It is no mystery that in 2017 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense only recorded 22 sacks, which was last in the National Football League. The Buccaneers decided it was time for a change and fired Jay Hayes and hired Brenston Buckner.
Tear it Down and Build it Back Up
Jason Licht this past off season gutted the defensive line and completely rebuilt it by adding many valuable pieces to help generate pass rush against opposing quarterbacks. This is what the 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line will most likely look like barring any injuries.
DT Gerald McCoy
DT Vita Vea
DT Beau Allen
DT Mitch Unrein
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
DE Vinny Curry
DE Will Gholston
DE Noah Spence
This defensive line is night and day from a year ago not only are there many talented players but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added depth to help brace for injuries that might occur during the 2018 season.
Gotta Get Sacks!
Earlier this off-season during OTAs Buckner said “I don’t care about double digit sacks, I care about double digit wins”. This was an interesting comment from a defensive line coach, none the less. This was in response to a question about Tampa Bay Buccaneers not having a double digit sacker since Simeon Rice which was quite some time ago.
When Buckner said that it got me thinking, “how many sacks does it take to get double digit wins?”. That usually equates to getting a ticket to the playoffs.
In 2016 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 9 games with the defense totaling 38 sacks, essentially with a less talented group on the defensive line. In 2017, the Buccaneers didn’t make many moves in that regard only signing defensive tackle Chris Baker.
We all know how that worked out.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers relied heavily on defensive ends Noah Spence and Jacquies Smith. Spence ended up being placed on injured reserve early in the season due to a recurring injury to his shoulder. Smith was released before he even played a full game.
Here is a list of all the NFC teams that made the playoffs in 2017 and their sack totals and their records.
|New Orleans Saints||42||11-5|
Here is a list of all the AFC Teams that made the playoffs in 2017 and their sack totals and their records.
|New England Patriots||42||13-3|
|Kansas City Chiefs||31||10-6|
I found this to be quite interesting mainly because you see the Eagles only getting 38 sacks and making it to the Super Bowl with a win. The Patriots also got to the Super Bowl and only had 42 sacks. Teams like the Jaguars, who almost beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, had 55 total sacks along with the Steelers having
What Does this All Mean?
There were many teams who posted good sack numbers and yet weren’t even close to earning a playoff spot.
Quarterback hits and pressures also have an advantage. This forces opposing quarterbacks to make quicker decisions, which can lead to errant throws. Which in turn, results in more interceptions. What I want to see this season is consistency on the defensive line.
If the Buccaneers can get two or three sacks a game, then they are on the right track. The defensive line in 2017 would go two games at a time without getting any sacks. This lead to seeing opposing quarterbacks having what it seemed, like all day to throw. This created frustration beyond belief for fans.
My opinion is if the Buccaneers can get between 40 and 45 sacks, that could equate to double digit wins and more importantly, a spot in the 2018 NFL playoffs.
So fans, what do you think? How many sacks does it take for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get double digit wins and punch their ticket it to the playoffs?
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @TB_Bucs_4life or leave a comment below
Christian Worthen has been a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 22 years. He currently is a contributor/writer for Full Press Coverage Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To see more of his work or the work by Full Press Coverage follow @FPC_Buccanners on Twitter.