In their Week 12 game against the Atlanta Falcons, the young Buccaneers Defense stepped up. Is this a sign of things to come for the future?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into Atlanta to face off against the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC South matchup on Sunday; the loser would be at the bottom of the division as both teams had a record of 3-7. The Falcons had put up 55 points the previous two weeks against the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers and were on a roll. The Buccaneers defense was going to have to try and stop this lethal offense all of a sudden.
The defense gave up a 53 yard pass on the second play of the game and it looked like it was going to be a long day once again for the unit. It was the exact opposite. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan went 23/46 for 271 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception. Matt Ryan had thrown for a combined 493 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception against the Saints and Panthers.
The young Bucs defense was night and day better than their previous game against the New Orleans Saints as they were chewed up by quarterback Drew Brees. Against the Falcons, the Buccaneers had 16 pass breakups which is something that the unit hasn’t particularly been good at. Rookie cornerback Jamel Dean and second year cornerback Carlton Davis III each had five pass breakups and looked like they will be the future.
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Rookie Linebacker Devin White built off of last weeks performance with with tackles and two sacks. Rookie safety Mike Edwards got the first interception of his NFL career and so did Carlton Davis III.
The defensive line also did their job in this game as Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaquil Barrett, Carl Nassib and Vita Vea each had a sack. Vea played on the offensive side of the ball as well and scored a touchdown after catching a pass from Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh recovered a fumble and scored a touchdown.
It was just a perfect game in terms of execution for a team who ranks 31st in both passing yards given up with 289.9 yards per game and points per game given up with 30.5 points per game. If this game was any indication of what’s to come for this pewter and red defense in the future under Todd Bowles, then the future is bright.