Blame The Defense

November 21st, 2017

Home good, road terrible.

Joe just cannot believe how myopic and downright short-sighted so many Bucs fans have suddenly become.

My gosh, on Twitter Monday you would have been hard-pressed to figure out the Bucs won a game on Sunday the way people were melting down on winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. The complaint (of the day)? That Koetter, fans believed, went conservative through much of the second half and allowed Miami to get back in the game.

Well, first off, there is a reason for that. Does anyone not know who was quarterbacking the Bucs yesterday? That was Ryan Fitzpatrick. Ryan Freaking Fitzpatrick, a vagabond quarterback in the NFL for years because teams didn’t want him, and for good reaosn.

Yes, the Bucs quarterback Sunday was 48-69-1 Ryan Fitzpatrick. And crazy Bucs fans are outraged because Koetter didn’t want Fitzpatrick to throw the Dolphins back into the game with a couple of pick-sixes? ‘

Why do some think that Fitzpatrick was Dan Fouts, because he’s white and has a beard? Holy smokes, Joe just cannot believe folks wanted Koetter to go all Air Coryell with Fitzpatrick. Talk about playing with matches at a gas pump!

But for the folks who shattered beer bottles against the wall because the Bucs didn’t light up scoreboard in the second half Sunday, Koetter on Monday pretty much outed the defense as a culprit.

“We had several pass-type plays that we wanted to get to in the second half,” Koetter said. “We had a lot of pass plays we wanted to get to and we just didn’t have the ball very much in the second half – some of that by our own doing and the fact that they converted a lot of third downs. We would’ve liked to get off the field.”

Joe gave the Bucs’ defense and Mike Smith props Sunday night for getting the job done and they did. Four first half takeaways was impressive. A key stop on fourth down may have won the game.

Take away that fourth down stop late and the defense was garish in the final 30 minutes of play. Joe hates to type this because he respects the man so much, but how can it be the Bucs play such good defense at home and on the road it is the total opposite? That’s on Mike Smith. There is no excuse for this Sybil routine, staunch at home and sieve on the road.

37 Responses to “Blame The Defense”

  1. Pick6 Says:

    The offense is far from perfect but this team will only be as good as the defense allows it to be. When they don’t make make stops, the whole team looks hopeless. Both sides of that were on display across 2 halves in Miami. Last year it was the same story: stout D during the win streak and then it disappeared again during the collapse down the stretch.

  2. Bill Douglas Says:

    We were +5 in TO’s for the game. We had to kick a FG as time expired to win it. Has a team EVER lost a game with a +5 advantage in TO’s? Seems like we were trying.

    Fitz is our backup, I get it. Cutler was MIA’s backup, and Matt Moore was their backups backup…….They gave us 5 f’n TO’s and we barely won. Let’s keep this in perspective. This might be the worst win in the history of football. A +5 TO margin against the 2nd and 3rd string QB’s gets us a tie breaking FG as time expires? I’m sorry, but I can’t celebrate that.

  3. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Forgive us “myopic and short sighted” fans for not celebrating what was nearly capital collapse 2.0 Joe.

    As other people have mentioned, having a +5 TO differential and nearly losing (we almost assuredly would have lost if not for a blatantly incorrect ruling of a safety) is down right embarrassing.

    Was it not Ryan Fitzpatrick that got us the lead in the first place? How do you explain not using Chris Godwin until the last drive of the game? Or having an extremely hot hand in O.J. Howard, who would’ve had 2 touchdowns on 4 touches if not for a stupid holding penalty, and then not throwing him the ball for the entire 2nd half of the game?

    Oh and by the way, this is not the first occasion where Koetter has gone full turtle mode and called the game as though he feared for his life. Run, Run, incompletion, punt drives are becoming a staple of his. So forgive me when I say your take on this is idiotic.

  4. LocalJoker Says:

    Bill Douglas makes a good point! I agree. Thanks for the win, but no celebration.

  5. IsrBuc Says:

    What can I do Joe? Are you blaming fans for not thinking Koetter is an archaeologist, calculating Fitzpatrick stats in the last 15 years to decide the 2nd half gameplan instead of seeing what was working so well in the first and that Fitz was accurate an done nothing wrong? Do you really believe Koetter thought Fitz, the cool and colective vet just going to implode and decided that 3 and out on our own goal line is better than taking a chanse on a 10 yards pass??
    I really hope Koetter doesn’t share your mindset cause if he does he should be gone yesterday.
    All this interception phobia.. How many the dolphins had? 3? 4 turnovers? 5? The were in position to win the game. 3 and out is a turnover especially on the first series when youre deep in your own territory. Something is not clicking for you Joe.

