The Buccaneers defense picked up right where they left off last year. The Bucs finished as the worst defense in the NFL last season and by the looks of the 2018 Buccaneer defense not much has changed.
Here is what has changed. The Bucs went out and spent millions of dollars to totally revamp the DL. They drafted four rookies, two of which saw extensive playing time against the Saints. But sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same.
The Saints offense put up 475 yards against this Bucs defense as the Bucs had no answer for Alvin Kamara who had 112 receiving yards and Michael Thomas had 180 yards receiving with a TD but also had two critical turnovers that both led to Buccareer points.
I understand the Bucs were playing one of the best QB’s of our time and future HOFer Drew Brees. Brees sat back and sliced and diced his way through the Bucs defense as he torched the Bucs for 40 points. Thank God for a little Fitz-magic or this would have been out of hand early.
I expected better from this defense. I understand injuries happen and the Bucs were missing starting CB Brent Grimes and then Vernon Hargreaves left with a shoulder injury. Hargreaves tore his labrum and is done for the season as he was placed on IR today.
Hargreaves was off to a good start this season after a very strong off-season and training camp. This is the second consecutive season that Hargreaves has had his season cut short due to season ending injuries.
I did not see the pressure on Brees that I expected to see from the DL. Vinny Curry had the only sack of the game, with Gerald McCoy registering three tackles. Jason Pierre Paul and Beau Allen did not register a tackle. Pierre Paul suffered a knee injury and is questionable for the game on Sunday.
Carlton Davis had a rough afternoon and hopefully he took that learning experience and will be better for it this week against Nick Foles and the Eagles.
Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David both had great games for the defense and led the Bucs with nine tackles each. Kwon Alexander also contributed to the scoring by recovering a Michael Thomas fumble and returning it for a TD.
The Saints have a very prolific offense and are going to score a lot of points this season. There were a couple of occassions on Sunday where it looked as if the defense would bring Drew Brees down, but he managed to escape the pressure.
The defense is going to have to play better starting this week against the Super Bowl champs If they want to have a chance at Improving on last years record.
With Hargreaves out for the season the Bucs signed CB Marcus Williams who last played for he Saints during the pre-season. Williams has played in 49 NFL games starting 15 with Houston, the New York Jets, and New Orleans. Williams will be counted on to contribute immediately as the depth is thin in the defensive backfield.
-DeSean Jackson is in concussion protocol and will not be able to play until he passes a series of tests. He is also nursing a shoulder injury, so will have to see how he progresses this week.