About That Perfect First Half On Third Down

August 13th, 2018

Great sign from the preseason opener

It was no coincidence that the Buccaneers had the best third-down defense in the entire NFL back in 2016.

Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences when it comes to significant NFL patterns.

So it wasn’t just bad luck that the Bucs defense gave up the most total yards in the NFL last year and had the worst third-down defense in the league. From anemic blitzing by linebackers to pure weakness on the defensive line and shoddy cornerback play, it all added up to a mess.

And yes, you read that correctly, the Bucs went from the best third-down defense  in 2016 (34.4 percent conversion allowed) to the worst (48.1 percent) a year later.

Because of that horrid stat, Joe was extremely encouraged that on Thursday night against the Dolphins, the Bucs defense was a perfect 6-for-6 when it came to stopping Miami on third down in the first half.

Dirk Koetter referred to it as a bend-don’t-break situation in a couple of interviews during and after the game.

Hey, it’s just one half of the first preseason game. But it’s something — something to keep an eye on through the remainder of August when the best of the Bucs defense is in the game.

13 Responses to “About That Perfect First Half On Third Down”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    Yes….it was a good sign and for a preseason game enjoyable and encouraging…

  2. BucEmUp Says:

    Oh god …….Realist is going to need a towel after the one. lol

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    sooo no status woe, no hold them accountable???? The numbers for last year make it seem like their were major injuries to key personal against the highest ranking offensive average in the league!!!!!!

    The “real” fans are just excited that we all stuck with the status woe!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:

    What frustrated me as much as anything last year was the sheer number of 3rd and longs where we surrendered a first down…and I’m not talking 3-7 but 3rd and 15.

  5. Wausa Says:

    The defense looked ok to me, but the three QB’s all looked extremely good.

  6. Owlykat Says:

    The Defense did not look OK to me. They gave up way too many yards rushing to Miami. We looked good at stopping passes only. The Saints can look at our stats and just run the ball down our throats over and over til our Defense is worn out. Remember the primary reason for getting Beau Adams and Curry were to stop the run but they were second team backups and likely the stops were by their first team defense in Philly. Apparently Licht didn’t study their PFF scores which were just OK but not exceptional before he overpaid both of them. Thank goodness he got Vea because once he gets used to the NFL I project he will be the big run stopper inside. They need to keep Stevie T. to spell Vea when he is tired and train Beau to learn the three technique to spell McCoy. We also need to see how good Unrein is when he is well enough to play. Maybe he can stop the run too. We also need to stop playing Gholston as a DT. He lost weight to try and rush the passer; however, he got his big money because he was an effective run stuffer and held the perimeter against a cut back. He needs to gain back half his lost weight and get back to stopping the run or he is going to get cut. We need him stopping the run the first two downs!

  7. unbelievable Says:

    @st Pete – 100%

    That’s what was so bad about it- giving up 3rd and 15, 3rd and 12, etc., on the regular last year.

  8. BucEmUp Says:

    Can we also remember that Miami is not exactly a high powered offense. They were underwhelming and lost Jarvis Landry. Let’s see what Stafford does Tonya week 3 that will be a pretty good measuring stick for what’s to come…I WILL BE THERE!!!

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    Except for giving up 10 and 14 yards on 2 separate runs (which shouldn’t have happened even if we were short on DTs to rotate in) – the starting Defense played pretty well. They only gave up 3 points defensing 2 drives so that’s what you want to see. Average giving up just 3 points per quarter for the season and you are looking at the best defense in history. LOL

    We’ve only seen the smallest of sample sizes – but the “first look” at the Buccaneers 2018 defense was fairly encouraging results wise. Maybe not so much individual performance wise…

    JPP was an obvious difference maker – McCoy got a sack. Didn’t see Curry do much. Spence whiffed his tackle on a nice inside move that should have been an easy sack. Didn’t see much from our Linebackers other than noticing Kwon get blocked out of the play a couple times… Ryan Smith had some struggles.

    Starting D got the job done in the 2 series they played – but I saw a LOT of room for improvement.

    Stewart and Davis both look legit! Same for Whitehead. Playmakers – all of them. You can tell from just the 1st game that all 3 of these rookie DBs are gonna be decent to good players eventually. That was VERY encouraging to see!!

  10. americasenabler Says:

    doooood they got so lucky in the first quarter on the first 2 drives. An over throw and a busted play NOT because they actually made a play on the ball on 3rd down man. Stop gaslighting dood.

  11. Buchead5588 Says:

    When Mia was running on our D all of our Starters were out An they were running on Stevie T an O Conner good prospects but they need more time

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    Pickgrin I agree with your rookie assessment. I was very happy with our defense in the first half. First preseason game I expected much worse. It sure feels like we’re heading in the right direction.

  13. joestang Says:

    sounds like we are settling for average at best. the defense was still giving up large plays to a pitiful dolphins team. What happens when we play a good offensive team.