Record Ease For Opposing Quarterbacks

September 25th, 2018

It’s downright mind-boggling how the Bucs are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 77.9 percent of their passes this season.

That’s the worst percentage in the NFL by an unhealthy margin.

The total is a full 10 percent worse than last year when the Bucs had less of a pass rush and the second-highest completion rate against them in the NFC. Only the Packers were worse, and that led them to run out and draft a cornerback No. 18 overall and then another one in Round 2 (No. 45 overall).

Yes, the Bucs have faced Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, but those studs were efficient against Tampa Bay at far beyond their normal levels. Nick Foles rounded out the carving at 73 percent against Mike Smith’s defense.

Stunning completion percentages by opposing QBs was a big reason Lovie Smith was sacked as head coach and defensive playcaller. The Bucs were the worst in the NFL in 2014 (68.7 percent) and then again in 2015 (70 percent). After three games this season, Joe hopes the Bucs can get down to 70 percent before the season is over.

Joe realizes Lovie’s Tampa-2 was designed to allow a healthy completion percentage, but it never should have been that high. Now Mike Smith must find away to cover receivers. No excuses. It’s almost out of control.

This a bizarre aspect of the Bucs. They have an improved pass rush, a couple of strong linebackers who play on third down, and Dirk Koetter likes the growth of his rookie cornerbacks — and still the Bucs get carved up every week.

43 Responses to “Record Ease For Opposing Quarterbacks”

  1. NJBucsFan Says:

    Very reminiscent of the Lovie Smith Cover Who?!?! Defense

  2. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Its mind boggling I mean if there was only a stud first round draft pick that may have helped I mean if there was a Derwin James type of player that the bucs could have drafted maybe he could have helped as opposed to a run stuffing DT in a division w stud qbs? Hmm

  3. Kalind Says:

    Mike Smith has to go. If they want to keep him on until the end of the year..fine. But hand over the keys sir. This defense couldn’t stop my high school offense, let alone a pro team. And more than the INTs it was the D that blew this game

  4. Not there yet Says:

    Mike Smith is a joke don’t blame rookies when even Brent Grimes is getting roasted. Koetter will go down with the ship since he won’t make his coordinator make changes, played with our heads all offseason by playing press coverage on practice but never tried it in games and with a pass rush they are worse. The book is now out on how to beat the bucs and it’s the same as it was last year, get pressure and make the qb throw accurate passes under pressure. The o line looked like trash last night

  5. JabooBuc Says:

    Joe, you do realize that Fitz had a 79% rate prior to last night. This is the way of the NFL now especially since you apparently get in the same zip code as the QB.

  6. JabooBuc Says:

    Not there yet- you’re a freaking genius. Yep, pack it in folks, this guys has figured out the code. Just pressure Fitz and the day is ours. If only the Eagles and Saints had thought of that. Jesus people.

  7. Joe Blahak Says:

    What the heck is with the abandoned run game? Strength is the passing game but u can’t totally go all pass mode like they’ve done…

  8. Joe Blahak Says:

    Don’t see an improved pass rush …and McCoy has a chance to turn the game around late and fails to make the tackle….typical McCoy..

  9. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    How can this happen again? So you have a pro-bowl DE and DT and still no pass rush? Grimes looked OLD last night as well. Conte, I do not want to hear Coach say how well he plays. Whitehead gets the job form here on out. Burgh was missing 2 starters on the O Line and still Big Ben tore them a new one. Welp, here comes the mighty Bears, if that QB throws for 70% plus, this team is screwed.

  10. Rick Says:

    It’s easy to say smith should be fired. Not giving him a pass but look what he’s dealing with. Rookie #2 cb, old #1 cb. Rookie slot cb. Below average safety in conte. Not to mention how easy it is now to get a PI now and days. Lbs are good I think. But gmc is soft, no vita, no Unrein, Vinny is proving to be below average, no overall dline rotation. JPP is the only bright spot on the dline. Smith should know how to put what he has in the best possible position to win, that’s on him. Plus with a fast scoring offense, the defense doesn’t rest as much. IMO.

  11. JabooBuc Says:

    I would say I thought the secondary play was actually decent. Problem is definitely the lack of pressure. Ben had all day to throw. Problem with playing a hall of fame QB is he will make you pay if you blitz. See Chris Conte as the most obvious example

  12. Geno Says:

    Would’ve loved to win last night but we are 2 and 0 against NFC opponents through 1st three games.

  13. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    When are we gonna fire Mike Smith?

  14. Easy Says:

    If Trubisky puts up big numbers next Sunday then Smith should be fired.

