Winning With Injuries

October 31st, 2021

Strong coaching.

Joe found this hard to believe for a blown-to-bits secondary in a pass-happy league.

In a piece for ESPN, Jenna Laine wrote a short excerpt why the Bucs may be vulnerable to not earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

The biggest drawback is the most obvious: a beat-up secondary. Yet, per Laine, the Bucs have pretty much kept teams from lighting up the scoreboard despite it.

… miraculously, they’ve managed to give up an average of 21 points per game — which is 10th in the NFL. Their recipe isn’t complicated: shut down the run and render teams one-dimensional. But as we saw with quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Rams in Week 3, teams that don’t rely on the run or use it to set up their play-action can still get by them, especially if their secondary doesn’t bounce back from all these injuries.

Even better, since the Bucs got sliced and diced by Matt Stafford and the Rams, the Bucs have allowed just an average of 15 points a game. Given Tampa Bay’s explosive offense, 15 points allowed is just, for Mr. Seven Rings and friends, barely breaking a sweat.

If the Bucs — with a ravaged cornerback room — are allowing 15 points a game, they will be in every game and likely win every game.

And for any team to hold opponents to 15 points when at one time the Bucs were down five corners, that’s seriously good coaching by Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

17 Responses to “Winning With Injuries”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Todd Bowles has done an incredible job of keeping this defense improving steadily despite injuries to multiple defensive players. However, there have been certain mitigating factors that’ve helped & worked in our favor.

    Schedule is one factor. Bucs played 3 quality teams in our first 3 games (Cowboys 5-1; Falcons 3-3; Rams 6-1), all 3 of whom have excellent QBs & laid a total of 88 pts on us (29 PPG). Schedule got considerably easier in our last 4 games (Pats 3-4; Dolphins 1-6; Eagles 2-5; Bears 3-4), all 4 of whom have meh offensive attacks run by lesser-experienced QBs & who laid a total of 59 pts on us (15 PPG).

    A better run-pass ratio is another factor. Bucs only ran the ball 48 times total in our first 3 games (16 runs/game). That only works out to a 23.8% run-pass ratio, and resulted in a very low TOP (keeping our defense on the field much longer). But in our last 4 games, Bucs have made a concerted to run the ball more, for a total of 117 rushes in our last 4 games (29 runs/game). That’s a much higher 40.6% run-pass ratio, has markedly increased our TOP, and it’s helped the defense tremendously.

  2. Bird Says:

    Agree with DR

    The change in points has a lot to do with the last 3 qbs we just faced
    Jameis is better then all 3 and peyton is tops in nfl so today we shall see

    Saints below average receivers vs our below average corners (excluding dean – he is fine)

  3. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, I agree it appears Bowles has thrown his hands up and said let’s just play to our strengths which is front 7. I don’t put much stock in the Atlanta game though it seemed close Bucs had control the entire game. Dallas was expected a better running game and close to equal receiving core. Shutting down the run was imperative in that game, a great win. Rams, Bucs were out played and out coached. It happens. As far as the rest I don’t discount any NFL team, we’ll maybe Houston, Jags & Jets. Today should be a good representation of both offense & defense primarily due to Payton. Bucs 28-10. Next!

  4. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    We need our pass rush to work consistently in order to help our banged up secondary…. Our defense is well coached … using the best availble to GET ER DONE …..

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It must be the inspiring presence of Richard Sherman (savior) Not his play on the field but his leadership there and everywhere.

  6. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    The Bucs just have to keep Kamara under control today. THAT is the KEY! Less than 100 total yards.

    If we can do that, the Aint’s don’t have the WRs to allow Winston to keep up with the Bucs scoring. JW will be very emotional (look how Brady was going up against the Pats). And if an emotional JW trys for big plays with his weak WRs, well, we all know what is likely to happen there.

    Prediction: Bucs 27 – Aints 17, JW throws 2 INTs, maybe adds a fumble holding on to the ball too long trying to be the hero

  7. Beeej Says:

    We’ve played two good teams this year (aforementioned Rams, and Cowgirls) Both passed on us with impunity. We won by outscoring them (which I’m good with)

  8. Beeej Says:

    (oops, we didn’t beat Rams)

  9. gotbbucs Says:

    Last four teams we’ve played are trash. This is a mirage right now.

  10. PassingThru Says:

    Yep, reality check. The Bucs haven’t faced a quality QB since week 3.

  11. orlbucfan Says:

    OLine is maturing into one of the premier units in the league. Still can’t believe I just typed it. 🙂 Vita Vea, JTS and Sherman and the DBs will be the other keys. They all play well, Aints are toast no matter what Payton pulls.

  12. Bucs Win Says:

    Good teams are supposed to crush bad teams. You play the games that are a on the schedule. It’s not the Bucs fault the Bears have a terrible team. If the Bucs were just squeaking by the last few games it would be a different story. We are easily making the playoffs with a great shot at home field advantage. I like our current position and how we’re playing. Bucs trounce another bad team today 34-10.

  13. Orange is the new Pewter Says:

    What’s this 34-10, 28-10 mass hallucination everyone’s experiencing? I see a furious comeback capped with a TB12 handoff to Succop in the final seconds. 41-38. Go Bucs!

  14. DoooshLaRue Says:

    So we’re good as long as we don’t play a really good offensive team?
    We squeaked past the Cowboys and Mac Jones was having his way with us.

    I’ll take it but I’m not tooting any horns just yet.

    Let’s shut down JayMiss and then the Bills and we’ll talk about a good D backfield then.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    DooshLaRue … I agree that we shouldn’t be ‘tooting any horns just yet’. No bragging’s called for until we raise the Lombardi again.

    I don’t see too many JBFers bragging on our defensive backfield at this point. Our backups are getting the job done & that’s HUGE, but they haven’t been left on an island either. Our Front-7 has really stepped up in terms of pressure on opposing QBs & our offense has also stepped up in terms of controlling the game (and the clock). Still, the quality of the opposing team … on BOTH offense AND defense … is a huge factor in games’ outcomes.

    There’s a reason that the Cowboys are 5-1 right now & the Rams are 6-1. They’re playing very good football on BOTH sides of the game, offense AND defense. Of the 10 games that we have left, only 2 teams have winning records at this point: Saints (4-2) and Bills (4-2). Doesn’t mean we’ll win all 10 games by any means, BUT … I’d rather have a schedule like that than one that has us playing teams like the Cardinals, Rams, Cowboys & Packers every single week.

  16. Leighroy Says:

    Enough of the strength of schedule talk. Of the five 1-loss teams in the NFC, the Bucs have the 2nd best SoS. Better teams have weaker schedules bc they are the better team. Bad teams have stronger schedules bc they don’t have the victories.

    And you can poo-poo the Falcons, teddy bears and kittens all you want but they’re right in the mix to be the last playoff team with the Vikings.

    The Packers only have the Rams and ravens to play against as good teams. For the cowboys it’s the raiders and cardinals. The NFC west is more competitive so sure the Rams and cards have tougher roads ahead. Point is, when you’re one of the top dawgs, they all look like lesser opponents.

  17. mark2001 Says:

    And sounds like everyone is coming back after the break. If we can just find a way to grind out a win today…. we would be sitting pretty nicely.