Disturbing Step Backwards For Defense

December 7th, 2014


Matthew Stafford completed 76 percent of his passes today, and there was plenty of variety in the Lions’ aerial attack.

The Tampa Bay defense looked much like it did early in this loose stool of a season.

So what should make a Bucs fan feel good about his team these days? Sadly, that’s a tough question.

Yesterday, fans were feeling good about Lovie Smith’s defense surging and performing well since the bye week. But today the defense took a disturbing step backwards. The Lions are not a juggernaut offense. But they pummeled the Bucs.

The Bucs defense had too many missed tackles, too much shoddy coverage, and the pass rush was spotty, despite three sacks. The run defense was solid but crumbled in the second half. And please don’t give Joe the baloney of, ‘Well, if you subtract that big Lions’ run …’ Life doesn’t work that way.

The defensive failure especially stands out because the Bucs offense is garbage and the team collectively looks lost. The special teams aren’t special, outside of Patrick Murray looking like the right offseason decision.

Right now, the mythical Bucs “arrow” is pointing straight down. The team was not competitive, and it’s not the first time. Lovie Smith has to somehow move that arrow in the right direction over the past three games.

If he can’t do that, well, Joe can’t predict how Team Glazer would react to a 2-14 record, a giant mess and an angry fan base.

Laughingstock status usually drives major change.

32 Responses to “Disturbing Step Backwards For Defense”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    your “eyeball test” has failed you again joe. You need to Realize when the bucs are just playing a bad team and they look good!

  2. NJBucsFan Says:

    This was predictable. They “do well” against inept offensives ran by rookie QB’s or QB’s that have recorded the lowest QB rating in history.

  3. bucrightoff Says:

    Pass rush is better. Back 7 is still pretty weak. So many guys just running open, good QBs are gonna find those open windows.

  4. RastaMon Says:

    L&L…own this season

  5. MadMax Says:

    Joe, so are you on the FIRE Lovie train now? Welcome aboard if so.

  6. DallasBuc Says:

    Principles of Lovie Smith defense: don’t cover any receivers, don’t tackle ball carriers, don’t rush the passer. It is so brilliant. Joe I can see why you weren’t worried about the defense all offseason.

  7. BucfanBF Says:

    Lets be real here… The Bucs are a terribly coached football team that is not devoid of talent. For whatever reason, call it a curse if you will but every single coach we hire cant get these guys to play at a good level. Raheem had alot less talent his first year yet we almost made the playoffs!! I’m sick and tired of this mess we watch every single week but because of being a huge fan and want to believe that we will eventually get better I still waste 3 hours each and every sunday.

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    I would be on the fire Lovie bandwagon if there was one. Is that politically correct?

  9. MadMax Says:

    This Lovie experiment will continue to fail if the Glazers stick with it. Schiano is still under contract….good grief bring him back before the draft please, he’s a pretty damn good eye for talent…your paying him so why not?

    And those ugly uniforms have to go….please at least update them with our old colors and normal numbers instead of that awful digital font.

  10. lightningbuc Says:

    Where’s Brandon (his last name is Smith) to tell us how “competitive” the Bucs are?

  11. JK Says:

    Hi Joe, Is there any chance that Hugh Glazerhouse will sell the team since it has become obvious that they have no idea how to operate an NFL franchise?

  12. Buccfan37 Says:

    You know your team is bad when receiving the 2nd half kickoff, the first offensive series they are squashed like grapes. Momentum squandered. Happens nearly every time, yet Lovie defers the kick when he wins the chance to start.

  13. Nick Says:

    I didn’t thnik the D was that bad if not for poor support of offense

  14. Mike10 Says:

    Joe shed a little light on the Leslie Frazier situation… what’s going on there aka what’s not going on there?

    … We know all about the mess on the offensive side of the ball, but I seriously never here Mr. Leslie mentioned… you think it would be a bad idea to fire him early and see what Lovie can do alone on that side of the ball?

    Not much to shed. Lovie was very happy with his defense before today. Happy with the development. Lovie’s very involved. Don’t think you’ll see a scapegoat. –Joe

  15. mdsbuc Says:

    MadMax Says:
    December 7th, 2014 at 6:29 pm
    “Joe, so are you on the FIRE Lovie train now? Welcome aboard if so.”
    I’m on it, and have been for a while now. As a Buc fan since day one of the franchise, this is the first time, in the mostly pathetic history of the team, that I’ve been for firing the head coach in the first season. Joel and Brian, fire Lovie; hire a veteran, successful GM; and bring in a coach who can.

