Buccaneers Defense: A Bend Don’t Break Mentality

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If there is one bright spot on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers it’s the defense. Week in and week out they continue to keep the anemic offense in games, giving this team a chance to advance to the playoffs. Doing it again vs the Cardinals.

The Numbers

The Buccaneers’ defense has been top ten all season showing its grit even in the worst situations. After this week they reiterated that fact. Now sitting seventh best in total yards allowed and average yards per play (5.0) they stifled the Cardinals’ offense. Mustering only 325 yards and 4.4 yards per play average the Cardinals could not break the defense at critical moments leaving them at 5 for 19 on third down conversions.

In the passing game the Buccaneers are again sitting nicely at sixth best. Although struggling against rookie quarterbacks and back ups the defense held their ground and only allowed 204 yards through the air with only eight first downs by passing. Further more they hauled in an interception and could of had more.

The run defense played its part as well. Again, going back to the bend don’t break mentality, they did allow some long runs but ultimately stayed right at their average of 120 yards a game. Subsequently, the Cardinals run game never materialized as a full fledge threat.

Advanced Stats

The defense is looking stout against the pass. They are tied for 11th best with four other teams when it comes to average depth of target at 8.0 yards. Closing in quickly on receivers has allowed them to sit at seventh best in yards after catch and reduce the threat of opponent passing games.

Additionally getting after the quarterback has been above average and aided the efforts. The Buccaneers are tied for sixth in sacks, fourteenth in knock down percentage, and are only four percent off on pressure percentage per drop back from the top teams.

Final Thought

Its what we have all been saying. If the offense can get going then this is a team that can go deep in the playoffs. Ultimately the defense is doing its part. Currently seventh in points allowed this season and averaging only allowing 20 points per game is a huge boost.

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