Lavonte David Needed To Defend The Pass, Too

January 15th, 2022

If he can’t go…

Bucs long-time stud linebacker Lavonte David was a quiet star last year in the Super Bowl.

In a game for which Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett and the pass rush got a lot of run for hounding Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes all over the field, in the background, David was getting the job done.

David spied Chiefs Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce all night. While Kelce got yards, he was clearly flustered by David’s constant presence. And, oh yeah, Mahomes’ second-favorite target was held out of the end zone.

The Bucs could use some of David’s magic tomorrow. Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert has developed into one of the better tight ends in the league. And Matt Bowen of BSPN believes Goedert is a sneaky good weapon.

The Bucs will have to account for the vertical speed of the Eagles’ wide receivers on schemed throws for Hurts, but they can’t forget about Goedert in this Philly pass game. I see Goedert as a top-five tight end in the league who has the run-blocking talent and route-running traits. How will Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles game plan for him? Tampa Bay has been Cover 3-heavy this season (31.2% of coverage snaps), but will Bowles match up here in passing situations or use a linebacker to re-route Goedert at the line of scrimmage? Goedert has posted five or more receptions in four of his past six games, but there are ways to disrupt his route stem without using a dedicated double-team.

So if David cannot go, what does Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles do? Does he put Antoine Winfield on Goedert? That’s sort of a size mismatch but Winfield could cover him. Or perhaps Mike Edwards will get the task?

Interesting chess match for Bowles and the Bucs. But this defense must tighten up on the run for the Bucs to win tomorrow, unless Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians plans on winning a shootout in the rain.

21 Responses to “Lavonte David Needed To Defend The Pass, Too”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Not too sure about the rain tomorrow, it is supposed to be over by game time. It is the wind that is more of a concern, especially if there are 30mph gusts.

  2. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m seeing no rain, but W winds 20, gusting to 35.

    Prolly not a lot of deep throws tomorrow, which aids the Iggles D.

  3. Jeffbuc Says:

    The wind may be a good thing for our 3rd down offense. Now maybe we won’t throw deep in 3rd and 2. Going to my first game in a few years tomorrow. Hope the rain holds off. Had to give up the season tickets when we had kids.

  4. BenjaminBuc Says:

    Brady played (successfully) in blustery winter conditions in the Northeast for two decades. I don’t think a 65 degree, partly cloudy day with 20-25 mph winds is going to rattle him at all (provided the front moves out around 11 as now forecast). He knows how to adjust the routes and throws. Also, if the wind is from the west, the stadium may block a lot of wind, especially at field level. Wind will be more of an issue the more south it has in it because of the open north and south end zones.

  5. Bucfan Says:

    The Wind won’t be an issue for TB 12. Like BenjaminBuc stated above. It will be more if a issue for Jalen Hurts and the Iggles.
    This will probably be a hard fought, physical game and I predict the Bucs beat the Eagles by 10 and advance to the Divisional round at home.
    I watched the Super Bowl from last year that I recorded again last night and I am pumped up for this game.
    The deciding factor I believe for this game will be our run defense and having JPP and Shaq back should help.

    Go Bucs!!

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree Cobraboy, Brady probably won’t throw a lot of deep passes tomorrow because of the projected high/gusty winds. Besides, looking at our first meeting with the Eagles, Brady was 3-for-7 deep in that game, and 2 of those completions were to Antonio Brown. That means that Brady was 31-for-35 (88.6%) on his short passing, and that surely helped us big-time in controlling the TOP for 40 minutes in that game.

    Bucs also ran it 31 times in that game, and that surely helped with the TOP also. Our average sucked (102 rushing yds total for a 3.3 YPC average) but it kept the Philly offense on the bench.

    One of the key things that hurt us (and helped the Eagles) in that game was penalties. The number wasn’t awful (7 penalties) but the yardage (120 yds total) was dreadful. One DPI for 45 yds (on Dean) led to a TD and another DPI on Edwards for 50 yds led to another Eagles’ TD. Those are killers. Bucs have gotten quite a bit better since then at cutting out the DPIs.

  7. PassingThru Says:

    I expect the passing attack lean on Gronk, Brate and perhaps more Fournette than usual on check-downs and a wheel route or two thrown in (I’m expecting him to play). The Phili LBs are poor at pass coverage, and of course the winds reduce the effectiveness of longer pass plays.

    Long FGs will be a challenge. Phili’s Kicker has more leg than Succop, but I think neither team will attempt FGs much longer than something in the mid-40s. The higher the kick trajectory, the more unpredictable the flight of the ball.

  8. Biff Barker Says:

    LVD is one tough player. The only question is can he be effective given the type of injury he suffered? Can he shadow anybody or run well enough to cover passes?

  9. Tackleblockwin Says:

    After thinking about all the strategies and keys to the game I have come to one conclusion. If we block for Brady we win.

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    Excellent points on penalties, DR. Great research. Kudos…

    I recall earlier in the week Arians stated the Word for the Week was “Discipline.”

  11. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Brady went 14-1 from 07-2015 in wet games. Hopefully not mentioning why will avoid censorship.

  12. Tim R. Says:

    If the linebackers are a complete group then Philly and their run offence will be up against what may be the best run defense they have faced all year. The overall health of the returning players will have a lot to do with their effectiveness. The Bucs have not been the complete defense almost all year. Beating the eagles will then give us a chance to have the entire defense back to face their next opponent. If Cyril is ready next week and with a healthy defense then get ready all teams.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    If Edwards is healthy – I would like to see him play a good bit. He’s probably our best matchup against a pass catching TE if LD54 is out….

  14. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    It’s going to be all about the run… For both teams

  15. Steven007 Says:

    Pick, you are right about Edwards. Probably our best matchup for their tight end if levonte isn’t available. A bit taller than Winfield and we know he’s a playmaker too.

  16. Elita Vita Says:

    Have a steady leg Mr Succop. It’ll be needed tomorrow!

  17. Tim R. Says:

    Devin get on your fastest horse and get ready to stop the run! We need your beat.

  18. Swampbuc Says:

    On first and second downs, I would play a lot of 3 safeties, 2 corners, and (fingers crossed) LVD, DW, Shaq, JPP, and a 2 of 3 rotation of Vita, Suh, and Gholston. Our safeties are good against the run especially if that is their mission and the dudes in the front are playing their gaps, including wide, properly.

    To me it’s more about the people than the scheme to stop the run.

  19. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    Let’s just go kick the birdcrap out of these Philly cheese balls … GO BUCS !!!

  20. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    If Playoff LENNY is a full go , let’s give them a taste of their own and run it up their azz

  21. NE+bucs fan Says:

    How’s them yacs on ME,s last to catch 😉