Keeping Offenses Out Of The End Zone

August 20th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

You can slice and dice how a defense played, if dudes tackled or didn’t tackle, what kind of pass rush there was or how corners covered receivers all you want.

At the end of the day, the goal is still keeping the other team out of the end zone. And even though Bucs coach Todd Bowles didn’t think his defense was all that great last night in New Jersey, the Bucs prevented the Jets from scoring a touchdown.

Bowles didn’t lose sight that his defense accomplished their goal.

“Kept them out of the end zone,” Bowles said. “That’s a big cry from 27 points last week to six points this week.

“We understand it’s preseason, but I thought the younger guys got better and they played well throughout.”

And why did the Bucs play better defense? Well, Bowles singled out the team improved on tackling (still need work) and getting to the ball.

“It got better from last week, still can get better,” Bowles said. “I thought (CB) Zyon (McCollum) improved from last week, which was big for him.

“I think we let the quarterback out and we didn’t keep him contained and we missed some tackles on that run, but for the most part it was better than last week.”

The Bucs will need their defense to be stout if they hope to play meaningful games in January. Bowles wants a running team on offense. Running teams generally aren’t capable of coming from behind late — say, by two scores.

So to win with a run-heavy offense, you must have a defense that limits touchdowns. Perhaps last night was a glimpse into the regular season?

29 Responses to “Keeping Offenses Out Of The End Zone”

  1. Dave Pear Says:

    Ray Charles could see that the Bucs can’t run the ball, even if Jim Brown was in his prime in the backfield. Bowles better let Canales dictate the gameplan and the offense. Last year’s OL look like the Hogs compared to this bunch of poofs.

  2. StretchOMatic Says:

    Actually it looked like penalties kept the Jets out of the endzone!

  3. Jack Clark Says:

    Todd Bowels is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. We don’t have the offensive line and running backs to win being a run heavy team and he still wants to run the ball anyway. Todd Bowels is a stubborn mule that won’t change his losing formula. I will be glad when he goes back to being a defensive coordinator for some other team.

    RIP no risk it no biscuit

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    Calm down people. The Bucs didn’t have all their starters in last night, so you can’t say the offensive line is doomed when literally the best player on the whole team is standing on the sideline and you got a 3rd or 4th string center starting the game — who, btw, did play better as the game went along — albeit vs the 2nd and 3rd string Jets defense.

    With that said, what you can feel doom about is Todd Bowles as headcoach. Great DC, should have stayed there, but as HC, he inspires nothing but contempt in 90% of the fans. Even last night, when he goes for on 4th down and the Bucs get it, that makes things 100x worse since we know in the regular season he’d never do anything that adventurous, he’s punting 100 out of 100 times.

  5. Crickett Baker Says:

    I was jacked that we held them to field goals but I didn’t share Bowels’s statement that McCollum improved. I saw him mess up quite a few tackles. What REALLY concerned me was our pass protection. Kyle could have been beheaded a few times and we know what happened to Wolford. We really will end up with no QB if this continues.

    I am so glad we won and the Jets even played some of their starters.

  6. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I agree that Bowles is an outstanding coordinator but lacking as a head coach that being said fan sentiment has nothing to do with wins and losses.

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    Crickett – Zion only really had one bad play last night, and made a few plays. I’ve said it all along, however, he’s extremely green. He went to a small school and corner is one of the more difficult positions in football to make a big jump in – unlike, say, RB where someone like Ronnie Brown could come out of nowhere and get 1000 yards. Zion has remarkable physical traits, which is why he was drafted, but is a long-term project. I just hope the team isn’t counting on him being the 3rd corner, because that will be a disaster, he’s just not ready for that role yet, and probably won’t be ready for it until next year, if ever. The big thing with Zion is with his physical ability, if things ever click for him, he’s going to be a star. But, again, he’s a slow developing guy, and the odds are still heavily in favor of him being a nobody in two years. But I’d give him all the time you can before you start writing him off – and in the preseason I’d give him a ton of snaps since he needs all the playing time he can get.

  8. Dave Pear Says:

    The pass rush seemed not awful. That also might have been my observation of the Jets DL blowing our offensive linemen into south Jersey and I confused the two.

  9. Crickett Baker Says:

    Well, I hope you are right, Muncher. I did not like what I saw him do in the first half. I saw one good play.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Bowles wants a running team on offense.’

    I think you’re exaggerating the importance Todd Bowles places on running the ball Joe. Yes I’m sure that he wants to run the ball MORE than we did last year (least number of rushes in the NFL is nothing to brag about). And yes he wants to run the ball more EFFECTIVELY (gaining 3.4 YPC over an entire season doesn’t earn you bragging rights either). And oh ya, when you run the most plays in the NFL (1159) but have your TOP drop by over 1 minute to 28:54 then something’s bad wrong.

