So, About That Bucs Defense…

September 15th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Interesting numbers when it comes to the early weeks of the 2023 NFL season.

On Sunday, the Bucs’ defense held Kirk Cousins of the Vikings to 344 yards passing and two touchdowns while getting a pick and two sacks. The Vikings had 369 yards of total offense.

Not great numbers for the defense but it could have been worse.

So last night on a short week, Minnesota traveled to Philadelphia. A road Thursday night game against the defending NFC champions was a virtual loss before a ball was snapped, so many believed.

All offseason Joe heard constantly how dominant and deep Philadelphia’s defense is. To hear some speak of it, the Eagles’ defense is the standard for all other NFL teams in 2023.

So what did Minnesota do to Philadelphia’s defense? Cousins hung 364 passing yards and four touchdowns on the Eagles. Minnesota had 374 yards of offense.

Why is Joe bringing this up? Well, if Philadelphia’s defense is so damn good, what does it say that the Bucs defense against the Vikings gave up fewer yards, half the touchdown passes and fewer points than Cousins put on the board against the Eagles?

Oh, and the Bucs had as many sacks of Cousins on Sunday as the Eagles did on Cousins last night.

The mighty Eagles offensive line, thought by many to be the best in the NFL, gave up four sacks to the Vikings’ defense. People locally holler and stomp their feet all the time about how GD rotten the Bucs’ offensive line is. But this same front line gave up one sack Sunday to Minnesota. The Eagles allowed four.

Joe typed many times before the season the Bucs should have a good defense and if they find a consistent edge rush, they could have a damn good defense.

Thus far, the defense is playing better than God’s gift to defense in Philadelphia.

As for the Bucs’ offensive line? Maybe it’s not as bad as so many people want you to believe.

38 Responses to “So, About That Bucs Defense…”

  1. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    I also found it interesting that this horrible Vikings defense that held the atrocious Baker Mayfield to 173 passing yards on Sunday, also held the NFC champion QB to 171 passing yards tonight. As well as the fact that the Vikings lost four fumbles and the Eagles didn’t win by a much, much, much higher margin.

    Again if I had just half of the football acumen that some of these cats believe they have, I’d be the new GM of The Bucs.

  2. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    The Bears stand no chance.

  3. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    To be fair to Hurts, he ended up with 193 tonight with one interception and four sacks. I believe Shake-n-Bake only had one sack and zero interceptions against the Vikings. It’s hard to believe a short, fat, slow guy like Bake could have a better game against the same team. You know since he’s the worst QB in the league the last two years. And he sucks. And he’s horrible. And he was gifted the QB1 job. And all the other nonsense the mostly peaceful optimistic Trask munches say about him.

  4. ATLBuc Says:

    Hurts looked sluggish and indecisive running the ball last night. And he seemed to be not in sync with his receivers. For the second week in a row, this Offats has looked disjointed. All of a sudden 3-0 seems likely

  5. Lowest Common Denominator Says:

    So much necessary context that was either willingly left out to fit your narrative or unknowingly left out due to ignorance.

    1. The Eagles secondary was ravaged by injuries heading into this game and they lost another DB, Avonte Maddox, very early on in the game.

    2. The Eagles offensive line absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage and allowed Philly to bash and batter their way to 259 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs at well over 5 yards per carry while the Bucs managed a paltry 73 yards at 2.2 ypc.

    3. Those 4 sacks were on long developing plays and were more on Jalen Hurts than his line.

    TL:DR this article is chock full of half truths and poor analysis.

  6. SB Says:

    JOE I was thinking the Same thing by the third quarter.

  7. Lukrazs Says:

    Yeah, its not just the defence, a lot of our offense compared favourably to the eagles as well.

    Run game we’re behind. Massively. But we just got to stick to it and it will come to. Just. if possible, need to accelerate that development a bit considering how important it will be in certain matchups.


  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘So what did Minnesota do to Philadelphia’s defense? Cousins hung 364 passing yards and four touchdowns on the Eagles. Minnesota had 374 yards of offense.’

    That’s all well & nice Joe, but you left out 1 minor stat in the article (an excellent piece BTW): the final score … Eagles 34 Vikings 28. Only got to watch part of the game, but what I saw was a dominant Eagles’ OLine (and thus rushing attack that put up 259 yds running the ball) AND a stifling run defense (that held Vikings to only 28 rushing yards). And in the process Eagles won the Turnover Battle 4-1 and dominated the TOP 39:28 – 20:32. THAT’S what Canales wants our offense to look like when it grows up.

    That’s not to downplay the Vikings as a team however; they gave the Bucs AND Eagles all we both could handle. Vikings lost BOTH games because of turnovers … 6 fumbles & 1 INT in 2 games earns you 0-2 record. Don’t tell Todd Bowles that though (it’d be hard to wipe the grin off his face next time Joe brings up the importance of winning the Turnover Battle to him).

  9. Bucschamp Says:

    Teams adjust every week.

  10. Vegasbuccaneer Says:

    Bucschamp. But Todd Bowles doesn’t adjust

  11. PewterStiffArm Says:

    So Chicago is looming and Philadelphia is coming. Obviously we can’t look past the Bears but what a set-up this might look like for Monday night. Philly at the Bucs, priceless.

  12. Leighroy Says:

    Can we please have a few more games in sample size before anyone starts making sweeping declarations? By this logic Joe Burrow is the worst QB in the league and the cowboys are the juggernaut of the century. Barf!

