Defense is Coming Around

The last two games the Bucs have won have been mainly due to the offense taking better care of the football, but more importantly the improved play of the defense. The defense had it’s growing pains early on during the first few games but it looks like the switch has been turn on as players look more comfortable in the new scheme. It started with the Broncos game in which the defense had probably their best first half of the season as they were making plays and getting pressure up front.

One key move the coaching staff made was put rookie CB Vernon Hargreaves on the outside and let him go against the opposing top receiver. Hargreaves has been outstanding since being move to the starting role as he has been excellent in coverage and stout against the run. Him and Grimes have been a steady combo along with Jude Adjei-Barimah holding the nickel position down as well. The Safties are playing much better as well especially Bradley Mcdougald who has been a force in run support.

The defensive line is starting to get healthy with McCoy back along with Ayers and Mcdonald on the way back. In addition, the Bucs are getting great play out of their 2013 picks in Will Gholston and Akeem Spence whom both have been very consistent throughout the season so far. Most could make a case that Gholston has been the Bucs best d-lineman this year as he had a big sack yesterday against the 49ers. Plus rookie Noah Spence is coming around as he probably had his best game yesterday in which he applied consistent pressure and showed his edge rush potential.
Nice inside move here by Noah Spence to get his 2nd career sack. He tried different techniques later in thi… https://t.co/agFgZ67XRA

— realbucstalk (@realbucstalk) October 25, 2016

Overall, the defense is coming around and are heading in the right direction. The unit is holding opposing Quarterbacks under 60% completion percentage with an 58.3% which is major improvement from last year’s percentage of 70%. Third down defense has been really good as opposing offenses are converting only 32.9% of the time which is very good and only the Dolphins are better at 31%. This defense is getting healthy at the right time and continues to get better each week. They are going to have to be at their best against an good offense in the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.

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