What Happened To The Pass Defense?

November 5th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

The Bucs have been pretty darn good on defense this year. Yeah, Joe typed it.

Put aside the hollering about safety Ryan Neal and the kvetching about the third-down defense and the ultimate stat shows the Bucs are playing strong defense.

The Bucs are tied for sixth in points allowed per game, 18.3. Ironically, the Bucs’ opponent, Houston, has the exact same defensive figure.

Per Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis, the Bucs defense has suddenly turned soft, allowing an average of 8.5 yards an attempt. But here is where it gets dicey for Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

He loves to blitz. Problem is, Texans QB C.J. Stroud thrives on blitzes.

Against the blitz, Stroud is third in the NFL with a 119.3 rating, only behind Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert.

He is averaging 9.2 yards per pass attempt against the blitz, which leads the league.

Tampa Bay is blitzing 36.1% of the time, sixth in the league.

Generally, Bowles eats up rookie quarterbacks as a defensive playcaller. He’s 6-3 against rookies. However, last year Bowles and the Bucs lost to two rookies, both on the road. Kenny Pickett burned the Bucs in October and Brock Purdy torched Bowles’ defense two months later.

So it is hardly automatic that Bowles’ defense smothers Stroud today.

13 Responses to “What Happened To The Pass Defense?”

  1. Tye Says:

    Defense is becoming like their coach:
    Placid, dull and boring…

    In the NFL, opposing receivers aren’t suppose to be able to create wide throwing windows like in college…. Bucs defense is badly getting out coached!

  2. Rican Says:

    Not getting to the QB, corners playing 10 yards off.

  3. Bobby Says:

    I don’t care what this organization’s stats say. My eyes tell me. Bucs are going to have a new HC in January 2024. Hope I’m wrong, Let’s Go Bucs!!!

  4. Oxycondomns Says:

    Pass defense vs cowboys in playoffs and pass defense vs rams season before . Nothing new here. Suh and jpp are long gone and shaq past prime

  5. garro Says:

    Can we send a mayday message to Shaq, Nelson and Diaby? Notice my omission…?

    And can someone convince Bowles to lay off the fancy zone crap that is letting teams drive down the field on us?

    Can Diva get off a few blocks this week and help out the old man LVD?

    Go Bucs!

  6. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Dang, move a few words around and it’s the exact, same article I read yesterday.

  7. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    I seem to remember coming out of camp that our DBs were supposed to be a strength, not a weakness. So far, they’ve been playing too soft and personally I’d like to see a little more of Izien on the field. I’m not going to bash Neal but there needs to be better communication back there in the secondary.

    Stroud (or any QB who can handle the blitz well) gets the ball out quickly, typically underneath crossing routes or quick outs or screens. The DBs need to play more press coverage and get hands on receivers coming off rhe line to disrupt them. Pass rushers need to get their hands up and not let themselves be driven outside so far out of the passing lanes. Opponents are using our guy’s speed and quickness against them, and letting their own momentum take them out of position far too often.

    Bucs might need to score 30+ today if the defense blitzes too often or don’t disguise it and execute it well.

  8. TDavis Says:

    The Bucs pass defense under Bowles has never really been that good. Every pass today will be either a miss by the QB, a drop, or a catch.

  9. JimBobBuc Says:

    No pass rush, soft zone is a bad combo. We need to get pressure with 4 or 5. Stroud is not a typical rookie. Even if we play man, he’ll scramble.

  10. TonySoprano Says:

    Everything about Bowles’ arrow is pointing downward. Just like last year. Start off decent, but then shortly after everything starts to quickly deteriorate. Todd Bowles-led teams are always treading downward. He doesn’t change anything. He doesn’t taylor game plans based on opponents. He never evolves. The only time you see him make adjustments is when it’s way too late in the game and/or season and by that time, all hope is lost.

  11. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Very simple…

    When you play corners that are best suited to play press man, and you constantly put them in zone defense, you reap what you sow…..

    Moronic coaching…

  12. Tom horn Says:

    DBs gott ripped by a rookie. And Bolwes does nothing but stand there with his hand on his chin. This guy’s needs to be fired todsy.

  13. James Says:

    ANY team will pass collectively against the Buc’ ssecondary. Look at the tapes! Carlton Davis needs to be set down! He is selected by every opponent as a target. Most recently three touchdowns and four deep balls for conversions today! The pro ball team members and some other team mates deserve better. There needs to be some adjustments in the secondary to slow up the passing assault
    Games won or lost, the repetitious insults are still allowed in that secondary. If this isn’t evident, there is a coaching problem. I am NOTgoing to another Bucs game I’m done and not alone!