A New Defensive Standard

January 2nd, 2020

Helped set franchise mark.

Man, given the stud defenses the Bucs have had at various stages of this team’s history, any defensive record is pretty impressive.

Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com brings word of a stunning new franchise defensive record that was set by the 2019 Bucs.

Now Joe knew the Bucs had a good run defense but this is pretty badarse. Thinking of that 1979 defense. And of course the 1999 or 2002 defense. Yet those defenses didn’t do what the 2019 defense did: Suffocate the run.

Joe already documented other impressive defensive numbers the Bucs recorded this past season. No wonder Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians is hoping to keep all of these free agents.

28 Responses to “A New Defensive Standard”

  1. lambchop Says:

    Don’t fall asleep thinking Suh had a bad season. He was INTEGRAL to shutting the run down and he made enough splash plays to show he deserves a contract here. He is no Swaggy Baker.

    Suh was the real McCoy out there! 😉

  2. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    Remember all geniuses that said we were going to miss McCrybaby and he was going to go somewhere and win a championship?

  3. Stanglassman Says:

    Impressive. Snd it’s not like it jumped up considerably once the secondary starting playing better in the latter half of the season. There will always be the negative Nancy’s who claim it was only because teams knew they could pass readily on this team.

    I was thinking about that 4 million in cap space the Bucs saved that year shaving a year off JPP’s contract. I sure hope that the 4 million savings was worth it. Sure would like to have that extra year now.

  4. Stanglassman Says:

    To be fair McCoy did maintain the NFC South Celler-Dweller Championship Crown.

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

    Get VV a playmate…in the draft
    I hope the do for the trenches what the did with DB’s last year…
    Jameis will be back
    so hoping a QB prize is sitting @ 14 and we can trade down for more draft picks to do this

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Stats like this admittedly fascinate me. For a defense (or offense) to be #1 in ANYTHING in the NFL tells me a lot about its talent, its coaching and its priorities … and sometimes much more. Bucs obviously have the talent to shut down the run, not just in its DLine by also in its LB corps. They obviously have the coaching; this is not Todd Bowles’ first ride on the merry-go-round. He set the priorities: shutdown the run & make the other team one dimensional so that they choose to pass.

    And pass our opponents did. Bucs were #32 in the NFL in Opponents Passing Attempts … they passed 664 times to be exact (and attempted to pass another 47 times but we sacked them. That’s 711 Passing Dropbacks as opposed to 362 Rushing Attempts … a ratio of almost 2-to-1 passing.

    Puts a LOT of pressure on your Secondary; pressure that’s a killer UNLESS that same DLine that’s shutting down the run ALSO creates a strong pass rush. THAT to me is even more impressive than the Bucs’ defense shutting down the run. This defense got 47 sacks (#7 ranking) … impressive. They got 116 QB Hits … just as impressive. Especially when combined with 21 Forced Fumbles (#3 ranking) & 16 Fumble Recoveries (#2 ranking), to include FOUR for TDs (#1 ranking). Only 12 INTs (#17 ranking), but TWO of those were for TDs also (#4 ranking). And oh ya, a whopping 87 TFLs.

    But our Bucs’ defense also gave up the LEAST number of 1st downs made by rushing (70) and we did awesome on limiting explosive rushing plays. Our D only gave up 4 runs over over 20 yards (best in the NFL) and only 1 run of over 40 yards (2nd best in the NFL).

    And despite having the youngest Secondary in the NFL, our Secondary had 105 PDs this past season … #2 in the NFL right behind the Patriots (who had 111 PDs). THAT’S the most impressive of all to me, considering that SMB, Dean & Edwards were all rookies, and Whitehead & Davis are only 2nd year guys. My hat’s off to Todd Bowles & his coaching staff. They did an incredible job. Our defensive future looks bright … assuming that management doesn’t screw it up of course.

  7. Noles Says:

    Suh made more IMPACTFUL & Timely plays this year than McCoy did his entire time.

    I just don’t recall us needing a big play and Gerald flashed & made the play.

    You notice how much more fight this team has minus McCoy & Heargraves. It seems that Grimes wasn’t the only DIVA… GLAD they are gone…..