  13. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    And the Eagles RAN for 259 Yards and we ran for SQUAT!

  14. garro Says:

    Wow Joe! You nailed it!

    Where are the tank talkers now?

    Go Bucs!

  15. Hodad Says:

    What I’ve learned so far in this short season is, any team can beat any team on any given day. Preseason predictions, power rankings mean nothing when two NFL teams take the field.

  16. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Can we see if we win the Chicago game first before looking towards Philthydelphia?

  17. Voice of Truth Says:

    I said it would be a good measuring stick and it was – but it’s week 2, we were 2-0 last year with a D that looked great and we all know where that went

    Settle down now

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Comparisons don’t always work….teams are different vs other teams and each week seems to be different…..a different game altogether….but it’s interesting nonetheless.

  19. orlbucfan Says:

    Har, har, har, loudmouth J Jefferson was one of those guilty of a Viking turnover. According to the MN media, turnovers killed the Vikes yet again in this Philly game, 4 of them. They only lost by 6 against the godalmighty Eagles in Philly. Now, 3-0 doesn’t look so impossible anymore, though the national blowhard sports media will screech like hell’s bells if Tampa Bay does it.

  20. PSL Bob Says:

    Calm down Joe. We’re only one game into the season. Let’s get five or six games under our belt and see where we stand. Hopefully, we’ll find the Bucs’ defense to be a top 10, But it’s too early to start comparing stats.

  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Was a pretty weird game. Eagles D line/ front is ferocious but they were down like 3-4 bodies in their secondary.

    I do feel the Vikings were a pretty legit opponent though regardless. Cousins is good and they have 3 solid weapons on offense now between Jefferson/HOckenson/Addison. KJ Osbourne isn’t bad either.

    The negative I took from the game is that the Eagles ran it with ease almost vs the Bucs struggling. D’Andre Swift only cost the Eagles a 4th rounder

  22. PSL Bob Says:

    Lord Cornelius, I agree on the running aspect of last nights game. Canales better closely review film to see if different blocking schemes might open up some lanes.

  23. PSL Bob Says:

    Or maybe we just don’t have the beef up front to get the job done.

  24. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Let’s play hard physical smart ball Sunday then worry about the stupid but very beatable eagles

  25. Beej Says:

    Yahoo excoriated me for drafting Swift and Aiyuk… I’m looking at 2-0 as well

  26. Bobby Says:

    We should beat the Bears handily at home. I think that matchup favors us.

  27. First Name Greatest Says:

    Philly is breaking in two new coordinators, fans and national media seem to overlook that.

    I’ve been burned by trying to compare the Bucs to how similar opponents perform, and the track record isn’t good as the Bucs defense struggles against bad qbs, and seems to not play to their strengths a lot of the time

    I’m excited about the Week 1 win, but I need to see them build off of it before I get too excited

  28. First Name Greatest Says:

    Bucs will face a QB one week and he lights their soft zone defense up and then the following week the QB plays a defense that harasses and shuts him down. So hard in this league to compare how one time exploits a weakness vs the Bucs do.

    I am cautiously optimistic after Week 1 but our razor thin secondary depth is already showing with injuries. Thanks Licht!

  29. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    Voice of Truth Says: I said it would be a good measuring stick and it was

    You said we would have a 2-7 start, so if we beat the bears and lose the next 7 games, then you Sir will have been spot on with your prediction. And if that happens we should definitely “settle down” about this team.

  30. Robert Walsh Says:

    Vikings got beat bad last night. Eagles did not need to throw, they ran all over the Vikes. I feel bad for Cousins, he has never had a good team around him. 13 wins last year was peak Vikings.

  31. Bucsalltheway Says:

    Swift was exactly that swift…we got R.white and something ain’t right…he lacks the juice and burst. We need fast scat back tucker shows signs but who knows I hope I am wrong but..

  32. Power Of Pewter Says:

    One or two games is hardly an adequate sample size. Need to get 5-6 games into the season before a reasonably accurate rating can be assessed. Before that is just blowing smoke and beating chests. Bucs won last Sunday, that’s all that needs to be said. Hopefully they win this Sunday.

  33. BillyBucco Says:

    Those were super light boxes Minnesota deployed knowing how quick they can burn you deep.
    They actively tried to stop the Bucs from running with 7 and 8 man boxes.
    The Bucs have to be feared deep to run successfully and they aren’t yet.
    I would expect the Bears to approach this game the same way.
    A couple deep shot’s could open a can quickly.

  34. Duane in Sanford Says:

    We had a gutsy road win to start the season on the road, and now we are going to compare style points to the reigning NFC champs? Both teams went into game 2 on a shortened week, and thats enough for the stat and eyeball test? Bromosas have been cracked open early it seems.

  35. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Yep, a road win vs last year’s NFC N winner is pretty sweet. Pretty sure most fans know your team defends home and sneaks out a few wins on the road is the playoff ticket. So far so good

  36. Tony Says:


  37. Tony Says:

    Super Bowl:

    Bucs over Browns


  38. Buc OuttaHere Says:

    It’s tough to put that much onus on your opening game because all teams are trying to figure themselves out.. but the bucs have always been gritty on D.. so no matter what the offense does the bucs defense is disciplined opportunistic and aggressive we’re going to keep the offense in the game.