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A breakout game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense?

"Get away from meeeeeeee!"
"Get away from meeeeeeee!"

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have spent three years building a new defense, and they may just have seen what it is capable of on Sunday. They've seen glimpses before - against the San Francisco 49ers last year, for instance. But this is the first time it has beaten a good offense. Dominated, even. 

Here are some statistics to illuminate that dominance: 


  • Michael Turner was held to 20 yards on 11 carries, and the entire Falcons team to 30 yards on 15 carries. That's 2.0 yards per carry. The Falcons had just two first downs by rushing, one of them on a Matt Ryan scramble. Now that's some run defense. 
  • The Bucs forced three turnovers: two fumble recoveries on sacks and an interception. 
  • The Bucs had four sacks, three of them on four-man rushes. 
  • Officially, the Bucs had one more QB Hit. Unofficially, they had many more. 
  • Seven total tackles for loss. 
  • Tony Gonzalez was held to just two catches for 18 yards. He did catch a touchdown, though, and Roddy White and Julio Jones combined for 255 yards. 
  • The Falcons had four red zone possessions, but scored just one touchdown. One of those drives ended with a turnover on downs inside the Bucs' ten-yard line. 
Can the Bucs defense do this week-in, week-out? Probably not - they faced a weak offensive line on Sunday. But the Buccaneers showed they have the talent to have a very good defense. There will be growing pains, but this unit is improving and it carried the team to a win for the first time in years. And that's very encouraging.