Defense Was Good, Not Good Enough

February 14th, 2023

Defense still wins titles.

Interesting stats here on Super Bowl-winning teams and defense.

Marcus Mosher of the PFF tribe crunched the numbers and showed that Super Bowl winners have some of the best defenses in the league at keeping teams out of the end zone.

Joe thought the Bucs had a decent defense last season, ninth in the NFL in yards allowed per game at 324. Given all the injuries in the secondary and the loss of Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett, Joe thought Todd Bowles did a fine job with the defense.

Not good enough, however.

Mosher points out that every Super Bowl winner but the last two seasons since 2016 had at least a top-10 defense in points allowed per game. The last two years the Chiefs (16th) and Rams (15th) were the exceptions.

Too early to say the Chiefs and Rams defenses is a trend.

So what did the Bucs have in 2020 when they won the Super Bowl? The Bucs were third in the league in points allowed per game. That’s great.

And of course, we saw the Bucs defense stomp out the Chiefs in the Super Bowl and hold Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs offense without a touchdown.

Right now the Bucs appear they may lose both Jamel Dean and Lavonte David to free agency given the salary cap hell they are in. That’s not the way to build a top-five defense in points allowed per game.


53 Responses to “Defense Was Good, Not Good Enough”

  1. Marine Buc Says:

    That Baltimore Ravens game was a total embarrassment.

    It really showed how soft our defense really was…

    No JPP. No Suh. No Whitehead. No fire…

    D. White getting pushed around like a little girl… Vea taking plays off.

    What a joke.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Ravens snatched Todd Monken as OC.

  3. Elita Vita Says:

    I think the water boy on the Houston Texans is still available!

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Word is, the Bucs already have their OC worked out but are waiting until a certain surprise signing that cannot take place until after 4 pm today.

    My source? The voices in my head.

  5. henry b Says:

    Hint: the bucs are trying to get eli manning to be the new OC. Let’s wait a week and you all will remember this post.

  6. AL121976 Says:

    Monken went to the Ravens, we really need a better defense this year

  7. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Maybe the assistant QB coach at USF would be willing to be the BUCS new OC?

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Jim Caldwell hired by the Panthers as asst HC.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And of course, we saw the Bucs defense stomp out the Chiefs in the Super Bowl and hold Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs offense without a touchdown

    TBBF feels this was the greatest performance in Buc history……topping even our SB victory over the Raiders…

    Why?…..because of the way we handled Patrick Mahomes…….spectacular.

  10. D-Rok Says:

    I would characterize our defense last year as a unit with decent talent but were fairly inconsistent game to game, especially underperforming in critical situations.

    I give Bowles a ton of credit for his D’s performance in the 2020 Superbowl against the Chiefs – THAT was brilliant! However, if Bowles is such a defensive mind, his mind needs to get busy and get more out of his defense this upcoming year.

    Maybe that 2020 SB was a fluke by our D, who knows. All I know is I expected MORE from our defense last year because Bowles dangled that shiny carrot in front of us, meaning he is capable, but like his D, he’s inconsistent.

    Just my humble opinion.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    btw, Bucs fans complain that the team has had 9-10 interviews without hiring an OC? Look at this:

    “We conducted 21 interviews with 14 candidates throughout a thorough process that had wide-ranging organizational involvement,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement.

  12. Red Skeleton Says:

    Defense ALWAYS wins Championships. These numbers prove that.

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    @ LUV

    Greg Roman is interviewing with the Redskins today… What a bummer.

  14. BucsfanFred Says:

    Last year good teams stomped our defence.

  15. NEfan Says:

    TBBF, don’t get too excited. In 2020, D played outstanding in the Saints PO game and SB. That being said, Brees had a torn rotator cuff that prohibited him from throwing over 15 yds, and Mahomes had turf toe, a oline worst than the Bucs this season and Andy Reids kid/assistant coach decided to get shat faced at.the practice facility, drive the wrong way down an off ramp and crush a minivan almost killing a 5 yr old girl. I’d say there were a few distractions going into the SB. Other than that they played GREAT. Blows is the most overrated DC in the league.

  16. BucsfanFred Says:

    We will have an OC by The weekend or maybe Monday.

  17. Rayjay1122 Says:

    This past season when an opponent was in 3rd and long, I had a high degree of confidence that they would convert and keep the drive alive.

  18. Glenn Williams Says:

    Todd Monken just got signed to the Ravens (SMDH)

  19. mark2001 Says:

    Monken was never coming here. One of the cardinal rules in business…you never go back to the place the fired you. After Gruden and Monken used us as leverage and spurned us, maybe more will see why I said that weeks ago.

  20. mark2001 Says:

    BFF. I O’neil in town with Jameis? That is my prediction.

  21. Goatfarmer Says:

    The Diva in the photo should be traded while there is still time for value. The maroon wants $100 million. Bwaaahahahaa.