  8. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    my lord, look at the murderer’s row of RB’s this team had to take on. CMC, Kamara, D Henry, Saquon( all be it for only part of the game), and they kept them ALL in check. The secondary came together the second part of the season. I just hope the Bucs can get Shaq and JPP back for next year.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Lambchop … You are sooo right. Ndamukong Suh was THE key to making that whole DLine work. And yes, even more-so than Vita Vea.

    Suh is a mountain-man IMO; a beast (in a good way). Bucs had 38 players show up on the injury list in 2019. Number of times Suh was on that list: NONE. Bucs defense was on the field this season for 1,130 defensive snaps (yes, a bunch). Suh had 874 defensive snaps … over 77%. Ranged from a high of 89.3% in the 1st Carolina game to a low of 65.2% in the Rams game (only game less than 70% BTW). THAT’s a mountain man. Not bad for someone who turns 33 in 4 days.

    Admittedly it just boggles my mind when media & fans don’t recognize how key certain players are to a defense or an offense. Too many focus strictly on one number (sacks?) instead of looking at a player’s TOTAL contribution (of which stats only give a glimpse). Not only did he start ALL 16 games, but he had 41 combined tackles … most on our DLine. He had ‘only’ 2.5 sacks this past year (same as Vea BTW), but had 14 QB Hits (only 2 less than JPP who had the most on the DLine). Also contributed 7 TFLs and had FOUR fumble recoveries (TWO that he ran in for TDs).

    Suh & Vea made an awesome team in the center of this DLine … but Suh outperformed him (by a tad). Both started 16 games, but Suh was on the field quite a bit more (77.4% of the defensive snaps versus 66.3% of the snaps, a difference of over 100 snaps on the season). That’s a bunch IMO. And Vea’s PERFORMANCE came up quite a bit this year IMO, and learning from & playing next to Ndamukong Suh I’ll bet had a LOT to do with that. If Bucs’ management doesn’t re-sign Suh, JPP and Barrett as top priorities, they’re dumber than dirt.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes….our defense was stout….and got better & better……turnovers, kicking & penalties cost us the playoffs. Fix that and we are golden.

  11. adam from ny Says:

    kong suh for a team captain next year too

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    When it comes down to it, Suh is the most replaceable DLine player of our top 4 guys…so far as skill, I mean.

    Getting run stuffers is easy in the draft.

    But Suh was an amazing lockerroom and on-field leader. Much more vocal than McCoy.

    There can be no doubt that of McCoy and Suh, Suh is more of a fit for this team. McCoy is still very good, regardless of the haters opinions, but for what this team needs, he no longer fit.

    To me, the most valuable leader on the entire team was JPP. And not just for the defense. During the last game, he was shown on the sideline talking with Matt Gay, who had to be feeling pretty low.

    I have a feeling we’ll lose JPP. I hope not. A healthy JPP and Barrett for a full season would rock.

  13. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Bucs had 11th best run D in the history of the NFL. Number one in percentage of plays resulting in a caused fumble. Barrett had a great year for sure , but not completely sold that his success was not a result of him almost always getting no double team due to the interior of our D line being so strong. Suh and JPP are necessary re-sign both and get Taysom Hill signed to a offer sheet , Hill can throw well and he is the fastest and strongest QB in the league.

  14. Brandon Says:

    BucsFanSince1976 Says:
    January 2nd, 2020 at 7:59 am
    Bucs had 11th best run D in the history of the NFL. Number one in percentage of plays resulting in a caused fumble. Barrett had a great year for sure , but not completely sold that his success was not a result of him almost always getting no double team due to the interior of our D line being so strong. Suh and JPP are necessary re-sign both and get Taysom Hill signed to a offer sheet , Hill can throw well and he is the fastest and strongest QB in the league

    Confusing. You start with some great stuff here and then follow it up with complete nonsense. Hill is neither the fastest nor the strongest QB in the league. He might even be the least QBest QB in the league. You want us to spend money and then if not matched, ship over a draft pick for a gadget player? I like Hill. He is talented and interesting. But he’s a soon to be 30 year old 3rd string QB that has NEVER started a game at QB in the NFL. He’s barely a QB. And back when he was only a QB in college, his results were mixed and injuries frequent.

