Historic Defensive Turnaround

December 15th, 2016
Rare defensive stats.

Rare defensive feats.

Bucs fans, you want national attention? Well, it doesn’t get much bigger than this.

Though a story typed by Michael Salfino is little more than a blog post, it’s source is interesting and eye-opening. This publication is a bit higher up the food chain than BSPN or even CBS Sports.

This story comes from one of the most august and respected publications in the free world.

Yes, the five-game winning streak of the Bucs was enough for no less an authority than the friggin’ Wall Street Journal to write about the Bucs. Yes, really, the Wall Street Journal!

Salfino documents how the recent play of the Tampa Bay defense is at a historic level.

The Bucs suddenly have become the best defense in football. Since Week 8, the Bucs have allowed an average of just 12.8 points per game. That’s 16.2 points better than in the first half, on pace to be the biggest improvement since the 16-game era began in 1978.

The Bucs are stopping the opponent the new-fashioned way—with pass defense. And not against the dregs of the league. The last three weeks, all wins for the now 8-5 Bucs, the Tampa Bay defense has made life miserable for Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. Neither Brees nor Wilson were able to register a touchdown. The passer rating allowed to Wilson, Rivers and Brees was 53.5 (the league average is 88.0). And the Pro Bowl trio of passers managed just 521 yards on 109 pass plays, an average of 4.8, nearly three yards better than the 7.4 the Bucs allowed per pass play in Weeks 1-8.

That sort of reinforces what Warren Sapp said about the defense. Joe heard Sapp hollering in the Bucs locker room after the Seattle game that his vaunted Bucs defense never “choked out” a quarterback at the level of Russell Wilson.

The best turnaround since the 16-game schedule began? That’s freaking impressive.

Oh, something tells Joe that Salfino would know the difference between Dirk Koetter and Todd Monken. That’s just how the Wall Street Journal rolls.

13 Responses to “Historic Defensive Turnaround”

  1. go for the face30 Says:

    Even Deadspin posted a cool article about the Bucs defense yesterday. Wasn’t snarky, was a pretty thorough examination of their turnaround with video and statistics to support the subject.

  2. tdtb2015 Says:

    Come Monday, there will be QB controversy in Jerry’s World courtesy of The Tampa Bay Buccaneers! Dak will be on his back! And a Pick 6 will be back!

    Go Bucs!!!

  3. tdtb2015 Says:

    Elliott and Prescott meet VHIII and Spence!
    Go Bucs!!!

  4. Patrick in VA Says:

    ****A note to the Joe that’s still holding out****

    What more are you looking for? Do they have to actually win a Super Bowl for you to feel like they’re worthy of not just following but supporting?

  5. The Buc Realist Says:

    I wish I could post a line, but another site was talking about how high all the offenses this defense has faced this year!!! That is the most reassuring thing of how “real” and how good this defense is actually playing!!!! This defense is not just padding stats against the Browns and Jags!!!!!!

    It is sad to me that one of the Joe’s is so jaded that they can not enjoy this historic streak against some of the NFL’s Elite!!!! The sad part is will he be ” I knew it” if the Bucs barely lose 1 game???? When Joe orders food, does he wonder who spit in it?????

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  6. JMN Says:

    Yes, here is hoping the Bucs can fuel the QB controversy in Dallas!

  7. buccfan305 Says:

    Bucs bringing a lil MMA to the NFL.


  8. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Money in the bank! A lot of stock brokers might be running to a local bookie bettin on this game! To read about the Bucs in the WSJ they’ll use it like some insider trading! Keys to the game 1) lock down Zeke the Freak and 2) keep Dak in a small pocket and make him nervous.

  9. Ocala Says:

    I just read on ESPN from their’experts’ that Dallas and the Bucs run similar defenses so Dak will be used to seeing what the Bucs bring and will exploit them.
    We may not win but it certainly will not be because the Cowboys and the Bucs run the same type of Defense.

    Do ESPN experts have any idea what hat they are talking about?
    Tampa plays an aggressive press coverage style man to man defense while Cowboys run an off coverage Tampa 2 style defense like The Bucs used to run.

    ESPN and their analysis is awful!

  10. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Henceforth Monte Kiffin is their DC. Almost all teams run similar defenses here and there. It’s just the bspn pundits not wanting to give the Bucs defense any cred but instead trying to make themselves look like they know what they’re talking about.

    The fact the Dallas d line doesn’t get much pressure means they have a very good back 7. The receivers are gonna have to work hard to get open.

    If we want the run game to get going in this game they’re gonna have to spy Sean Lee. He’s a beast.

  11. softastissueMcCoy93 Says:

    Loving the Defensive Turnaround, but I disagree with Sapp. I was at college in Jeff City, Missouri when that 99 squad choked out the Rams and lost the NFC Championship. It still hurts to this day.

    Man I took so much crap after that lost. To hear Rams fans brag how their defense was better than the Bucs, I still want to puke.

  12. Joe Says:

    Even Deadspin posted a cool article about the Bucs defense yesterday.

    PLEASE do not even try to compare Deadspin to the Wall Street Journal. That’s like comparing a comic book to the National Geographic.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    “The Bucs suddenly have become the best defense in football.”

    That statement would have seemed impossible and preposterous just 6 weeks ago after Carr and Ryan put up 1000 yards of passing on us in just 2 games.

    Keep it up Bucs!!!