2019 should and can be a special year for the Bucs defense. Coming off the 2018 campaign that saw the Bucs ranked in the bottom half of the league defensively – 31st on Pts, 27th in total yards, 26th against the pass, and 24th against the run. The 2019 campaign under new coordinator Todd Bowles seems to be a great fit so far.
What seems to be the difference so far? Just the simple fact that the players have bought into the new scheme.
“Defensively, I think the guys have really bought into the system, they’re playing at a real high level and they’re playing very fast.” – Bruce Arians
Friday night vs the Browns, the Bucs defense came up big allowing just 12 first downs, 2-14 on 3rd down conversions, came away with 3 sacks – 2 Nunez-Roches, both Darian Stewart and Kevin Minter combined for a sack and 1 INT from Jordan Whitehead at the end of the 1st half.
*Also noted that the Bucs held the Browns to 5 or fewer plays on 9 of 12 possessions.
Also in 3 games, the Bucs have been able to come away with 10 sacks, 2 INTs, and a +1 turnover differential. Their defensive rankings have improved drastically being ranked 16th in points allowed, 5th in total yards and passing yards, and 11th in rushing.
There’s something special going on in Tampa, and for the first time in over a decade, it’s a defense that we’re referencing.