Bucs Led NFL In Hitting Quarterbacks

February 21st, 2022

Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett at the Pro Bowl.

This really surprised Joe.

It seems when opposing quarterbacks faced the Bucs defense last season, they sure as heck were going to get bruised. Often.

Now the stat geeks will tell you quarterback hits are better than sacks. This is the same nonsense used by the nerds who ruined baseball — trying to hypnotize people that strikeouts are productive at-bats.

Sacks are driver-killers. Sacks can and do force turnovers. Sacks change games. Sacks can and have won Super Bowls.

Quarterback hits are nice in that they can get in a quarterback’s head. Quarterback hits are nice because they may hurry a throw. Quarterback hits are not sacks. Don’t get Joe worked up here.

Short of a sack, a quarterback hit is good. And the Bucs dominated this stat last year and it wasn’t even close. The Bucs finished with 140 quarterback hits, 19 more than Miami. The next three teams down the list were playoff teams. Of course, no team was thrown against more than the Bucs, with teams averaging 40 attempts per game when facing Tampa Bay.

What really surprises Joe other than the Bucs led the NFL? The Bucs did this with Jason Pierre-Paul rendered impotent due to his torn rotator cuff.

Joe isn’t sweating the pass rush too much this offseason, although you can never get enough pressure on the quarterback. If Joe Tryon-Shoyinka develops, the Bucs are in good shape here.

25 Responses to “Bucs Led NFL In Hitting Quarterbacks”

  1. Buc1987 Says:


  2. Adrnagy Says:

    I believe … its all blitz. Cb, lb, dt , de. How many hits did my boy one year wonder had ? $20m man

  3. Tim Says:

    The Bucs need another OLB/EDGE and DT in FA or draft to make up for the coming loss of Suh and JPP. Even if we keep one or both, we need their replacements. And we won’t keep both.

  4. SB Says:

    So we lead the league in QB hits AND TO’s on D yet we have a ‘shaky’ D.
    Jeeesh man will someone explain this in layman’s terms.

  5. SB Says:

    Joe……….you need to take a pill and learn that pressure will bust a pipe EVERY time when it is turned to high. Take it from a contractor.

  6. acey Says:

    The strikeouts being a productive at-bat thing is true with a caveat; That your guy was out there for more than 3 pitches. If he strikes out in 6, he practically forced the pitcher to pitch to an extra guy, which is good for getting that starter off the mound/tiring him out faster.

  7. WalkdaPlank Says:

    The type of blitzing that caused this statistic is the same blitzing that lost us the Division Round. Live by the blitz die by the blitz I guess.

    This just makes the two (four?) losses to the Saints that much more perplexing.

  8. steele Says:

    Stats can be deceptive. How much came from the front line? How many from blitzing? I think I agree with WalkdaPlank.

    Stats don’t tell the truth that the pass rush was deficient this season. We saw it game to game. They need sacks without so much blitzing.

    Sign a couple of veteran free agents. A good crop this offseason: Jerry Hughes, Justin Houston, Clowney, Melvin Ingram, Akiem Hicks and more. Go get Von (although I can’t stand him).

    Draft :Arnold Ebiketie, Myjai Sanders, Sam Williams.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    You do this on purpose Joe; berate the Bucs’ defense in article after article THEN throw out a few ‘good boys’ like this. Yesterday it was that we led the league in TAKEAWAYS in 2021 (aahh yes, ‘good boy’; pat on the head). Today we led the league in QB HITS. Of course we also led the NFL in blitz percentage (40.8%), blitzing 313 times in 17 games (an average of over 18 times a game).

    Interestingly (to me at least), Bucs were only 7th in Sacks (we had 47; Steelers led with 55). We did lead in QB Knockdowns (77) and Hurries (95) for the 219 Total Pressures you noted. Despite that, Bucs didn’t lead the league in Pressure PERCENTAGE; Buffalo did. The Bills generated pressure at the rate of 30.8% while we had 28.6% (we ranked 2nd).

