Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 Takeaways from 42-14 loss to Tennessee Titans

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Sep 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) tackles Tennessee Titans running back Terrance West (35) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The defense is the Bucs biggest liability

I know everyone wants to talk about Jameis Winston’s play (which wasn’t good, I know), but that wasn’t and shouldn’t be the biggest story or most surprising part about the game. Rookie QBs are supposed to struggle (I know Mariota looked great..), but the Bucs defense was supposed to be a decent unit this year.

That seems hard to fathom now, but the stats back it up. The Bucs defense was 18th in total DVOA in 2014 and finished the year with a weighted average of 15th. Coming into the second year under Smith’s system, everyone was supposed to feel a lot more comfortable.

Bruce Carter was signed to be an upgrade over Mason Foster at MLB then rookie Kwon Alexander outplayed Carter for the starting job. Henry Melton and TJ McDaniel were signed to bolster the line. Even if this defense wasn’t going to be great this year, it was going to be as good or at least a little better than last year.

We learned Sunday that there is still no pass rush and the secondary either still doesn’t understand Smith’s system or they just aren’t good enough. Or maybe we learned that no matter who you put in Smith’s system, it just isn’t going to work anymore.

Marcus Mariota went 13/16 for 209 yards and 4 TDs. And it didn’t look hard at all. Slant routes were open almost every play and the middle of the Bucs D was just asking the Titans to throw into it for big gains.

Bishop Sankey and Terrance West combined for 115 yards on 25 carries, so you can’t say the run defense was any better, like it has been in the past. No part of the Bucs D was impressive and it absolutely has to be reevaluated this week.