A Special Defensive Performance

July 2nd, 2021


A bit earlier this morning, Joe wrote about how the Bucs decided that Week 2 against the Dixie Chicks at home will be Monte Kiffin Day.

The legendary former Bucs defensive coordinator built one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. It was awesome.

Led by three Hall of Famers and perhaps with a little luck, two more in the future, that Bucs defense suffocated 2002 NFL MVP Rich Gannon to win Super Bowl XXXVII.

That Bucs defense forced Gannon to throw five interceptions and three became pick-sixes.

Very impressive. But not as impressive as what the Bucs defense did this past February.

Information distributed by the Bucs media relations department earlier this spring shows the performance against Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs was historic. Only five times in Super Bowl history has a defense kept an opposing offense out of the end zone.

As we all know, Mahomes and the Chiefs could only muster three field goals.

Only twice had that happened since the Steelers did this to Fran Tarkenton and the Vikings in 1974. That was the Belicheats stopping Jared Goff and the Rams in 2018, and of course, the Bucs this past winter.

So which do you find more impressive, that the Belicheats held Goff and the Rams without a touchdown or that the Bucs choked out Mahomes and the Chiefs?

C’mon, man. Does Joe really need to answer that?

12 Responses to “A Special Defensive Performance”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    I enjoy watching this defense more. It’s way more versatile. Dungy’s cover 2 defense was boring but executed to perfection

  2. Bird Says:


    Mahommes throws tds in his sleep. Now there were some drops by chiefs but who cares. What an impressive feet it was. Giving up only 3 fgs.

    The dude threw for 50 tds the year before.

    What a performance by the defense

  3. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    THAT was a very interesting point Joe. Prior to reading that, I would have unquestioning put the ’02 Bucs D ahead of the ’20 Bucs D without any thought.

  4. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Let’s be honest, the 02 Bucs were facing a Raiders team that they knew inside and out. The greatest performance from that defense was in a losing effort to”The greatest show on Turf”.
    The 2020 Bucs benefited from the regular season loss to KC. If not for that game they may have struggled to adjust to the speed of the KC offense and that SB would have been more like the shootout in the regular season matchup.
    I know the article is more about the actual SB performances, but for the current defense to really stack up against the 99-02 defense they’ll have to continue what they started last season and do it consistently for the next couple years.

  5. PSL Bob Says:

    The game has changed over the past two decades, so it’s hard to compare. The 2002 Bucs had a much better pass defense, but the offenses back then were much more balanced in their run/pass game than they are now. The 2020 defense was great at stopping the run, but most teams don’t run as much they once did. Maybe we shouldn’t care so much as to which defense was better and just relish in the fact that we’ve been privileged to have two truly great defenses to root for in our lifetime as Bucs fans.

  6. August 1976 Buc Says:

    For a Super Bowl game to Super Bowl Game comparison, The historic 2020 SEAL CLUBBING – CHOKE SLAM – BEATDOWN By the Bucs D takes my vote.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  7. Buc-em-up84 Says:

    What I like most about the 2020 defense is that they were so dominate in the run game that teams like KC abandon that aspect of the game plan early. With the 2002 defense it was the total opposite. Their only weakness was being able to be ran on and we know that back then you know the only teams that beat us was the teams that ran the ball well

  8. Lou. Says:

    @Joe —

    What about the’Fins against Washington? George Allen’s crew scored on special teams, and a field goal is considered a play by the kicking team’s offense (so the TD was a defensive score).

  9. Joe Says:

    What about the’Fins against Washington? George Allen’s crew scored on special teams, and a field goal is considered a play by the kicking team’s offense (so the TD was a defensive score).

    You answered your own question. It was a special teams score.

  10. Joe Says:


    See what you are asking. Got that info from the Bucs media relations which has a staff doing stats. Not sure if there was/is some technicality with the Dolphins or not or why or why didn’t that touchdown count (the Garo Yepremian debacle).

    You can probably tell that graphic is just a screengrab from the year-in-review packet the Bucs sent out to media.

    That was a good catch you had there. Thank you. 🙂

  11. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    From the graphic: “Includes offensive and special teams touchdowns allowed.”

  12. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Never mind. I’m a little slow right now. 🙃