Pass Defense Recent History

December 2nd, 2020

Joe would wear a mask, too.

After writing about the return of the rotten pass defense for the Bucs yesterday, it began to creep up on Joe.

(No, Joe uses Lotrimin Ultra for those areas and it works fine after a day or two of discomfort.)

Just like losing at home has become a rich tradition for the Bucs in the post-Chucky era, it seems garbage pass defense has also been a hallmark trait (curse?).

So Joe dug up the numbers.

2009:  Ranked No. 21, 62.45 percent completion percentage.
2010:  No. 12, 58.93 percent.
2011:  No. 25, 62.58 percent.
2012:  No. 28: 65.39 percent.
2013:  No. 24, 64.35 percent.
2014:  No. 32, 68.62 percent.
2015:  No. 32, 69.87 percent.
2016:  No. 18, 63.32 percent.
2017:  No. 29, 67.58 percent.
2018:  No. 32, 72.47 percent.
2019:  No. 7, 61.45 percent.
2020: No. 30, 69.74 percent (through 12 games).

So you can see Joe’s hunch was pretty spot on. Only twice in the post-Chucky era have the Bucs finished in the top-half of the league in defensive completion percentage.

You can also see why the Bucs, aside from drafting Antoine Winfield, didn’t see the need to go out and add another player for the secondary this spring. They were a top-7 unit defending the pass last year with two rookies and a second-year corner. Things were looking very bright.

Then this year hit. What happened, Todd Bowles?

The past three games have been horrendous for the Bucs’ pass defense. They have allowed nearly 75 percent of passes to be completed.

The defensive collapse in the month of November just might Pearl Harbor this entire season.

25 Responses to “Pass Defense Recent History”

  1. Bucs_in_Spain Says:

    I think that’s missing some context, failed screens count as completed passes by this measure. Still the 7th best pass defence in the league by DVOA.

  2. EA Says:

    Once they get burned by a long completion early in game they start to panic and play the infamous Mike Smith defense 10 yards off the receiver, that way any highschool quarterback with a decent arm can hit all the underneath passes for a near perfect completion rate. Goff, Bridgewater, Herbert, you name it. Curse?? Perhaps.
    No mater who’s coaching this defense, every year some team would break some kind of record against them. Totally fixed yo!!!

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    You live and die by the blitz. The loss of Vea in the middle of the DL cannot be overstated. The blitzes aren’t reaching their target and, I don’t care how good your DBs are, they simply can’t cover that long before the WR gets open.
    It’s complementary football. We simply are not getting enough pressure and the blitzes are becoming predictable.
    The inexperience is getting exposed because guys just aren’t in position. We’re getting shredded in zone coverage.

  4. Christos Says:

    Second half of last year defence started to show an improvement. The DBs was actually covering and breaking up passes, even when they were beat they were close to the WRs. This year started that way too. The last few games however you can see a difference. The DBs not only get beat but most of the times WRs are all alone. When you are not breaking up passes and not contestiing the catches it is a bad sign. Hope they can fix something in the bye week and work some stuff out. We shall see. Go Bucs

  5. richbucsfan Says:

    To be coached on what to do and how to do it, and then, the DBs not doing it, is either lack of content in teaching by the coaches or simply inability on the DB’s part. Either they can’t grasp the coaching or they lack mental acuity to integrate the coaching into their responsibilities on the field. Hard to say.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucsfanman … Excellent post. Spot on.

    It’s all about pressure, and we’re not getting enough right now. The last 7 QBs we’ve faced since Vea went down (Rodgers, Carr, Jones, Brees, Bridgewater, Goff and Mahomes) are ALL excellent QBs; give any one of them time & they’ll pick you apart with the short OR long stuff. We’ve held their run offense in check (in all but 1 game … the Saints), but they picked us apart with short stuff.

    Personally I’m not surprised given who those QBs are AND that our interior pass rush albeit disappeared after Vea broke his leg. Todd Bowles looks like he’s been trying about everything to compensate … just like Smitty did. But IMO there is no decent substitute for having an effective DLine pass rush far as I’m concerned.

    And despite the screams that ‘the sky is falling’ when it comes to the defense, we did win 4 of those 7 games, and we were really out of only 1 of those games (yup, the Saints 38-3 bloodbath). The 3 losses we’ve experienced to teams not called ‘The Saints’ have been by a TOTAL of 7 points. And included in those 3 games were SIX Ryan Succop FGs (he made all his attempted FGs). Had we scored TDs on just 3 of those (the right ones of course), and we’d be 9-2 right now … in 1st place in the NFC South.

    Todd Bowles appears to be doing what Monte Kiffin used to do quite regularly: trade short passing yardage waiting for our opponent to make a mistake, and to tighten up once near the Red Zone. This year’s team has been exceptional at interceptions (14 … ranked #3 in the NFL … vs 12 all of last year) but it hasn’t gotten the Fumble Recoveries like it did last year (6 … last year we had 16, with several returned for TDs). Lack of an effective pass rush hurts in more ways than one.