  6. IsrBuc Says:

    And for Koetter quotes- If you want to have plays you need to stay on the field!!
    Man I really liked Dirk but this is getting idiotic. He goes 3 and out on the first seires behind the Martin up the middle for a loss of yards playcalling and he blames the defense.. I didn’t like is postgame PC either. That was an ugly win, really ugly. He should know and admit it. I don’t think a lucky win like that should get him any points for saving his job. Glaziers should not make this call based on a safety not being called or the dolphins playing the wrong QB.

  7. buddy Says:

    Blame DK all this happened on his watch. He alone was not prepared for the job. He admitted not having his team ready to play. That’s HIS fault. He’s the one who was so arrogant and wanted to carry a “BIG STICK” now he should have to pay the piper. He’s a great asst coach. He knew he wasn’t ready to be a HC but he saw the opportunity and stabbed Lovie in the back. Funny how KARMA can work Joe.

  8. Chris Says:

    Maybe, BUT the worst win ever is still way better than ANY loss.

    BILL DOUGLAS – “They gave us 5 f’n TO’s and we barely won. Let’s keep this in perspective. This might be the worst win in the history of football.’

  9. Mr. Ed Says:

    As Warren Sapp observed 20 or so years ago, the Bucs have the dumbest fans in the NFL.

  10. SmokeymountainBucsfan Says:

    I thought Fitzpatrick handled the ball quite well Sunday. He did what needed to be done and at the end of the day it’s the “W” that counts. They should’ve cut Doug Martin when they had the chance to save what, 7million a year is it? This guy sucks! Aside from a good run or two he couldn’t get out of his own way Sunday. If Moore would’ve started the game the dolphins would’ve beat the hell outta of us. He picked the d apart

  11. westernbuc Says:

    Bucs defense definitely seemed conservative in the 3rd quarter but they had the lead and they weren’t scouting Matt Moore all week. A win is a win and we’ve seemed to develop a pass rush despite Noah Spence being on IR.

    It’s a shame the stick carriers disappeared and the Gruden Mob emerged. Koetter outcoachwd Gase, and the Bucs have won two in a row against teams with respectable records. All this while America’s quarterback is being investigated and injured.

    These aren’t the days of Schiano, Lovie, or Raheem. Give Licht time to develop the issues on the lines. Koetter is still learning to be a head coach. Assuming Jameis is cleared medically and legally, give him time to develop as well. This team can be special, but it won’t happen if you run out all the talent.

  12. buddy Says:

    @westernbuc you call 4-6 respectable? Thats what the Jets and Dolphins are. They are 2 terrible teams don’t let the fools off the hook. Licht has had the time and times up on him and Dirk. The Stick Carriers are a joke to begin with. I love that we don’t have to put up with any foolish postgame videos from of Dirk spewing some nonsense.

  13. IsrBuc Says:

    Why won’t you ask DK if he decided to sit on the ball in the second hald and punt it away instead of doing what got him rare 20 first half points because he was freaked by the thought of Fitzpatrick will throw 2 its and a pick 6 to blow the game up. You sit in the PC. Ask him. Don’t speculate.

  14. JOSEPHR Says:

    Kodus to the defense.Gerald dominated up front.Kwan dominated as LB.The dbs played winning football.

  15. westernbuc Says:


    Dolphins beat the Titans, the Falcons, and the Chargers, all of which are playoff caliber teams. One of which was in the Super Bowl this year.

    Jets beat the Jaguars, one of the best teams in the AFC, came within a score of beating the Patriots and the Falcons. Meanwhile, they’ve split their games with the Dolphins.

    All I can say is thank god you aren’t running a football team. It’s obvious you’re one of the types of people that bought into all the hype videos and now you’re mad the whole game isn’t a highlight reel. Guess what, football is a game of inches.

    If our owners run this staff out of town, they might as well move the team to London. I’m not watching anymore rebuilding years with the Bucs this decade. It’s a waste of time and money, and I’ve suffered enough knee jerk reactions with this team that I’m sick of it.

    Koetter could lose every game here on out and my opinion won’t change. This roster was never going to win a super bowl. This schedule is tough, and losing a bye week, making the starters essentially take a month off of football, probably didn’t help. If our kicker makes some field goals and Hump doesn’t fumble a ball, this team is in the playoff hunt. The QB is hurt, the best pass rusher is hurt, and this roster was depleted when Lovie cleared house.

