Don’t Be Surprised if Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense comes to play vs Bears

temp161109_mm_bucs_practice_web_0004-nfl_mezz_1280_1024dYou listen to the fantasy experts talk and they are recommending Alshon Jeffries with possible Cutler QB/WR stack, and you can’t blame them for seeing the Bucs as a Fantasy Points making machine….for the other team.

The Bucs defense has given up the 6th most points to opposing QBs, the 10 most points to opposing running backs, and the 5th most points to Wide Receivers. Thats a lot of points, and rebounding to the average a little, the Bucs are 13th to Tight Ends,

And while its true the Bucs have been bad all year on defense, national media who dont really concentrate on our team as much as we do, are not seeing the big picture when it comes to the Bucs. The Bucs got a new defensive coaching staff, anytime you do that you can expect players to take time to learn it. The Bucs were struggling with it in the beginning of the year, but started to turn the corner against the Denver Broncos.

You may recall getting blown out in that game, but end of the first half the Bucs held Denver to 9 first downs to our 10..and 17% 3rd down conversion to our 40%. They were limited to 28 yards rushing and 95 yards passing, and did I mention we knocked their QB out of the game!   So what happened?    TURNOVERS! Jameis Winston threw 2 picks and Bucs lost a fumble to sink the Bucs.

The Next week we TOOK IT TO Carolina, Rammed the ball down their throat, and shut down their Cam-less offense.But we knew we had a road trip at San Francisco..and we dominated there too. The Bucs faithful were being rewarded, everyone was impressed, and the Bucs were full of confidence like they were after week 1!

Wait…what?    Oh NO!

Call it overconfidence when the Bucs got clobbered out in Arizona, or maybe they just ran into a superior team on the road. But when Oakland came to town, the bucs had not gone up against an offense like that all year, all two years in fact. It played out as most predicted, the Bucs defense was stretched to the limit by the enormous offense of the Raiders, yet the team caught up and took them to the very brink of sudden death overtime! Not bad for a team playing without a little depth on defense.

Then comes the NFL’s great hypocrisy on Player Safety: Weekly Thursday Night Football games, every Thursday.  The NFL Body is not ready to play football after 4 days of rest. It simply isnt…so you have to rely on other players, platooning of O and D lines….but wait! Tampa Bay really doesn’t have depth on the O line, and at the time, they barely have enough healthy linemen on the defense to sustain a four man front you could CALL a D-LINE!

While the coaches and players cannot use excuses, there is nothing stopping me!! The Bucs simply do not have the talent to keep up with Oakland, yet we did for 4.85 Quarters. What we lack in talent we suffer even greater in our lack of depth: The Bucs tried to keep up with Atlanta in the first half; after that was over, Atlanta had its way with us.

Doug Martin is back in practice…maybe just in time!

Fast Forward to Sunday, and the Bears come in well rested after their Bye (they played a Monday Game; will be on 13 days rest) but the Bucs are now rested too.. with a ten game break since the Thursday Night game…so both teams are well rested, and the Bucs are healing up, getting Doug Martin back on the practice field, and Robert Ayers will be in his second game back.

Bucs fans may be surprised at the Bucs defensive performance on Sunday, could be the turn around was real after all.

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