  7. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Safeties have appeared out of position all too often of late. SMB and Dean do not seem to be progressing enough. Not sure if they don’t their job or if the communication is the main culprit.
    The lack of offense in the early part of games further exposes our defensive shortcomings. Four three and outs to start the game is inexcusable. Offensive coaches and players desperately need this bye week to get on the same page
    We better figure out how to get our WR’s open earlier. Some plays show promise.
    The pass to Evans for a TD where he hesitated and then streaked to the endzone was nice. We need to get back to our receivers are good at. For instance, I can’t remember the last time I saw a good toe tapping sideline catch from Evans. Seems like there are good plays left out of the Leftowich playbook.

  8. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    Anyone else cringe when it’s 3rd down and the corners are playing off coverage showing zone behind the first down marker? and not even 3rd and short some times, freaking A man!!! against Mahomes and the Chiefs!!!!

    Gave me a horrible feeling and flashbacks to years prior, until we tightened a bit in the second half. That was the worst defensive game plan in the first half for a team that dangerous not named the Saints i have seen, it has been progressing worse not better.

    We need Coaching accountability, not the excuses.

  9. Noles Says:

    Bucs fan man

    Hit it on the head no Vea…. is killing us

  10. Chris L Says:

    Joe are you an anti masker? Seems like it

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The loss of Vita Vea is the difference….

  12. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The offense and defense are terrible in 1st quarter. Why is that?
    Are they too predictable? Are they doing a poor job of scouting the opponent?
    Are they not mentally fired up to start games?

    Injuries , especially on OLine and DLine have hurt , but there seems to be something else. We’ll see if they want to be a playoff team these last 4 games.

  13. El Buco Realisto Says:

    The sheep are confusing “showing improvement” with playing lesser talent and lesser teams!!!!!!!!! Look at the other teams QB’s and you will see a handful of second and third stingers that the secondary wrongly were labeled, as “turning the corner”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Jason Says:

    So where did we rank in pass rush each of those years?

  15. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Bucsfanman, while I agree the loss of VV hurts, as I said in the last post, every team has lost good players. The Bucs have been extremely fortunate (again) with injuries. How does Belicheat continue to be competitive with a new QB, and several Pro Bowl defenders out this year?

    I put it on Bowles. He runs his scheme no matter what. By the time Bowles makes an adjustment, the other team is up by 20. How does Jeff Goof have a career day against an alleged SB contender? How does ANY WR, no matter how talented, have 200 yards in ONE quarter?

    Our coaching is NOT getting the job done. The talent is there, clearly.

  16. Hodad Says:

    I know what’s wrong with the Buc secondary. Lack of talent. Licht spent a lot of draft capital on the secondary, but wasn’t able to draft one star. Bunting, Davis Dean, Winfield, name the pick, not one pro bowler in the bunch. Would’ve been better off drafting D, and O linemen.

  17. Jason Says:

    So I tried look up pass rush rankings at football outsiders, but it costs money. C’mon Joe, put in that work. Lol.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    With the V-Man being out, there is no push or pressure up the middle of our DEFENCE…that being said we must find a way to get at least 4 more wins!

  19. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m too lazy to do the research but I would like to see a companion stat on our QB pressure…sacks…pressures etc.

    I agree with all who point out the loss of VV and the lack of sustained pass rush is telling.

    However I’m not expert enough to debate the efficacies of a zone pass D versus Man to man versus a hybrid.

    But I can see some very talented players lost in space…not whipped individually by a more talented player…that happens to every team and player…but lost in space like…where do I go…who do I cover. That makes Bowles look bad!

    I don’t care if a zone IS the right D we should be playing given our talent and situation…I do care that WE SUCK AT PLAYING ZONE!

    Either get better or start playing more man and hybrid….we obviously have done both does anyone have any GENUINE stats that show which D we get burnt in most…man or zone or hybrid?

  20. Bucamania Says:

    Just keep playing soft zone coverage and rushing four. Wait, no, drop Suh into coverage as well. That’ll work, Todd. smdh

  21. gp Says:

    EA Says:
    December 2nd, 2020 at 5:48 am

    Once they get burned by a long completion early in game they start to panic and play the infamous Mike Smith defense 10 yards off the receiver, that way any highschool quarterback with a decent arm can hit all the underneath passes for a near perfect completion rate.

    I think you may have just, inadvertently, hit on what our offense has been trying to do.
    It all makes sense now!
    Hit on a long one early in the game and then the defense softens to prevent the long one, opening up what Tom does best.
    Only problem is that our opponents have been using that against us with better results!

  22. DBS Says:

    So far what they have is a bunch of excuses and blame everyone else. Oh if we had put more points on the friggin board??? How about we allow less with these clowns that can’t tackle or cover and get toasted.

  23. gp Says:

    Chris L Says:
    December 2nd, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Joe are you an anti masker? Seems like it

    I don’t mean to answer for Joe but I think he has made it clear

    He’s not “anti-mask”. He’s anti imposition.

  24. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Loud mouth jake arians on twitter said how the bucs are not the worst secondary in the nfl, i guess he is kind of right

  25. unbelievable Says:

    It’s pretty simple:
    – No Vea
    – JPP and Suh are getting older
    – Blitzes aren’t getting home