The Buccaneers head into 2021 as the defending Super Bowl Champions, and the worst championship team in the NFL to ever return all 22 starters from the team that won it all the previous year.
Tampa Bay’s success could be attributed to elite balance. Both their offense and defense are loaded with talent, and considering they held the Kansas City Chiefs offense to just nine points in the Super Bowl, the defense is the likely strength of this team.
Let’s break down just how good the defense is and how good we can expect them to be in 2021 so you can be ready to bet against their NFL odds.
NFL Betting – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense Expert Analysis For the 2021-22 Season
2020 in Review
Tampa Bay had an elite defense last season. Two sites that do a good job grading the quality of teams are Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus. Pro Football Focus had Tampa Bay as their fifth-best defense, and Football Outsiders ranked them an identical fifth-strongest.
The defense was strong throughout. Their pass defense was ranked fifth on Football Outsiders and first on Pro Football Focus. Their pass-rush was also considered a top-ten defense, and they stifled the run successfully all season.
The Buccaneers had the fourth-most sacks in the NFL last season, with 48. EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul led the team with 9.5 sacks, followed by linebacker Devin White’s 9. Pass-rushed Shaquil Barrett chipped in 8 sacks of his own.
The Buccaneers also led the NFL in sacks during postseason play, getting to the quarterback ten times.
The Super Bowl was a tale of two teams. The Tampa Bay offensive line stayed strong all game, giving Tom Brady a clean pocket throughout the game.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay defense wreaked havoc on the Chiefs offensive line and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, with Mahomes running for his life the entire game.
2021: What to Expect
There’s every reason to expect more of the same out of the Tampa Bay defense in 2021. This is one of the best and most-balanced defensive units in the league.
The fact the Buccaneers are returning their entire starting defense is an incredible feat in today’s NFL.
The defense is loaded with strong players we haven’t even mentioned. Cornerback Carlton Davis led the team with four interceptions last season. Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is in the mold of his father and had a strong 2020, finishing with 94 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception. Fellow starting corner Jamel Dean had a strong season and was graded out as one of the Buccaneers’ most efficient defenders.
Linebacker Lavonte David is a rock in the middle of the defense, finishing 2020 with 117 tackles and forcing three fumbles.
From top to bottom, this is a defense ready to run it back in 2021.
Star defensive tackle Vita Vea missed most of the year last season and is now set to return as a full-time starter, bringing some added juice to a defense that may not have needed it.
From a betting perspective, the strength of this defense alone is enough to bet on Tampa Bay covering games early in the season.
The offense needs only be smart with the football and the defense can win games on its own.
It should be another big year for the Buccaneers.
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