  15. Bobby M. Says:

    If we hold this defense together, maybe add one playmaker to the secondary, there’s real potential to be a top 10 unit next season.

  16. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    So which QB is faster? and which qb is stronger? I am willing to learn.

  17. doolnutts Says:

    What should excite everyone is the strong finish and just how young the team is. The entire DB group are just rookies or second year players. The front seven has a healthy mix of players over and under 30. I am looking forward to next season I think we will see improvement across the board yet again.

  18. Joe p Says:

    It also helps teams were able to throw for 10k yards every game in the first half of the season

  19. stpetebucsfan Says:

    “This defense got 47 sacks (#7 ranking)”

    But…but how could this happen when we “blew” the draft and didn’t get Josh Allen?

    Meanwhile we were stuck with a guy who forced fumbles..recovered them..twice scooping for a score. White and LVD together are scary of OC’s. Oh but Allen got 10.5 sacks.

    This raw rookie defensive backfield has truly captured my imagination. As the season wore on and I saw their improvement my first feeling was simple relief.

    But they went beyond just competence…the last 1/4 of the season these guys actually did “ball out”…didn’t have to claim it during a press conference..we could see it.

    But after blasting through simple competence I’m now really jacked about the potential of this GROUP. It’s not just one of them…safeties flashed a bit and are good hitters..but the DBs!

    Carlton Davis has shown leadership skills..he’s turned into a film junkie and those final four games he showed a preview of just how strong he’s become.

    Jamel Dean grew up and became a terrific cover guy.

    SMB showed his ball hawking skills!

    I’m no longer looking at our DB’s as just getting that area fixed…they could become one of the best units on the team.

  20. #1bucfan Says:

    If our defense shows up next year an even is able to improve like they did the 2nd half of the season man we are going to be a hard team to beat. Mark my world we are watching something special with this defense.

  21. Buccernutter Says:

    Defense rules

    That was incredible analysis. Very good post 👌.

    Imagine the dbs in year two…. We may win games on d regardless of the offense.

  22. PhillyBuc Says:

    stpete – great take, agree 100%. We need to keep this unit intact, #1 priority

  23. coverdeuce Says:

    Those 90’s defenses and the SB team were ballers, but I remember the way to get them on their heels was to establish the inside run game. They made it difficult to get to the edges with their speed, but occasionally teams with strong power run games were able to have their way with our undersized d-line. They were consciously building around quick twitch athletes – as opposed to big boying everyone a la Mike Smith in Jax. At any rate, I hope they can keep this front 7 mostly intact because that’s a hell of an achievement.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Buccernutter … “”Imagine the dbs in year two”. I’m thinking the same thing, although one of the dangers of 2nd-year guys is that opponents have a year’s worth of film on them & MIGHT figure out their tendencies. (Same thing with probably all skill positions I’d surmise). I have a hunch though that Todd Bowles & his coaching staff will guide them through that very effectively.

    StPete … Agree totally with your takes on Davis, Dean & SMB. I’d also include Edwards in that group (I’ve got a hunch that IF we do manage to snag a veteran Safety to start back there, that we MIGHT see Edwards used some at Safety but more even more at Nickel). Priority One for Bucs’ management though is to keep this defense together as much as possible. Lack of CONTINUITY in past years really hurt the defense even more than the offense.

  25. Jean Lafitte Says:

    …and just to think how many wanted to continue with GMC.

    Suh was a major contributor for this defense.

    Notice the Panthers finished at 5-11.

    GMC was a cancer.

  26. 1sparkybuc Says:

    When a QB can play pitch and catch so easily, it hardly makes any sense to bother running the ball. A more accurate gauge will be made next season when passing is more difficult.

  27. MadMax Says:

    Thats why i wanted Big V so much….i could just see it, same with D White….now i see us with QB Jordan Love…1st or 2nd dont care where we get him, even if we franchise JW as a 1 year bridge.

  28. WestChap Says:

    In the years of reading this site, today’s was the best fan comment ever: Suh was the real McCoy! Indeed he was… and he kept the badass fire lit while JPP was healing. We need them both back in pewter for 2020. Meanwhile GMC did fine in Carolina too… so the swap was a win-win all around.