Shocking Defensive Numbers

October 1st, 2021

“I can help, Todd.”

This is not pretty.

The next not-yet-published “Ira Kaufman Podcast” gets pretty heated. And you can guess who is arguing what.

Ira wants the Bucs to run the ball more. Joe is outraged since the Bucs are leading the NFL in scoring because of the pass; there is no responsible reason to pull back on such a terrific weapon.

Well, Joe’s research shows if the Bucs don’t continue leading the league in scoring, this team might be in a dogfight for a playoff berth.

Joe unearthed shocking numbers that are downright ugly. In short, teams are scoring on the Bucs as if Mike Smith is back in his coaching booth calling the defense high above the field at the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway.

The Bucs are currently the fifth-worst team in allowing points. They haven’t been this bad since, yes, Smitty’s days with the Bucs.

That is a disturbing thought.

Here is the rundown of how the Bucs rank the past five seasons in points allowed per game:

2021: 29.3 27th*
2020: 21.6 7th
2019: 28.1 29th
2018: 29.0 31st
2017: 23.9 22nd
* — Through three games.

Every team giving up more points than the Bucs has a losing record.

The Bucs are currently tied with the Cardinals in leading the NFL in points scored with 103, or 34.3 points a game.

Until Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles can fix this defense, and Joe is confident he eventually will, the Bucs better not be running more to nowhere. Because the Bucs need points and the way the running game has been pretty much impotent, the Bucs aren’t going to score by plunging up the middle on first down.

Through three weeks the Bucs are reminding Joe of when the offense was led by Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston. He left the locker room before kickoff each week knowing if he didn’t hang 35 on the scoreboard, the Bucs would lose.

It’s almost like that now. Difference is, this Bucs’ offense can and has lit up the scoreboard.

41 Responses to “Shocking Defensive Numbers”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    They should SOMEHOW keep the Pats from putting 30+, so the Bucs SHOULD be ok this week. BUT…… we will see.

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!

  2. Bucsfanman Says:

    Joe- You shouldn’t do that to your readers! Smitty?!!! I immediately convulsed in horror!

    I think Ira’s point might be that running the ball may slow the other teams scoring so much. Either way, our scoring is not tenable being so one-sided passing, and clearly we can’t keep giving up so many points and expect to win.

    We need that defensive swagger back!

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    the Bucs aren’t going to score by plunging up the middle on first down.

    I agree, but that all-knowing genius webster, has assured us that the Bucs rarely run up the gut.
    According to his turgid analysis we only do that a scant 26% of the time.

  4. DBS Says:

    They knew this secondary was bad last year and. got away with covering it up. Their fault for not addressing it in the off-season and getting vets in here.

  5. JA Says:

    “Shocking Defensive Numbers”
    Those numbers may be shocking to people who watch other teams, but not to Bucs fans who watch with devoted regularity.
    Most of us are screaming at the TV with hope this defense can force a punt or two a game. When that fruition vanishes after a few easy first downs, we are redundantly uttering, “Ok guys, let’s hold em’ to three.”
    Personally, I try to keep count of the number of times the television announcers utter the phrase, WIDE OPEN!

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs got exactly what we wished for (and paid for): an offensive juggernaut that can score a LOT of points & do it very quickly. As the old saying goes however, ‘Be careful what you wish for’.

    We put our money into offense, with very good depth in almost all position groups. We leads the league in Points Scored (103), Passes Attempted (141), Passes Completed (97), Passing 1st Downs (60) & Passing TDs (10). In most categories no one’s even close.

    But it’s exactly the opposite when it comes to rushing. We’re at or very near the bottom when it comes to Runs Attempted (48), Rushing Yardage (169), Rushing 1st Downs (9) & Rushing TDs (2). Our run-pass ratio is only 25.6% through 3 games … last in the league (tied with the 1-2 Steelers).

    Quick strike offense sounds real nice, except it comes at a price: Time of Possession. Bucs currently rank #28 with a TOP of 27:17. Every team in the Top-10 in terms of TOP has a winning record (except the 1-2 Vikings). Every team in the Bottom-10 in terms of TOP has a losing record (except the 2-1 Rams & 2-1 Bengals).

    Coincidence? Unlikely. A low TOP obviously means that your defense is spending more time on the field than your offense, and that’s rarely a good thing. In our case, a LOT more time on the field (offense 27 mins vs defense 33 mins). Part of that is the defense’s own fault IMO (3rd & 4th down conversions allowed sucks and some admittedly uninspired play). Part of it relates to defensive injuries, and lack of defensive depth. And part of it relates to our offense committing 5 turnovers in the first 2 games, and in not controlling the game clock.

    We haven’t been very BALANCED in our attack IOW, and there’s a ripple effect associated with that IMO. Put another way, our COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL sucks.

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Need fast points in 1st Qtr. No 3 and outs.

  8. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    Soon as i saw the picture of Old Schmitty i threw something at the screen.

