Buccaneers: Comparing the current team to the 2002 champions

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Jameis Winston
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Jameis Winston /
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2002: Simeon Rice, Warren Sapp, Anthony McFarland, Greg Spires, and Ellis Wyms

What can you say about this defensive line with already one Hall of Famer (Sapp) and another one who should be in (Rice), and also the last player with ten plus sacks in a season? They were the front line  of what some believe, myself included, was the most dominant defense in NFL history.

The defensive line accounted for 33.5 of the 43 total team sacks or 78% with a team high 15.5 by Rice, and also a total of 188 tackles, three interceptions and one safety.

They also had another five sacks in the Super Bowl and both Sapp and Rice made the Pro Bowl.

I am not sure if we will ever see another defensive line for the Bucs that was as dominating as this one was during the 2002 season.

2017: Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy, Chris Baker, Noah Spence, and William Gholston

Last season the defensive line accounted for 28 of the 38 total team sacks or 74% with a team high 6.5 by Gerald McCoy and Robert Ayers, and also a total of 171 tackles with zero interceptions or safeties.

The 2017 Bucs decided that they needed to beef up the middle bringing in defensive tackle Chris Baker in free agency. While playing defensive end last season had 4.5 sacks and 48 tackles.

The Bucs are also getting back Jacquies Smith from injury who during the 2014-2015 seasons had a total of thirteen sacks at defensive end.

Even though Robert Ayers says that he thinks Noah Spence will have 15 sacks this season it is still pretty obvious that the 2002 defensive line is the best in team history.

ADVANTAGE: 2002 Defensive Line – Rice, Sapp, McFarland, Spires, and Wyms