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Buccaneers beating Raiders with defense and flags

Oakland Raiders v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are up 10-3 over the Oakland Raiders at the half, despite having fewer yards than the Raiders. Dirk Koetter credits that lead to the defense, and the very flag-happy referees.

The Raiders have 188 total yards of offense and a whopping 7.8 yards per play, but just three points. Mostly because the Bucs defense has held up very well in the red zone, because of a sack-fumble by Noah Spence, but also because of penalties. So many penalties. Nine for 76 yards, in fact, and that’s not counting all of the nullified yardage.

But that downplays how well the Bucs have played, overall. They’re not quite dominant, but the defense has tightened up every time the Raiders came close to scoring range — their only points came off a single 68-yard gain on a busted coverage.

Meanwhile, the Bucs offense has been fairly consistent despite Oakland effectively limiting the running game. Jameis Winston has completed 10 of 15 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, while Jacquizz Rodgers has rushed for 50 yards on 12 carries. The Bucs do look like the better team, and they’re hoping to pick up their first home win of the year today.