The Scariest Red Flag

January 3rd, 2022


Winning a nailbiter against the Jets yesterday is not a long-lasting high.

If the Bucs play like that in less than two weeks, they’ll be one-and-done in the playoffs.

What’s kept Joe awake all night is the Bucs’ pass rush. Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson had eaten 35 sacks in 11 starts prior to yesterday.

Joe could detail the resumes of the Jets’ offensive linemen, but Joe doesn’t want to deliver thousands of cases of sour stomach to Bucs fans.

Wilson is not much of a mobile guy and yesterday he didn’t have to be. Wilson dropped back to pass 34 times and was sacked once by Anthony Nelson and was hit just four times.

Every Bucs fan knows a pass rush is required to win in the playoffs. Anyone think the Bucs can beat Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford or Dak Prescott with no rush?

This morning, Joe is not crying about losing Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin, or Mike Evans still healing his hamstring, or about injuries to Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette. Joe is praying that the knee of Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett heals for the opening round of the playoffs and that maybe, just maybe, all this time off will help Jason Pierre-Paul at least be able to rush the passer in spurts.

Joe also is hoping and praying that whatever has turned Devin White into an average linebacker and a nothing-special blitzer evaporates soon. Maybe it’s the loss of Lavonte David and not White being injured (hip and quad) and worn out.

There are others that deserve a spotlight. That pass rush must revive across the board.

The Panthers’ offensive line, which allowed seven sacks today after yielding eight to the Bucs last week, won’t be around in the playoffs.

34 Responses to “The Scariest Red Flag”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    With huge part of the Pass rush basically injured right now, meaning Shaq and JPP it is an uphill slog.
    Yeah I know it is more than those 2, but we see what the Bucs pass rush looks like without them.

    BTW Hey D White, maybe you can beat a few blocks and sack the QB also.

    The biggest opponent for the Bucs has been INJURIES.

    We have never seen what the starting 22 that came back could do for even 1 half of the first game of this season.

    OH well no one will cry for you, suck it up and go.

    We will how far this walking mash unit of a team can go.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  2. BBro Says:

    It was horrendous play on the defense side of the ball

  3. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Spot on joe. Not worried about offensive production. Defense is wounded and wobbly.

  4. Hodad Says:

    To many times I saw Tryon, and Nelson in coverage. That can’t help the pass rush. The games Bowles was running weren’t working. The Jet offense had us guessing all day, never a good thing. We looked like we weren’t prepared for all the fakes, and misdirection plays run on us. Maybe Bowles was busy talking to the Jags instead of watching Jet film. Sure looked like it. Devin White couldn’t get off a block all day, and Minter was painfully slow out here. Our DB’s have their struggles in coverage, but where they really struggle is making tackles in the run game. To many whifs, or being manhandled by blockers. Are those enough scary red flags for you?

  5. Bobby M. Says:

    The front seven is a playing with FOUR backups! Teams don’t have to scheme for anyone other than White blitzing. That’s a pretty easy task. This team had a good season but will limp into the playoffs….my expectations are really low. There’s too many injuries, offense has lost its chemistry, defense can’t get pressure….overall just not playing consistent. We just struggled against a very weak Jets team that frankly looked like they gave us a chance for the sake of helping their draft status. That 4th & 2 call…..didn’t make any sense. A QB sneak? Kick the FG and force us to drive the field without AB for a tie at best.

  6. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Best way to slow the rush is to effectively run the ball and the Jets did that all day. If you look closely at the jets running success , one will note that the Jets ran almost exclusively at Mike Minter , not Devin White , that is your weak link.
    Bucs will be OK come playoff time and we have an extra roster spot open to bring in some more help. Praying that AB gets some help. I was one of the few that lobbied for his dismissal after ” fake card gate ‘ , but I really believe now that he has severe CTE.

  7. Bird Says:

    Especially if first round match up is eagles or 49ers

    They run a lot of misdirection. Eagles qb can run.
    Shaq best be back. Lavonte too. Jpp sure. Time to play hurt guys. We need yah in playoffs. Heck carolina may be a challenge in last game the way we played yesterday

    Our coaching is really starting to suck
    And Arians stubbornness may have cost us a chance at return to super bowl.
    Not sure we have the studs to do it again
    Hope i am wrong

  8. Pete Says:

    Has anyone counted the big plays given up when having pass rushers drop in coverage?
    Go Bucs!

  9. tampabayallday Says:

    Vanilla soft yesterday.

  10. Easy Says:

    Wilson “is not much of a mobile guy” LOFL. The guy just reeled offa 52 yard TD run last week. He didnt have to be that mobile this week. And the drop off between Kevin Minter and Lavonte David is very evident. Minter was horrible against the run yesterday!

