The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came into their Week 3 matchup with one major question mark: will their secondary rise to the challenge against a team with the offensive caliber of the Rams. Unfortunately for any Bucs fans out there, the answer to that question is unequivocally no.
Throughout the first half, the Buccaneer secondary was less than impressive to say the least. Rams QB Matthew Stafford got off to a shaky start, which was to be expected given his lack of experience playing in high profile games. However, despite this shaky start, the Bucs secondary was unable to capitalize, and allowed Stafford to move the ball down the field with relative ease. Even the “best play” the secondary had when they were able to hit down a deep ball was a fortunate bad throw by Stafford.
It was inevitable that the Buccaneer offense would have a slower start than the red hot way they’ve started the first two games of the year, especially considering the talent the Rams have on defense. This isn’t to make excuses for Brady, but just to point out the fact that the Bucs secondary has been able to succeed behind two outstanding offensive performances to start the season.
As if the the secondary didn’t look bad enough in the first half, Stafford continued to ravage the defense, putting the nail in the coffin by throwing a 75 yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, who was essentially wide open for the third time that game. Stafford finished with four touchdowns and over 340 passing yards, which is a stat line that any offense could not be expected to beat on a consistent basis, even for one as talented as the Bucs.
More than ever, it’s painfully apparent that the Buccaneers need to remedy their issues in the secondary. Whether it’s by signing a big-name free agent like Richard Sherman, or trading for a corner, the Bucs need to change something.
Thankfully for Bucs fans, this sort of move seems to be on the minds of the front office who just freed up $4 million of cap space through contract restructuring, so it’ll be interesting to see how fast they get a move done.
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