    It’s HOW THE BILLS DID IT that’s interesting IMO. Bills only blitzed at a 26% rate, while we blitzed at almost 41% rate. But then again, opponents only attempted to pass against the Bills 530 times in 2021 (3rd fewest); opponents passed against the Bucs’ defense 680 times (yup, we led the NFL). Coincidentally, Bills had the #1 ranked pass defense, surrendering only 2,777 passing yards (and the #1 defense overall). Bucs had the #21 ranked pass defense, giving up 4,062 passing yards.

    Obviously Buffalo was able to generate more pressure while blitzing less (using just their Front-4 … they use a 4-3). Apparently worked for them, probably because they have an excellent Front-4 AND a pretty decent Secondary that looks like it stayed relatively healthy all year. Ours didn’t.

    And one other thing: Buffalo spent $94.4 mil in salary CAP on its defense in 2021 (that’s 50.1% of their adjusted CAP). They ranked #1 in terms of defense spending & ended up with the #1 ranked defense (go figure). Bucs spent $67.9 mil in 2021 (37.3% of our adjusted CAP). We ranked #20 in terms of spending on defense & ended up with the #5 ranked defense (not a bad return on investment).

    In any event, interesting dilemma: ‘To blitz or not to blitz; that is the question’. I’ve read any number of articles talking about how complex Todd Bowles’ hybrid defense is (maybe TOO COMPLEX, I don’t know). We did see in 2020 how well it worked at the end of the season & into the playoffs when our starters were healthy. Also saw though last season how it can sputter when the injury-bug hits and ‘chemistry’ is lacking.

    Bottom line to me is always POINTS ALLOWED though; that’s the ultimate measure of performance for a defense. And Bowles’ defense did VERY WELL in that regard, ranking #8 in 2020 (22.2 PPG average) and #5 in 2021 (20.8 PPG average). But ya, let’s all get behind Swampbuc’s ‘Fire Bowles’ movement; that’s the ticket to success. Duh.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Kyle Trask didn’t take any hits last year…..

  11. LakelandSteve Says:

    Do they count love taps as hits because I don’t know how many times you would watch the other quarterback throw and then a second later a Bucs rusher/blitzer would give the QB a little shove. Not hard enough to put him on the ground just a little nudge to say hello. Those should not count as a QB hit, because we had a lot of those.

  12. Nutterbuccer Says:

    Joey T rushed from the inside alot this season due to JPP injury. In the long run I think that helped him develop however we didn’t see his full potential last year due to that. Kid showed signs of playing the run as well blowing up several sweeps throughout the year. I think him and Anthony Nelson are gonna take the next step. And we HAVE to get WHITE back to blitzing like he did in 2020. No Mayne he won’t be a 9 sack guy yearly but 5 to 6 should be his floor.

  13. Nutterbuccer Says:

    Oh and if we get a QB why would jpp not want to come back on a cheap deal. Nobody is gonna throw him big money but I think at 33 he goes ring hunting. Not gonna happen with is if we don’t have a proven qb.

  14. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Gholston and Nelson had a combined 21 QB hits last year.
    An injured JPP had 5.
    Yet JPP plays most of game vs Rams and Gholston and Nelson sparsely played.
    They weren’t prepared.

  15. ChiBuc Says:

    It would be interesting to see what percentage of those hits came on a blitz during a converted 3rd down (and long). E.g. the last defensive play of the season

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Alanbucsfan … Agree totally about over-using JPP (62 def snaps; 86%) in that Rams’ game as opposed to using Nelson (10 def snaps; 14%) or even Gholston (21 def snaps; 29%). Everyone in the world (including the Rams) knew JPP’s limitations as a result of his rotator cuff. And it showed in his results: half a sack, 1 QB Hurry, 1 solo tackle & 1 assist. In all fairness though, he did have 1 Fumble Recovery & that was critical.