  15. Kalind Says:

    Joe, I’d also officially like to welcome you to the bandwagon of people who find Chris conte worthless. Though you haven’t officially come on board…last nights “effort” and display of sheer stupidity warrants you abandoning any defense (pun intended) of Conte at this point. That 75 yard TD to McDonald was 100% Conte. Late coming over, lost in space and a “wtf were you thinking?!” Attempt at tackling. Then, to compound the obvious, he just straight up whiffed in run support 3 more times.

    He was routinely out of position unable to make tackles. Can’t find the ball in the air or understand where it’s going (as Evans proved he can do).

    Please joe, I’m begging you. “He’s not worse than Piscitelli is ringing hollow at this point and frankly is a horrible defense (pun again) of a starter on this team. He doesn’t need to be b niches. He needs to be gone.

  16. amitp55 Says:

    Conte missed so many plays before getting hurt. It is incredible to think that people still bring up that ONE bears game years ago when he had a pick… jesus 1 play in 1 game doesnt give you endless chances as a starter. Im just so sick and tired of having every QB look beyond an ALL PRO… beyond a pro bowler… beyond a HOFer when they face this defense… I mean for crying out loud. Aint no one care about the run defense… coz no one is running the ball on us… just like we dont run the ball on anyone else and make them look good at run D.

    Just stop with the damn excuses for this defensive staff… its not all on the players… we have better players now and we have better players on D then other teams… Yet somehow magically we find ourselves in this position year in and year out. I wonder why…

  17. Ndog Says:

    If after watching that game last night if Jameis doesn’t start Sunday, if I was him I would request a trade. If you don’t think I’m better than a guy who falls apart, just like he has his entire career, as soon as he gets pressured then I need to go somewhere they can use me. We are going to screw this up bigtime, color me shocked.

  18. Buc believer Says:

    Joe MIND BOGGLING are you still drunk?? Smith is doing what Smith does! He sucks! What is mind boggling is the fact that this beer gut chicken wing eating geezer is working on an NFL team instead of bagging my groceries at Publix!

  19. German Buc Says:

    To be fair, we played two soon-to-be HOF-QB and the reigning Super Bowl-MVP. Next game will show what our DBs are capable of – and with them the entire D.

    By the way and repeating myself: The DC should have been fired after the dessert debacle last year in Arizona! He wasn’t – and he won’t be this time.

  20. ChanEpic Says:

    The Joe(s) minds are boggled now? Wait until ‘Lil Secretariat Julio Jones and his compatriots come to town. If they don’t get this thing together the Falcons will put a real hurting on this D.

  21. johnnybuc Says:

    scheme is soft. easy for nfl qbs to complete at such a high level when then they can sit back for 2 seconds or less know where they are going to go with it comfortably and then throw it.

  22. Curry-Winston Says:

    To be honest this franchise was lucky that fitz played the way he did bc we was about 2 pack our bags and hit the highway….sorry fans anointing a journeyman the next coming….hmmm I wonder what can go wrong…Jameis starts this week maybe next week for sure….but I’m not sure I want him 2 be here anymore….I would rather him go 2 the Giants, Saints or New England and sit the bench if he’s going to sit at all…at least let my bro sit behind greatness and take over next year than lose a yr watching fitz get dumbfounded by the blitz…Jameis is elite…2 say he isnt ready bc he hasn’t played in 3 weeks is a joke an a excuse. Only a Jameis hater doesnt see how he have gradually got better with time…its now or never for Dirk and Smitty….just imagine if we lose against Chicago and we’re 2-2 now dat Winston is cleared 2 play but doesnt…somebody is definitely not going 2 be here next year

  23. Curry-Winston Says:

    And Conte… plz dont be suprised he’s garbage like his DC

  24. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Grimes played badly also. A number one corner with 0 passes defensed. He fell down, is too easily pushed to the ground or out of the play. Rookie DB’s are more aggressive and don’t pushed around as much.

  25. gilhealy Says:

    I don’t remember the d-line for Pittsburgh apologizing for slamming Fitz to the ground numerous times. Yet, our Leader of the D felt it proper to apologize to Ben when he hit him. What the hell is that? I’m sure Ben told his guys in the huddle they’re soft as charmin, boys. Their all pro feels bad he hit me. Lets kick their ass. We need to see if Vea is as advertised. If he is, put McCoy on the bench. He’s in it for the money. And he brings others down with him. That crap has to rub off on the others. My God, who does that?

  26. gilhealy Says:

    Then, he whispers sweet nothings in Ben’s ear after the game. Trade the bum. He has no value to this defense whatsoever. Buckner should ream his a$$ good today.

  27. webster Says:

    No excuses. Fitz still should be able to win the game. Its all his fault lol

  28. T REX Says:

    Conte is GARBAGE! Mike Smith is GARBAGE!

