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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bad Defense 101: Bucs giving up record high in points

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) runs through the Bucs' defense for a first down in the third quarter on Sunday.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) runs through the Bucs' defense for a first down in the third quarter on Sunday.

28

September

As you may have read, the Bucs defense has struggled in the first three games of the season, especially in Tampa Bay's last two losses, giving up 40 points to Arizona and 37 points to Los Angeles in dropping to 1-2 on the season.

Along the way, they've hit two unfortunate lows -- they have the NFL's worst scoring defense, giving up 101 points (33.7 per game), and in doing so, they're the first team in 41 seasons of Bucs football to give up 100 points in the first three games of the season.

In each of the three previous seasons, only one NFL team has been bad enough to give up 100 points or more in the first three games: the 2015 Bears, the 2014 Jaguars and the 2013 Giants, all of which finished with losing records. There's hope yet, though: in 2012, the Bengals and Redskins both gave up 100+ in the first three games, and both went on to finish 10-6 and make the playoffs.

In Bucs history, only seven other teams had given up even 80+ points in the first three games, and none of those seven managed to finish with more than six wins. Another discouraging trend for the "Start Fast" mantra: In the Bucs' first 38 seasons, they gave up 80+ points in the first three games; in the last three years, they've done it all three years.

Moving forward, the Bucs would have to hold the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos to 17 points or less to avoid giving up the most points ever by a Bucs team in its first four games. Tampa Bay has allowed 101 in three games this season, and the record is 119, set by the 1985 and 2014 Bucs, who each finished with 2-14 records.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 11:51am]

    

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