Tampa had improved on pass defense despite what you may think. In 2015, Tampa hovered the bottom of the NFL at 26th on pass defense, however, this season, Tampa rose to sixth making Tampa the most improved pass defense in the NFL.
One of the main reasons for the pass defense improvement is secondary health and consistency. The acquisition of Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves certainly helped with the vast improvement, but it’s not hard to see that having corners start all season and staying on the field. Another factor into the equation is easily the play of the defensive line, getting pressure on the QB definitely helped the secondary jump up in the ranks as well.
The Buccaneers ripped off 17 interceptions tying the for the fourth most in the NFL and only allowed opponents to convert 34.4 percent of their third downs, that’s good for best in the NFL. It’s safe to say that the Buccaneers will bring back a majority of their defensive starters including the safeties and with the return of Mike Smith, adding to the consistency of the defense, should help the Buccaneers defense improve, even more, next season.