep. When several analysts give yet opinion on freeman everyone states what do they know. But in this case they’re correct?

    Look I place blame on both freeman and the defense in those final 6 games. Both were not very good to horrendous.

  24. bucslegends Says:

    IT’S A TEAM SPORT !!!!!!!, The whole team played poorly at times ! We can’t blame one unit for our slide. Simply put…, IT’S A TEAM SPORT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Celly Says:

    Couch Fan Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I think its absolutely ridiculous to say Freeman had nothing to do with not making the playoffs.

    We were 6-4 with that awful defense and we were still in playoff contention UNTIL FREEMAN began his 2nd melt down in as many seasons.

    So Freeman gets credit when he plays well and we win, and he gets no blame when he plays like crap and we lose…. yea sounds fair and balanced. LOL


    So by that same logic, who do we blame when the Freeman plays well and we lose?

    I would also ask the question: who do we blame when the defense plays well and Free plays like crap, but unfortunatley, that didn’t happen to often.

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    Celly…he won’t answer you. It’s too complicated for him.

  27. Couch Fan Says:


    Thats not the same logic at all. My post is pretty simple to understand. Freeman disserves SOME of the blame. His play, although nowhere near as bad as the defense, had a lot to do with the 7-9 record.

    I never said he disserved all the blame. That is something people tend to make up that I said. The disserve doesn’t disserve all the blame either.

    Simple logic

  28. Couch Fan Says:

    The defense doesn’t disserve*