Run Defense Red Flag Flies High

December 3rd, 2023

The Bucs knew the Panthers would pound the rock today and they didn’t do a good job stopping it.

So what happens next Sunday against Atlanta’s punishing run game?

Joe is scared to think about it.

Today, Panthers running back Chubba Hubbard hammered away for 25 carries, 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was the second best day of his career. Hubbard isn’t exactly Bijan Robinson; he was a Panthers fourth-round pick in 2021 and he’s a solid No. 2 running back.

Yes, the Bucs were missing their starting linebackers (Devin White and Lavonte David) and a backup (SirVocea Dennis), and then K.J. Britt got injured so safety Ryan Neal jumped in to play some linebacker. Joe gets all that. But Joe saw the push at the line of scrimmage from a Panthers offensive line that is known for being brutal.

Vita Vea was rather invisible for the second consecutive game.

Todd Bowles says his defense is built to stop the run first. That’s always the emphasis, especially against a terrible rookie quarterback like the Bucs faced today. But Tampa Bay couldn’t lock down Hubbard.

After the Week 13 games end on Monday night, Joe expects the Bucs’ run defense to be ranked 10th in the NFL. To beat Atlanta, they probably need to find a way to play a little better than their ranking.

Getting White and David back should help, but Joe can’t say how much, especially if neither is fully healthy.

22 Responses to “Run Defense Red Flag Flies High”

  1. Kidfloflo Says:

    Against a team that gives up like 6 sacks a game, I bet on Vita getting over. 5! At +185 to boot…nada

  2. beeej Says:

    They were getting the most holes via their right guard. You figure Vita is getting doubled, so that means Logan Hall was getting erased over and over

  3. Jeff Meyer Says:

    no Ira Pofcast?

  4. TonySoprano Says:

    Vea is looking heavier than ever this year, like unhealthy big.

    Speaking of invisible, did Logan Hall play today?

  5. ModHairKen Says:

    Uhhh. Atlanta is going to kick them in their pelotas.

  6. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Ryan hall and jts have earned their rightful places side by side riding the pines.

  7. stpetebucfan Says:

    Excuse me the Bucs were playing THIRD string linebackers along with a safety/lb pressed into service.

    It seemed as if virtually all the tackles of runners came from the DL..sometimes behind the line…but if they didn’t make the play then it was up to the DB’s to do it!

    So the real question about the Bucs run defense is will LVD…the most critical piece in the entire puzzle IMHO and DW45…the signal caller be ready for Atlanta.

    With all due respect to the backups who gave it their best if both LVD and DW45 BOTH miss the game again…Atlanta wins.

  8. Sam Says:

    Team sucks period due to poor coaching…’s embarrassing. Watched other teams with half the talent play competitively. Sucks to such poor play. Bucs seem to win a SB and then suck for 20’years. We have to have a better plan this.

  9. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Didn’t see what you saw Bucs D is fine missing LVD White extremely noticeable just keep scoring points on offense we’ll handle the business against ATL not worried

  10. FortMyersDave Says:

    LVD has to suit up for the Bucs or I am afraid ModHairKen is right about the ATL drop kicking the Bucs in their package/pelotas.

  11. David Says:

    The defense did his job shutting down the rookie with turnovers and kept the Bucs in the game. Offense with Baker was the issue again scoring poorly with 48% completions.

  12. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Ok we knew LVD, White and Dennis were out, and nobody thought we really aught to dress a third middle linebacker? I suppose when Carolina started running the ball down our throat we could have played with an extra DT? You know adjustments. Actually, no we don’t know about adjustments here. This win was still a display of bad coaching.

  13. Duane in Sanford Says:

    A Todd Bowles defense typically wears down as the season goes on. Its particularly compounded when the late game mental mistakes come along with it. They are at least playing hard. Im wondering if the defensive scheme is just too complex. There are always extra plays where an out of position player blitzes, or guys are lining up at different spots. We have bad run fits when its rough. A competent defensive mind will change the scheme back to a 4-3 next season and this will be a better defense. We didnt even have 4 serviceable linebackers this season worth starting.

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    It’s 2023. First and foremost you need to stop the pass. I’ll take my chances with the run if you can stop the pass (and it would help to not be missing your top 6 inside LBs).

  15. Dan the Bucs fan Says:

    We won that’s all that matters! With half our defense out. Atlanta lost three starters today as well. They struggled to beat the Jets. We have the best defense and the best Qb in the divsion. Now let’s go win it.

  16. Dave Pear Says:

    It’s so horrible to watch. Bryce Young did two things.

    1. He showed that he sucks so far.
    2. He showed that a Todd Bowles defense can make any / every QB look like the next John Elway.

  17. adam from ny Says:

    we had a real issue with all our linebackers out…a decimated linebacking core, like the defensive backs were last year…at least that’s what it seemed like…

    however, where was that so called amazing dude marquis watts…

    why isn’t bowles using him, or did i miss something…

    next week you really want to shut down the passing game, which we never really do anyway……and contain the run…just don’t let them go crazy…125 on the ground, 150 in the air = 275 yards…

    keep them under 300 total yards and just win the dam ball game

  18. adam from ny Says:

    yeah, how pathetic of a qb is young…all scrawny, weak armed, and completely inaccurate…the kid missed so many throws…

    it’s not easy to give slack to the first overall pick if he is the bust of the century…

    pathetic is not a description often used for a football players…but he really is…carolina really really screwed up

  19. bob in valrico Says:

    Atlanta will be tough if we don’t have at least LVD. But I am more worried about
    Saints waking up and playing with their offense and defense playing well at the
    same time.

  20. Brandon Says:

    Having one LB on the field (that was a practice squad player the week before) and two DBs in Neal and Izien trying to play LB was the major cause of this. Neither were able to read keys, take on OL, nor fill when required, and both were consistently dragged down the field by whomever was carrying the ball. Devin White hasn’t played well but he looks like Dick Butkus when compared to a couple of 200 lb DBs playing LB in an emergency.

    JJ Russell did okay but he clearly has his limitations against the run…. the defense will be much better next week if we can get some healthy bodies back at the LB position.

  21. FortMyersDave Says:

    Dave Pear, didn’t you bet the Bucs would lose to Carolina? Most trolls take a break after showing their @ss!

  22. unbelievable Says:

    Hard to really evaluate when you’re missing all 4 of your inside linebackers… so you instead you have a really bad safety trying to play out of position at MLB…