    Nelson though was barely used (10 snaps) yet got almost the same results as JPP (1 QB Hurry, 1 solo tackle, 1 assist). Gholston was used a little more (21 snaps) but came away with 2 solo tackles & 1 TFL in that game. Not sure playing the 2 of them more would’ve made a difference in the final score though; we were outplayed, especially in the first half when we allowed the Rams to build a huge lead.

  17. Mikejp Says:

    The stats should be interpreted properly. Hits should be presented as percentage of pass rushing with only 4 players. The Bucs inflated that number by sending extra defenders, which help QBs to quickly throw to the uncovered receiver. I believe the adjusted hit percentage will be well correlated with the wins and number of sacks.

  18. Mike Johnson Says:

    If we are not going after a premium QB then lets build one hellava Defense like we had with Sapp and the Boyz. A great Defense always keeps you within winning distance. Brad Johnson was not a great QB. And neither was Trent Dilfer. But they both had great Defenses behind them to help win their SB’s

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I admit It’s easy to play the 20/20 hindsight game – but the fact that the Rams scored on 4 (should’ve been 5) of their 1st 6 possessions tells me the Bucs D was ill prepared- this is the same D that shut out the Eagles the week before for most of the game. I can’t believe they wouldn’t double cover Kupp the entire game – they won the turnover battle- Stafford was choking like he often does-
    “And we let them off the hook”- D Green

  20. Swampbuc Says:

    Todd the Blitzkrieg.

  21. Bosch Says:

    Would be curious to see how the Bucs rank in roughing the passer penalties.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Alanbucsfan … I don’t disagree with you that the Bucs D was ill-prepared for the Rams game, but so was the Bucs’ offense AND the Bucs’ S/Ts. Which totally boggles my mind because we’d played them earlier in the season and they used almost the exact same game-plan IMO.

    What’s really frustrating (I know, 20-20 hindsight) is that we shot ourselves in the foot repeatedly in the 1st half (they reciprocated in the 2nd half). For instance …

    1 – On the Rams 1st drive, they covered 72 yds in 9 plays (3 of those plays were passes for 17 yds, 20 yds & 29 yds; then we buckled down at our own 9-yd line & held them to a FG).

    2 – On the Rams 2nd drive, they covered 71 yds in 7 plays (a DPI on Dean gave them 15 yds & a taunting penalty on Suh gave them another 15 yds; they scored a TD 3 plays later).

    3 – On the Rams 3rd drive, Pinion kicks off out-of-bounds & Rams got it on their 40-yd line; after Vea sacked Stafford on the 1st play, he throws a 70-yd TD pass to Kupp. We’re now behind 20-3 … after just 3 drives & barely over 15 minutes.

    For our offense’s part, they played dead for the first several drives: Punt, Punt, FG, Punt, followed by a long drive leading to a missed FG, then an INT. COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL at its, oh ya, worst. Our defense, offense AND S/Ts stunk up the joint in that 1st half especially.

  23. unbelievable Says:

    @DR- yeah if you only get pressure by blitzing, you’re gonna out your defense in a bad situation. Being able to generate that kind of pressure with just 4 guys, would have made a drastic difference for our defense. But once JPP got injured, that went out the window.

    As for the Rams game- we blitzed a lot less in the 2nd half compare to the 1st, and it was working.

    I will still never ever understand those defensive calls at the end of the game tho. I don’t care what kind of defense you run- you just don’t blitz in those situations. Ever. The fact that half our defense wasn’t even lined up just makes it even more bitter. Brady leaving is the cherry on top.

  24. Swampbuc Says:

    Todd ist zu viel geblitzen, um fur die Pferdegesichte ihn gern zu gefahlt.

  25. David Says:

    Not surprising but deceptive.
    A lot of Blitzing needed to be done in order to do that this year. The front four did not get pressure like they started to at the end of last year. Shaq was good but eventually saw double teams because VEA wasn’t on the field half the time, SUH looked old, JPP never did anything due to injury, and the rookie looked like a rookie