  9. Mike Says:

    @Defense rules, what are the differences in pick and salary compared to the league average?

    Only one first pick for the offense in 5 years?

  10. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Bad running game, offense,

    Defense can not get off the field on 3rd down.
    It can not be underestimated how giving up 1st downs affects time of possession.

    Before the Ram game, the Defense was 3rd worst in giving up 1st downs. It only got worse in the Ram Sh*t show by the D

    That is not because of a quick strike offense, that is because of bad Defense digging their own hole.

    Can not blame the Quick strike offense for the Defense giving up 1st downs at a rapid clip

    Actually the Defense has a lot something to say about how long they are on the field.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  11. Youngbucs Says:


  12. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    While the O-line is pass-blocking well, it greatly increases the chances of injury for our 44 year-old QB if he continues to drop back 50+ times per game. Eliminate the predictability in the run game (on 1st down, two TE set with WR motioning to the inside, off-guard run). A healthy run-game can still help with scoring by moving the ball, improved TOP & making play-action more viable!

    Or, we are forced into running more once Blaine Gabbert becomes the starter!?!? You can’t possibly defend this potentiality, can you Joe?

  13. suckin less Says:

    ya, everyone drink when the announcer says wide open and lets see who is sober after the game.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    According to the numbers shown, in 2019 (first Arians-Bowles season) through 3 games we were ranked even worse (29th), though with less 1.2 points allowed per game. So, not such a novelty… this happened before with this team and coaching staff

  15. #1bucsfan Says:

    Joe I agree with you both. Don’t stop passing because guess what it’s working but we have got to be better at running the ball. More efficient not we need more of it. Running the ball helps with time of possession. With our defense the way it is NEEDS TO STAY OFF THE FEILD. If we can create long drives and control time of possession that will help out our defense.

  16. Wild Bill Says:

    The defense has been porous since game one this year. No effective pass rush is killing us. Fat dumb and happy after last years success? Age related? Not enough preseason work? The falloff is hard to explain.

  17. ModHairKen Says:

    So, if they shut them out, then they are at 21.9, which is why stats are for losers.

  18. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Well said Mod!.

  19. alton d green Says:

    How soon we forget. remember a year ago? Our defense sucked for about 7-9 games. I hate to keep beating the same drum but when we played KC during the regular season, I still remember the first time KC had the ball. When I saw Tyreek lined up in single coverage, I screamed at the TV “TIME OUT TIMEOUT. But NOOOOOOOO Todd waits until the fastest player non the planet gets 200 yds IN THE FIRST FREAKN QTR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see something wrong with that. How many yards will QBs get before Todd starts doing something different? No he stands on the sideline like he has a toothache just like he did with the “mighty” Jets. COME OM MAN Close the damn border hahahhah

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    @August 1976 Buc … “That is not because of a quick strike offense, that is because of bad Defense digging their own hole.”

    No question in my mind that the Bucs’ defense is consistently hurting itself, and especially with the 3rd & 4th down conversions. That’s where our pass defense is really falling down IMO (our deep coverage has been fairly decent, but our short pass coverage … especially in the middle of the field … sucks.

    But at the same time, everything ultimately ties together (that’s the whole basis of COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL in my opinion). Example: Getting up early on your opponent (say 14-0 early in the 2nd qtr like we did to Atlanta) impacts their play-calling. It should’ve allowed us to turn our Pass rush loose big-time knowing that the Falcons HAD to pass to crawl back into it. But our pass rush never did anything, and we got eaten alive with the short passes after that.

    Yet despite giving up 25 pts (3 TD & 1 FG) our defense did some good things. For starters, 3 TOs (including 2 Pick 6). For another, held Atlanta to 55 yds on 20 rushes. Also held them to 7-for-19 on 3rd & 4th down conversions. And yet the TOP was ATL 33:31 to Bucs 26:29. No SMB didn’t help, but danged we’ve got to do better stopping the short stuff. And our offense has to help add probably a couple minutes to the TOP via ball-control. Whether that’s through better run-pass BALANCE or more short-pass completions (play-action, whatever) I don’t really care. Just keep the clock moving and keep our defense on the bench.

  21. James Says:

    Joe really doesn’t get it. The defense and offense are tied together. The 2007 Pats found out when you score too quickly you put your defense right back on the field. By the end of the game the offense has barely played and the defense is living out there and exhausted. If the other team can make a couple of stops, which happen quick when all you do is pass, the defense is too tired to stop them.

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s Raymond James Stadium…..home of the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Sunday is time for our defense to make Mac Jones look like a rookie.

  23. Destinjohnny Says:

    It’s early but our boys are playing soft
    Been living the good life

  24. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    We have only played 3 games, and 2 were against top offenses:
    LA Rams: 31.7 ppg (2nd)
    Dallas: 30 ppg (6th)

    The Rams scored slightly more than their average against us, but we were down several key starters. Cowboys actually scored less than their average against us.

