Buccaneers Defense Surges, Offense Improves In Week Three


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense has come a long way since the dreaded days of Mike Smith. Long time fans will remember how horrid the unit was, giving up yards and points on seemingly every drive.

Those days are long gone.


The Buccaneers are now a top five defense, ranking fifth in total defense, and tied for seventh in scoring. Even so, you would expect the rushing defense to decline after dominating the league in 2020. But through three weeks, the Buccaneers rank third in rushing and 14th in pass defense.

Here are the full stats summed up by Greg Auman of the Athletic

Jason Licht and Bruce Arians retaining the front seven was a huge story in 2020 that went unnoticed. With the signing of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, it’s hard to blame anyone for over looking it.

Still, second round pick Antoine Winfield Jr. has busted onto the scene, with two sacks through three games. But while the defense is off to a hot start, the offense has been slow out of the gate.


Yards are significantly down from last season, as Tampa Bay ranks T18th in passing and 25th in rushing. But as we know from the Dirk Koetter era, yards are overrated, as the Buccaneers rank 14th in scoring, a step up from 2019.

The running game continues to be an issue, as the Buccaneers struggle to gain any yards on first down runs. I would also argue that the use of tight ends has been a disappointment, but we saw the unit get a fair target share versus the Denver Broncos last week.

While the offense continues to gel, it’s the defense that has been on a role through three weeks. The front seven continues to dominate, while the young secondary has built off their 2019 campaign.

We’ll see if the offense can get into full swing by mid season, but so far, things are looking good for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Deck Bar and Grille at Isla
The Deck Bar and Grille at Isla