Takeaways And Rushing

September 20th, 2021


Think Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles hasn’t made a difference?

His two predecessors were so miserable Joe has run out of words to describe them. The Smiths were truly a disgusting pair of defensive coaches who were so bad, it was a slap across the grille to thinking football fans.

Lousy Lovie Smith had a one-track mind: Takeaways. Everything else he didn’t give a damn about so long as dudes were trying to punch the ball out. Tackling, rushing the quarterback? Nah. Just go for the ball on every play, so what if ballcarriers drag people down the field 10 yards.

Well, Bowles believes in takeaways, too. Only his players get results. Since Bowles took over in 2019, only two teams have more takeaways than the Bucs. That’s the Steelers and the Belicheats.

How about stopping the run? No team has held opponents to fewer 100-yard rushing games than the Bucs since Bowles took over.

The Bucs have held opponents to under 100-yards rushing 27 times since the start of the 2019 season. The next closest team is the slimy Saints with 22 games allowing under 100 yards rushing.

Bowles not only has made a massive difference, he also highlights just how utterly brutal his two predecessors were, the Smiths.

23 Responses to “Takeaways And Rushing”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    The gameplan vs Rams needs to be one of his better ones b/c we couldn’t stop their WR’s last time

  2. AMI_Chris Says:

    Agree. The defense surely lead the way against the Saints, Packers & Chiefs in last year’s playoffs. Adding players like Suh, Barrett & White to the front seven have also made a difference. Now, if we just had some cover guys…

  3. Hodad Says:

    Stopping the run is great, but in todays NFL stopping the pass is much more important. Why run on a team that’s giving up over 70% completion rate? It’s a passing league, not a running league, look at our own team. We don’t even run the ball. I’m sick of hearing about our scary good our run defense is. We won’t be great on defense until we can keep teams from tearing us up through the air.

  4. AMI_Chris Says:

    Bowles will need to find a way to get the front 3 or 4 to get pressure on Stafford next week. I don’t fear the Rams’ running game but Cooper Cupp will go wild on our secondary if Stafford has time.

  5. zzbuc Says:

    I agree with what you all guys said, let me add this…..How many yards did Ryan and Prescott had against the bucs? How many sacks did we have in two games? How many tackles did we miss on two games? Of course winning is nice and we all enjoy it, but let me be even more clear, against good teams like LA, we will need to get better, if not we will be in deep trouble…….

  6. geno711 Says:

    The last two times we played the Ram’s we stopped the run (as this article suggested and totaled 5 interceptions. Of course we also allowed a ton of passing yards.

    Feels like the same game is coming again. Probable being a coin flip on who wins in the end.

    I agree with Hodad that it is a passing league. It is nice though to watch on 3rd and 1 yards that teams do not try to run on us even then.

    By the way this year in the NFL, there are 15 teams that have given up 69% or more pass completion percentages. Of those 15 teams, the Bucs and one other team have 4 Interceptions so far. So although it is our biggest need of improvement, it is not a disaster for us.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m finding it really hard to keep things in perspective nowadays. Bucs are 2-0 to start the season; that’s a very good thing. Our offense has scored 66 points in just 2 games, and our defense has added another 13 points (2 Pick-6).

    Our offense has been awesome in scoring 9 passing TDs & 1 FG, a record-setting pace. On the other side of the coin though, we’ve turned the ball over 5 times in just 2 games, barely averaged 26 mins TOP per game, and we’ve gone 10-for-25 in terms of 3rd & 4th down conversions. We’ve committed 20 penalties for almost 200 yards in just 2 games, many at critical times that’ve kept opponents’ drives alive.

    Our defense has had a number of excellent stops, but has still surrendered a total of 54 points in just 2 games, allowing 1 rushing TD, 6 passing TDs & 3 FGs in the 2 games. We allowed 9-for-17 in 3rd & 4th down conversions against Dallas, but improved to 7-for-19 in 3rd & 4th down conversions against Atlanta. But the pass completions, especially the short stuff, are killing us: 77-for-106 (72.6%) for over 700 passing yards. Our pass rush has only gotten 2 total sacks in 2 games, and a total of 8 QB Hits in 2 games (only 1 of those in the Dallas game). Just as concerning, tackling has been meh in both games.

    Again though, we’re 2-0 to start the season. I don’t personally expect us to run the table to 17-0, but would like to see continual improvement throughout the season. Game 3 against the Rams would be a nice place to show that improvement.

  8. The Daily Coroner Says:

    When the Bucs hired Lousy Lovie Smith it put me in therapy for several years! Out now. Trying to follow the Good Life in Tequila Tommy’s book. Tough to do. Maybe I should just stick with the Tequila and practicing throwing my Pop Warner Championship trophy to my grandson while we are floating on different rafts!