  11. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs didn’t have David, Barrett or JPP yesterday. They were dealing with Covid issues with Dean and SMB all week – even caused them to be late to the game.
    If ALL the D is on the field playoffs week, they’ll be fine. It is the offense that is facing a challenge.

  12. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    My expectations for the playoffs are not what they once were.
    We have too many injuries, and the loss of Brown is most likely a death blow for our super bowl hopes.
    Yesterday, we made the Jets look like a playoff team, who ran the ball almost at will, right down our throats.
    We were lucky to get out of there with a win.

  13. Buc4evr Says:

    Expect next week to look about the same on defense. For the playoffs JPP and Shaq will be back. Secondary will be at full strength for the playoffs.
    On Offense, I’m very concerned about losing AB, especially if a playoff team signs him. Miller and Grayson are not going to do what AB can.

  14. #1bucsfan Says:

    Joe not only did we NOT get pressure they ran all over us. Not having LVD SHAQ an JPP we knew we weren’t going to get much pressure but I didn’t think the run game would suffer that bad idk why I thought that with our 3 starting LBS out 🤦‍♂️

  15. David Says:

    Absolutely. No pass rush AND they can’t stop the run the last few weeks… Major issues on defense.

    Add in an offense that seems to be sleepwalking and making poor defenses look good…

    It is remarkable there 12-4 at this point

  16. Listnfrmafar Says:

    They obviously were not prepared for the game. Tyron and Minter were horrible, especially Minter. I don’t want to listen to missing 4 guys on the Dline, the backups ALL play snaps every game. I have 3 questions? Why do our DB’s ALWAYS get beat down the middle? Why didn’t we see Gill yesterday when Minter was clueless? And Why did it take Bowles until mid 3rd quarter to decide to blitz a rookie QB who is known for getting sacked?

  17. AMI_Chris Says:

    Bucs are not exactly peaking at the right time. Cardinals, Cowboys, Rams, Packers and even the 49ers are playing pretty good defense right now. I am not optimistic.

  18. This from Gainesville Says:

    Don’t forget about lavonte david. How many times did the jets sweep outside and up the field yesterday, and how many plays can you remember of lavonte shooting the gap for a tfl. Need him and Barrett badly.

  19. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    List says: ” I have 3 questions? Why do our DB’s ALWAYS get beat down the middle? Why didn’t we see Gill yesterday when Minter was clueless? And Why did it take Bowles until mid 3rd quarter to decide to blitz a rookie QB who is known for getting sacked?”

    Thank you! Why are we the only defense that can only play at a high level if there are absolutely NO injuries? It is obvious the game plan was very basic (a/k/a non-existent). Every single playoff team is injured and on most passing plays they are at least getting SOME pressure and their DB’s are playing A LOT tighter than we are.

  20. Wild Bill Says:

    Not to pick on Tryon, but they started the game by running to his side. They let him rush inside and sealed him off as the run went to the right side. Tryon was repeatedly sucked in at first. The Jets ran wild especially in the first half. Bucs adjusted as the game went on. But the Bucs offense struggled all game. The big play at the end was amazing but truthfully the offense and defense both looked mediocre against a middle of the pack opponent. We are not a fearsome power now with all the injuries.

  21. Buccos Says:

    And yet we are 12-4, probably the #2 seed in the NFC. Tom Brady had less talent than this on some of his Super Bowl teams in New England. Until someone beats us in the playoffs we are the champs. As long as we have Tom Brady I like our chances.

  22. lunchmeat Says:

    I refuse to despair.
    Give me back Shaq and LVD and JPP (on one shoulder, granted) and the D will be back.
    Not to mention Lenny.
    Root for the Niners this Sunday.

  23. Killian Says:

    Not sure what the big deal is. We’ll be getting our best players back come playoff time. We’ll be fine.

  24. ModHairKen Says:

    They won.

  25. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Wild Bill, I’ll say it AGAIN, Jets beat the #1 seed in the AFC and AFC South leaders Titans and the AFC West leaders Bengals. They aren’t that bad. The offense scored 26 points with a 3rd & 4th string RB and their #1 WR lost it mid game. Two huge drops by Johnson & Evan’s who seems like he can’t get open anymore down field. What kills me are the freaking penalties. I wanted to throw the remote through the TV when D went offsides yesterday, not once twice. The Jenson unsportsman penalty killed a drive 3rd & 5 to 3rd & 20, fortunately Brady saved the day on the Cappa penalty. Brady went for 410 yds 3 tds and pulled the win out of his arse after BA burnt the last TO. I really hope Grayson is the real deal going forward. This teams lacks discipline and always appears to be sucking wind, especially the D.

  26. SOEbuc Says:


    Lavonte is so huge to the run game.

    Is this a matter of defensive injury with this zone defense? Like when all these young guys got drafted, they played man in college and exploded in Mike Smith zone that looks like Bowles scheme. They stepped up man in the playoffs and defense was out of site. I don’t understand. What I do understand is JPP and Lavonte are both gigantic loses in the run and sack game.

