Recent History Suggests Either Baker Mayfield Must Play Out Of His Mind Or Bucs Find A Stud Pass Rusher To Win Super Bowl

June 3rd, 2024

Can he get nine sacks?

On a nice, sunny Sunday afternoon when the Gulf of Mexico or cold beers at Hooters are trying to lure Joe out of his lair, unlike most normal Tampa Bay area residents, Joe stays indoors and does research on the Bucs.

Hey, it’s what Joe does!

So Joe wanted to find out when the last time a team won a Super Bowl without a double-digit sacks pass rusher.

So Joe went back all the way through the 21st Century. This fall marks the 25th season this century so a 24-year study is a fair sample size, at least Joe thinks so.

(Joe began with 2000, not 2001. Yes, technically, the 21st-century began Jan. 1, 2001. But when eighth-century Persian mathematician Al-Khwarizmi pioneered the decimal numeral system, folks back then didn’t have odometers.)

For a team like the Bucs that advanced to the divisional round last season, saying the team’s goal is winning the Super Bowl is not obnoxious or unrealistic. What is unrealistic is to expect the Bucs to win the Super Bowl unless their quarterback plays at a Hall of Fame level or the Bucs find someone to get at least nine sacks in the regular season.

From 2000-2023, every team but one that won the Super Bowl either did so with a future Hall of Fame quarterback or a pass rusher that had at least nine sacks. Sometimes, the Super Bowl winner had both.

Only one team, the Seahawks, did not have either a no-brainer future Hall of Fame quarterback or a pass rusher who had at least nine sacks. Michael Bennett, who the Bucs ran out the front door for no good reason, led Seattle that year with 8.5 sacks.

Yeah, Joe will get pushback typing that Russell Wilson isn’t a Hall of Fame quarterback. Well, he’s not in the same league as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or even Pat Mahomes. Wilson was very good, but Joe isn’t certain that Wilson will have a bust in Canton someday. He could, but he’s not a lock.

Yes, even the Eagles when they won with Nick Foles at quarterback, had a pass rusher. Brandon Graham with 9.5 sacks 2017.

And yes, when the Crows won their two Super Bowl titles with Trent Dilfer and Joe Flacco, each team had a guy with at least nine sacks, Rob Burnett (10.5) in 2000 and Paul Kruger (9) in 2010.

So unless Mayfield plays like Wilson — which is possible — or the Bucs can develop a nine-sack guy, it may be premature to make plans for another boat parade come February.

Yes, as Joe has typed for years, sacks are critical.

20 Responses to “Recent History Suggests Either Baker Mayfield Must Play Out Of His Mind Or Bucs Find A Stud Pass Rusher To Win Super Bowl”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘as Joe has typed for years, sacks are critical.’

    Bucs’ opponents have averaged 1,048 offensive plays per season over the last 10 year period when playing the Bucs. Over that same 10-year period, the Bucs’ defense has averaged a tad less than 41 sacks per season. That means that sacks occurred on slightly less than 4% of our defensive plays on average.

    Personally I’d agree that’s significant Joe, but that still leaves 96% to account for. And that IMO is where TURNOVERS and QB PRESSURES come in. A sack ends that down; a turnover ends that series. A QB pressure isn’t as detrimental to the opposing team as a turnover or sack, but it can certainly impact that play & thus the game (might lead to a turnover for instance?).

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Yes, sacks are critical.
    Two really good young sack masters siting by the phone

    We really should call one of them.

  3. Hodad Says:

    Another words teams that win super bowls have good players. Thanks for the nugget Joe.

  4. OHBucFan Says:

    Good data and last year only backs it up. Mahomes numbers are very similar to Baker’s. Yeah, I said it. However the Chiefs had 9 more sacks over the course of the year. To Joe’s point, KC had two monsters with 10.5 sacks a piece.
    Personally, I’m more impressed with the total sacks that the Chiefs had as a team but that’s poTAYto vs poTAHto to Joe’s point. No way do you push 60 sacks as a team without having one (or two) monsters that the opposition has to scheme around.

  5. heyjude Says:

    As always, thank you for the research! Sacks are critical. It is our time now. Agree with Capt. Tim, call a good one that is still available.

  6. Beeej Says:

    We had a decent # of sacks last year from all those blitzes, but I’ll bet the Chiefs had twice as many pressures as us

  7. George R Says:

    Joe, Ya Ya just need 1.5 sacks more in his second year as a full time starter. Should easy to do.

  8. BillyBucco Says:

    I wouldn’t exactly say 9 sacks is a stud rusher.
    Go back and watch film of Calijah Kancey wrecking the Eagles by himself in the playoffs. He made Kelce and Dickerson look foolish several times. I bet he has 10 sacks. I think YaYa will also push 10 sacks. Vea with 8.5. JTS with 6. Braswell with 6. Gregory with 4-6. Watts with 4.5. ETC. We may not need many S, LB and Nickel blitzes this year. I would trade Anthony Nelson if possible. You could probably have Ngaugue for 8 which is only 2.5 more than Nelson. Or use that money for another DT or CB. I like Nelson, but he really isn’t needed.
    We have an extra roster spot already. Just need the money.
    Get Wirfs signed already.

  9. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    DR’s point raises the question Jose: in your research what were the turnovers caused by the defenses for those teams seasons and in the SB? Turnovers committed?

  10. Baking with Evans Says:

    I say the focus should be total sacks on Super Bowl winners on those 25 years.

  11. Babygrace Says:

    For those who think we should get a big time edge rusher i fully agree! However; there is a big problem!! NO MONEY!!!!!

  12. Saskbucs Says:

    Enter Calijah Kancey. Obviously not an edge rusher but he’s gonna be a 7-8 sack guy in the middle wreaking havoc.

  13. Mike Johnson Says:

    Correct assessment here. If our pass rush is no better than last year? We will fall way down in the division and standings. Baker will do his share. But we gotta have a pass rush. Without it we are doomed.

  14. Crickett Baker Says:

    Doomed? I don’t call us doomed when we have won the division for YEARS without a pass rush. We even won a Super Bowl. We will get even better this year, IMO.

    Manifest! GO BUCS!

  15. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    With a full season starting, I can see YaYa getting 11+ sacks. The question will be if the rotation on the other side can deliver.

  16. unbelievable Says:

    In no way, shape, or form does Russell Wilson beloing in the HOF based on his career up to this point.

    Absolutely not.

  17. rrsrq Says:

    Baker plays out of his mind

  18. Oneilbuc Says:

    Unbelievable. You must be high or something Russell Wilson is a hall of famer hands down.

  19. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Oneilbuc Says:
    June 3rd, 2024 at 5:07 pm
    Unbelievable. You must be high or something Russell Wilson is a hall of famer hands down.


    Respectfully disagree. What HOF had an embarrassing year like Wilson did with the Broncos – especially at that stage of his career? Bad coaching and offensive design I’m sure, but that was awful.

  20. Dave Pear Says:

    Rusty Wilson is shot and couldn’t hold Baker’s jock. Of Course O’Neil “Simple Jack” tard thinks Rusty is a hall of famer. With his flawless QB evaluation talent and all.