For the second straight season the Buccaneer defensive line wasn’t able to breath on Rams quarterback Case Keenum. On 26 pass attempts, the Bucs recorded just one sack and it came from Lavonte David, not a defensive lineman. Minus week one starters Robert Ayers and Jacquies Smith, the Buccaneer pass rush simply didn’t show up. The run defense was a different story.
While Todd Gurley finished with two touchdowns and a solid 85 yards rushing, it came on 27 carries. Gerald McCoy had a highlight stop on 3rd down in which he split two defenders and slammed Todd Gurley. William Gholston was his usual self versus the run and finished with six tackles. Clinton McDonald continues to do the dirty work and is an underrated asset on the line.
Rookie Noah Spence continued to play in a limited role and finished with no tackles. He remains a work in progress, but with Ayers and Smith both out the Bucs may need to expedite the process and get Spence on the field more.
It was overall an average day for the defensive line who weren’t able to put together a complete performance and put pressure on a bad quarterback. The Bucs will need Robert Ayers back if they want to generate pass rush.