Even going into the game the Bucs were not getting any respect in the fantasy football world: the word was take Kelce, Hill and Ware, the Bucs defense can’t even stop the run anymore. It was a given the Bucs pass defense is the pits, the numbers show how many 20 and 40 yard passes the D has given up! And now the Bears Howard ran for 100 on them! What a BAD defense.
OR…you could look at the first three games of data, and see all the math went out the window starting with the Denver game, when the defense knocked Bronco QB Siemian out of the game, and lost the game because the offense all but turned the ball over every chance it could. But you could see the defense was starting to ‘GET’ new DC Coordinator Mike Smith’s defense.
The next week it had a good performance on the road against the Panthers, but the naysayers will point out there was no Cam! The next week Bucs handled the 49ers on the road, but alas…it was the 49ers. They were justified with the Raiders all but putting yards and points up like a pinball game. The Bucs didn’t have the talent to compete with a potent offense like Oakland, but they hung in with them until one minute to go in the Overtime period; and it totally gassed the defense.
This is NOT a complete team..injuries have taken away any depth, the defense has been neglected for years with only a sprinkling of defensive draft talent and attempts to fill the void with failed free agent moves. The Bucs had to play again 4 days later, and still exhausted with lack of depth, simply couldn’t hang with the Falcons in the second half. Proof Positive to the Negative Nancies who were convinced the Bucs are a horrible defense and start every offensive player against them!
So they did…CUTLER TOO! And when the Bucs defense came to play, including Chris Conte, it was CUTLER who caused the game flow, not the Bucs defense.
Well now we know better..this Bucs defense is a few players away from being a dominant unit. I dont know if Conte is going to cut it at safety, I’m sure even John Lynch would have been burned had he not had pressure on the QB. I’m ready to give Mike Smith the leeway to decide, he seems to know whats going on.
The Bucs have allowed .9 rushing Touchdowns per game this season, but only .3 in the last 3 games; 0 in the last one! How about 2.1 passing TDs on the season, but only 1.5 per game on the road, and 1 in the last game. Statistically the yards are still coming at the Bucs, but they are making plays when they can, coming up with key stops when they need to.
This offseason, the goal will be to draft depth on the defensive line, another big time WR for Mike Evans and Winston, Secondary…lots of that. Next week the Bucs will host Seattle who has been hot of late, on the road or at home. Can the Bucs defend the Bay for two in a row?