  22. ElioT Says:

    The Bucs turning into a joke.

    From Pinnacle to the Pit!

  23. Bucs Guy Says:

    Trade Devin White for 2 x day 2 picks. Use one on his replacement and the other on a TE or RB. That would give the Bucs 5 picks in rounds 1-3. White isn’t the LB you thought he could be and you can’t afford his contract.

    Re-sign LVD for 2 more years. Draft his replacement next year. Both new LBs learn from him and you’re set for the future in the middle.

  24. Fansince76 Says:

    i was disappointed in the play of Vea especially the first half of the season.
    thought he would take another step forward but looked like his play declined
    for the most part.

  25. Fansince76 Says:

    Remember Sapp in his prime, he wreaked havoc for several years totally dominated. Not seeing that from VEA and thought we would.

  26. mark2001 Says:

    Fan.. so one question…whose play stepped up last year from the year before? Just asking.

  27. DBS Says:

    That would settle the problem ya ‘ll have a new OC an QB coach. Plus starting QB because No way he let Trask start then.

  28. mark2001 Says:

    Maybe JTS? But still not starter quality.

  29. Tye Says:

    YEP!… Now the coaches are getting hired and the pool for the top guys are dwindling….. Bucs end up with someone’s water boy as their OC!

  30. Fansince76 Says:

    I would say Dean and Winfield.

  31. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Marine Buc Says:
    February 14th, 2023 at 11:10 am
    That Baltimore Ravens game was a total embarrassment.

    It really showed how soft our defense really was…

    No JPP. No Suh. No Whitehead. No fire…

    D. White getting pushed around like a little girl… Vea taking plays off.

    What a joke.
    Marine Buc: Do you remember the Niners game when White could’ve pushed Deebo out of bounds near the goal line on their first drive and chose not to? What was that?

  32. Duane Says:

    Numbers are just a tool, and even the uneducated can skew them to reflect any perceived paradigm. Points differential is likely a better measurment, and any fan can tell you that not having a franchise quarterback spells doom. Last season, noone was saying that the Rams defense was the hurdle to overcome. Did Todd Bowles sponsor this article? Feels like something the 49ers are saying during the offseason.

  33. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Joe in Mich

    Yes – that was another prime example of the low effort we saw from this defense all season.

    What is really sad is Todd Bowles is in charge of this defense and is the head coach…

    That SF game was just as bad (maybe worse) than the Baltimore game.

    Sad state of affairs.

  34. Go Bucs Go Says:

    Despite the uncertainty in QB situation (trade rumors) in Baltimore, Monken chose Ravens over us. I guess he knows a or two about sinking ship when he sees one.

    Go Bucs!

  35. SB~LV Says:

    Bye bye ~~~~~

  36. zzbucs Says:

    What we beed for this year…..Is a miracle, and won´t happen…..

    Makes sense, we made a GREAT party for the last 3 years, now is time to pay for it…….

    Everybody knew this was going to happen, sooner or later….So let´s swallow it and hope it will take just one year

  37. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Mahomes’ turf toe didn’t prevent him from scrambling 495 yards BEHIND the LOS…….our defense had him on the run all night…..

  38. Bucamania Says:

    We saw very few turnovers or game changing plays from this defense in 2022.

  39. mark2001 Says:

    Fan..Dean? Maybe, contract year and all. Of course he is on the Lions list of guys to go after in FA. Winfield? I think he was hurt to much to say that. No disrespect to him. But think he had a better year the last couple.

  40. stpetebucfan Says:

    @Bucs Guy

    I understand your frustration with White and indeed I share it as well.

    HOWEVER…let me make one small change to your description.

    “White isn’t the LB you thought he could be and you can’t afford his contract.”

    Actually White was every bit the LB we thought he could be during the Bucs SB season. He was a true stud. But I understand you. He has certainly failed to back that up.

    So we HAVE seen his talent and production in that season. We’ve also seen a dropoff since. This is his contract year. This is why I take your point.
    Say White IS very motivated in a contract year and ball out. What would he be worth then? He’ll be an FA so perhaps you idea makes sense after all.

    UNLESS Bowles or Licht believe DW45 can really up his game not just for a contract year but for the remainder of his career….ala LVD who ALWAYS comes to play.

  41. mark2001 Says:

    “many oddsmakers have it right by having Tampa Bay as one of the lesser teams to compete for a Super Bowl in 2023-24.”

    I think we all know what this means, in simple English, don’t we?

  42. mark2001 Says:

    Odds as they stand today…and many of these teams have better draft picks and more FA cap room than we do…

    Carolina Panthers +6000
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6000
    Atlanta Falcons +7000
    Seattle Seahawks +7000
    Tennessee Titans +7000
    Washington Commanders +8000
    Chicago Bears +9000
    Indianapolis Colts +10000

  43. mark2001 Says:

    But those odds aside..We have Todd Bowles at the helm. So that offsets it all. Right?