    Our offense is our best defense. And we were missing Tom’s favorite target against the Rams (AB). I don’t think it’s time to worry. Rams were at full strength and we weren’t. Let’s see how we bounce back this week. GO BUCS

  25. David Says:

    This is what they did last year and it got better and better as the year went on. It’s what every winning team every year ever in the history of the NFL hast to do-


    -stop the run, get pressure
    -Protect Brady, run the ball

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    If this pathetic D stays on this pace, all a team has to do is slightly slow down the O and the Bucs lose.

  27. Hodad Says:

    Glazers should’ve given Bowles, and company some bonus money for winning the S.B.. Instead they made Bowles the highest paid D.C. in the NFL. They rewarded players new contracts, coaches more money, everyone seems to be fat, and happy. Where will Tom want to play next?

  28. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Shanking a punt and giving up 75 yard bomb accounted for 14 of Rams points.
    Just play a 60 minute game without screwing up for a chance.

  29. webster Says:

    no doosh the idiot. I simply provided you the truth/facts and not fake analysis. I know people cut from your cloth do not do well with facts so they say stupid stuff like stop the steal, and 1/6 were patriots.

    The bucs have had 100 1st down plays and have only run the ball 26 times on first downs. And no, not all runs are up the middle. So if you and joe and whoever else want spew false narratives that the bucs just run up the middle on 1st down to help you sleep at night, then so be it. You know many people sleep better at night believing horse dewormer cures the coronavirus. Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite

  30. Alanbucsfan Says:

    ^^10 points

  31. SOEbuc Says:

    “Ira wants the Bucs to run the ball more“

    Agreed. Team sport. Bruce continues to think Gabbert will throw 30+ pts every year if needed. And now these teams are getting to Brady because they know it’s pass all day. Arians and BL are ridiculous with the run.

  32. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Isn’t that how coaches get fired??

  33. Chris Boyd Says:

    we’ve also played top 5 offenses in 66% of our games so far. we’re thin at a vulnerable area. it’s still really early folks. there’s a lot of time to get right yet

  34. Bucs Win Says:

    That number will be declining rapidly considering the shaky QB’s we face until Buffalo in week 14.

  35. JimmyJack Says:

    You wanna fix the defense……..

    STEP ONE-Get some freaking stops in the redzone. If i remeber right the Rams went 4of4 in the redzone. Thats not getting it done.

    STEP TWO-Convert your turnovers. Dean dropping a gimme last week. Not getting to that fumble caused by Whithead. Gotta finish.

    Get those 2 steps to 50%. Minimum. Force the Rams to go 2for4 in the redzone and create a single turnover and that game likely comes down to the final 2 minutes.

    Bowles defenses have typically done pretty well in both areas so Im expecting imprivement…………For what its worth I like having Sherman to help our D on shortfields in the redzone. He might even get us a few turnivers but he aint fixing it himself. It better start up front. The first guys Im looking at are Shaq and Devin.

  36. JimmyJack Says:

    Im looking for us to stay pass happy. Looks to me like Brady is chasing the record book this year.

    I think he want that single season TD record……..and I think he breaks Brew Drees’s all time yardage this week.

  37. TOM Says:

    Maybe its time for Robinson & Desir at CB. If they are not good enough to replace Delaney & Cockrell then they souldn’t be part of the team. Use Sherman for a few plays as needed.

  38. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    “He left the locker room before kickoff each week knowing if he didn’t hang 35 on the scoreboard, the Bucs would lose.”

    He left the locker room wild-eyed and bushy-tailed. I think the Saints finally took my advice on the pre-game clonopin, because he doesn’t look nearly as psycho before the games this season.

  39. unbelievable Says:


    The problem is that almost all of the first drives of each game to start with a predictable run for minimal gain, resulting in a lot of early 3 and outs. We do the same thing on the second drive of each game many times as well.

    Then they mix it up. My issue is just mix it up from the beginning. Get more creative in the run game and/or use the pass to open up the run game more. I just think our run game play designs are mostly predictable and unimaginative.

  40. webster Says:

    Unbelievable the bucs have played three games. Off the top of my head, the first play in atlanta was a strike to evans so im still not understanding the argument. We have 14 more games to go and im willing to bet every 1st play of the game wont be a run because as i stated against atlanta it was a strike to evans. The bucs have to run the ball too you know. Instead of being mad they ran it, be mad the oline isnt firing off the ball to dominate and open holes. I cant remember if the bucs ran it on the first play in the playoffs or how many times they ran it on 1st down period, but i do know they ran for 100 yards each game and the offense still scored 30+. We gotta be more balance than we are. Asking a 44 year old to throw it 50 times a game is a easy way to tire out his arm

  41. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    webster Says:
    “Asking a 44 year old to throw it 50 times a game is a easy way to tire out his arm.”