Bucs’ Pass Defense Will Be Tested

September 25th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Joe understands the Eagles and the Bucs want to establish the run and pound the ball. However, number says both offenses would be playing right into the hands of the opposing defenses by doing this.

And they’d be passing on massive opportunities through the air, the stats say.

Both teams have elite receiver duos. Whoever decides to test the other’s secondary could be looking at points.

Per Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis, the soft underbelly of each defense is through the air.

* 86.2% of the yardage gained against the Eagles has come via passing, the highest rate in the league.

* 82.1% of the yardage gained against the Buccaneers has come via passing, the second-highest rate in the league.

The yards given up by the Bucs through the air is surprising. Joe thought the secondary may have been the Bucs’ strength.

Then again, if the Bucs’ run defense is that stingy — and it is — perhaps Joe shouldn’t be surprised. Remember back in 2020 the Bucs run defense was so strong, opponents gave up trying to run?

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20 Responses to “Bucs’ Pass Defense Will Be Tested”

  1. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The most important thing: Keeping the opposition from scoring. So far, so good.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Logic would seem to say that if you constantly sell out to minimize the run, then you become more vulnerable against the pass. Sure does seem to be the case for the Bucs’ defense under Todd Bowles for these past 4 years.

    But potentially the reverse may be true also for your offense. If you’re are no threat to run, that allows the opposing defense to focus even more on pass defense, and specifically pass rush. Any offense is probably a lot easier to defend against if it’s one-dimensional.

    My guess is that both the Bucs and Eagles will still run the ball tonight, although probably a bit less than they normally have, if for no other reason than to keep the defense honest. Both may even use the pass to set up the run in this game.

    o Bucs have run 67 times in our 2 games, for a 2.9 YPC average. We’ve passed it 68 times (plus taken 1 sack) for a 7.0 yds per attempt average. Thus we’ve run it on 49.3% of our plays.

    o Eagles have run 73 times in their 2 games, for a 4.9 YPC average. They’ve passed it 56 times (plus taken 7 sacks) for a 5.2 yds per attempt average. Thus they’ve run it on 53.7% of their plays.

    Big key to why the Eagles’ rushing attack is averaging 4.9 YPC is explosive plays. Of their 356 yds rushing on 73 attempts, Eagles have had 6 runs for 114 yds that were each over 10 yds (they’ve also had a bunch in the 5-10 yd range). Take those 6 runs away & the Eagles rushing’ results are a more ‘typical’ 3.6 YPC average. Bucs have been doing good so far at NOT giving up the long runs. Let’s hope that continues tonight.

  3. Baking with Canales Says:

    Defense Points allowed:

    Beagles 48
    Bucs 34

    Let’s go, Evans, Godwin, Palmer, Otton, White and Tucker!!!!!


  4. Baking with Canales Says:

    Minnesota put up 28 points on the Beagles.


  5. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Few penalties and another turnover free game will be the key tonight.

  6. BillyBucco Says:

    I think the Bucs might give up close to 100 yard’s tonight on the ground, but again as long as they keep them out of the endzone on a long run I’m fine with it. I’m not sure the Eagles 🦅 can stop the pass as well as Tampa can this year in particular. In the past scheme we always had trouble against NO especially because of the vertical nature of it, they would sit back and let us run to them. We seemed very inept at short passes to set up manageable 3rd downs and even then would take deep shots on 3rd and 3. After watching Minnesota drop 7 and 8, you could tell Brown was not suited for short passes and the Vikings would come up and tackle him. He is best catching on the run and allowing his big frame to earn YAC. When he gets hit on short passes he is easier to tackle.
    Jalen Hurts averaging less than 175 yds only because they could run it.
    Gonna be interesting because the core of this same defense shut down Mahomes in the SB by playing stingy on the back end and getting pressure.
    Eagles have gotten pressure this year but not sacks which tells me they are late getting there because there back end suffers. Without Avonte Maddox in the slot, they are especially susceptible. Gonna be a good game. Baker will get tje ball out and might have a really good game.

  7. Bucnjim Says:

    Two players that aren’t getting enough credit are the kickers who can absolutely blast the ball. It’s very impressive. Both can easily change the course of the game if the defense can slow down the Eagles. Field possession and field goals are vital in close games.

