The Buccaneers can be one of the best teams in the NFL if everything is working right, but a concerning trend on defense can derail the season.
What has long been the go-to compliment of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the last few years has been the defense’s performance, and while they have certainly deserved a lot of credit, their performance has been overstated at times, none more than now.
Unfortunately, this year’s defense been trending in the wrong direction from the jump.
While many were lauding the defense in the first three games when they had given up the fewest points of any defense in football, those performances were also all being done against mediocre or injured offenses.
The defense has now allowed 56 points in the last two games, and nearly allowed the Falcons to come back from a 21-0 deficit in the 4th quarter last Sunday is inexcusable.
What should be most concerning is the Bucs’ inability to prevent opponents from running the ball, which has always been the strength of Todd Bowles. Both the Chiefs and Falcons ran for over 150 yards, not to mention each team’s QBs were able to get 30+ rushing yards as well.
Given how much the Buccaneers secondary has struggled to prevent any teams from passing the ball, the fact that the team may also not be able to prevent rushing is a major issue. That is how the Chiefs were able to easily score 41 points against the Bucs in their Week 4 matchup.
And, although the defense performed far better against the Falcons in Week 5, it still wasn’t great, and the reality is that the Bucs should be using their game against the Chiefs as the bar to measure their defense.
Hopefully Bowles can get the defense trending upwards again. They at least need to effectively prevent teams from running the ball since the secondary will likely spend another year being a lost cause in terms of pass defense.
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