Underappreciated Bucs Defense

January 10th, 2023

Little was easy for the banged up Bucs defense this season (including the Bucs punting 17 more times than last season) as they were the glue that helped the team squeak out a division title with a losing record.

Tampa Bay ranked 13th in points allowed and 9th in total yards allowed, solid production from a group that lost its Pro Bowl edge rusher, had interior D-line starters miss games, lost its top cornerback for four games, it’s Pro Bowl safety for a stretch, and more.

Former Rams, Patriots and Eagles defensive end Chris Long, a two-time Super Bowl winner and an ex-Tom Brady teammate, was barking on national radio yesterday about how the Bucs defense is underappreciated.

They didn’t get any days off, per Long, but their grind stayed consistent.

Long thinks the Bucs can beat the Cowboys again behind a defense that held Dallas to three points in September.

“One thing that has not changed is the speed of that Tampa defense, the second level, the way they fly around,” Long told The Rich Eisen Show on Roku. “That defense has had to compete all year, scratch and claw, and they haven’t gotten as much credit, probably, as they deserve. But every ballgame I feel like they’ve had to keep the points down and I feel like they can do that [against Dallas] and make this a dogfight.”

Long went on to say he would bet the Bucs, though that conversation included discussion of the Bucs being a three-point underdog.

Regardless, Long will not be surprised if the Bucs rack up a “W” on Monday. Of Dallas, he summarized. “I just don’t think they’re that good.”

27 Responses to “Underappreciated Bucs Defense”

  1. ViSyl Says:

    This defense could be much better if the Offense executed half of what is was supposed to do.

  2. AmauryGuzman Says:

    The bucs run defense is a concern. Have to be more physical upfront. Idk. Gotta cover. The game is still won in the trenches.

  3. Brandon Says:

    If the vets on Tampa’s offense can convince those in charge of the offense (Leftwich and Bowles) to bring back the No Risk It, No Biscuit offense and dump the No Risks, Never Biscuits offense, we may do very well. This is a team built to push the ball down the field. It’s been proven that the offensive line has been at least average in pass protection and the fact that we have not been taking shots downfield is more of a change in mentality than personnel. Our deep shots have disappeared this season, our playaction passing game, and even our intermediate passing game. These past two games, the offense under Brady and Gabbert, looked far more like 2019-2021 than 2022. That is incredibly encouraging.

  4. Doughboy Says:

    Maybe if the cornerback didn’t play 10 yards off scrimmage line and bump the receivers to knock off their timing on routes we’ll have something.

  5. Chuckstutz Says:

    Cowboys going down!

    Crybabies go home again. Chokers again. It’s their destiny.

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    The huge amount of injuries between duos like Logan Ryan and Antoine Weinfield, Vita Vea and Akeim Hicks has been disastrous.

  7. Tucker Says:

    Nah when hicks and vea are playing this run defense is really good not worried about the defense on this one. The offense needs to figure it out and smash the gas and never let up if they can finally find the pedal that is.

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    Any info on Nassib availability??? He had become the defensive MVP up front before he went down.

  9. TombsEN Says:

    Why do people insist that Bowles is to blame for the offense? Maybe just maybe BL is in over his head or the injuries rendered his offense inept but who was Bowles going to put in BL’s place, especialy during the season? There are very few times that coordinators get fired during the season, it just doesn’t happen often.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Our defense has kept us in games all year while our impotent offense doesn’t score….doesn’t get leads…

    And, all these games saved in the end by Brady needed a defense that got him the ball back and held on.

    If they are healthy, and I think they are, look for a top performance Monday night.

  11. Duane Says:

    This is the defensive performance this team has needed for almost a decade. So bizarre that the offense took a nosedive this season. Further indication that Bowles is a solid DC, but not a leader of men. The fact that he didnt have a plan for horrible OC options, or a clue, does not give him a pass. The successful coaches find a way to adapt and overcome. For a guy that gives out very little insight, or emotion, he cannot expect the fans to sympathize with him when he makes all the injury excuses in the offseason. He will likely blame us and the media as well for his failings.

  12. Dooley Says:

    Top 5 scoring defense the first 13 weeks of the season that has unfortunately been saddled to an offense that can barely find the endzone > 2 times a game.

  13. Goatfarmer Says:

    Wait until Toad calls the cover zero blitz, which the players interpret as “don’t cover anyone, but don’t blitz either.” It works like a charm especially against the opponents’ number 1 WR.

  14. BucU Says:

    These coaches will lose this game with Dallas. Bowles and Leftwich get dominated by opponents coaches just about every single game.
    They all should be fired immediately following the upcoming loss. They ruined this team.

  15. EEK Says:

    Nothing seems to get a slumping qb more right than facing this Bucs D

    At least we’re in the playoffs — love that!

    Get a couple of take aways and maybe there’s a chance for a second playoff game

  16. Mike Says:

    Have a feeling we are going to see the real Bucs on Monday Night and Dallas gets bumped out of the playoffs again.

  17. Dooley Says:


    It easy to piss & moan about two coaches instead of focusing on the problems in talent, performance and health of the 53 guys on the roster tasked to be on the actual field of play to make sh*t happen. Fans like you are the lazy type that feel “ah it’s gotta be the coaching” instead of watching games and seeing how players are also coming up short. It’s legit “Blame Canada” logic

  18. tbbucs3 Says:

    The Bucs defense is the reason there in the playoffs….you don’t make the playoffs with a bottom 5 offense without a great defense

  19. DEEEMO Says:

    I have said it all along…Offense sells tickets and gets most of the press coverage…BUT…The DEFENSE WINS GAMES AND CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    tbbucs3…sooo this D is “great” now huh?

  21. BuckyPhillips Says:

    Get him Dooley!! NFL is tough to win, Bowles is a defensive coach, handed the reigns to Brady and he threw for the most attempts ever in history… and we have a losing record

  22. Tucker Says:

    If the game plan is predictable and stagnant then it doesn’t matter how good the players are if the defense knows whats coming. If you would have watched the season like most fans have you would understand why everyone complains about leftwich and why he will be fired at the end of the season.

  23. tbbucs3 Says:


    Top 10 defense in every meaningful category…..Pass defense and and PPG.

    Everybody wants to talk about the dropoff in run defense but a good run defense means absolutely nothing if you can’t stop the pass…. remember when Lovie Smith had all those “great” run defenses? It’s cause he couldnt stop a slant to save his life, hence, why he can’t keep a job.

  24. Buc4evr Says:

    Have to open up the offense to win this game. Leftwurst should not be allowed anywhere near the sidelines. The Defense will do ok, but they are not going to stop Dallas from scoring and the Bucs only chance to win is to play no huddle and the vertical game as much as possible. If Brady continually is put in third and long by Leftwurst’s stupid play calling, the Bucs will never score enough points to win.

  25. NEfan Says:

    The D played spectacular against Dallas, after that not so great. One other playoff team Seattle and they aost gave that game away. They kept crap teams under 20 points, BIG DEAL!

  26. Dooley Says:


    an 18 ppg average for 13 weeks is a pretty big deal, too bad in that same span our offense averaged around the same amount of point. Also, we do not win the week 2 matchup in New Orleans w/o the defense scoring when the offense couldn’t. Defensively, the first Saints game was way better than the Dallas game, but you talk like an idiot daily on this board so yea, law of averages in effect all the way around.

  27. Dunn "f"n around Says:

    If we win, we also beat the iggles.