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How the Buccaneers beat the Jets

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The Bucs started their current win streak against the Jets—and they did it by playing good defense.

New York Jets v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started their win streak two weeks ago, and have won both of their games since then mostly by playing good defense. Let’s go back to that first win and see how the Bucs beat the Jets.

Preview stats

What transpired

The Bucs defense shut down that run game! In doing so, it made the Jets a one-dimensional team. During the weekly press conference, DC Mike Smith said that LB Lavonte David was able to rush more because the defense was able to induce 2nd and 7+ yards.

Pass Plays: 39 (67.2%)

Run Plays: 19 (32.8%)

This NY Jets offensive play call breakdown supports the idea that stopping the run makes a team one-dimensional. Looking at those rates reminds me of our own Bucs’ offense for most of this season.

Drive Chart

The Good:

2 – Turnovers caused by the defense: an interception and a fumble recovery.

5 – The number of 3-n-out drives or less occurred five times by the defense. These events are highlighted in green boxes in the Drive chart above.

7 – Drives that ended in punts happened on seven occasions.

The Bad:

At the end of each half, the defense loses focus. Notice all three long drives transpired at the end of the halves.

The Ugly:

A 38-yard touchdown pass on CB Brent Grimes. Grimes stumbled as he followed his receiver and there was no help over-the-top. (Unfortunately, I do not have Game Pass to review this event in detail and my Sunday Ticket viewing ends Wednesday night, it is Saturday as I type this.) Although Grimes did get burnt, he did create a turnover via interception in the first half of the game.

Compare with Chicago Drive Analysis (Game 1)

Although the defense did create more turnovers and scored on an interception, it only produced two 3-n-out drives. The game against the Jets was more impressive than the Chicago game defensively!

Conclusion

This Bucs defense, upon reflection, had its most dominant game this season against the Jets. Was this a fluke against a NY Jets team or was there a pattern? I am all about finding patterns, including inconsistent patterns or no patterns to be found after all.

Game 7, vs Carolina

Tampa’s defense started to clamp down in the second half of the game. This is the first time the team implemented the 3-3-5 defense due to DE Noah Spence was deemed out for the rest of the season.

Game 8, vs New Orleans

In this game, the defense carried over the game play from the end of the Carolina game in the first half. But the run defense got trucked in the second half.

Please note that the defense only allowed 24 points. The special teams unit had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, but failed on a two-point attempt. That is how the Saints put up a total of 30 points.

Game 9, vs NY Jets

Finally, the defense was able to put two dominant halves together in one game.

I would not be surprised to see more dominant performances by this defense, especially now that the Bucs have their linebacker corps fully healthy and in full football shape with Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, and Kendell Beckwith. David and Alexander played 100% of the defensive snaps. Beckwith played 75% of the defensive snaps, which is unusually high for a projected strong side line backer. Part of those Beckwith snaps was with him playing as a defensive end, a pass rusher.

Is Beckwith the Bucs’ defensive extra gear now that Alexander and David are back? Once only seen to be someone to compete at the strong side LB position, but now looks to be an invaluable piece to the LB corps and defensive line help by necessity.

Noah Spence scouting profile metrics, per NFL.com:

Height: 6’2”

Arm Length: 33

Weight: 251 lbs

40 yard dash time: 4.8 seconds

Kendall Beckwith scouting profile metrics, per NFL.com: (recovering from ACL injury)

Height: 6’2”

Arm Length: 33

Weight: 243 lbs

40 yard dash time: N/A

From The Advocate online article, on August 22, 2015:

Well, he’s an All-SEC second-team pick, a 250-pounder running 4.55-second 40-yard dashes, a junior who’s turning heads — from opposing coaches to ones in Baton Rouge.

Against the Jets, Beckwith had two tackles. One was for a sack, but both tackles were tackles for a loss. Beckwith also lined up as a MIKE to confuse the Jets offense with both Alexander and David on the line. This time around, the 3-3-5 was executed much better.