What Happened On Third Down?

September 17th, 2017

Vernon Hargreaves

If you want to nitpick a negative in this big opening-day victory, the Bucs’ third-down defense might be the easiest target, just ahead of America’s Quarterback’s inaccuracy on the deep ball.

Last year, the Bucs had the best third-down defense in the NFL. 

Seriously. Nobody was better on third down than the Bucs defense in 2016.

Today against the woeful Bears, with their K-Y hands receivers and second-rate quarterback, Chicago managed a 50 percent conversion rate on third down, seven first downs on 14 tries.

When the celebration ends and the players return to work on Wednesday morning, you can bet that will be the theme in the defensive meeting room.

The Bucs smothered the Bears running game, 16 carries for 20 yards, but the pass rush wasn’t there most of the day and too many Bears were open in the middle of the field. You just can’t allow 50 percent conversion on third down when a team can’t run the football and is stuck in 3rd-and-long situations.

Again, it’s all smiles after an exhilarating and easy victory, and Joe is celebrating heartily, but the Bucs now have a new question to answer next week.

16 Responses to “What Happened On Third Down?”

  1. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think the focus was totally on stopping the Bears solid running attack which we did. Can’t stop everything and we gave up a lot over the middle…but all short stuff we kept in front of us.

    One of the MAJOR highlights that is not being discussed. Our discipline. We have been one of the dumbest teams in the league for a long time….not today!!!

    Our OL especially played well…no offsides and no holding against a pretty tough Bears DL. Finally we avoided yellow fever!!!!

  2. scott ledger Says:

    You’re up by 4 scores. You give the king of dink and donk everything in front of you to NOT give up the big play, AND burn the clock…next question.

  3. Ben the GA Buc Says:

    scott ledger Says:
    September 17th, 2017 at 4:43 pm
    You’re up by 4 scores. You give the king of dink and donk everything in front of you to NOT give up the big play, AND burn the clock…next question.
    This! That’s the reason we almost shut out the Bears. Never gave up the big play, and tightened up almost every time in the red zone.

    Now we just have to get our own offense to produce in the red zone.

  4. JimBuc2 Says:

    So, please. Somebody tell me when VH111 learns to attack those checkdowns and get the int, let alone pick 6. I thought the idea was to attack the ball, not keep it in front off you. Yeah, we saw that tape last year. Grow a pair and ball young man, take the ball, not the reception in front of you. Pass rush, what pass rush? Are you kidding me? Glennon hits 50% on third down. Really? Crush his immobile a$s, F’in show me some heat. Love the win, disappointed with the lack of pressure and all those should not happen Bears conversions. Bucs are way better that that. No, we don’t play Kiffen’s bend don’t break, we play murder the QB. Good on Spawn for what he did, big fat zero for Swaggy tree lovin’ no show.

  5. Dano74 Says:

    Red Zone TD’s & lack of pressure need to improve

  6. Buc believer Says:

    “The pass rush wasn’t there most of the game” So the question is Joe what is your excuse for GMC today?

  7. NewTampaChris Says:

    I had the RedZone Channel on my second TV during today’s Bucs game. With every other team, it seems every once in a while — even by ACCIDENT — some defensive lineman is unblocked or makes a play. That NEVER seems to happen with the Bucs. Every rush is a bull rush; no one ever seems to break free. Geez.

  8. R.O. Says:

    Who said they were stuck in 3rd and longs? Probably need to check the avg 3rd down to go b4 making an ass-umption.

  9. Richard Dickson Says:

    When the game was 3-0 and 10-0 we still weren’t getting off the field on third down, so the “We had a big lead” excuse doesn’t work.

  10. firethecannons Says:

    hate to say jimbuc2 is right–where the hell was swaggy? was he on the field? vh3 played too soft–more of last year, no reason not to go for it as we were up by 3 td that dude is tentative, good for a tackle max

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Biggest factors in the game IMO from the Bears’ perspective were (1) their turnovers; (2) their untimely penalties; and (3) their lack of depth. Mike Glennon did a respectable job far as I’m concerned with minimal weapons & marginal protection. His 1st INT should’ve been caught by his TE; his 2nd was a dumb (and costly) mistake. His fumble was the result of great Bucs’ pressure (most QBs probably would’ve fumbled on a play like that … terrible protection). Overall Glennon completed 69% of his passes & his receivers dropped quite a few it looked like (Jameis completed 60% which is about his average when throwing a lot of intermediate & deep balls).

    You hit the nail on the head Joe when you wrote “pass rush wasn’t there most of the day and too many Bears were open in the middle of the field”. The two go together IMO. Because most of our DEs lack true speed, I was really hoping our interior DLine would be able to stop the run AND create pressure on the QB. They very successfully stopped the run, but maybe it’s too much to ask that they do both (danger of compromising their run lanes?). We’ll find out in the weeks ahead I’m sure.

  12. bigblock690 Says:

    They need to play more press man especially against the Bears reciever

  13. mike10 Says:

    I think Glennon had a stretch at the beginning of the game where he went 6 for 6, and I was watching VH3 (and Grimes once) getting beat. With that front 4 getting their pressure, I’d like to see our secondary tightening it up from that first half.

  14. PRBucFan Says:

    Well we had hardly any pass rush, so it was easy enough for them to convert 3rd downs.

    Need to improve that and the deep ball accuracy

  15. JimBuc2 Says:

    Thanks man. Glad to know I’m not the only one losing patience with VH3. Love the guy; definitely a stud, but tentative when a little more aggression would yield huge results instead of just making a tackle. Play to win. Swaggy should be bustin’ a QB/RB; not some friggin’ tree.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Buc believer-
    Let me enlighten the Clueless.
    DTs dont get many sacks. If you knew anything about football, you’d know that, and wouldnt ask stupid questions

    DTs hold the middle, forcing RBs and QBs to forsake the middle, and go to the edges. A great DT, of which we have the best, gets penetration up the middle. Forcing QBs into the waiting arms of . . . Noone on our team. Our DEs cant get to the damn corner- to sack a QB running at them!!

    An extraordinary DE- like the Great Simeon Rice- will chase a QB back to the middle- where he may run into a DT.
    But we have noone like Simeon Rice. Not evrn close

    By the way- McCoy leads DTs in sacks, over the last 6 years.

    So dont ask about McCoy. It shows your lack of knowledge.

    Ask about our DEs- whose only job is sacking the QB