Reassuring Stats — Yes, Numbers!

May 17th, 2016
"Custodian" offers numbers for optimism.

“Custodian” offers numbers for optimism.

Joe does really try to keep an open mind when it comes to the stat nerds like the PFF tribe. But their crazed calculator concoctions and half-baked notions send Joe running to find sanity in a bottle of Crown Royal.

So leave it to the “Custodian of Canton,” eye-RAH! Kaufman, the Tampa Bay area’s lone voter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to dig up a stat that will ease the angst of Bucs fans who wonder why new defensive coordinator Mike Smith is considered a whiz.

Just think about that: Once every three games, for five full seasons, the Bucs have been strafed for 400 yards! That’s enough to make Joe want to gun a $10 warm beer onto the field in outrage.

Of course, Smith hasn’t been a defensive coordinator since 2007, which in football terms, is damned near a generation. Smith’s defenses in Atlanta as head coach didn’t exactly remind folks of the Steel Curtain.

Still, the galling lack of defense the Bucs have trotted out during their five-year hold on last place only reinforces Joe’s premise that the defense can only improve this season.

If Smith has a modicum of the success he had in Jacksonville, then the Bucs just might make a playoff run, rarer lately in these parts than frost.

27 Responses to “Reassuring Stats — Yes, Numbers!”

  1. MadMax Says:

    Interesting stat. Hopefully he’s picked up a few more qualities from being a HC, and can maybe translate them as a DC, having been there and done that. Im sure he’ll help Koetter out a lot too.

    Im excited. More than Ive been the past 7 years. This Coaching staff and Team is going to make some serious noise over the next 3 years or so! I cant wait to see it.

  2. Rrsrq Says:

    Misleading, just like Joe said, it’s a new league (the only thing is was those games were probably against the Colts), no other team was that pass happy back then

  3. R.O. Says:

    Sorry but you need to compare that to all teams and also what was the avg/median gained by teams. Can’t look at one stat in a vacuum.

  4. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Mike Smith’s – Atlanta Falcons Defense || Total Points Allowed

    Under Defensive Coordinator: Brian VanGorder
    • 2008 – Allowed 325 points (20.3/g), 11th
    • 2009 – Allowed 325 points (20.3/g), 14th
    • 2010 – Allowed 288 points (18.0/g), 5th
    • 2011 – Allowed 350 points (21.9/g), 18th.

    Under Defensive Coordinator: Mike Nolan
    • 2012 – Allowed 299 points (18.7/g), 5th.
    • 2013 – Allowed 443 points (27.7/g), 27th. ← Sub Par Defense
    • 2014 – Allowed 417 points (26.1/g), 27th. ← Sub Par Defense

    So went the Defense – So went the Falcons
    • 2008 – 11-5-0, Finished 2nd in NFC South Division
    • 2009 – 9-7-0, Finished 2nd in NFC South Division
    • 2010 – 13-3-0, Finished 1st in NFC South Division
    • 2011 – 10-6-0, Finished 2nd in NFC South Division
    • 2012 – 13-3-0, Finished 1st in NFC South Division
    • 2013 – 4-12-0, Finished 3rd in NFC South Division ← Sub Par Record
    • 2014 – 6-10-0, Finished 3rd in NFC South Division ← Sub Par Record

    Note: One of the Main reasons why Mike Smith was fired – was the decline of defense. Outside of that Arthur Blank – was not happy with the overall physicality of the team.

  5. The Buc Realist Says:

    It is misleading, Some of the Blowouts were so bad during the Incompetent one’s regime, that the game was so out of hand teams were shutting down in the third quarter!!!! There can arguably be about 7 to 9 games that should have hit the 500 yard mark!!!! Coach my scheme was manhandled in so many games!!!!!

  6. Dreambig Says:

    Joe, your proving your point with that one. Good example of a stat that is not very meaningful by itself. In general it points to the Bucs have had a bad defense for the last 80 games. Its a stretch to compare Mike Smiths record from a decade earlier. To be relevant, the Bucs last 80 games would have to be compared to the other teams in the NFL over the same time period. A even better stat would be our win/loss record over those 80 games. That stat would point to bad defense, bad offense, bad speacial teams, and bad coaching, lol!

  7. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Lets also not forget that Jacksonville Defense was already good –
    Before Jack Del Rio arrived.

    Tom Coughlin & Tom Capers had that defense beastin’

    w/ guys like
    • Tony Brackens
    • Marcus Stroud
    • John Henderson
    • Kevin Hardy
    • Donovin Darius

  8. Dreambig Says:

    LovMyBucs – Now that is good information! Thats how stats can be used to make some general observations. Interesting to see that both years 2010 and 2012 the Falcons had a #5 defense, they won the division. Even with all those years with Matty Ice and the high powered offense, it wasn’t enough to overcome bad defense.

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Thank U Sir

  10. RobertG Says:

    Let’s not forget that jacksonvilles defense declined after Smith went to Atlanta. People seem to forget that Smith wasn’t the DC in Atlanta and was Head coach. People also seem to give Jack Del Rio way to much credit for jacksonvilles defense when Mike Smith was DC.