    Gruden passed on Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson. Kinda like how the Browns passed on Carson Wentz. If you want to bring Cleveland to Florida, then by all means, hire Lovie 2.0

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    I’ve seen ‘prevent defenses’ in action too many times, but didn’t know that a ‘prevent offense’ existed … until Sunday. Dirk Koetter went all turtle on us in the 3rd qtr & it would’ve lost us the game except for 1 thing: Ryan Fitzpatrick came through yet again. Ya Joe, that same ‘vagabond quarterback’ that you say no one wanted.

    DK’s play-calling was mediocre yet again. We had to settle for FGs on the 1st 2 turnovers because of … DK’s play-calling, not Fitz’s play. Example: after the 1st INT, Martin has a nice run of 13 yds. Fitz then connects with OJ twice (total of 46 yds) after which DK goes turtle by having Martin run middle (3 yd), then left (1 yd) setting up a 3rd & 6. Fitz incomplete to Sims so voila … Murray kicks 30 yd FG. That pattern (Run-Run-Pass) got played over & over Sunday, just like it has all season.

    Fitz was actually quite good in the 1st half: 15-for-23 (65%) and put up 20 pts (2 FGs & 2 TDs) off of 4 turnovers. Bucs led 20-7 at the half, but should’ve been more … with better play-calling. Second half Fitz wasn’t as good (7-for-14) but he came through at the end when it counted most. By the way, he also had 3 completions negated due to penalties on the OLine, at critical times.

    And in case anyone asks, his deep ball looks to be MUCH BETTER than Jameis’. He was credited Sunday with being 8-for-11 on deep passes. Not too shabby … for a vagabond QB.

  17. THETRUTH Says:

    STOP running martin on 2 and long expecting him to get a 3-4 yards , he can only get 1.5 anf than its 3rd and 7. guess what we are doing ?

    Kotter need to get creative and realize martin stinks..

    Oline needs to go back to last year and remove Smith please he gets a 15 yrd penalty a game.

  18. FortMyersDave Says:

    I always thought that the “turtle offense” was Lovie blowing a 24-0 lead in Washington and not going for a score vs teams like the Rams before halftime for fear of “something” bad happening……. I think the Falcons lost to the Fins earlier this year by also “going turtle” in the second half… Still continually going to Martin for 2 yards a carry and totally taking Howard out of the gameplan, man it was like the Bucs were trying to lose that game. So to sum up: the Bucs have beaten a bad Miami team, 2 really bad NY teams and a Chicago team that started Napolean Dynamite. They have been seal clubbed by Minnesota, New Orleans and for a half by Carson Palmer in the desert where Koetter threw in the white flag before half. In short the Bucs are better than the teams that will draft in the top 8 next spring but they have not beaten a decent club this year and you have to go back to either the KC or Seattle game last year to find a good win… Beating KC on the road to win 2 in a row last year was a statement, beating the Jets and Miami this year was simply essential to take the heat off of Koetter and Licht for the time being…. Lets see how the Bucs play the ATL with the Falcons having a Monday Nighter in Seattle but playing like they did in Miami in the second half will not get that elusive W…. Figure it out coaches!

  19. bucnut2 Says:

    For the record, JW winning % 42.5%, Fitz 41%. Both losers! Time to start telling the truth about America’s QB

  20. Eric Says:

    Tall order this week.

  21. Bird Says:


    Great stuff. The Joe’s don’t call it like it is here One percent higher and one was the #1 overall pick and was Fitz even drafted?

    Is Jameis more talented and have a stronger arm No question. But does the offense really look any different under either qb. Not to anyone with 2 eyes. And no fitz is just a 1 year fill gap qb most likely for the bucs.

    Joe’s- keep name calling fitz , while you praise a guy you call Americas Quarteback. You guys look worse and worse. Remember how it was Johnny football before this. I mean the glazers should have you guys in the draft room. Whoever the Joe’s like should be taken off the board immediately. Are you guys even a fan of the bucs anymore. Or just one player. . Try supporting the Team

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yes, we won the game but lets be fair, this offense has under-achieved all year. Part of that is familiarity and injury, but the majority has been play-calling ALL YEAR.
    Example: 3rd and goal from the 6(?), Howard comes out of game, Sims comes in. Sims leaks into the flats where clearly the play had been called, 4 yards behind the LOS. Schlereth just got through saying how the TE can be a weapon in the red zone, duh. So Dirk sends our 1st round TE to the bench for the play in lieu of Humphries? A HB flats/screen pass? C’mon!

  23. The Buc Realist Says:


    Don’t you know the sheep’s rules for coaching around here!!!!! Head Coach Koetter was “too aggressive” with the deep ball earlier this year!!!! Now he is too scared running and was ” to conservative”!!!!!!!!!

    They are just excuses for the “real” reason the sheep want Head Coach Koetter gone, and that is if you record at any point is under .500 and you don’t run the Tampa2 from the dungy tree then you must be fired!!!!!!!!

