Monday huddle: Should there be concern about the Bucs’ defense after 3 games?

Tampa Bay ranks toward the bottom of the NFL in several defensive categories

Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) celebrates after his touchdown catch during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong ) (Jae C. Hong, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene.

Is the Bucs’ defensive ship already sinking?

The Buccaneers lost for the first time this season on Sunday, falling 34-24 to the Rams in Los Angeles, but that in and of itself isn’t all that concerning, considering it was the first loss suffered by the defending champs since Nov. 29.

However, even if the season is only three weeks old, red flags are already going up over what carried the Buccaneers to 10 straight wins and a Super Bowl title: A stout defense.

Tampa Bay so far is 27th in the NFL in points allowed, 26th in total yards and 31st in passing yards allowed.

The Buccaneers are injury-riddled in the secondary, with starter Sean Murphy-Bunting uncertain to return this season after suffering a dislocated elbow in the season opener against Dallas.

The team is frantically searching for help to aid the pass defense, reportedly talking with free agent Richard Sherman last week.

This week could offer some relief, since instead of facing a veteran quarterback such as Dak Prescott, Matt Ryan or Matthew Stafford, Tampa Bay will face New England rookie Mac Jones in what will be Tom Brady’s much-anticipated return to a place where he helped deliver six Super Bowl titles.

During the game, Brady is also expected to pass Drew Brees as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yardage. Brady needs just 68 yards to do so.

A dubious start for the Seminoles

It was another low for Florida State on Saturday following a 31-23 home loss to Louisville.

For the first time since 1974, the Seminoles are off to an 0-4 start, and they are now 3-10 under second-year head coach Mike Norvell.

Cries for Norvell’s job might really grow louder if Florida State can’t win this week at home against lowly Syracuse.

Edgewater knocks off Apopka in a battle of state-ranked teams.

One of the biggest prep games of the weekend took place in Apopka, where Edgewater earned a 16-7 win over the hosts in a matchup between state-ranked teams.

Edgewater trailed 7-6 going into the fourth quarter, but rallied with 10 points in the fourth to improve to 4-1.

Apopka fell to 3-1.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.