  11. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ Luv my Bucs
    Very interesting,also the year 2013 coincides when they released John Abraham.believe he had 10 sacks at Arizona that year.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree with the overall point that our defense should improve under Mike Smith….not sure the stats are as important as the new players acquired and the current players playing in a scheme that fits them.
    Also, I think our offense and special teams have improved and will take some pressure off our defense.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    The only thing those stats tell me is that Mike Smith’s defenses in Jax were quite good … almost 10 years ago. (Heard this same song about Lovie’s defenses 3 years ago by the way).

    Mike’s operating today with different assistant coaches, different players, different competition, and oh ya, different league rules. Nothing’s for sure with our Bucs defense obviously until these guys make it happen on gameday. I’m optimistic that this Bucs defense will be much better than last year, but by how much it’s hard to tell right now.

  14. Tnew Says:

    Comparing the 2012 team to the 2013 team is more revealing regarding the GM’s decisions than Smiths. The Falcon’s pushed all in on offense by signing Steven Jackson, Julio Jones played in 5 games, Brent Grimes left the team along with John Abrahams.

  15. LordCornelius Says:

    Tnew I agree with those thoughts.

    The decline of the Falcons D seemed to be more from over aging players and no draft supplementation due to the all in on offense / Julio jones deal

  16. Harry Says:


    Great post of info!

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    @luv…great stuff….the main reason why he was canned because his team as a whole were soft…yeah his defenses were fundamentally sound and didn’t beat themselves with dumb penalties but his defense was always soft in Atlanta….2010 they got blown out,punched in the face and bullied vs green bay after getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs…in 2012 atl reached the nfc championship game but again ran into a team that was physically and mentally tougher than atl was….his defense in atl were too soft so I have my doubts….people praise his defense in jaxville but as joe stated that was 10years ago….I give credit to del rio because look at what he did with the defense in Denver and now in Oakland…del rio’s defenses were always physical where ever he went….I have no doubt he will improve the defense by teaching them not to beat themselves with penalties but as far as turning them into a monster, I have my doubts….GO BUCS!!!!

  18. The Buc Realist Says:

    I think most forget that when Mike Nolan was brought in was the start of the hybrid to 3/4 defense which got progressively worse when they tried to run a more pure 3/4 then hybrid.

  19. The bucfan 88 Says:

    Well here what I have to say about him not being a dc for a long time look at wade Philips he was a head coach for about ten year before being Huston dc and look what he did with that team look what he fidelity Denver I say mike turns out d into a nasty one which I like

  20. Buccfan37 Says:

    Bucs defense being better is a foregone conclusion, imo. The chunks of bad will be sieved away to leave the fine particle players that Buc fans will really be excited about. Put that in your peace pipe and puff it.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yes, LUV and Joe, interesting statistics. Are there any more disbelievers in the “DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS” mantra?!

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    I’ll be happy just to not see opponents 3rd and 9 get converted 70% of the time

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    -Bob in Valrico
    The Abraham Lose was huge

    -813bucboi S
    Appreciate it Brothas

    Always has -and always will

  24. Buccfan37 Says:

    “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk, That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Earnest Hemingway. “Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.” -Oscar Wilde

  25. Buccaneers Says:

    400 yards has never been a good thing but I’m not sure that it’s completely fair to compare last year’s numbers with this from many years ago. I don’t know……mike smith Jax….what was that 12 yeas ago?

    With rule changes yardage totals have gone crazy……maybe 12 years ago was at the same time when 4 QBs destroyed Dan Marino’s record which was previously seen as untouchable so I may be off base.

    It’s just hard for me to by into offense stats where you are comparing them in seperate areas……..It’s like the same thing with baseball when they discount certain stats from the “dead ball era” or when in the future they will discredit stats from the “steroid era”. Need some nerd to do days of research to come up with some type of formula or method so we can compare stats from different eras now that 5000 yards is now a good season for a QB and not an amazingly timeless season

  26. drdneast Says:

    This isn’t rocket science to figure out why the Falcons defense spiraled downward in 2013.
    John Abraham was waived in 2103 and there was no one on the team to replace him.
    As most of us know from watching Abraham over the course of his career, he was a complete terror when it came to rushing the QB.
    This is what happens when a team drafts poorly and doesn’t prepare for the future.

  27. godzilla13 Says:

    Our defense gave up 400+ yards twice last year. 413 to Houston and 496 in the first Falcon game. In the Houston game Alfred Blue ran for 139 yards on 31 carries and a TD. The Texans ran for a total of 186 yards and 228 yards passing. In the Atlanta game Matt Ryan exposed our secondary with a 37-45-397-2-1 performance. Julio Jones went 12 of 13 for 162 yards. 496 total yards. The Bucs gave up 5 400+ yard games in 2014. This years defense is not all about Mike Smith, its going to be a reflection of the positional coaches as well. Jay Hayes, Brett Maxie, Mark Duffner and John Hoke. The defense needs to have better conditioning, play more physical and get mean.