Pass Rush = Wins

July 29th, 2021

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett.

Joe is certain some folks who regularly read this site groan whenever Joe writes about sacks.

After all, it is Joe who coined the phrase, “Erection for sacks.” Why is that? It is a core, unshakeable belief of Joe’s that sacks lead to wins; that sacks and quarterback pressure cover up a lot of cracks.

And Joe believes the Bucs are Exhibit-A.

But let’s set the table here. Thomas Bassinger, typing for Football Outsiders Almanac 2021, had this interesting stat on quarterback pressure.

The Bucs were one of four teams with a league-high 31% pressure rate when bringing just the standard four pass-rushers.

So let’s think back to the depths of the Lost Decade, if you can mentally brace yourself for such a plunge. The Bucs shamelessly couldn’t breathe on quarterbacks. It was disgusting, revolting, outrageous.

And the losses piled up week after week.

But then — voila! — the Bucs found and built a pass rush. All of a sudden, the Bucs are Super Bowl champions!

Coincidence? Hell no!

22 Responses to “Pass Rush = Wins”

  1. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Key to our pass rush is keeping Vita Vea healthy. While he did not stack up on sacks, he allowed others to get to the QB. No offensive guard or center can handle Vea one-on-one.

  2. ocala Says:

    I agree AlabamaBucsFan about Vita Vea. It is also encouraging to hear such positive reports so early in training camp regarding Joe Tryon.
    Watch out NFL if the Bucs have hit another home run with their first round pick.

  3. zzbuc Says:

    Pass rush is as important as turn over ratios Joe.
    I can also add…
    no Winston + Push rush= Super Bowl!!!!!

  4. mark2001 Says:

    No groaning Joe… the only thing stopping these talented QB’s from making almost every pass successfully, especially with the contact rules we now have in the league, is a very good pass rush… of course in conjunction with good DB play. That is why I never criticize us drafting or signing a talented pass rusher to add to the mix.

  5. Casual Observer Says:

    Their have been a couple of good reports about DT Davis in camp. May be able to add him to the DT rotation. He is quick.

  6. Robert Says:

    when they’re not on the field because someone threw int’s all game they just might be a little more fresh and a little more eager. that’s the difference.

  7. Ben green Says:

    Don’t get wet over sack number, they can be misleading. Pressure is the real name of the game. The pass rush is so good because you have incredible linebackers. Vea is a freak and a tremendous block eater. But I wouldn’t call him the key to the pass rush. Barrett’s ability to win one on one is huge. Double him and white is one on one. It’s a true pick your poison. If I were creating an offense to beat those guys it would include a lot of 11 and 12 pers. I’d pick on the corners early and often. They can be had in a shootout. Teams will need to wear out the bucs defense to win.

  8. Ben green Says:

    I ment jpp instead of white

  9. Rayjay1122 Says:

    It seems like now we have a group of men who actually take some pride in the name on the back of their jerseys. TB12 would not stand for anything less than max effort. Unlike past serial loafers cough cough Ghost Johnson…..

  10. David Says:

    No one should be groaning. Just look at what they did to Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. Just look at how the ravens won a Super Bowl and how the Giants front 4 won a Super Bowl.
    I don’t care what kind of DBs or linebackers you have, the defense revolves around the front 4 dominating the trenches.
    Just like offense, ask Patrick Mahomes.
    You can have a great quarterback and awesome weapons but if you don’t have a good line front of them it’s irrelevant.

    There is a reason teams like the Steelers, Cowboys and Packers consistently drafted the big dudes in the trenches year after year after year

  11. Mike C Says:

    Only time I grone over a story is when it is about the guy ME13 made in college.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    So let me see if I understand your analysis Joe …

    1 – In the ‘Lost Decade’ the Bucs had no pass rush, thus the “losses piled up week after week”.
    2 – Then “voila! — the Bucs found and built a pass rush” and became Super Bowl champions.
    3 – Conclusion: NOT a coincidence, thus PASS RUSH EQUALS CHAMPIONSHIPS.

    Wow! That’s not a leap of faith; that’s just jumping off a tall building while expecting the cheering crowd at the bottom to catch you. Which I’m thinking BTW, they would do IF they were all JBFers.

    Bucs had essentially the SAME pass rushers in 2019 as they had in 2020. They even had the same coaching staff. What’s more, the pass rush results were almost identical:

    2019: 47 sacks; 117 QB Hits; 87 TFLs.
    2020: 48 sacks; 116 QB Hits; 91 TFLs.

    And yet, in 2019 Bucs went 7-9 while in 2020 we went 11-5 and won the SB. So what REALLY changed?

    1 – Our QB certainly changed. Let’s see, Winston vs Brady. Hmmm, wonder which one is better.
    2 – Turnover differential changed … BIG TIME. In 2019 the Bucs had 41 giveaways and got 28 takeaways, for a Turnover Differential of MINUS 13. In 2020 the Bucs had 17 giveaways and got 25 takeaways, for a Turnover Differential of PLUS 8. That’s a HUUUGE difference. Yes we can thank Tom Brady primarily IMO, but in reality it was a TEAM EFFORT.
    3 – Our talent on both offense & defense improved considerably. The addition of Gronk, Brown, Wirfs, Fournette, Winfield all certainly helped, but the improved play that we all saw from guys like RoJo, Cappa, White and RNR (among others) all factored in IMO.
    4 – Our coaching staff learned a LOT from 2019, their first year with these players. In particular I think they learned how to use each player better in various schemes, and that showed up in 2020.

    But ya, no doubt, pass rush equals championships. Talent & coaching MIGHT help too.

  13. SB~LV Says:

    Lol .. Joe … Erection for Sacks has NO ring to it . Lol

  14. dls5492 Says:

    Sacks can cover a multitude of sins.

  15. Wild Bill Says:

    Like others said sacks are great but so are qb pressures, qb hits , and line men and JPP blocking passes. Then add line backers and dbs tight coverage forcing qbs to hold the ball too long. And qb pressure fom the three down line men. A really strong pass defense is the sum of many parts.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    A fierce pass rush is and always will be my favorite part of football. Sacks that caused a fumble were the most exhilarating feeling I had on a football field.

    Does Thomas Bassinger still cover the Bucs?

  17. SlyPirate Says:


    If you’re the opposing OL and QB, seeing that lineup on the scouting report just sucks.

    Teams can’t just focus on stopping one guy. Too many to block.

  18. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    I’ve seen teams lose after getting 5 or 6 sacks so they’re not as important as a pass rush that applies consistent pressure that interrupts timing plays, lowers the amount of time the secondary has to cover receivers and causes incompletions or turnovers, however they are exciting!

  19. CJBuc Says:

    After Thomas Bassinger I was hoping for a “(no relation)” lol

  20. CJBuc Says:

    There are a lot of great comments on this thread!

  21. Jerry R Jones Says:

    Defense Rules, pretty much set the record straight on that.

  22. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    SB~LV Says:
    July 29th, 2021 at 3:18 pm
    Lol .. Joe … Erection for Sacks has NO ring to it . Lol

    I wholeheartedly disagree!! Go Bucs!!!