Sunday, February 25, 2018
  • Bucs Beat
  • Rick Stroud and Greg Auman

Bucs defense thrived by setting up third-and-long

The Bucs went into Sunday's game with the Jets as the worst third-down defense in the NFL, but had a huge turnaround there, holding New York to just three conversion out of 15 third-down opportunities.

The key? Playing well on first and second downs, especially against the run, to set up third-and-long situations. Of the Jets' 15 third downs, 11 had them needing 10 yards or more, including six of seven in the first half.

"We got ourselves in manageable third downs and situations where we could rush," said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who had one of six sacks for the Bucs. "We stopped the run early and often. Like I always say, if you stop the run, you get to rush the passer. We just did what we are supposed to do."

The Jets got that started, with holding and offensive pass interference penalties on their first two drives to set up third-and-13 and third-and-15 plays, converting neither.

"When the penalties didn't hurt us, they were in the backfield hurting us," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "They played in our backfield all day long. We missed blocks or got penalties. It was just a cluster, and we didn't do well."

The Jets needed an average of 11.3 yards on their third-down plays, easiest the longest for a Bucs opponent this season. Last week's game against the Saints saw New Orleans need an average of just 5.2 yards on third downs, making it easier for them to convert on 7 of 13 opportunities.

The Bucs' offense, meanwhile, had two drives of 15+ plays, converting three third downs on each. They had a 17-play drive, their most plays of any drive this season, that resulted in a field goal, and in the fourth quarter, they had a 15-play drive that lasted 7 minutes and 25 seconds. That's the second-longest drive of the season in duration, trailing only an 8:36 drive from the season-opening win against Chicago.

Comments
Bucs awarded compensatory draft pick in seventh round

Bucs awarded compensatory draft pick in seventh round

The Bucs finally have a compensatory draft pick.For the first time since 2011, Tampa Bay has played the free-agent game well enough to be awarded a comp pick — after the seventh round, 255th overall, the next to last in the draft.Comp picks hav...
Published: 02/23/18
Bucs need a backup plan at quarterback; best bets are Ryan Fitzpatrick or (maybe) Mike Glennon

Bucs need a backup plan at quarterback; best bets are Ryan Fitzpatrick or (maybe) Mike Glennon

TAMPA – Finding a quarterback is a big priority for the Bucs this off-season. That's not a misprint. No, they're not looking to replace Jameis Winston. Far from it. But they may need to find their version of the Eagles' Nick Foles — excep...
Published: 02/23/18
Despite warnings to stay in school, Chase Litton confident about draft prospects

Despite warnings to stay in school, Chase Litton confident about draft prospects

As he made the tough decision whether to return to Marshall for his senior season, quarterback Chase Litton reached out to the NFL's advisory committee, which gives underclassmen a sense of where they're likely to be drafted should they leave early."...
Published: 02/23/18
Bucs won’t tender injured LB Adarius Glanton, DB Jude Adjei-Barimah

Bucs won’t tender injured LB Adarius Glanton, DB Jude Adjei-Barimah

The Bucs have started the internal decisions that lead up to the start of free agency in three weeks, letting two restricted free agents recovering from injury —  LB Adarius Glanton and DB Jude Adjei-Barimah — know that they won't be...
Published: 02/23/18
Police: DeSean Jackson’s former Eagles teammate drove truck found wrecked with bullets, marijuana inside

Police: DeSean Jackson’s former Eagles teammate drove truck found wrecked with bullets, marijuana inside

TAMPA  — With no witnesses and no video evidence, Tampa Police have stopped investigating a case from Christmas Eve that had a truck belonging to Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson found wrecked and abandoned in a mall parking lot with hollow-po...
Published: 02/22/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Bucs QB Jameis Winston uninjured in car wreck

Bucs QB Jameis Winston uninjured in car wreck

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was not hurt in a car wreck last week in which he was cited for careless driving.Winston, 24, was driving on the Veterans Expressway near Waters Avenue in northwest Tampa on Feb. 13 when his Ford F250 truck rear-ended ...
Published: 02/22/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Bucs sign ex-New Hampshire RB Dalton Crossan

Bucs sign ex-New Hampshire RB Dalton Crossan

February signings in the NFL usually face long odds to stick on rosters in the fall, but the Bucs added to their running back depth on Thursday, signing former New Hampshire star Dalton Crossan.Crossan, who turns 24 on Sunday, went to training camp l...
Published: 02/22/18
Brentson Buckner wants more than sacks from Bucs d-line

Brentson Buckner wants more than sacks from Bucs d-line

Much has been made of the Bucs finishing last in the NFL in sacks with just 22 during the 2017 season, but new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner says he measures success in much more than the ultimate goal of a sack."You play 1,300 plays, you hav...
Published: 02/22/18
New D-line coach Brentson Buckner wants to make Bucs pass rush great again

New D-line coach Brentson Buckner wants to make Bucs pass rush great again

This isn't the first time Brentson Buckner has wanted to get closer to the Bucs defensive line.As a defensive tackle for the Panthers, Buckner's team went 7-9 in 2002, the inaugural season for the NFC South.Tampa Bay won the division that year, and w...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
New Bucs assistant Brentson Buckner knows challenge of NFC South QBs

New Bucs assistant Brentson Buckner knows challenge of NFC South QBs

New Bucs defensive line coach Brentson Buckner understands full well what a challenge he'll face in trying to bring down three talented quarterbacks in the NFC South this season."Not getting much sleep," Buckner said, asked of his expectations in a d...
Published: 02/21/18