  24. Waterboy Says:

    Good points Joe! I also agree with Bill Douglas I’m not celebrating this win the defense gave them 4 or 5 turnovers and Miami also committed 17 penalties and the offense only got 20 points. Last week was s field goal-fest.

  25. DBS Says:

    If you can’t celebrate the win then just keep crying in your beer. You would be crying in it anyway if we lost. Your just looking for something to cry about anyway.

  26. Rrsrq Says:

    Maybe the defense is not on the field as much if we are getting first downs, short passes or using those big bodied receivers and tight ends with a sprinkle of Desean. That part is on the OC/HC.

  27. denjoe Says:

    Joe just cannot believe how myopic and downright short-sighted
    so many Buc’s fans have suddenly become.
    Ever noticed how anyone who disagrees with agrees with the all knowing Joe’s is labeled some kind of name, I just want to know which one of you is the intolerant Nazi.
    Everyone is welcome to disagree all day long. Joe has no problem with anyone disagreeing. But when it is coupled with misrepresenting Joe and/or ascribing motives to Joe’s work, then it is not tolerated. Very simple rule that is very reasonable.–Joe

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I can’t believe Joe is defending the Koetter offense again…..this has been going on for a couple of years and you can’t use the “Fitz” excuse.

    Koetter does this with Jameis…and in Miami it wasn’t just the 2nd half….when we get into the red zone, Koetter constantly tries to run….unsuccessfully.
    I believe he wants to preserve the 3 points.

    I’ve got news for you…the best way to keep a team from coming from behind is to keep scoring.

    A last minute FG won us the game and I am thankful for that but you should understand our frustration with the Koetter offense.

  29. Nate Says:




  30. orlbucfan Says:

    good reaosn.
    Hey Joe: typo alert!
    “Blame the Defense.” SAY WHAT? The strength of this Bucs team is the OFFENSE! Its creator, Dirk Koetter, hasn’t caught up to it. The D starring DMC, LVD and the Kwonster drove Miami’s starting QB off the field, took advantage of a boatload of Dolphin mistakes in the first half, and kept the game in reach. Sure, they wore down in the second half. Koetter calls the correct plays for the Offense, and the Defense will be able to rest. When will Koetter do so? Educated, long-suffering fans would like to know!
    I saw that the Dixie Birdpoops beat Seattle last night in Seattle. Bucs can easily beat them if DK will get his offensive act smelling better. Right now, it stinks!!

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Sometimes I wonder how some of you can call yourselves fans. You’re like the spoiled child who stomps his feet and throws a tantrum because he isn’t getting his way ‘right now!’

    I know, because one of my sons was that way as a toddler.

    The difference is that you are grown people…so start acting like it.

  32. DBS Says:

    You idiot. Yes the defense got the ball for them. BUT GUESS WHAT!!!! Fitz and the offense or Special Teams has TO SCORE!!!!! And they did!! Just like Wonder Boy and the offense and Defense did when Glennon turned the ball over in the Bears game and everyone was celebrating from the roof tops.

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    the biggest reason why we won was because of the refs… doubt that was a safety…..they screwed the fins on that one but i’ll take it….

    we’ll see what they bring vs ATL….they looked pretty good last night….GO BUCS!!!!

  34. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Agree with you about DK’s playcalling in the 2nd half. But I actually thought he did a nice job in the first half. Your take?


    I take your point but I think there is a middle ground here. I’m not for asking Fitz to throw it all over the field…but with two tight ends and Sims there were plenty of short SAFE passes available which in some ways are just an extension of the run game with a short toss instead of a handoff.

    If we had the 2002 Buc Defense on Sunday DK’s playcalling would have been totally fine…but we DON’T and he has to know that. Counting on our D to hold a lead is just dumb at this point…we’ve seen this too much.

    If DK wants…or needs to turtle( because of his QB) he can do it AFTER we get a defense capable of holding a lead.

    Think about the Buffalo game. We come back and get a 7 point lead pretty late in the 4th Quarter. With that 2002 Bucs D game over!!! But it’s NOT 2002.

  35. Cgmaster27 Says:

    Bucnut, you still mad you’re boy mariota threw 4 picks last week? Oh and he’s a loser too as you put it.

  36. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    On PAPER, we have the weapons to put up 30+ points per game, yet we are barely getting 20
    Guess what ? 20 points ain’t gonna get it done against the Falcons.

  37. BucEmUp Says:

    Idont know how in the hell you dont see almost 400 passing yards allowed in the final two quarters as being acceptable joe. What are you smoking? It was pathetic…