Buccaneers 2002 vs. 2020: Which is more complete Super Bowl team?
By Rob Leeds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defenses
The 2002 Buccaneers have a steep advantage in this category. The Bucs had numerous Hall of Fame defenders on their roster during a time where the defense could still win championships, and that defense will forever live as one of the greatest of all time.
The current Buccaneer defense is great compared to most other units in the league right now, but historically it comes nowhere close to what the Bucs were able to do in the early 2000s.
Even if Lavonte David conservatively makes it into the Hall of Fame one day, the Bucs of this year have little to combat the likes of Ronde Barber or Warren Sapp on paper.
The modern NFL has changed too much for a defense ever to reach a level like that again. Quarterbacks are better than ever before, and with average quarterbacks throwing for higher completion percentages than any other era, the defense’s job has never been more demanding.
The current iteration of the defense has been good, but its inconsistency has cost the Buccaneers at times. The defense has been lights out in the playoffs and was a huge reason why the Bucs defeated the Green Bay Packers, but the 2002 unit wouldn’t have been carved up through the air by Taylor Heinicke.