  29. joestang Says:

    Licht is to blame. For every good pick he makes he makes 2 bad picks. He should have known the defensive backfield sucks, how could you not get a back in free agency or in the draft. Totally inexcusable. This defense will cost us a shot at the playoffs, they can’t stop anybody.

  30. Lord Corn Says:

    We lost cuz of 4 offensive turnovers in the 1st half imo and some bad penalties / red zone execution. The Steelers got at least 1/2 their points after a turnover..

  31. pelbuc Says:

    Mike Smith will cost Koetter and Licht their jobs. Single coverage with Grimes 10 yds deep on Antonio Brown in the red zone. Brilliant! He need s to be fired during the season not after. Litch should be fired after the season for his incompetence as well.

  32. MTM Says:

    The defensive play calling was appalling. The defense did nothing good overall. Piss poor tackling against the run for the last 10 yrs. Lineman not smart enough to at least try and bat down Ben’s passes. Then couple Fitzy’s picks in and it was another National TV debacle. Please NFL no more nationally televised games for the Bucs. They shat the bed every time.

  33. Loyaltotheend Says:

    Watch nearly ANY other NFL game but the Bucs and you see DB’s contesting catches and disrupting receivers

    Mike Smith doesn’t learn and his soft scheme will cost this team at minimum 4 wins this season

  34. Another J Says:

    Mike Smith seems to be the common denominator…

  35. Ronteco Says:

    So no blame on Licht huh? He’s wasted 2nd round picks like it’s going out of style. He drafted VH3 in the first round who was supposed to be our #1 corner and instead plays nickel. Perhaps Mike Smith doesn’t have the proper personnel in the secondary either. All those 2nd round picks he flopped on could’ve showed up that secondary by now. Instead we got 3 rookies all at once getting torched. Not defending Mike Smith because he does need to go, but Licht has failed on the personnel.

  36. Pickgrin Says:

    Welcome to the new NFL – where QBs can’t be breathed on and safeties can’t hit receivers to make them think twice about running certain routes.

    Its looking more and more like flag football every game day on NFL fields now… As in – “Oh the defender made a good play – better throw a flag…..

    Side note more directly related to the Bucs and this article – Brent Grimes was more liability than help last night – especially on running plays. Ryan Smith doesn’t have Grimes coverage skills (which were mostly invisible last night) – but at least he’s a fairly sure tackler…

  37. Nick2 Says:

    Mike Smiths defense is not one to hold teams to a low scoring margin. Maybe in the past but this is now. We need a DC who can give our team a chance, not one where we need 40 points to win every game. Hes had his chances and if not corrected by December he can be looking for employment in January.

  38. Nick2 Says:

    The awful tackling technique of Conte on that tight end romp was pathetic. Can anyone tell me what Koetter sees in Conte???? That was a huge momentum swing we never recovered from. You go in at the legs Conte or you get stiff armed like you did. Come on man!!!!

  39. RustyRhinos Says:

    So Ndog if Mr. Winston starts and sh!t’s the bed can we cut him at the end of the game? We know how often his passes end up in the other teams hands. So If we hold him to the standard the “fans” have for our other QB’s then Mr. Winston is a 3-4 turnover game away from replacement.

  40. Cobraboy Says:

    This is a terrible defensive scheme. Just horrid.

    I looked at some of the exotic blitzes by the Stillers and thought the Bucs scheme looked like the PeeWee JV.

    The days of relying on the front four getting serious pressure on the QB are history. Deal with it.

    This defense is embarrassing. Is there any defensive stat where the Bucs are NOT on the bottom?

  41. Rod Munch Says:

    When Licht did nothing in the defensive backfield – and no, second found rookies and a 4th round safety does not address the issue. Licht passed on the Talib trade then signed no one. He then spent the 1st rounder on a run stuffing 3-4 NT that does nothing in the pass game (certainly not his rookie season), he doesn’t sign any vets, no he looks at last year and says our DB’s are great, nothing to worry about. When Licht gets fired, this will be why.

  42. BucEmUp Says:

    What I found interesting is that Grimes was targeted more often than not. Now this could be because they thought he would be rusty…which he was. OOOOORRRRRRR its because they are actually letting the rookie corners play on the line and Grimes is the only one playing that far off on EVERY SINGLE SNAP!

    ALL the corners were playing that way last season so why EVER target Grimes when the rookies and second year guys are playing just as far off…if not further than him.

    Look at the Anotnio Brown td last night….why in the hell was he playing that far back? Had he been on the line he could have tackled him while he caught the ball or made a play??!!!!!!


  43. 813bucboi Says:

    bonzai DR and realist

    come defend your boy smitty……LOL…..

    lets see, I guess its still the talent huh…..or injuries…..or HK……

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!…..GO BUCS!!!!!