Bruce Arians Says Jonathan Taylor’s Late Success Was About “Playing More Pass Defense”

December 2nd, 2021

A little shade thrown at Jonathan Taylor

The Bucs’ vaunted run defense slammed the door on NFL leading rusher Jonathan Taylor on Sunday until the Colts’ game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter.

Last night, Bucco Bruce Arians threw ice water on Taylor’s success.

Taylor powered eight carries for 55 yards and a touchdown on that 10-play Colts drive that tied the game at 31 with 3:29 remaining.

The way Arians was talking, that was more by design than Taylor and his offensive line figuring out Tampa Bay’s NFL-best run defense.

“We played a little more two-deep and basically we’re playing more pass defense than we were earlier in the game when [Taylor] wasn’t getting anything,” Arians explained on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “They did hurt us with the RPOs. I thought Carson Wentz played a hell of a ballgame, especially in the RPO part. But, you know, that last drive, it was just a matter of, ‘If you want to run it, run it, and they did leave too much time on the clock.'”

Great closing line there by Arians, and indeed the Colts did leave too much time for Tom Brady, who marched the Bucs down to a game-winning touchdown.

9 Responses to “Bruce Arians Says Jonathan Taylor’s Late Success Was About “Playing More Pass Defense””

  1. Steven007 Says:

    I thought the decision to go back to the running game when they were down a score was terrible coaching on their part. Yes they got a score, but they began that drive with 10 minutes left to go and finished it with just three and us getting the ball back. A 7-minute drive when you’re down by a score on purpose in the 4th quarter? Come on man… And it was very clear by the defense we ran that we thought they were going to pass and were set up to defend that, hence the running success. Worked out the way we wanted it.

  2. David Says:

    I agree. It seemed pretty obvious they were playing pass first and I jump in and potential play action. Either way, it doesn’t matter. They held him and they won.

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    Indy fans are pointing to that drive as proof positive that they should’ve been running the ball all game long. That’s why there’s so much emphasis.
    In the 1st half, we took away the run and Indy threw the ball. 2nd half we made adjustments, and plays, and shut down their passing attack. Indy was simply out-coached in the 2nd half and Taylor’s big drive wasn’t near enough.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Steven007 … Not so sure that it was a terrible coaching decision on their part. They had 75 yds to go for a tying TD with 10 mins left in the game and Bucs had shown that we were more focused on stopping the pass. Indy just took what we gave them. Problem turned out to be that they were a LOT more successful than even they dreamed they’d be. They only ate up 6 mins 37 secs of time to go 75 yds in 10 plays & left us with 3 mins 29 secs to get a go-ahead score. Bucs’ offense accommodated them very nicely by scoring a TD, running 7 plays to go 75 yds & eating up all but 20 secs.

    Colts success against our run defense in that last 10 mins really surprised me (and them more-than-likely). Taylor had THREE runs in there totaling 40 yds (15 yds left guard, 10 yds right end, 15 yds middle). Our safeties (who were playing back) got credit for all 3 tackles. Wentz only threw twice on that series, completing both for a total of 17 yds (one on a 3rd-and-6 for a 1st down).

    That whole series left me with the question … ‘Is the Bucs’ defense so seemingly bad at pass defense simply because we over-focus on stopping the run’? Taylor ran the ball down our throat when we were focusing more on pass defense (like most teams do in a passing league?).

    Oh and another concern: If our strategy was to make them run it in that last 10 mins, how did we know they wouldn’t eat up all 10 mins like Washington did with their last drive a couple weeks ago? Making the assumption that ‘The last one with the ball wins’ is very risky.

  5. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I guess the Bucs’ D doesn’t get too much practice against RPO plays with wobbly leg Brady as QB.

  6. Eddie Marz Says:

    Wobbly leg Brady? You seven time Super Bowl Champ Brady. GO BUCS!

  7. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Wow BA is Sherlock Holmes, it only took him 4 days to figure it out. NO SHAT! I thought it was because Vea lost a tooth.Why would you stay in a run D if Indy needed points? Reich new Bucs were playing the pass that’s why they ran. The problem was they abandoned the run to soon which took them out of their game plan giving Bucs scoring opportunities. The rest was history.

  8. DoooshLaRue Says:


    You really do have the best game analysis on here.

  9. Duane Says:

    I would say sack fumbles, ints, and muffed punts were the problem and not the coulda, woulda, shoulda of play selection for Indy.