Week three saw the Buccaneers fall to the Los Angels Rams. A hard loss to swallow given this team’s expectations. Through the stat line, we can see where the team fell short. Here are three key areas where the Buccaneers struggled.
Applying defensive pressure upfront gets the opposing quarterback out of synch. A tried and true method to success on the defense. Sunday the Buccaneers couldn’t get there. With only one quarterback sack and four hits, the front four were not intimidating. This allowed Matthew Stafford to remain comfortable and pick apart the defense.
The only sack came from William Gholston. Meanwhile, the other defenders looked pretty well locked up. Rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka was unable to get the quarterback and Shaquil Barrett only registered a hit. It was apparent the team missed Jason Pierre-Paul.
Looking to the opposite side of the argument, the Rams sacked Tom Brady three times and hit him five. Aaron Donald and company mixed up looks, shifted positions, and simply overpowered one of the strongest offensive lines in the league. This needs to be rectified. Brady is 44 years old. Taking shots like that throughout the season may have Kyle Trask seeing action sooner than anticipated.
The run game looked absolutely outmatched Sunday. There were few holes to run through and when there were there was plenty of hesitation. Leonard Fournette went for 2.2 yards a carry and Ronald Jones II 2.0. In order to wear down a defense and grind them into submission an offense really needs balance. A run game provides openings in the passing game and aids the time of possession.
The offense needs to find that balance.
Every loss hurts. Fortunately, this one is early in the season. The Buccaneers can reevaluate their game-planning and personnel. It’s an opportunity to make changes. After all, you learn more in defeat than you do in victory.