    No. Joe is not on the “FIRE Lovie train” now. –Joe

  16. Tye Says:

    I am of the mind set that firing Lovie has more pros than coins and it would prevent the Bus from wasting years just to realize they should have fired him after year 1…. When someone is running things this poorly, it only cause damage for Yeats to come…

  17. Pelbuc Says:

    JBF, I wrote last night how you would be writing today about how undisciplined the Bucs are and how the defense suffered a relapse. Not that I’m clairvoyant, it’s just that we fans know that from week to week this team always sucks and provides no hope for the future. Why, because this is a terribly coached team in all facets, coupled with a roster that went from bad to worse with no depth whatsoever. This is what happens when you give a bad outdated coach full control of personnel. Nothing will change until Bucs get competent coaches and a real, independent GM.

  18. Tye Says:

    Stupid auto correct!

  19. Gooberville Says:

    Yes the D didn’t have a great day but to suggest it was as bad as it was earlier in the season is just bad reporting by someone that doesn’t know football. There are times in the season when a good team needs other facets of their team to step up and that did not happen today. The offense was so pitiful that casting blame on the D when your opponent has the fire power that the Lip s do is just idiotic. The special team wasn’t very good either.

  20. Nick Says:

    20 years ago, Malcom Glazer took personnel decisions away from Sam wyche. That needs to happen again. Lovie is the right coach and deserves time, but the McCown choice and o line decisions cry error.

  21. OB Says:

    I believe that the next game is the Panthers who just blew out the Saints and then Green Bay. Now this game will tell us all we need to know about this team. If Rogers throws for 8 TDs we will know we have a problem with good teams, if it is 7 TDs or less we may have a chance.

  22. SteveK Says:

    Schiano should’ve gotten a third year. This sh!t show is WAY WORSE than anything Schiano coached.

  23. Mike10 Says:

    I think Lovie is happy with the defense relative to the offense Joe. We’re ranked 20th in the league in total Defense, 18th in Sacks, and 15th in interceptions.

    Sack numbers are low, and took 1/2 a season to show any soft of improvement with the Tampa 2 -> all leading to today’s hapless effort.

    Lovie telling us he likes what he sees on the defense, is the same as him preaching about the playoffs with 2 wins – sounds Prozac-induced

  24. MadMax Says:

    Go Raiders….please win!

  25. billy buckaroo Says:

    I hope my TV breaks down before the packers game

  26. Buccfan37 Says:

    Left are Panthers, Packers and Saints, oh my!

  27. tgreg Says:

    @ SteveK AMEN

  28. Another J Says:

    Sounds like the confidence meter for Coach Smith is falling rather quickly this evening!

  29. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    Joe, I kind of expected a letdown on defense. It was a road game against an offense that has great receiving weapons and a good but not great qb (obviously the best in his 2009 draft class though) and after stringing together some strong efforts recently including last week’s game vs Cincy which was lost in such demoralizing fashion because of the offense you could almost predict a letdown. The offense did not do much to help either, with the usual turnovers leading to a short field and the inability to run the ball or control the time of possession… Perhaps they show up against Carolina next week and do not let Carolina hang 41 on them like they did the Saints…

  30. C. Alaka Says:

    I wonder if all the people commenting actually watched the game! Because I did & saw the Bucs D play pretty well if you ask me. Defense isn’t a issue for this team & if had anywhere near a respectable offense things would be different. Biggest offseason story isn’t who we will draft 1st w/ a top 5 pick BUT who will the Bucs get to coordinate this offense!!!!

  31. Reezy Says:

    Lovie is the worst coach this Season in the NFL. No not Pettine, Harbaugh, Peyton or Sporano; LOVIE! Let me be the first to admit that I may have been wrong about Schiano, but no coach can win a game if the players don’t want to play, and we are seeing it again this year! is it me or is the Bucs purposefully trying to move this organization to LA?

  32. Reezy Says:

    Oh yeah and Rex Ryan is a better coach than Lovie as well.