Far gone are the days of old when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were considered one of the most talented, efficient, and downright devastating defenses in the league. Now the Buccaneers are at the bottom of the barrel looking up in the hopes that they may catch a passing glimpse of those former days of glory.
The Buccaneers began the 2018 season as one of the worst passing defenses in the league, and that has continued up to the present week. Despite the much-improved pass rush from the defensive line, the Buccaneers’ secondary has not played up to par.
The team’s passing defense is ranked 27th in the league and has given up the second-most points per game (30.7) while allowing the second-most total points, 338, to be scored. Tack on the sixth-most yards given up so far this season (3,017) with the sixth-most yards given up per game (274.3) added to the second-most yards per play allowed (8.7), and you have a losing record.
The Bucs came out 2-1 while Jameis Winston was suspended and then fell to 2-7, finally winning a game against the now 2-9 49ers. Bucs are 4-7 and looking to continue winning games, starting next week against the 6-5 Carolina Panthers. Next Sunday’s game is actually a winnable game on paper. But on the field is another story.
The Bucs’ defense has allowed a league-leading 27 TDs thus far in the season, and most of those were achieved in the red zone. The Buccaneers are the absolute worst team in the NFL for red zone defense. They allow teams to score 86.84% of the time when they are in the red zone, and that is way up since last year’s 54.72%.
The season is not over yet, and maybe the Bucs defense can still click. I just do not believe that it will. There is the belief of the many Bucs faithful that we can run the table and sneak into a wildcard spot. It is possible that we could win out, but I believe that even if we did, we would be mathematically eliminated anyway.