The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ front-seven was a shining light on a pretty disappointing 2019 season. With names a like Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaquil Barrett and Ndamukong Suh, the Buccaneers had the best run-defense in the NFL, only giving up 73.8 yards per-game.
Barrett led the league in sacks with 19.5, and surpassed Warren Sapp as all-time single season franchise leader.
With all the success the defense had last year, can they repeat? All of the focus has been on the Bucs’ offense since the signing of Tom Brady. However, their defense might be their key to victory in 2020.
The Buccaneers were able to keep the front-seven intact during free agency, with the exception of Carl Nassib who was picked up by the Raiders. Tampa Bay has a good chance of continuing where they left off; the players all know each other. And they know how successful this team could be.
This year is a “prove it to me” season for the Bucs’ front-seven. If the Buccaneers’ front-seven can pick up steam early, they’ll be unstoppable. 2020 is also a year for Shaquil Barrett to prove he’s worthy of a big contract, so he’ll definitely be pushing.
However, there is the added pressure of having several primetime games. Plus the hype around the team has taken the NFL by storm since March. So that could easily play a factor in how well they play.
The pressure is on the Bucs’ defense, but they can handle it. After having a shockingly good year defensively last year, they need to show the rest of the league they can play with anyone.
The Buccaneers have all the talent on their front-seven to take the team to the next level. But with all that talent comes a ton of pressure. Will they repeat? I think so. The Bucs’ have a determined bunch of guys on that defense that work hard, and have a lot to prove.
Plus, they have a lot of veterans that will push the younger players. So there’s an even balance of youth and experience.
Even if they don’t have the best run defensive in 2020, if they’re in the top five, that’s a win. Pressure is a privilege, and the ball is in the Bucs’ court.