Can’t Blame The Defense

December 4th, 2022

Solid results from defense.

Joe has been pretty harsh on the Bucs’ offense in recent weeks, and in particular the guy in charge of it.

It’s a valid critique. The Bucs have talent that would make most offensive coordinators drool. And with this being Tom Brady’s likely final Bucs season, the stakes are sky-high.

Yet the offense is producing latrine-low results. Beyond shameful and downright irresponsible.

How the hell can you have a losing record with Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and a now healthy Julio Jones in a miserable division? It’s impossible unless you try!

The Bucs’ losing ways are not because the defense is folding like a tent.

Over at Sharp Football Analysis, Rich Hribar points out the Bucs are one of the better teams in the league at keeping teams out of the end zone.

Opponents have scored on 29.0% of their drives against Tampa Bay, the second-lowest rate in the league.

Again, the Bucs are playing solid defense. Props to Bucs coach Todd Bowles for that.

The offense? Yeesh!

36 Responses to “Can’t Blame The Defense”

  1. Hodad Says:

    How many of those scores have been the first drive? The Browns marched right down the field on the their first drive, kind of set the tone. They didn’t score again for awhile, but when they needed to score, they did. It’s not always how much they score, but sometimes the how, and when is a back breaker. A three, and out on the opening series you have a different ball game. Stop them on 4th down, we win the game. Does it matter how much they give up when it’s still enough to lose?

  2. NEfan Says:

    Bucs had the lead at the half against Ravens, then over 200yds rushing against them. Love to see the stats by halves. They haven’t been a good second half D. Part of Bowles tanking strategy, sabotage both sides of the ball. Don’t get me going on ST’s.

  3. DungyDance Says:

    Curious if both Joe’s think BL should have been axed? Rembering the split camp on that initially.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    Sharp stick in the eye, stop posting his photo

  5. SB~LV Says:

    Dog poo on my shoe

  6. Jeff Says:

    But we can blame clueless Todd for being an ineffective head coach.

  7. NEfan Says:

    5 out of the 6 Bucs losses combined losing point total 15 and KC was 10 of them. The exception was Carolina 21-3. What this tells us is these coaches can’t close out a game.

    With the exception of Dallas, KC & Carolina, all the other games are a one possession difference. That is 100% due to conservative play calling on both sides of the ball. The man is just NOT a winner in fact to opposite the ultimate LOSER. Thanks Again Mr. INVISIBLE BA!!!

  8. Your Mom Says:

    Disagree somewhat… not forcing enough turnovers.

    And blitz-reliant teams are very risky, as was shown in the LA Rams loss last season.

  9. Your Mom Says:

    Also, low TD rate is good but not the whole story… if you give up lots of yards your offense (sick as that is anyway) is starting way back.

  10. Reach87 Says:

    Lol. Where’s the “stats don’t lie “ and “stats are for losers “ crowds? Rhetorical…please don’t answer. Thanks for the article Joe. Go Bucs!

  11. HC Grover Says:

    NEfan is correct. Bowlzo Prevent Game Plan.

  12. Kentucky Buc Says:

    The Same Guy Is In Charge Of Offense And Defense.
    There. I typed it real slow for those who haven’t caught on.
    Bowles Ball.

  13. Elita Vita Says:

    The mystery is probably something that is behind the scenes. I’d like to know what the true background behind the scenes of Arians stepping down. Perhaps what ever “caused” that is also causing this terrible year(so far). Instead of no risk it no biscuit I’m just tossing my cookies!

  14. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Working on a new invention. The Toilet Tv. You can flush it when u can’t stand the smell coming out of it during a Bucs game.

  15. SB~LV Says:

    EV … yes ! That is the story that Journalists in Tampa need to tell
    The BA story !
    Times like these I miss Steve Duemig !
    Joes probably know but won’t tell, sad !

  16. DBS Says:

    Only idiots would try to blame the defense. Of course they will come up with some way to try to pin it on them. The fact is they should not have been a lot of the positions they were. This offense only scoring field goals or a couple and 1 TD? You know where the problem is. This offense should be out scoring teams with the bad teams they played. Reaching at the defensive side is all you are doing even trying to place blame on them.

  17. NEfan Says:

    I never heard any coach say a low TD rate is good. I hope you meant for D because I for one will take the 30+ points per game average back in a heart beat.

  18. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    Another stat that needs to be looked at along with what you mentioned is time of possession.

    The Bucs defense is giving up 32 minutes of possession to the other team per average per game.

    The Bucs are losing the time of possession game this season, which is an indicator of a losing team.

  19. SB~LV Says:

    Nice guys finish last

  20. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    Agreed, the days of defense wins championships are over with the NFL’s new rules tailored to offense and the leagues embrace of gambling such as fantasy football in Fan Duel/Draft Kings which is all about offense.

  21. NEfan Says:

    DBS, the D has had some great moments but you cannot over look Carolina, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle and Cleveland, Pittsburgh, KC. With the exception of KC, all in the second half. Yes the O did nothing to help the cause.

