The Buccaneers came into today’s game giving up an average of 22.9 points per game. The opponent’s offense was averaging 353.8 total yards per game, and 143.8 rushing yards per game. Those stats make it even more impressive when you look at how the Bucs dismantled the 49ers offense today. They only allowed 189 yards (71 rushing), en route to a 21-0 shutout victory. Most importantly, they disappointed every fantasy football owner of Frank Gore, who was sure all week that they would have a monster game from the stud running back, and he finished with 23 yards rushing.
The Bucs had 6 sacks against the 49ers today. No, that is not a misprint. They had SIX sacks. In addition, the defensive line in general had a good push all day and the linemen were in the 49er’s backfield for most of the day. The supreme defensive effort included the first sack by rookie Gerald McCoy, who has been scrutinized all year by the media for not having a sack yet this season. The team had 8 sacks going into the game and almost doubled that total. Previously, most of the sacks had come against the porous Panthers offensive line, but the 49ers line is supposed to be much better. It is truly amazing how much the defensive line push makes a difference in overall defense.
In addition, the Bucs forced two more turnovers; recovering a fumble, and Ronde Barber’s 40th career interception. Thus far, turnovers are how the defense has kept them in games, but if we can get pressure up front and maintain this type of play, the defense will make a difference in games against better opponents. Hopefully, the defense will continue to make these types of improvements and they will continue to contend for a playoff spot.