Yes the Bucs are heading into Atlanta on a two game winning streak, but to win on the road this week the Bucs defense will have to continue to force turnovers. Last week in Miami, the defense did a good job of forcing turnovers which helped the Bucs stay in control for most of that game. Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith has repeatedly said that the goal of this defense is win third down and force turnovers. Well the defense has been forcing turnovers with 6 in the last two games combined, and hopefully they can do that against the Falcons on Sunday.
It is going to be more difficult against this Falcons offense which is coming off a solid performance against Seattle last week. Matt Ryan, Juilo Jones, Tevin Coleman, and a stout O-line making them a tough team to keep off the scoreboard. This is why turnovers will likely be the difference for the Bucs if they want to win on Sunday. Mike Smith said on Wednesday that the one thing this defense has done consistently is turnovers per buccaneers.com.
“That’s something if you said over the last two seasons, ‘What have we done consistently as a defense?’ I would say that is the thing we have done the most consistently. Our guys have a really good understanding of the importance of it and attacking the football. They come in bunches. It becomes a contagious thing. I think that’s probably if you said, ‘What is the one thing that we’ve been able to be consistent with?’ [Turnovers would be that thing] because the other stuff we’ve been very inconsistent. Even playing the run – they had the big, long run that we mis-fit and besides that the rest of the day they didn’t run the ball at all on us very effectively. Again, it’s [a] lack of consistency on the defensive side. We all have to take responsibility for that. When I say all, it’s coaches [and] players. We’ve got to get that fixed. Good teams that are going to play on into the second season do not have inconsistency issues.”
With the defense struggling on third downs, it will be critical for the defense to be aggressive for 60 minutes with more blitzing and press man coverage in order to collapse the Falcons offense. Not a good idea to trust this front four to create enough pressure, so the Bucs need to send 5 or more to get Matt Ryan moving which could lead to turnovers. The Bucs have done a better job of forcing more third and long situations the last two games and will need to continue that this week which will increase their chances for turnovers. Attack the football needs to be the mindset and hopefully it will lead to turnovers which will boost the Bucs chances of winning on Sunday. More aggressive play calls like this one below needs to occur and let this secondary jump routes.
Love this defensive call. 5 on the line only 3 rush and Kwon blitzes as Beckwith drops back to cover the middle. Rushing decisions of the offense leads to turnovers. pic.twitter.com/ZQD694mANd
— RealBucsTalk (@RealBucsTalk) November 15, 2017