After giving up 353 yards to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in the third game of the season, you have to seriously question the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. While the front seven did not play bad at all, recording three sacks and allowing only 79 yards on the ground (even though the defense did allow long runs at a very crucial point late in the fourth quarter), the secondary looked lost. It is obvious the Buccaneers have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL.
However, two of the teams the Bucs have faced so far this year have a top-notch quarterback and offense. Drew Brees and the Saints are just as difficult to contain as Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Considering that, things should only get better in the future.
Due to the many injuries the team is having to deal with at the moment, the Bucs were also forced to play multiple rookies on defense. Brent Grimes made his comeback yesterday and did not look good against one of the best in the game, Antonio Brown. Grimes, who certainly was not fully healthy yesterday, will only get better in the coming weeks.
Carlton Davis, MJ Stewart and Jordan Whitehead, all of whom are rookies, struggled against Ben Roethlisberger’s prolific aerial attack. However, they look promising and simply need more time to adjust to the higher level of play in the big league. Due to a lack of options, the Bucs have no other choice than to use these rookies right off the bat.
The return of injured first round pick Vita Vea should give a huge boost to the defense and will clearly make the secondary better. Hopefully Vea can make his overdue debut in pewter and red against the Bears on Sunday.