Can Bowles Get The Bucs Out Of Buccaneer Cove?

June 4th, 2019


There’s a very good reason why the Bucs have finished in last place in the NFC South 6 of the last 7 seasons.

They can’t beat their division opponents.

Tampa Bay has managed a winning record against its NFC South opponents just once since Gruden was fired following the 2008 season. Their 2016 season featuring a glorious five-game run was that one occasion, with the team going 4-2 in NFC South play.

That has to change.

The main source of that change must come from the defense. The “defense” the Bucs threw on the field the last two years was downright abysmal. Lawn chairs probably would’ve been nearly as effective.

In comes Todd Bowles, the savior of the defense.

He’s going to have his hands full against the quarterbacks in this division: a surefire hall-of-famer in Drew Brees, plus former MVP’s in Cam Newton and Matt Ryan.

Bowles’ overall track record against these quarterbacks isn’t good, though Cam Newton struggled mightily in one game and Matt Ryan had one of the two four-interception games of his career.

As defensive coordinator for the Cardinals in 2013 and 2014, Bowles’ defenses managed just a 2-3 record against these three teams. As a head coach for the Jets, he was 0-3.

Not exactly strong numbers.

He better figure out a way to slow down these offenses. It’s either that or another year in “Buccaneer Cove,” aka last place in the NFC South.

Let’s hope he learned a thing or two from past experiences:

Here’s a look at Bowles’ previous games against the Saints, Panthers and Falcons as a defensive coordinator and head coach:


Week 3- New Orleans: Loss 31-7

Leading passer: Drew Brees: 29-46 for 342 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 INT
Leading rusher: Khiry Robinson: 4 rushes for 38 yards
Leading receiver: Jimmy Graham: 9 receptions for 134 yards, 2 TD’s

Week 5- Carolina: Win 22-6

Leading passer: Cam Newton: 21-39 for 308 yards and 3 INT’s
Leading rusher: DeAngelo Williams: 12 rushes for 39 yards
Leading receiver: Greg Olsen: 5 receptions for 79 yards

Week 8- Atlanta: Win 27-13

Leading passer: Matt Ryan: 34-61 for 301 yards, 1 TD, and 4 INT’s
Leading rusher: Matt Ryan: 1 rush for 13 yards/Falcons held to 27 yards rushing total
Leading receiver: Harry Douglas: 12 receptions for 121 yards


Week 13- Atlanta: Loss 29-18

Leading passer: Matt Ryan: 30-41 for 361 yards, 2 TD’s, and 1 INT
Leading rusher: Steven Jackson: 18 rushes for 101 yards
Leading receiver: Julio Jones: 10 catches for 189 yards 1 TD
Two 100-yard receivers for Atlanta that day.
Harry Douglas: 9 catches for 116 yards

Wild Card Round- Carolina: Loss 27-16

Leading passer: Cam Newton: 18-32 for 198 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT
Leading rusher: Jonathon Stewart: 24 rushes for 123 yards 1 TD
Leading receiver: Fozzy Whitaker: 1 reception for 39 yards 1 TD


Week 8- Atlanta: Loss 25-20

Leading passer: Matt Ryan: 18-29 for 254 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s, 3 fumbles, 2 lost
Leading rusher: Tevin Coleman: 14 rushes for 82 yards
Leading receiver: Mohamed Sanu: 6 receptions for 74 yards 1 TD

Week 12- Carolina: Loss 35-27

Leading passer: Cam Newton: 11-28 for 168 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s
Leading rusher: Christian McCaffrey: 7 rushes for 62 yards
Leading receiver: Devin Funchess: 7 receptions for 108 yards

Week 15- New Orleans: Loss 31-19

Leading passer: Drew Brees: 26-36 for 281 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT
Leading rusher: Mark Ingram: 12 rushes for 74 yards, 2 TD’s
Leading receiver: Michael Thomas: 9 receptions for 93 yards, 1 TD

17 Responses to “Can Bowles Get The Bucs Out Of Buccaneer Cove?”

  1. DB55 Says:

    Lawn chairs probably would’ve been nearly as effective.
    Ha! The kid is coming into his own or are the Joes rubbing off? Either way that was grade A.

    So what are we to do, roll over and play dead? If you haven’t heard the guy who does that best is no longer on the team. Maybe we just wait until Brees and Cam retire which should be another 2-5 years depending on different variables. Idk

  2. Snook Says:

    Best defense is an good offense. The Saints and Falcons are perfect examples of that. Have either of those teams had memorable defenses in the last 10 years?


