Finally, a win at home for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers happened over the weekend. Permit me to set the table: Our head coach is Lovie Smith, a defensive minded head coach. This is the second year of Smith's defense, with Smith handling the defensive play calling duties for this season. The Bucs won 38 to 31 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Last week, the Bucs gave up 37 points to the Carolina Panthers. Of those 37 points, 27 points came off of turnovers. Here is the link to last week's Drive Analysis:
Before I continue on, allow me to introduce some Jaguars basic stats.
|Jax Stats (After 4 games)|
|Off Pass||Off Rush||PF||Def Pass||Def Rush||PA|
Defensive Drives Against
|TB Defense vs Jax Offense|
|Qtr||Drive||Plays||Yards||Result||Pts||40 + yard Drives||50 + yard Drives||60 + yard Drives||70 + Yard Drives||80 + Yard Drives||90 + yard Drives||Totals|
Here is the good news about the defense for the Jacksonville game: 6 drives of three plays or less for the game. That represents 54% of the total drives against, which includes a one play forced fumbled that also resulted in a defensive touchdown. All six three-and-out or less plays garnered a negative production of - 11 yards. Also, the defense had a great third down defensive rate of 25% efficiency. The Jags going 2 for 8 on third downs represent the lowest rate the defense has produced all year. These are all amazing feats by the defense!
Yet, as much great show of dominance was shown in those six drives, the other five drives are on the other extreme. The defense gave up five drives of 50 yards or more. All five drives resulted in scores that amounted to 31 points. Jaguars' offense went 4 for 5 in the Red Zone. That is not playing defense.
Rather than call Lovie's base defense the Tampa-2, we really should call it the Katy Perry-2 because the defense functions in two ways: stopping your offense cold or allowing your offense to heat up. Fortunately, the Bucs do have a possibility of creating a playlist of one: Hot N Cold.
The offense broke through the 30 point plateau against the fourth best rushing defensive team in the league! It is fortuitous for the offense to continue to progress as the defense has been proven highly inconsistent for this game as aforementioned.
|TB Offense vs Jax Defense|
|Qtr||Drive||Plays||Yards||Result||RZ||Pts||40 + yard Drives||50 + yard Drives||60 + yard Drives||70 + Yard Drives||80 + Yard Drives||90 + yard Drives||Totals|
Five drives of 40 yards or more by the Bucs offense produced 23 points. The offense did this with their odd dynamic duo at running back. Doug Martin is a diminutive back who runs with power, reaching at 5'9". Charles Sims is a taller back who runs with tentative elusiveness, standing at 6 feet. Recall that the Jacksonville's rushing defense ranked 4th overall in the league, allowing 83 yards per game on the ground. The "Hack and Slash" combo, through the air and ground, rampaged over the Jags' defense with a total of 294 yards: 174 yards on the ground and 120 yards on the ground. Doug accounted for all of the offensive touchdowns scored.
Although the offense struggled to put up touchdowns as it ventured into the Red Zone,it was saved by the return of kicker Connor Barth. Barth was 3 for 3 on field goal attempts and 3 for 3 on extra points, for a total of 12 points. The team needed all the points it could put up on the board to pull off the win; Barth's appearance could not have come at a better time.
Piling onto the special teams kudos, let us not forget running back turned returned Bobby Rainey's performance. Bobby had three returns for 85 yards. One of those returns was for 58 yards and set up the offense in the Red Zone, which eventually lead to a Martin touchdown.
Last, but not least, consider this factiod: None of the starting offensive linemen were starters last year for the Bucs. Two of the linemen are rookies and three are replacement players due to players being injured. Plenty of credit should go to OC Dirk Koetter and OL coach George Warhop. Just in case you missed the article, shameless plug ahead, here is a link from a June article: Will Dirk Koetter help the Bucs' offensive line?
Other notable information is zero turnovers. Winston did not turn the ball over, though he escaped a disastrous event as he was called down by contact than recorded as a lost lateral. Although what seemed like a quiet night for Winston, he still averaged 11.0 yards per pass attempt.
There were 12 penalties called. The breakdown of the 5 penalties called is as follows: offense - 6, defense - 5, and ST - 1. The team reverted into bad habits. Rookie RG Ali Marpet had three penalties all to his onesies. CB Jennings was called for two penalties.
|TB v Jax, TB PENALTIES|
|Qtr||#||Drive||Off /Def /ST||Location||Down||Yards to go||Penalty Yards||Comment|
|1||1||4||Def||TB 30||3||1||-5||DT McDaniel. Def Offsides.|
|2||5||Off||Jax 28||3||17||-5||C Hawley. False Start.|
|3||8||Def||Jax 26||3||4||-5||DE Smith. Neutral Zone Infraction.|
|4||11||Off||TB 40||1||10||-5||RT Cherilus. Ineligible man down field on a pass. (This forced Lovie Smith to turtle with 29 seconds left in the half and three timeouts.)|
|5||12||Def||TB 45||1||10||0||CB Jenkins. Defensive PI. OFFSETTING with Jax Illegal formation.|
|6||12||Def||TB 30||3||8||0||CB Jennings. Illegal use of the hands. DECLINED.|
|7||13||Off||TB 33||1||10||-5||TE/T Fragel. False Start.|
|8||13||Off||TB 40||2||3||-10||RG Marpet. Off Holding. Negated a 10 yard catch and run by Evans.|
|9||14||Def||TB 44||3||4||-12||CB Jennings. Def PI. (Even though the PI was enforced, it negated an 11 yard completion play for Jax.)|
|10||15||Off||TB 20||2||10||-5||RG Marpet. Illegal formation. Negated a Sims 6 yard run.|
|11||19||ST||TB 29||0||0||-10||WR Dye. Illegal block above the waist during RECEIVING a punt return.|
|12||20||OFF||TB 39||2||6||-10||RG Marpet. Off Holding.|
|Total Penalty Yards||-72|
Limiting turnovers and a progressing offense with a consistent kicker can overcome a Jekyl and Mr. Hyde defense. I feel better about the offense and kicking game going into the bye week than I do about the defense. And to think, Koetter believed he left Atlanta.