A dominant performance or a still evolving one from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense? The end results say dominant, but a closer look says the defense buckled down when it counted most despite letting the opposing offense get into the Red Zone four times.
Tampa Bay's Basic stats before the game
Defensive Passing: 14th (241 yards/game)
Defensive Rushing: 12th (97 yards/game)
Points Against: 25th (25.3 ppg)
Atlanta's Basic stats before the game
Offensive Passing: 5th (280 yards/game)
Offensive Rushing: 15th (112 yards/game)
Points For: 14th (23.6 ppg)
Here is what transpired in the game for the defense:
|Atl Offense vs TB Defense|
|Atl||Tampa Bay||TB - Opp Differential||Differential %|
|Pre-Game Stat||Game Stat|
The Bucs' defense made Atlanta underperform from its seasonal average. To reveal how dominant the Bucs' rush defense is, last week the Falcons rushed for 116 yards without RB Devonta Freeman. Making a return to the negative side is our pass defense and that is always a good barometer of good defensive play.
|TB Defense vs Atl Offense|
|Qtr||Drive||Plays||Yards||Result||RZ||Pts||40 + yard Drives||50 + yard Drives||60 + yard Drives||70 + Yard Drives||80 + Yard Drives||Totals|
With the drive chart denoted above and with the exception of Atlanta's last offensive drive, this defense looks eerily like the Jacksonville game. The defense either stopped them in their tracks or the team scored on all of the other possessions it had. There is a huge difference, though, which is the defense allowed mostly field goals as opposed to touchdowns. Atlanta's offense failed three times in the Red Zone to score a touchdown. Thus, Atlanta left 12 points off of the score board, which could have won them the game.
This feast or famine defense is very helter skelter. Eventually, the Falcons figured out to score a touchdown. Still, the defense did its job as it held the Falcons to only 19 points as well as sealed the win with a LB David interception.
Again, although the defense put up great defensive numbers, the fact that the Falcons gained entry into the Red Zone four times should give us fans pause. Three plays could have turned 12 points into 21 points. That is the thin line that the Bucs' defense is walking upon. And with rookie MLB Kwon Alexander out for the remainder of the season, the chemistry of the defense may also change.