  9. Buddha Says:

    We lost our top slot cover player and teams have studied us. Dallas and Atlanta dinked and dunked us. Bowles changed the base defense in the fourth quarter to three safeties and took away the underneath lanes. Matty never had time to throw down field. NFL football is a chest match. Every team is going to give us their best shot. We won this game by 23 points. Good to point out problems. It isn’t as if we ran over Green Bay, New Orleans, and Washington in the playoffs. All three games were nailbiters. Get over the 17-0 pipedream. Quit setting unrealistic expectations. Every team has weaknesses. This isn’t the 1970s and 1980s. We were fortunate to have only one significant injury last year.

  10. FrankPillow Says:

    Todd is able to adjust- albeit slowly at times-but he DOES make in-game changes. The Smith brothers, well, their records here speak for themselves. We’ve come a long way from the Falcons hanging 50+ on us.

  11. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    What’s the story with Winfield. In 2 weeks, I have yet to hear his name called. Are offenses staying away from him or is there something else going on?

  12. Coburn Says:

    Really hope our pass rush picks up. Right now it’s feeling like JPP is looking long in the tooth (possibly Suh as well but he has made some plays). Could just be we need to rotate him more, but started keying on JPP and was stood up straight a lot

  13. PassingThru Says:

    Needless to say, pass rush is imperative against the Rams… but the guy that needs to be erased in Cooper Kupp. He’s a crafty slot receiver with excellent cutting ability and short-area burst. If he has his way Stafford won’t need much time to deliver from the pocket.

  14. Infomeplease Says:

    Speaking of takeaways, I see the BUCS X QB, threw a couple of picks yesterday!! It’s good to see JW returning to his usual form!! GO BUCS!!

  15. orlbucfan Says:

    JPP and Suh are both way long in the tooth! Don’t think Licht and Bowles don’t know it. JPP now has SB rings from 2 different teams. I’m surprised he’s not retired.

  16. Jerry Says:

    You guys need to understand that teams are going to pass on us due to necessity. No one can run on us. We are completely shutting the run down against everyone. And yes, our offense is very scary to everyone. There is pressure to pass in order to keep up with the score. So opponents have no other choice but to pass 50-60 times a game. They must in order to keep up. And any good QB will complete 30+ of those in a league where the rules favor passing attacks.

    There is a lot of room for improvement. But no other defense is going to face such high number of pass attempts as ours will face this year. Yes, Stafford will throw 50 times next week. Why? Because they know they can’t win by running the ball. Everyone knows they can’t beat us that way. It’s up to the defense to force the throws and get picks. And yes our offense has to keep the foot on the gas pedal. Don’t get complacent in the 3rd quarter and let panicked teams catch up.

  17. 813bucboi Says:


    2 of Brady’s INTs were BS….

    TOP and the 3rd & 4th down stats are misleading because we score fast…a number of our scores have come on 1st and 2nd down….

    We’ll continue to improve


  18. 813bucboi Says:

    I want Edwards starting the rest of the year…..less rojo and Cockrell….


  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Teams can’t run on Bucs, so the D will continue to give up alot of yards in passing. The key for D is hold opponent to fg’s as much as possible (red zone D and no big plays for td’s) and get turnovers, because Brady and company will continue to score points.
    Again, minimize turnovers on offense and cut down on penalties.
    Expect alot of pressure on Brady vs Rams – OLine’s biggest test so far.

  20. JimBuc2 Says:

    Arians says he’s toyed with letting VV tote the rock. That happened twice against the Dirty Birds. I was literally on the edge of my seat, waiting to see him truck someone. I get the distraction aspect, and that worked ok, but please let Vita actually make the carry. I want to see him blast whoever attempts to stop the inevitable. Oh yeah, he can catch, too.
    LFG Bucs!

  21. Wild Bill Says:

    @ Defense rules. Hella good post. Sums up the good and bad for both weeks. Bucs can score but the defense does not match last year’s. Especially second half of that season and playoffs. Not worried about our offense as long as Brady stays healthy ( I didn’t like how many hits Atlanta put on him). But with the exception of our two linebackers, the defense is not playing like they did last year.

  22. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Need to understand teams are playing Bucs differently. As long as defense can keep teams under 27 consistently Bucs should be OK. Even the Rams are going to have problems keeping Bucs under 30 pts. Stafford, Dak, Ryan toss up all the same tier QB. Protect Brady is.the key. Oh, Gronk cannot play to this level all season or Bucs won’t have him for playoffs. I think next week you will see a lot more of Brown, Brate, OJ & especially Gio. Jensen’s penalty was also bs, he was trying to get Lenny a few more yards by aiding him.

  23. Swampbuc Says:

    The Smith Brothers were so Godawful it should be in the Hall of Fame for Most Inept Consecutive Defensive Shambles