  22. NEfan Says:

    Belle, I would agree but what is confusing is that around the league scoring is way down. And all of a sudden the likes of Brady, Roger’s, Ryan, Wilson, Jones, Murray, Jones, I’m sure a few more are all falling off the face of the earth at the same time; where as Tua, Hurts, Garapolo, Fields, Lawrence, Burrow, Mahomes & Allen (different animals) are achieving. The only answers I can come up with is either coaching or lack of talent, yet Indy has plenty of talent. Tough NFL season.

  23. DBS Says:

    Like I said NEfan. You are reaching if you are trying to put this on the defense. Just looking for any excuse at all. I will accept the Browns did what they did. Why did this friggin offense only put up 17 points? This offense has not been putting points on the board and the defense has held teams to low enough scores with a couple exceptions they should have won easy.

  24. ModHairKen Says:

    But we can blame the head coach. Would Tom Brady come back next year? If Jim Harbaugh was hired as coach?

  25. geno711 Says:

    1. Not sure why Jim Harbaugh is continually being mentioned.

    2. Name 5 teams that do not give more points in the 2nd half more than the 1st half.

    3. Name 5 teams that do not give up more points in the 4th quarter than any other quarter.

    The NFL patterns are easy to see if you don’t just follow the Bucs. The best passing teams are the best offenses. Teams score more and more points as the games continue and the defenses get tired. Injuries every week have a lot to do with who wins. Coaching matters and bad coaching can make any strongly talented team a bad team by the end of the year.

  26. NEfan Says:

    DBS, take a chill pill, the Bucs had the lead against the Ravens going into the half? Bucs were up 21 points against Atlanta, the game ended as a one possession game, same with Seattle. I didn’t watch Pittsburgh so I can’t speak to that except what I read on this site BL chose to run versus pass against a depleted secondary. The D can’t keep letting up 20+ points a game or Bucs won’t win the new to conservative Bucs give up a down 8 out of every first down which means they now only have two to get a first down, not easy.

  27. Craig Says:

    The Bucs defense does have occasional lapses that cause them to lose. Putting D. White into coverage is a touchdown waiting to happen, so you can blame the defense, or at least the coach.

  28. David Says:

    This is 100% on the offense. If they just scored 24 points a game… 6-7 points less than the last two years, they’d be 9–2 !

    People are talking about a lapse here and there on the defense… No kidding. Every offense and defense has lapses. Every possession is not going to be perfect but overall the defense has been outstanding and the offense has been absolutely horrendous.

  29. Kentucky Buc oh Says:

    The defense has played well but they have always given up late scores and a lot of times they give up quick late scores. That might not all be on them. Could be Bowles going conservative late in games on D like he does on O. This is not new. The D has given up quick late scores going back at least 3 years.

  30. Buc king Says:

    The defense is bend don’t brake..they’ve had their chance to win some games by being stingy.
    Honestly feel like the secondary I’d not opportunists enough.
    We as a team are not producing turnovers.

  31. Tony Says:

    Teams & coaches just need to get out of this ridiculous analytics mindset overall because it’s just destroying the game. They’re relying too much on things telling them what to do instead of coaching smart. Teams & coaches don’t kick FGs when they should they don’t punt when they should punt & they should. You don’t give other teams freebies. You take the points & make teams earn every yard.

  32. Tony Says:

    Maybe they could have Antonio run the offense next year?😃

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    DBS … I agree with you 100% that our defense is playing well enough for us to be MUCH better than our 5-6 record, but it’s struggled at times too. The key seems to be Hicks. He’s played in 5 games thus far; we’re 4-1 with him in there (and could easily have been 5-0 with a tweak or 2 in the Cleveland game). Without him in the game, we’re 1-5. Coincidence? I doubt it.

    In the games that he’s missed, we literally got run over. In our 4 wins with him in there, opponents averaged slightly less than 70 YPG on the ground and they averaged only 10.5 Points Scored. In the 6 games that he missed prior to the Cleveland game, our opponents averaged 148 YPG on the ground and they averaged 23 PPG scored. In our last game with Hicks in there, however, Browns got 189 yards on the ground with 34 rushes (5.6 YPC average). IOW, without Hicks (or Vea) our defense struggles mightily. Thankfully it now sounds like both will play Monday night against the Saints like they did in our 1st meeting.

    I’m quite impressed that Todd Bowles has this defense playing at a high level (ranked #6) DESPITE some of the injuries that they’ve had (Akiem Hicks & Logan Ryan being out for so many games especially). Two defensive players who really have me baffled are Will Gholston & Logan Hall. They’ve both been used very sparingly in recent games for some reason (neither have exactly set the world on fire while in the games however so it’s understandable). Against Cleveland, Gholston only got 21 def snaps (27%) and Hall only got 20 def snaps (25%) out of the 79 total def snaps Bucs had in the game. Rather bizarre.

  34. NEfan Says:

    Kentucky, I agree. These players are far from this bad, the coaching stands in their way.

  35. Goatfarmer Says:

    Eric Bienemy or Brian Flores

  36. NEfan Says:

    DR, the injury excuse works both ways, the offense has been far more decimated with injuries compared to the D.