Lockdown Defense

July 24th, 2021

Bucs DC Todd Bowles.

The sign of a good defense is it dominates when you need it the most.

The stats Joe reads on the Bucs defense reminds Joe of the stories Joe’s old man used to tell about Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, the man that igit former Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jackwagon tried to imitate once in the final NFL game played in St. Louis and may have cost the Bucs a win.

(The Bucs were furiously trying to make a fourth-quarter comeback late in a woeful 31-23 loss to the rotten Rams with the teams wearing garish ketchup-and-mustard uniforms. Seferian-Jackwagon caught a pass from Jameis Winston and was tackled at the goal line. Rather than hurry back to the huddle, Seferian-Jackwagon fired a Gibson-like fastball against the dome wall only 11 blocks from where Gibson once pitched. Seferian-Jackwagon was flagged for delay of game and the Bucs had to settle for a 24-yard field goal.)

Gibson’s peak was before Joe’s memory banks fully clicked. But Joe’s old man used to say of Gibson, “If you didn’t get him early, you didn’t get him.” You could say the same for Bowles’ Bucs defense last year.

In writing of the Bucs in the Football Outsiders 2021 Almanac, Thomas Bassinger notes that if you didn’t score on the Bucs early, your chances of scoring rapidly evaporated.

🏈 The Buccaneers [defense] ranked 26th … in the first quarter of games, then improved to 16th in the second quarter, sixth in the third quarter, and first in the fourth quarter or overtime.

And to Joe, this is a sign of a damn good defense. A dominating defense locks the front gate late in games. That’s when you need your defense to step up the most.

With the Bucs having so many superstars on offense, it seems as though the defense may get overlooked. And Joe is OK with that. Especially when it gets the desired results.

10 Responses to “Lockdown Defense”

  1. Ftmyersbuc Says:

    Wow. These these stats speak volumes. This means that Todd bowles defense is reactionary and fluid. It means he adjusts very very well to what the opposing offensive coordinator is doing. Which explains why we were able to finally handle the saints in the playoffs. I’m always for a coach who isn’t stubborn and can adjust. Please glazers whatever you do don’t let mr. Bowles get away from this organization. He’s a a good one no doubt.

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    Finishing the game strong is good – and it’s helped by the offense running clock and not putting the defense in a bad position.

    It will be interesting to see how this defense does this year — if they fall back to being the good/mediocre regular season defense, or level up. I’m not counting on the leveling up, but I also don’t care, the team should win in the regular season on offense. So long as the defense can step it up in the playoffs, I’ll take that trade any day of the week.

  3. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Doesn’t this stat also reflect superior coaching?

    Bowles and staff apparently were able to adjust pretty quickly from their 1st quarter woes and by the 4th they had the other offense figured out and shut down.

    The incredibly exciting part of this story is how much room is still left for improvement! We can be 5-10% better on both offense and defense.

    The O added some significant pieces in Bernard and the return for a full year of AB and with any health luck OJ.

    The defense OTOH should primarily improve from natural growth and experience of some young guys. I’m also looking to see if the new kid in town helps keep our pass rush buzzing.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    @Bassinger … “🏈 The Buccaneers [defense] ranked 26th … in the first quarter of games, then improved to 16th in the second quarter, sixth in the third quarter, and first in the fourth quarter or overtime.”

    THAT is one of the most telling stats I’ve seen in a looong time. Just think what that says about in-game adjustments, or about personnel management as the game goes on. CONSISTENT IMPROVEMENT throughout the game. Impressive.

  5. Steve Burke Says:

    Bob Gibson, man oh man, played for the Harlem Globetrotters before giving pro baseball a shot……

  6. James Allen Lofton Says:

    You do not want to lose a Todd Bowles to another team…he needs to be locked downed somehow to take over AB’s place when he retires. Great Defensive coaches win championships.

  7. Beeej Says:

    That defense performance closely shadows the offense performance

  8. Mort Says:

    26th due ENTIRELY to Tyreek Hill.

    Oh well, stats are for losers. Deuces, Cheetah!

  9. Long time Brady fan says Says:

    Best defense in the 4Q, a running game. Fortunately the Bucs have both, a 4Q running game and a shutdown play making defense that’s fun to watch.

  10. Mike Says:

    I think the game plan was too bad but the coach and players are good to adjust.