Written by Drew Pogones
Let’s face it, 2019 hasn’t been a good year for the Buccaneers secondary. Heck, when was the last time the Buccaneers even had a decent secondary? With the much-anticipated release of Vernon Hargreaves, the Buccaneers’ young secondary was given an opportunity. An opportunity to prove their worth for the rest of the season while playing freely to showcase their natural abilities.
Growth In The Young Secondary
If you were able to tune in on Sunday for the game in Atlanta, you were able to see the youngsters grow right before your eyes. Both communication and execution were shown and it resulted in giving up only one touchdown pass. It even included a beauty of an interception by Carlton Davis. I have a feeling we will continue to see continuity and growth from Jamel Dean, Carlton Davis, and Sean Bunting-Murphy to close out the season and going into the future!
Balanced Attack On Offense
You are not going to win many games when your quarterback has to throw the ball 50+ times. With that many pass attempts, you become a one-dimensional team. Doing so makes things easier for the opposing defense which usually creates more turnovers (ahem, Winston, ahem).
On Sunday, the Buccaneers were able to provide a very balanced attack when it came to run/pass play calling. With 28 pass attempts to 34 rushing attempts. Even with two very early interceptions, the defense was able to keep the Buccaneers in the game. This, in turn, kept the run game alive. When you are able to effectively run the ball, you keep the defense honest which will open up Arian’s vertical passing game for both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Let’s keep with this effective formula Byron Leftwich – it is time to continue to see Ronald Jones shine!
Closing Out The Game
Proven coaches and players know how to close out games. With Tampa Bay being such a young team, this is something that they have yet to learn. On Sunday, the coaching staff helped them learn how to do just that! From a coaching perspective, you can teach youngsters how to close out a game by play-calling – a.k.a. play to win, not to not lose! Going into the 4th quarter with a 25-13 lead, it would have been easy for the play-callers to go into a conservative approach by just playing the clock game and relying on the defense to continue to come up with stops. Instead, the Buccaneers continued to stick to their game plan and kept their cleats on the Falcons throats – “no risk it, no biscuit”!
The aggressiveness of the defensive line — Oh man, when the Buccaneers defensive line comes to play, boy, are they fun to watch! It seemed as though someone lit a fire under them in Atlanta which ended up resulting in six sacks and 15 QB hits. Outside of the sacks, Tampa Bay found themselves constantly pressuring Matt Ryan and the running game all game long. The #1 rushing defense only allowed 57 yards on 19 carries and even helped limit Ryan to under 300 yards passing and only one passing TD. It’s obvious to see that when the defensive line is getting after the opposing quarterback consistently, it makes the secondary’s job all the much easier on them!
Just to make the game even more fun for the defensive line, Ndamukong Suh scooped up another fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter while Vita Vea was able to join in on offense again by catching a one-yard touchdown pass from Winston!