Underrated Defense?

January 28th, 2021

Bucs DC Todd Bowles.

If the Bucs have a weak link, Joe thinks it would be fair to say most fans would point to the defense.

The secondary has been shaky much of the year, except for the last two games.

And for the five games prior to Sunday, the Big Three pass rushers on the defensive line, NFL sack king Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh had a grand total of one sack.

Thankfully, that drought ended when Shaq and JPP pummeled Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship.

Are Bucs fans worried about the offense a week from Sunday facing Kansas City in Super Bowl LV? No.

Defense? Well, Bucs fans are nervous. It’s warrented.

After all, when an XFL backup tore up the Bucs to open the playoffs at Washington, who thought the defense was a strength much less average?

Mike Sando of The Athletic is here to inform Bucs fans they shouldn’t stress about the defense. Sando ran the numbers and he states the Bucs defense has played so many good offenses, the defense may have looked better than it really was given the opponent’s strong offenses.

Tampa Bay’s defense has played eight games against offenses ranked in the top 10. Only Atlanta and Chicago played more, with nine apiece. The Bucs allowed 23.6 points per game against those opponents, the fourth-best average in the league. Their defense fared especially well against Green Bay (Week 6) and New Orleans (divisional round) while struggling the most from an EPA standpoint against Kansas City (Week 12), Minnesota (Week 14) and New Orleans (Week 9). Almost all the damage Kansas City inflicted was limited to the first quarter, when Tyreek Hill caught seven passes for 203 yards and the Chiefs built a 17-0 lead (they won 27-24).

And while the Chiefs didn’t tear apart the Bucs defense in the final three quarters, Vita Vea and Jamel Dean were both out that game.

Given that and Kansas City likely down both of its starting offensive tackles, Joe is chewing fingernails off about this final game.

18 Responses to “Underrated Defense?”

  1. BobbyH Says:

    Bucs were terrible in the secondary for most of the season. KC may figure it out

  2. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Every team’s fanbase chews their fingernails off when they face Patrick Mahomes. He is the best the Bucs have faced and will face this year.

  3. Walter Says:

    Let’s see how good he is when we beat on him a little

  4. gp Says:

    I think it’s more about match-ups and game planning. Hopefully we use the two week break to break down lotsa film and plan the best way to shut KC down.
    Very doable, in my opinion. I think KC will have a much harder task to plan against our offense.
    Could be a barn burner!

  5. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Have to admit, Mahomes Boy scares the heck out of me. But… Bowles has done an outstanding job of getting pressure on the QB and disguising coverages. And… I think the Bucs offense can keep up with Mahomes.

    Said it the past 3 weeks…


  6. Blogtalkfootball.com Says:


  7. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete Says:

    @ Joes & all Bucs fans,

    Check out this Bucs Fight Song I wrote this morning…

    Click hotlink to go to my YouTube video of it (hopefully that’s fine, Joes)

  8. I CARE NOW Says:

    It would appear that both our O and D held back a bit during the season in regards to creativity. The Foreskins game (can I still say that?) was a bit of mixed bag in regards to how the D played. Yes they gave up some big plays but the guy making the plays got an unexpected opportunity and he went for it. Good for him.

    The creativity on both our O and D has progressively gotten better and better. Don’t be surprised when the D comes out and confuses the Kid-Goat and forces some bad plays in the first hald.

    And don’t be surprised when the GOAT aks The Unicorn makes it look like a walk in the park.

    Mark this down. Bucs in a shocker. 45-28 never a doubt.

  9. Jim Says:

    Just compare spending, Offense vs. Defense; all you need to know.

  10. Karma Says:

    Spags scares me a little more…he knows how to get in Brady’s head. They can pressure using front four and maybe an extra LB. They play man D very well.

    If Brady and the boys can get great at overcoming Man D, we may have a nice shot at hoisting the Lombardi trophy!

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    I totally agree with Mike Sando: this Bucs’ defense is a lot better than many folks give them credit for. And with Vita Vea back, we’ll be even better.

    In the regular season’s first 5 games, our defense gave up an average of only 19.6 PPG IF you exclude the 2 Pick-6s (Saints & Chargers games) that our defense wasn’t even on the field for. That was with Vea in there. And once he went down, we still did great against the Packers (10 pts), Raiders (20 pts) & Giants (23 pts) … right up until the Saints game (we got taken to the woodshed for 38 pts).

    So for our first 8 games, this defense really only allowed 151 pts … 18.9 PPG average if you disregard the Pick-6’s. And after the Saints game, our D only allowed 145 pts in those 7 games IF you disregard the punt return TD in the Lions game when our defense wasn’t on the field … 20.7 PPG. That’s pretty solid and consistent defense throughout the season IMO. Well, except for ONE really bad game.

    And even in the playoffs, against some very good teams, our defense has only allowed 23 PPG average. I agree, it hasn’t always been pretty, but last time I looked the team that allows the LEAST POINTS to be scored on them wins the game. We got this.

  12. Bird Says:

    Off topic but watching nfl network

    Kay adams has bucs pirate ship shirt on today. Love it.
    Brandt had old school creamsicle jacket last week
    And of course Peter schraeger always talks bucs
    Im sure they wear other teams gear for show but always talking about bucs. Even before brady.

    I think that cast are closet buc fans who get together and root for our buccaneers! Pretty cool.

  13. Joe Says:

    Kay adams has bucs pirate ship shirt on today.

    Saw it. Amazing how she retains her Aruba tan living in Manhattan.

    She (and Brandt) almost always wear some team’s gear. Have seen her wear Packers gear and she’s a Bears girl. It likely repulses her until she sees that direct deposit from NFL Media in her bank account.

  14. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Bucs will fair better with a healthy Jamel Dean at CB covering Tyreek Hill. Davis will shutdown the opposite side. SBM is finally coming along and should lock down third WR.

    With both of KC’s Offensive Tackles out and a healthy Vita Vea, the Bucs should be able to limit the blitz and rush their top four rushers. This will allow our safeties to cover the soft zone that TE Kelce enjoyed with the Bills. Take both Kelce and Hill out, the Bucs should be able to stop Mchomes. Should be fun to watch.

  15. orlbucfan Says:

    I thought the Special Team was the weakest part. Excluding Succop and Pinion. They played very well against the Pack. VV also played and he was an enormous factor on D. What a clinic he put on collapsing the pocket. He will be on the field and the Bucs are on a mission. Let the best team win, and I hope it’s Tampa Bay!

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    defense has played great…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  17. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Tampa’s defense seems to struggle with mobile QB’s. They try to hurry the Qb with blitzes but end up creating running lanes for the Qb to exploit by running for 7yds. When they Blitz it leaves no one to tackle the Qb down field for 5+ yards. So they get gashed on 3rd down with the Qb’s legs. Which keeps the drive going. And makes me cringe in goal line situations. Mahomes is one of those Qb’s you have a linebacker just sit and wait for him to cross the line of scrimmage on 3rd down or when the defense is blitzing.

  18. DBS Says:

    I would love to see them pick off one of those forward toss balls he does when he gets in trouble. Sure hope they are watching for that.