Red Zone Woes On Defense

November 18th, 2022

Red zone defense can improve.

Over at BSPN, follically-challenged Billy Barnwell is trying to cobble together a list of the NFL’s unluckiest teams.

For a stathead to do this, it’s like a priest dabbling in heresy. Stat geeks don’t believe in things like clutch play and luck. They can only play with calculators.

Barnwell, however, gives it a shot. He believes the Bucs have a strong late-season run in them, in part because of really bad luck. One element of bad luck is their below average red zone defense. But Barnwell thinks the Bucs will improve that element because of Todd Bowles’ recent history.

The Bucs ranked 10th in red zone conversion rate on defense in 2021. Past performance isn’t indicative of future success, but we know from the broader NFL that teams that play much worse in the red zone than they do outside of it typically see their red zone performance improve as the season progresses. A great defense, most of the time, typically will be great in the red zone or get there as it gets a larger sample.

Barnwell points out the Bucs, outside the red zone, have had a good defense. The Bucs are currently No. 25 in red zone defense factoring in only touchdowns scored against them. Some 63 percent of the time an opponent gets the ball in the red zone they score a touchdown.

Since Bowles has been in Tampa, the Bucs finished sixth, 11th and fourth the past three seasons in red zone defense. So being at No. 25 is way below their average.

Joe has a hunch red zone defense will improve as long as the Bucs can get Akiem Hicks on the field.

9 Responses to “Red Zone Woes On Defense”

  1. ViSyl Says:

    Bucs defense, except for that chiefs game has been playing great, even more when you consider the bad offense for most of the season. If the offense could improve their play and spend more time on the field, it would improve even more.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree that Hicks is a key…….that, and a healthy secondary.

  3. alton green Says:

    Don’t type too loud, you’ll bust the Buc’s ear drums. Every time one of the players hits the turf, I hold my breath and think “another injury”

  4. Jaybuc Says:

    Tampabaybucfan— I agree, but would include we need both him and Vea. If one of them one goes down we are in trouble. It hard to handle TWO beasts

  5. Arn platz Says:

    I see the eagles went on a shopping spree to shore up the defense. Interested to see if it works

  6. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    Keeping them out of the red zone has definitely improved since Hicks has returned.

  7. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Getting Hicks back and hopefully Ryan soon will certainly help. Ryan’s smarts will definitely help in the red zone where communication is needed the most.

  8. Goatfarmer Says:

    Glad we signed Suh to help there before the Eagles did.

    Oh, wait…

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    Todd is a defensive genis. He’ll figure out a way to scheme up a disguised blitz package depending on formations, backs, shotgun or under center, the phase of the moon, and whether Hicks is having cramps or not. Whether Vita is in or not.

    The Browns go hurry up, the Bucs don’t have the personnel in and no one knows what the eff they’re supposed to do or what the call was. Walk in touchdown.

    But Todd is a genis.