The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been awful on defense this year, if you ask Football Outsiders. In fact, they rank them the second-worst defense in the entire NFL so far. That’s despite holding the New England Patriots offense to just 19 points—but giving up 38 to the Arizona Cardinals.
Outsiders’ statistics are derived from the play-by-play statistics, but the traditional stats tend to agree. The Bucs are ranked 22nd in points given up, 30th in yards given up, 30th in net yards per pass attempt given up, and eighth in yards per carry given up. Turns out that a good run defense doesn’t do much for you if you can’t stop the pass.
On the positive side, Outsiders does like the Bucs offense, which it ranks seventh overall. Mostly that’s because of the passing offense, which gets a ninth overall ranking while the rushing offense is ranked 18th. All those offensive additions this offseason worked pretty well, I guess.
Incidentally, they also give us the news that the 2013 Buccaneers were the best ever 0-6 team. Not that that team was good, mind you, but it wasn’t as bad as its record would have suggested. Couldn’t save Greg Schiano, though.
All of that aside, there’s also one really depressing bit of news: according to Outsiders’ reckoning, the Bucs have had the 12th-easiest schedule in the league so far. And they have the second-toughest remaining schedule. Pair that with a tough division and a terrible defense, and it’s hard to see this team making the postseason.