Four games in to the season I posted my first quarter interesting stats, now it's time to do it again. First off, the basics: The Bucs have gone an amazing 3-1 (with the 1 being a remarkable Drew Brees performance from us going 4-0)
Ah the Bucs defense, quite the quandary. Last year, we had the worst run defense and an above average pass defense. This year, the pass defense couldn't cover a high school team, but the run defense is the most suffocating in the league. Is this because the opposing offense knows it can pass on us, or knows it can't runs so it sticks to passing? Kind of a chicken/egg scenario.
At 77.2, the Bucs have the most dominant run defense in the league! Not the Niners, not the Texans, not the Bears, but our Bucs! Woo! We also lead the league in negative plays, as in sacks plus tackles for loss. The Bucs are 9th in the league in 3rd down percentage, so they are getting off te field on third down. We are second in the league in passes defensed and int. Second to the Bears, who are having a ridiculous year on defense. We are 28th in the league in sacks, yeesh...but this does show how many tackles behind the line of scrimmage we have.
Quarterbacks are passing 41.2 attempts per game, the second most in the league. We are ranked 32nd in the league in passing yards per game, with 321.4 Lavonte David and Mason Foster both have 9 tackles for loss, good for 4th in the league.
Wow what a change! Through the first four games, the offense was hardly a unit to hang your hat on. During the last four games, we have had the most explosive offense in the league. Not the Patriots, not the Saints, the Bucs!! We are 5th in the league in points per game, with 28.2 We are fifth in the league in 20+ yard plays, and first in the league in 40+ yard plays
The o-line has only given up 12 sacks this year so far, good enough for 4th best. 9th in league in rush yards per game with 131.2, up from 30th last year. Ladies and gentlemem, Sir Douglas Martin- 3rd in yards with 794, 4th in yards per rush with 5.2, and second in touchdowns with 7. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are 1 and 2 in average yards per recpetion with 22.9 and 17.4. No seriously, they are the top two in the league...on the same team...whoa.. And both are top four in the league in td rec.Of Jackson's 31 catches, 29 have gone four first downs! Go deep, young man!!
Josh Freeman-the most polarizing member on this team, he needs his own category. During the first four games, Freeman was basically the worst QB in the league, ranking 31st in the league in most categories; only ranking ahead of Mark Sanchez, who shouldn't be a starting NFL quarterback anyway...in the last four games, Freeman has done a complete 180! Freeman is ranking 8th in the league in passer rating, above guys like RG3 and Drew Brees. Still 30th in the league in comp. percentage, but has thrown only 5 int., good for third best in the league. Also fourth in the league in td passes. Second in the league in yards per completion. (long live the long ball)
To sum up, the Bucs are playing much much better! They are starting to live up to expectations, and playing like a team to be proud of. While the rest of the league may not notice this yet, they will soon. Not sure when the last time a team had a chance to have an offensive and defensive rookie of the year, but it's looking like we will this year. The second half of the year should be interesting. Go Bucs!!