    Bucs ran the ball on a ridiculously low one-third of our plays (33.3%) last year. Even BA ran more than that. Seattle meanwhile ran it 40.7% last year, and I suspect that Bowles would be happy to be in that proximity, PROVIDING that we can run it effectively (to at least get our rushing average up over 4.0 YPC). We’re not built to run it as often as say the 49ers (48.1%) or the Eagles (48.4%) or the Ravens (50.0%). But 40% run-pass with a 4.0 YPC or better average is perfectly doable IMO even with this OLine IF we really work at it. That’d give us about 440-450 runs on the year, and 1800 or more yards on the season. We haven’t done that since Jameis’ first year (2015) because we’ve been primarily a passing offense.

  11. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    The good news: The Jets still ain’t good.

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – The best thing I’ve seen out of the new offense is that they actually run the playaction pass. I seriously think under Leftwich, most of the running issues could have been fixed had they not been so insanely predictable, AND ran a lot more playaction passes. Heck, if they ran like 4 or 5 playaction passes on first down in the first half of games, they could have ran up the middle with success if teams didn’t know what was coming 97% of the time.

    Of course this year the Bucs don’t have Brady, so teams aren’t going to fear the pass nearly as much, so playaction won’t be as successful as it would have been, but it still is a very valuable tool and it was working last night as you got more into the game, and the Jets were off balance a little.

  13. Dave Pear Says:

    I still wake up from night terrors that somehow Leftwich is back calling plays and Oneil Cousins is the best O-lineman. The second part would sadly almost be true.

  14. Danny Husak Says:

    Id say. ” Go out and get Nick Chubb.” Browns won’t need him after week 4. Watson is an NFL choker. HAD HIS WAY IN COLLEGE WHEN EACH defense only had 3 or 4 great guys to avoid. Now, NFL teams have 11 guys on D that good. Chubb doesn’t need much blocking to get 2,000 yards. If The Bucs keep him on the field the 4th quarter, he’ll gain 100 yards against EVERY tired D, every 4th quarter. I’ve watched every one of his games. He’s THAT good. Chubb, Baker and the Buc-D…………. THAT wins 14 games for sure.

  15. unbelievable Says:

    Running teams generally need to be able to uh, ya know, run the ball too…

  16. ATLBuc Says:

    Danny Husak Says:
    August 20th, 2023 at 4:22 pm
    Id say. ” Go out and get Nick Chubb.”

    Why stop at Chubb? Let’s get Aaron Rodgers, Saquon Barkley and some all pro Olinemen!!

  17. Buc4evr Says:

    The problem is that Bowles is trying to keep our offense out of the red zone. With this OLine no RB in the NFL could survive. We need 30 points per game not 13.

  18. Wild Bill Says:

    It’s good to have a decent run game but today’s NFL teams (the top contenders) have quarter backs who are excellent passers and good receivers. The old Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers among others featured their run games. Five yards and a cloud of dust worked for Ohio State years ago but won’t win you a superbowl in today’s game. Last season the Bucs had only two pass catching threats and the defenses could focus their defense on them. Some of the new speedy guys could really open up the pass attack which might help open up the run game. Wow, imagine that!

  19. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Regularly we far from regular have 2 all pro caliber receivers

  20. Buc4evr Says:

    Rodarius Williams, not his brother Greedy.

  21. KrippledKracka Says:

    @ Bucfan1988

    Greedy or Rodarius. Not one in the same, though are brothers.

  22. D Cone Says:

    Wild Bill Says

    It’s good to have a decent run game but today’s NFL teams (the top contenders) have quarter backs who are excellent passers and good receivers

    2022 Eagles Passed 536 times and ran 544 times. Contended pretty well.
    Don’t think Bucs are looking to run it down the field but you have to be able to run the ball.Otherwise Defense will play cover two all day long. Then it’s just as hard to pass as run.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod … ‘The best thing I’ve seen out of the new offense is that they actually run the playaction pass.’

    Yes they did. Go back & check to see how many were successful (ie, say gaining 5 or more yards).

  24. Wild Bill Says:

    Yes to a more mobile qb. Brady was a fixed target. Move the pocket and it buys the qb more time to read the defense and the receivers more time to run routes and go deep. Both Trask and Baker can move and throw while moving. Makes the job more difficult for pass rushers.

  25. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    For a running team, the Bucs were forced to pass a lot.

  26. Divis Says:

    I think they want other teams to think we will be a running team. In reality, they are most likely scheming to be pass heavy with the receiving core we have. Vikings will plan to stuff the run, get thrown all over and lose. That starts us with a W.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    Doesn’t really matter what they want teams to ‘think’ if they can’t at least somewhat back it up on the field…

    Otherwise teams will simply stack the box early and then tee off with pass rushers once they’re up by 2 scores.

    That said, I will be patient for a few weeks as they get out the kinks / the starters all play for their first time (thanks to the cupcake preseason regimen).

  28. garro Says:

    Out of the end zone… Hmm what a novel idea


    Go Bucs!

  29. Capt.Tim Says:

    Our 3rd string stopped their 3rd string.
    Lets see how the real players do in a couple weeks