  44. Ed Says:

    Our weakness on defense is our defensive line. This is just not good enough for a starting lineup. JTS isn’t a quarterback hunter, he is just a speed rusher with no strength and no bend. Vea plays well at times but as others have said, he isn’t a better player than he was 3 years ago. A guy with his size and strength should be a dominant player. I suspect his heart isn’t in the right place to show the league that he could be one of the best.

    Will Gholson is up there in years and Natcho is a backup.

    Getting stronger upfront on both sides of the ball is the number one problem facing the Bucs. Opponent offenses push these guys around.

    There isn’t one guy on this defense other than LVD, Jamel Dean and Antwoine Winfield that show up every week. The rest of them are all replaceable.

  45. Redeemer Says:

    They couldn’t stop good teams. It was all an illusion. Gonna get worse. Dean is almost certainly gone. That means we’ll be watching SMB getting torched.

  46. NEfan Says:

    TBBF, never said it wasn’t entertaining! Goes to show how a bad oline can’t even protect a running QB.

  47. Justin Murray Says:

    Joe you are referencing the wrong stats. those are the OFFENSIVE stats, not defense.

  48. Joe Says:


    Good catch, thank you. Joe will replace the tweet but the overall theme is still correct. Gotta have a good defense to win it all (mostly).

  49. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @ Marine Buc

    While it may be disappointing, the potential hiring of Greg Roman by the Washington Commanders is a smart move for his family; especially when you consider the commute.

  50. Defense Rules Says:

    Ed … ‘Our weakness on defense is our defensive line’.

    If you were talking about LAST season Ed, I’d agree with you. But as of TODAY, our weakness on defense is our DLine, our LBs & our Secondary.

    o DLine: We’ve got Vea & Hall under contract, plus several ‘who are those guys?’. Hicks, Gholston, RNR & O’Connor from the 2022 team are all FAs.

    o LBs: We’ve got White, Britt, Shaq, JTS & Gill under contract, plus several ‘who are those guys?’. LVD, Nelson & Nassib from our 2022 team are all FAs.

    o Secondary: We’ve got Davis, McCollum, Delaney & Winfield under contract, plus several ‘who are those guys?’. Dean, SMB, Edwards, Neal & Ryan are all FAs.

    If I had to pick the weakest position group on our defense as of TODAY, like I said it’d be the DLine, ILBs & Secondary. In short, we have a LOT of ‘retooling’ to do (sure, let’s go with that). The defense that allowed 358 points against last season (21 PPG) and ranked mid-pack (#13) is no more. We don’t have to worry about blowing it up, that defense has already gone up in smoke. And what remains is very circumspect IMO (Vea, Hall, White, Britt, Shaq, JTS, Gill, McCollum, Delaney … Plus Davis & Winfield who were bpth hurt quite a bit themselves last season).

    Todd Bowles REALLY has his hands full trying to rebuild this mess (especially with no money). But hey, we could listen to those ardent ‘Fire Bowles’ fans and go hire us a new DC who’d surely be even better. If y’all think that no one wants the OC job, just imagine who WOULDN’T line up for the DC job if it came open.

  51. Anonymous Says:

    Most don’t and aren’t going think it through Defense. I haven’t been thinking it through either. I’ve just been ticked off and damn the torpedoes. The cap was one thing everyone knew it was coming. What wasn’t expected or acceptable is this the tragic Greek play that has blown up in nuclear fashion. Between “my belief” that Bowles and the gang let Leftwich sabotage the season to the what “looks like” we’re being drug through the gates of the den of depression, h3ll. With Everybody raging against it. AS THEY SHOULD OF COURSE!
    Many tried banging the drums as loud as we could but there were so few of us early on. ALL the signs of an implosion where BRIGHT RED. Still the organization did actually NOTHING AT ALL about it.
    In the beginning.
    If this many fans would have STOUD UP AND DAMMANDED ACTIONS AND RESULTS versus just the 3 or 4 of us even before training camp, well it could have been a far different end to the story of the 2022.

    But I gotta say, there’s no proof that there is no way this can’t work itself out if cooler heads prevail. Right now everyone is sweating like it’s the middle of summer here in Florida without A/C. Hot heads Everywhere! And we all have the right to be on fire! Still cooler heads HAVE TO prevail. So me personally I’m going to try to relax going forward.

    I think I’ll go watch “Draft Day” and dream of a Hollywood ending because right now, we can sure us a hero.

    GO BUCS!

  52. Rod Munch Says:

    Wow, what amazing research. Basically it shows that the team that scores more points, wins. Been saying that for years.

  53. Goatfarmer Says:

    Blowes sucks.