The Buccaneers' defense has improved since the starter of the season. Although the offense has been bad at best, the defense has shown some bit of promise for the future. But there is one phase of their game that has to be fixed moving forward.
The defense has bent a lot this season and it has been the secondary that has made the opposition's aerial attack move with ease countless times. It was much of the same against the Carolina Panthers when the route trees of rookie Kelvin Benjamin led him to the right holes countless times this past Sunday.
On his first reception, you can see Benjamin on an inside breaking route that took him deep in the Bucs defense. The key here was the anticipation by quarterback Derek Anderson who was set to throw before Benjamin broke his route.
Then, as the ball reached Benjamin, it was placed high and in between defenders where only the rookie can go up and get it.
In the second quarter Carolina called up virtually the exact play. Instead it was flipped where Benjamin was lined up to Anderson's left. You can see as Benjamin broke inside, this time Anderson waited to throw -- leading his rookie receiver to the hashmarks where no defender was nearby.
In the third, it was yet again the same route. Difference here was that Benjamin got some yards after the catch, well inside the Bucs' 45-yard line.
Benjamin finished with eight catches for 104 yards.
This problem dates back to Week 3 in Atlanta on Thursday Night Football when the entire NFL world saw Matt Ryan and Julio Jones exploit the Bucs in the same fashion. Also saw it against the Baltimore Ravens, who incorporated quick slants as well.
As much as the Bucs have talked up the improvement of their defense, the holes in their zones have been the reason for their opposition controlling the clock. Part of the reason is the scheme itself and perhaps players out of position, but they need to find ways to improve that part of their defense.
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