Elite Rating With Two Weaknesses

October 22nd, 2020

Leader of the defense.

If you subscribe to the philosophy that defense wins championships, then this story is for you.

Ted Nguyen over at The Athletic took a deep dive into dissecting the top NFL defenses and what makes them click.

To summarize the Bucs defense, Nguyen found no glaring weaknesses but two: pass coverage by Devin White and Jordan Whitehead. And Nguyen seems to think it is the Bucs’ defense that will be the engine that drives this team to however far it may go in 2020 (and beyond?).

The Buccaneers have elite players on every level of their defense and don’t have any real holes. They have three playmakers in the secondary in [Antoine] Winfield, [Carlton] Davis and [Jamel] Dean. As mentioned, their linebacker duo [Lavonte David and White] might be the best in the league. Their defensive line is at the very least a top-eight unit even without [Vita] Vea. Their run defense is on pace for a historically good season. And they’re aided by a good offense led by Tom Brady. When they have big leads, [Todd] Bowles can go deep into his list of exotic pressure schemes and wreak havoc on offenses’ pass protection schemes. Their impressive performance against the Packers … propelled them to to the top of this list.

The performance against the Packers isn’t the norm. That was one of the most impressive performances Joe has ever seen by a Bucs defense, right up there with the Michael Vick game and the Russell Wilson “Choke out” game.

And remember, the “Choke out” game was in 2016, when the Bucs did not make the playoffs.

As glorious as that Packers win was, there is a lot of football still to be played against very tough opponents. A lot. Including Sunday night (if the game is played) where the Raiders have that Al Jazeera-looking thing at one end of The Roomba.

16 Responses to “Elite Rating With Two Weaknesses”

  1. TB12 In Da Bay Says:

    It’s gonna be about consistently playing like this and not playing soft for long stretches. While Sunday was awesome I feel like it was an anomaly.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    Carr will go into a shell if we hit him early and often just like rodgers….

    lets carry uncle moe to LV!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  3. Bobby M. Says:

    I anticipate Gruden will use our defensive aggressiveness against us…..suck us in, then dump it off with screens, end arounds, draws, boot legs. This will be a great test for Bowles….a bit of coaching chess. Our defense has two weaknesses…..White is still a bit suspect in pass defense and our secondary tends to lack focus at times as well as be a bit trigger happy on jumping routes.

  4. zzbuc Says:

    Remember not to far ago? Chicago game…..Nobody said not even one positive think of the Bucs, except for Rojo and LVD….Well a couple of days later, we went far to the opposite, we are on heaven……We weren’t in hell nor are we on heaven today….We are a team with a lot of talent, that needs a little bit more time, and get some consistency, and some important players to be completely healthy again…….Lets go step by step, humbles, and trying to avoid polarizing analysis…….

  5. geno711 Says:

    I feel like this year with the defense is a lot like 1997 with the Buc’s defense.

    We started the season against a great San Francisco team. Steve Young was the quarterback and we knocked him out of the that 1st game and upset San Fran. San Fran won the next 11 games.

    So my favorite Buc trivia is next. Besides going against Steve Young, The Bucs played against the MVP of the NFL a total of 6 times in the 1997 season.

    We played against the MVP, week 2, week 6, week 7, and 15. We then played the MVP of the league again the 1st week of the playoff and then again in the 2nd week of the playoff.

    So what is that story.
    In 1997 Brett Favre and Barry Sanders shared the MVP with the same total amount of votes.

    We played the Packers and Lions twice in the regular season and we played them each once in the post season.

    I feel pretty confident that no NFL team will ever match that record.

  6. Brandon Says:

    We’ve got three playmakers in our secondary… last season we had one and his name was Sean Murphy-Bunting. He’s not playing as well as he was before his injury but I would love to see him get it turned around.

  7. Architek Says:

    That’s a fair assessment overall

  8. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Points win Championships. (See 1999 NFC Championship)

  9. J dubb Says:

    I fully agree with his assessment contingent on consistency of course. But like another poster had said, I think Murphy Bunting is another playmaker in the secondary, when healthy. To add on, I believe Edwards is proving himself to be a playmaker when called upon. To that point, does he start to cut into Whitehead’s (who I think is playing ok) snaps, especially in passing situations… The potential of this secondary if reached can be very reminiscent of Seattle’s Legion of boom secondary in that every single person can change the game. Again we are not there yet, and may never, but the potential is there and the arrow is pointing up.

  10. Rod Munch Says:

    I read that full article on The Athletic and I must say I think the praise is getting a little out of control. The Bucs had a great game and they’re playing great right now, but to say they’re the best in football with no real holes is kind of worrying. This is traditionally where Bucs defenses, believing the hype, will come out and get lit up, giving up 450 yards and 35 points. The exception to that? That Dungy years.

    So to me, after getting this kind of hype and press, and facing Gruden who will badly want to show the Bucs up, and the Bucs playing on a road, perhaps with the game being moved to Monday or Tuesday, it’s a lot of moving pieces and its where you would traditionally see the Bucs get knocked off their high horse.

    Hope the Bucs don’t stumble here, but I’m not totally sold on them being this good – which is obvious considering how good they were last week, that is unsustainable (and those that don’t agree are the same people that though Fitz would put up world shattering numbers for 16-games instead of 2).

    But, the good news is that the offense still really hasn’t had a good game yet, where they showed up for 4 quarters, that is what should keep the Bucs up near the top of the standings when the defense cools off.

  11. Bucs Says:

    Damn. Watch this to feel better. Fkn guy made watching the bucs the most frustrating experience for years. (Video is Justin Jefferson dominating Vernon Hargreaves)

  12. O'Neilbuc Says:

    We are a defense lead team and we are a running lead team on offense . That’s how you win championships so all you fantasy football fans who want to see Brady throw 5 tds a game with 400 yards yall need to find a new team .

  13. Youngbucs Says:

    We a winning team!!!!! Thts what a winning QB will do!!!!

  14. Blu Says:

    O’Neil i disagree on this being a running based team as much as Leftwich is trying to get it that way. This team is gonna go as far as the passing offense takes it. If they can improve a bit more in running sure but theyve only had 3 good games running the ball and the others were horrible. If anything they could take cues from the 2018 playoff Pats on how to win as a running team. You still gotta be able to win a shootout though especially in the playoffs hence even those pats had to put up 40 on the chiefs to get to the superbowl.

  15. Patrickbucs Says:

    Should of drafted Bush lol. Good drafting lately thankfully.

  16. alaskabuc Says:

    Always nice for me to remember the “choke out” game. Living in SE Alaska I’m surrounded by Seahawks fans which are the worst thing this side of a Boston fan, and that was one of the best Monday’s I’ve ever spent as a Bucs fan.