  8. Duane Says:

    Percentages of yards gained has no relevance to anything. As Joe suggests, if the defense is shutting down the run, then offenses have to pass. The only thing that really matters is points allowed. Far below that stat in importance is yards given up, whether ground or passing.

    The Bucs rank #7 in points against, while the Eagles rank 20th in PA.

  9. Oddball Says:

    If I am reading it right…
    86% = 650 yards given up by the Eagles
    82% = 490 yards given up by the Bucs

    Might not be as bad as you think Joe.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The key to this game will be what it usually is.


  11. orlbucfan Says:

    Truer words have not been written. Bucs might have the edge in ST.

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Most the passing yards given up have come up big plays in the 1st quarter or half both games and then we seemed to settle or adjust into the 2nd half.

    The Vikings game was also a little weird because the offense was just punting every possession basically until the end of the 1st half which put the defense in a terrible spot. And the Vikings pass game is going to be good all year probably.

    First half of the Vikings game Jefferson had like 140 yards and Addison had a 39 yard TD. First drive of the Bears Moore had 64 yards on 2 catches.

    That’s like 1/2 the passing yards we’ve given up this season so far.

  13. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Look for heavy doses of the run game tonight to limit the Eagles offense

  14. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    More man coverage! Bowles loves zone and our boys suck at it! Too many receivers running WAO (Wide A$$ Open) on our defense. Did anyone one else see how well NO’s defense covered on the back end? EVERY PASS was contested. Love was forced to throw perfect passes to make ANY completions.

    Our opponents run their route’s w/o resistance for pitch & catch completions. Zone is free yardage for QBs. Make it harder for the opponent-ditch the zones! I’m not the only one who sees this.

    I’ve asked before, why draft cover corners and ask them to play zone?

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Lord C … Excellent points. Bucs can hopefully deal with the Eagles’ run game & short passing game; it’s the explosive plays that break our backs. And so far, I think we found out yesterday that 10 of the 11 explosive plays of 20 or more yards were passes against our Bucs.

    Hurts was 0-for-4 deep against the Pats, but then he went 2-for-5 deep against the Vikings (1 deep pass went for a TD, and another deep pass was intercepted). He also threw another deep pass for a TD, however it was negated by an offensive penalty. So Hurts was 2-for-9 deep over 2 games, meaning that he was 38-of-47 short (80.9%). That’s nasty. With a solid running game averaging 4.9 YPC & short passing game averaging over 80% completions, they’ll be a good challenge for our defense.

  16. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Baking with Canales Says:
    September 25th, 2023 at 6:17 am
    Defense Points allowed:

    You cannot always use the total points as a measuring stick.

    Cleveland leads Points Against with 32 @ 10.7 points a game. Those numbers include Pittsburgh’s Pick 6 and Strip Sack Fumble TD. I guess once it’s turned over Offense is considered Defense for the rest of the play. CLV Defense actually gave up 18 Points @ 6 points per game. That’s just one 70 Burger from being middle of the league though.

    14 Point difference can be attributed to the 5 Eagle Turnovers.

    What’s interesting is Eagles turned the ball over 5 times to Bucs Zero and are still plus 4 to Tampa’s plus 5 in Differential.

    Ball Security has never been more important than tonight. First two games Bucs might have survived a Turnover and still Won.

  17. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    PFF just ranked the Bucs defensive line as #25. Don’t see how they formulated this ranking with Vita Vea and Shaq, along with draft pick Calijah kancy and YaYa Diaby. Not to mention that JTS and Logan Hall are finally showing up this year.

  18. garro Says:

    Some of the stats people swear by are far from a pefect gauge of what teams are doing or how players are doing. They do not take into account the multitude ot variables that exist inside each game.

    Stats are not the end all be all for that reason.

    Go Bucs!

  19. Bucswin Says:

    Only one stat really matters. W’s and L’s. GO BUCS! 3-0

  20. BreezyBucs Says:

    Leaving things in percentages in this context ruins everything.

    If a team rushed for 2 yards on us and passed for 198 yards and we had two ints and won 37-10…. to come out of that game and say…

    “Wow, they got 99% of their yards through the air in this win. Our secondary really needs to get looked at.”

    Then I think that’s quite a silly misuse of stats without context. We have the 2nd best run defense in the league and there’s only been two games. If there’s no rushing yards, the passing yards are going to be highly skewed. Before this week we were #9 in total yards allowed. Top 10 D. Again, it’s just the fact no one has rushed.