  27. PassingThru Says:

    Well Joe, the loss of the pass rush was the most dangerous and palpable sign that the starting OLBs were injured, but pass rush wasn’t the only problem along the edge. They were also turnstiles on outside running plays and mere spectators in pass coverage.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Rob in Land O Lakes … ‘Why didn’t we see Gill yesterday when Minter was clueless?’ First off, Minter wasn’t clueless; he’s an excellent Backup ILB. And secondly, Gill & Minter play different positions.

    We all need to face reality: Bucs’ defense isn’t even close to the same without Shaq & JPP (not to mention missing LVD). Nelson played 95% of the def snaps, JTS played 87%. Neither one of those OLBs has even close to the run defense & pass-rushing skills that Shaq & JPP have.

    We got taken advantage of yesterday with several BIG runs (55, 14, 12, 11, 22), a couple of those around the ends, and that doesn’t often happen when Shaq & JPP are in there. And 4 of those 5 long runs were to the LEFT side. Jets laid 150 rushing yds on us in 26 carries (5.8 YPC), but take away those 5 long runs (114 yds) & the other 21 rushes only gained 36 yds (1.7 YPC average). It’s the long runs that ate us alive.

  29. Cobraboy Says:

    I don’t believe this defense is good enough to even survive one game in the playoffs.

    Unless something drastically changes.

  30. JoeJoe Starbuc Says:

    Just a few short weeks ago, bros, we were optimally looking heading into the playoffs with AB, Godwin, Evans, Lenny, Lavonte David, Barrett and our Secondary all reasonably healthy and fired up to make another run at the SB…

    WOW, just WOW, how the times have changed.

    I guess I’d be more optimistic if we’d beat the Jets like we whooped the Panthers, but that freaking Jets games took YEARS OFF MY LIFE.

    Like Joe said, there’s just massive inconsistency in the level of play–and not just week to week, but even within the course of a game, like that OTHER nailbiter with the Bills.

    I’m at a lost to understand how dramatically different our Bucs can play, one moment like the SB Champs they are/were, the next like a bad college team.

    All I’m going to do is hope and pray for 4 games in the playoffs they play like CHAMPS. Somehow pull it all together and pull off a miracle. Our team isn’t out until they’re out, and a ton of players will fight to the bitter end, like TB12. That last drive against the Jets was legendary–though in no way should it have ever been needed. That’s the scary part. Our team is scary bad AND scary good. And we never know now which scary we’re gonna get.

  31. Coburn Says:

    Yeah we need our ends back, no pressure most of game. Tryon needs some pass rush moves. He’s athletic but once a guy gets hands on him he’s done. I’ll say Zach Wilson did impress the heck out of me at times and I couldn’t believe some of the catches where I thoguht for sure they scooped it off the ground until I saw re replays. That buerros guy was tearing us apart too.. sneaky little dude

  32. stpetebucsfan Says:

    1/4…25% of the front seven did not play.

    The Jets were fired up and we should give them some credit. I am impressed with a VERY young secondary and a young team in general. They’ve had some growing pains including yesterday but they do show promise.

    Now we’re all gripping about an annual NFL Playoff FACT. Health is critical. We were LUCKY last year we still have players on the roster that could make us lucky this year. When the injury list starts to thin we’ll get better.

    The guys coming back will NOT need games to get back in the swing…they are vets and this team has been together two years now.

    I predict a new offense for the playoffs. Everybody knows the strategy in tight NFL playoff games. PROTECT the back end at all costs which leaves a couple of vulnerabilities.

    Safeties are out of the box so Playoff Lennie and Bell could really become successful and I do not rule out ROJO although Bell is one of the best receiving backs in the league and PL seems to have discovered his hands this year.

    So no Godwin…more Bell…perhaps more Cameron Brate…and the usual dose of Gronk and ME13 with Cyril the new superstar Grayson and Perriman. There are plenty of targets.

    IF our OL keeps Brady upright and healthy we can still win. The first half yesterday was the first time I saw our OL physically manhandled at times. That was what frightened me. But they turned it around big time in the second half.

    I think this team has tons of heart! That could be what gets us over the top.

  33. firethecannons Says:

    as soon as they got the lead, the blood was in the water and they were all fired up on every side of the ball, Joe–honest we were not fired up and game had little meaning, AB drama, it was a testament to Brady that we won that game–the 93 yard game winning drive was a beautiful thing, when it started, I said it out loud there is no way we can win now with so little time and so far to go and no AB–Tom Brady happened again! Imagine being a Jets fan after that game–they played way way over their mediocre heads and still lost.

  34. SlyPirate Says:

    Back-to-back championships are unheard of one very good reason … health.

    4 more games adds nearly +1/4 of a season.

    Their bodies aren’t holding up to the constant punishment.