For a while, the offense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was cause for headaches. Now, the Buccaneers defense is starting to become a problem as well.
It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense has not been up to snuff so far in 2022. As such, first-year head coach Todd Bowles and long-time offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich have been under fire all year. It makes sense, because when Tom Brady is your quarterback, it shouldn’t look this hard, no matter how old he is, and especially with the weapons they have on the outside. Having said all of that, the defense of the Buccaneers is starting to follow suit as it pertains to becoming a problem like the offense.
The Bucs defense has been the main reason the team has been in games while the offense struggled. The last two weeks, it’s been a collective snafu that’s contributed to losses. Heck, even special teams has joined the fun, but that’s a topic for another day.
It isn’t as much of a quantitative issue for the defense as it is a qualitative. The Buccaneers looked good in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals, taking a 17-3 halftime lead into the locker room. They would go onto lose 34-23. That can’t happen.
The amount of second points they surrendered was one thing, but it’s the fashion they went about it that’s the most jarring thing.
Much like the offense, it looked like the defense got complacent with how the game went up to that point. By the fourth quarter, the Bengals we’re having their way with the Bucs defense and big brothering them right up and down the field, rather methodically might we add. They just imposed their will and made it quite apparent that these two did not belong on the same field.
Sure, you can chalk some of it up to the firepower the Bengals possess, but with how the game started, it isn’t a good look at all. This became nothing short of bullying.
It’s eerily similar to the Tony Dungy-era Buccaneers teams. The defense is fed up with the offense not holding up their end of the bargain, or being held accountable, and that division shows up on the field. The only difference here is, now it looks like the defense is waiving the white flag themselves as well. This is all especially concerning considering the defensive side of the ball is Bowles’ bread and butter.
The playoffs are very much in doubt for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as is the future of the franchise considering the coaching and quarterback situation. One thing is for certain though, if the defense keeps this up, the 2022 season looks to be already lost.