  3. Rob Tanner Says:

    Wow joe, I’m concerned since it’s the same coach and same players…

  4. #1bucsfan Says:

    Attack attack attack maybe we we need our D-Line to play with the chairs an wen they can’t get close just chuck the chairs at em

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Zachary … For starters, throw out the Jets years (Todd Bowles was the HC, not the DC. And the Jets personnel-wise were as bad as the Bucs). Far as 2013 & 2014 go, the stats you cherry-picked don’t really tell anything about Bowles’ defenses in those years.

    For instance, in 2013 Cards lost to the Saints 31-7. Wow, looks pretty one-sided. Of course the Saints did have the #4 ranked defense & the #10 ranked offense that year, on their way to a 11-5 record & the playoffs. Game stats were pretty one-sided, considering that the Cards offense only scored 7 pts (TOP significantly favored the Saints … as did turnovers). And yet, Cards defense forced ONE turnover & sacked Brees FOUR times. That game was also early in the season … Bowles first season with the Cards.

    And yet, in that same 2013 year they beat the Panthers who were the #2 ranked defense & #18 ranked offense with a 12-4 record. Cards defense forced FOUR turnovers by the Panthers, even though the Cards offense committed THREE turnovers. And oh ya, they also sacked Newton SEVEN times.

    Atlanta was the only team of the 3 that had a losing record that year (4-12), and yet the 27-13 Cards win is misleading there too. Ryan’s FOUR INTs were really the story of that game … well that AND the fact that the Cards sacked Ryan FOUR times. Falcons won the TOP battle handily 35 mins to 25 mins, won the passing battle, but lost the rushing battle big time (Cards had 200 yds on 30 carries). Cards only passed 18 times, but got 2 TDs out of it.

    So in those 3 games that year against NFC South opponents (2 wins, 1 loss) Bowles first year defense represented itself pretty danged well. They got NINE turnovers & FIFTEEN sacks. Hmmm, not that shabby … I’d take those kinds of turnovers & sacks any day.

  6. Ndog Says:

    What Matt Ryan had a 4 interception day! He is a TO machine and should have been benched on the spot forever!!!

  7. Dlavid Says:

    Zach , love you as an addition to the Ira podcast and your input here on JBF ! Great job Joe’s growing the brand !

  8. Wombat Says:

    Nice breakdown @DR, reading between the lines!!!

  9. Bobby M. Says:

    The best defense is a ball control offense….meaning we must run the ball and execute on drives. Play smart football that utilizes field position….If you think you’re going to drop Winston back 35x per game, you’ll learn like the last few coaches he’ll bury your team before half time.

  10. Bucnjim Says:

    Those three 2017 loses it looks like his D played well. Especially the Panthers game Cam was 11 for 28 zero TD’s not sure how they won that game. None of those teams had a rusher even close to 100 yards as well. Thinking the Jets must have turned the ball over a bunch on offense.

  11. Alanbucsfan Says:

    It’s not just the defense that was a problem.
    Bucs lost several games because of turnovers- Redskins, Cowboys, Steelers, Bengals.
    Special teams will need to improve.
    Running game will need improvement.
    And glorifying passing stats between the 20 yard lines is not my idea of a great offense.

    Last couple of years has been a total team failure.
    Thankfully, Bucs cleaned house with coaching staff. And new culture is being installed.

  12. Hodad Says:

    Look at the scores of those games, you’re not going to win many games scoring 6, 7, and 13 points, in three of their losses. All those games they scored enough points to maybe win two of them no matter what the defense did. I don’t see this Buc offense to be that lame, do you?

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    TB will get it right….

    no one is worse than smitty….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  14. Brandon Says:

    Quick math in the 8 games against all of those teams the QBs threw 12 TDs and 11 INTs…. that doesn’t sound like the defense lost those games against our division opponents.

  15. Brandon Jeff Says:

    #1bucsfan Says:
    June 4th, 2019 at 6:55 am
    Attack attack attack maybe we we need our D-Line to play with the chairs an wen they can’t get close just chuck the chairs at em

    But on 2nd thought, that may be a sound strategy!

  16. tye Says:

    He done at amazing job for the Jets {sarcasm}

  17. Bob Higginbotham Says:

    Great work Zack! Keep it up!