Bucs Defense No. 2.

June 2nd, 2019


No, the Bucs defense last year wasn’t ranked second-worst of all time. It might have been worse than that. But this is about a great Bucs defense of the past.

The crowd over at Football Outsiders decided to use a bunch of numbers to determine the best defense of the past 30 years. So they ranked the top 30 defenses of the past 30 years.

And the Bucs defense of 2002, the Super Bowl-winning defense, came in at No. 2 of the past three decades, writes Aaron Schatz typing for BSPN.

This is the best pass defense of the past 30 years. According to DVOA, the Bucs were 51.9 percent more efficient than the baseline during the regular season. They allowed 4.5 net yards per pass, the third-best figure of the past 20 years. They allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete just 51 percent of passes. They led the league with 31 interceptions, nearly double the league average of 16.5. They were at their best in the most important situations: No. 1 in the red zone, No. 1 in the second half of close games, and No. 3 against the pass on third downs. Defensive end Simeon Rice, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and linebacker Derrick Brooks were all selected as first-team All-Pros, with linebacker Shelton Quarles and safety John Lynch joining them in the Pro Bowl.

Similar to the 2000 Ravens, DVOA penalizes the Bucs for the easiest defensive schedule in the regular season, but they proved themselves further in the playoffs by shutting down two of the top three offenses in the league that year (No. 2 Oakland and No. 3 San Francisco, plus No. 10 Philadelphia). The Bucs don’t reach the No. 1 spot of all time because they were “only” eighth in DVOA against the run, including a surprising 27th against the run on third downs.

And no, Joe really doesn’t know what the hell “DVOA” means and anytime you use the word “adjusted” with numbers, that means someone is playing mathematical hopscotch, which reinforces Joe’s long-held truism that one can twist numbers any way they want to prove a point.

Yes, that defense was friggin’ special and that’s why the past two years have been such a kick in the crotch to Bucs fans. Being forced to watch that tripe has been both appalling and embarrassing.

Imagine being Team Glazer, which shelled out tens of millions of dollars of their own loot for that crap!

Also on that list, the Bucs’ 1999 defense that got the team to the NFC title game was ranked No. 15.

35 Responses to “Bucs Defense No. 2.”

  1. '79 Defense Says:

    Those were the days…

  2. Sport Says:

    Not at all surprised by this. Hell…all Sapp ever asked was 14 damn points. Unfortunately he barely got that much when it counted.

    Bucs ascension milestones….
    1. Nickerson

    2. Wyche 95 Draft – Sapp. Books, Lynch (Brooks was a trade from 2nd round to pick him 28th overall. BTW oh the horror of picking a middle linebacker so high….!!! This is a major reason alot of us long term Buc fans were more than fine with White.)

    3. Dungy self respect and solid staff (Monte kiffin alone is all star status)

    4. The

  3. Sport Says:


    4. The salary cap floor being introduced – which coincided with the Culverhouse sale and Glazer purchase.

    5. A few more key ingredients – Rice, Keyshawn, Brad, Donnie Abraham, Brian Kelly

    6. Then getting rid of a reverse Dirk Keotter (solid offense, no defense as head coach) in Tony Dungy (Amazing defense, deplorable offense) I mght also add that our defense didn’t miss a beat after Dungy left. Thank you Monte! The unsung hero. Also the reason Dungy can be viewed as over-rated.

    7. Chucky, brought grit and an offense.

    1-7 = Suoer Bowl!!!! All that to say, our great defense was wasted by truly awful offenses. It is and was shameful. So thankful we won that SB!

    Go Bucs and In BA I Trust!

  4. isrBuc Says:

    who came #1?

  5. ncbucsfan Says:

    But Dungy immediately made the Colts the No. 2 defense and won a Super Bowl……Sport! Lol

  6. Clean House Says:

    That was so wonderful,
    Hard to stomach this when you know that is the real

  7. Todd Says:

    And now Sapp is IN ‘DA HOUSE!

    Can’t wait to see our D-line with his fingerprints on it!

  8. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    That time period the bucs easily should have played in 4-5 super bowls with that defense & that blame lays with dungy and whatever reason loving the 3 yards & a cloud of dust offense. They held the greatest offense ever to one TD in that 2000 championship game… bucs life

  9. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Defenses can cover up some mistakes by having a good coach that can develop a solid game plan to counter a different offense every week without becoming predictable. I think now that Coach Bowles can concentrate purely on the defense without distractions of being a Head Coach we’re gonna see an attacking, in your face, glued to your man defense. They will be very prepared, and will follow a well studied and designed script to attack our enemies weakness and their predictabilities. He will have our young guys ready each week.

    The rest is up to the players.

  10. krockbucs Says:

    I’m getting old my memory must be failing. Sport says. I thought Lynch was a third-round pick in 94 and didn’t we have two first round picks in 95 or did we have to trade up to get Brooks?

  11. RobertG Says:

    Lynch was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1993 draft. Not in 95.

