The Bucs did it again yesterday as their win streak has reached 5 games and are now 8-5 on the season. The defense was outstanding as they held the high powered Saints offense to 9 points defeating the Saints 16-11 eliminating them from playoff contention. The Bucs offense did just enough as they were smart with the ball having zero turnovers and rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo made all of his kicks. Jameis Winston was a little off with his accuracy in this game but did enough to help the team win. Running back Doug Martin didn’t have stellar numbers but ran hard and helped the Bucs controlled the clock limiting the possessions for the Saints offense. Head coach Dirk Koetter blamed himself for the offensive struggles, he says it must get better.
“That’s one of the things that’s crazy on the stats. I felt like we had 215 penalties and I look at it and they had twice as many as we did. I’m not satisfied at all with how we’re playing on offense. We definitely left points out there. We’re going to get a chance to play these guys again in two weeks. I’m sure both New Orleans’ offensive coaches and our offensive coaches are going to be feeling the same way. We’ve got to play better. And both (sets of) defensive coaches are feeling pretty good about the way they played.’’
“The main reason we’re leaving points on the field is the play-caller is not going a good enough job.’’
It’s all good coach as long as the team wins and the Bucs have won five straight which keeps them tied with Atlanta for the division crown. Let’s get back to the main reason for the Bucs streak and that has been the outstanding play of the defense. The unit has been flying around the field making plays all over the field. During this five game streak, they are allowing 12.8 points per game, 298 yards per game, and 2.8 turnovers per game making this unit the number one defense during this stretch. Another great stat is that the defense has only allowed one Td during their last three home games which was the fluke hail mary play by Jay Cutler and the Bears. Winston knows how good this defense can be when they are healthy and they finally are.
“Absolutely. Our defense has been playing amazing. It starts with our leaders on that defense. [Defensive tackles] Clinton McDonald, Gerald McCoy and [linebacker] Lavonte [David] have taken it to a whole new level. [Linebacker] Kwon [Alexander] is stepping up, it’s amazing. When our defense is healthy, you see what they’re all about.’’
Buc ball is back and the defense is getting better every week and it’s really fun to watch the unit play. Huge game this Sunday against the 11-2 Cowboys as they have a great O-line and really play great team ball. Bucs will need to bring their “A” game and I believe they will. Let’s keep this streak going!