  12. OneBuc55 Says:

    Wow, if Jameis had a Defense like that and a kicker like Automatica Gramatica he’d probably have 3 Superbowl Rings by now…

    I really believe JW could’ve worked wonders with those receivers and Mike Allstot running the football; I’m positive he would have gotten way more points per game than the 14 points Sapp asked for…

    To this day the most heartbreaking game for me as a fan was watching that defense hold the “Greatest Show On Turf” to 11 points only to lose the game because the offense could only managed to put up 5 measly points (field goal + safety) on a Rams defense that was just slightly above average…

  13. Slugglife Says:

    Don’t these idiots who ranked the 2002 squad know that it was a team full of below average players and Warren Sapp?

    Go get em Tmax!

  14. Slugglife Says:

    I was talking about this and was quickly scolded by the all knowing Tmax about this group of coattail riders who rode warred Sapp to a championship. I didn’t know Sapp had that many interceptions and played the pass that well. Perhaps he should be coaching up our rookie DBs instead of the d line.

    What day you maxi?

  15. Brandon Says:

    I’ve always argued that the Bucs and the 46 rating against them by opposing QBs at a time when QB rating were still pretty high is far more impressive than what the 85 Bears or 00 Ravens did. The Bears managed to sack QBs like no other teams before or after but weren’t spectacular otherwise, the Ravens played a quarter of their schedule against the two worst offensive teams in the league and didn’t face top offenses. That 02 Buc unit is without question, but me, the top unit in the modern era.

  16. Slugglife Says:


    That three yards and a cloud of dust was renamed the “Cadillac 3” a long time ago.

  17. Slugglife Says:

    Apparently any post that has the word Tmax in it goes straight to meditation. Is this right Joe? My post was scrubbed and contained no offensive language or insult.

  18. Slugglife Says:

    Heavy moderation going on today and yet it’s such a beautiful day outside.

    Note to posters- don’t mention Tmax.

  19. Bird Says:

    85 bears over 30 years so it’s got to be 2000 ravens

  20. Steven007 Says:

    Slug, I use trollmax (which is actually more accurate) and it typically rolls by the censors.

  21. Totally Exonerated Says:

    I don’t know what DVOA means either. But I do know what DVDA means

  22. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    How is the “Ice Cream” tour doing ?

  23. Oneilbucs Says:

    It’s about time yall start talking about the most important side of the ball. The side that really wins championships. And not the quarterback which is the most overrated position on the field and the most dependable position on the field that needs every body just to be come a good or great quarterback. If you can’t stop the other teams from scoring you are going to lose 8 out of 10 times. Defense and a pro bowl running back wins championships. Go ask Rogers with the Packers why Rivers never played in a super bowl or won one ? But yall love to look at and blame Jamies for every lost but they never blame Rogers or Rivers for losing. Go bucs!!!!!

  24. DBS Says:

    Slug. Yes it does it’s automatic. Some of us use Tpax now.

  25. DCBUCFAN Says:

    A damn shame they only won ONE SUPERBOWL with that special defense. I was sick to my stomach when Dilfer went to the Ravens and won the trophy after his pathetic run with the Bucs..

  26. Sport Says:

    JBF Brethren, thank you for the correction on John Lynch draft yr.

    ncBF, I should state, I greatly appreciate Dungy for what he did for the Bucs. He was the perfect fit for the Colts defense. A lot of us probably watched more Colts games because of the TB connection, it was extremely clear Dungy was inept on offense, I have clear memories of Peyton refusing to come of the field in direct conflict with Dungy. That would be all the twitter rage in today’s age.
    Yet another reason why Dungy has chinks in the armour as such a great head coach.

  27. tmaxcon Says:

    Highly ranked defense on a crap team led by a one dimensional clown that had 1 good year…. let it go…. living in the past is for losers…. it was one good season nearly two decades ago… let it go…. real franchises that contend consistently pound their chests over championships not meaningless rankings and pro bowls…. low standard franchise with an even lower standard mentally weak fanbase that can’t let go of underachieving has beens…

  28. BucHead588 Says:

    It seems as if we are going to get a Good enough Defense this year to go without our offense

  29. Slugglife Says:

    Mama there goes that man!!!!!

    Listen dipsh!t, you were just called out for your idiotic statements. Just own it and STFU.

  30. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It is great to see Sam Wyche’s importance to the great team of our past.
    TY Sport for posting that it was Sam Wyche who drafted most of the stars who made our defense so great.
    Very very seldom are the contributions of Sam Wyche ever mentioned at all.

  31. Slugglife Says:

    There are teams that haven’t yet won the Super Bowl yet we should let go of our moment because you say so…… ……. …….

    Nah. Oh, I almost forgot……

  32. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    That’s right TPax if the team had only drafted Tony Boselli instead of Brooks the offense would have been amazing. Oh wait, he was already drafted, but you showed that doesn’t matter to you. Dumb and a troll. Feel for you.

  33. Wesley Says:

    Really should be number1.

  34. View from 132 Says:

    I was there in the stands for the entire Dungy and Gruden years. In my opinion, the 1999 Bucs D is still #1. Didn’t score as much as the 2002 team, but they also had no offense whatsoever – Dilfer and then a rookie?! – and came 35 yards from the Super Bowl.

  35. BucsminsterFuller Says:

    es, that defense was friggin’ special and that’s why the past two years have been such a kick in the crotch to Bucs fans.
    2 years?
    Have you totally blocked out the Leslie Frazier years?