Dave Gettleman’s three basic truths mark Bucs’ Super Bowl win

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Dan Benton
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

“There are basic truths — you have to run the ball, you have to stop the run, you have to rush the passer. If you are seriously deficient in any one of those three areas, it makes it tough.”

Those words came from the mouth of New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman following the 2019 regular season. It’s a philosophy he has long believed and one he is currently attempting to implement as he aims to turn the organization back into a winner.

For some, Gettleman’s approach is a bit too old school for their liking. After all, the NFL is a constantly evolving league that currently relies heavily on good quarterback play and deep passing. Or at least it did leading up to Super Bowl LV.

The Kansas City Chiefs entered the game with one of the most potent offenses in league history, anchored by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes and a band of playmakers that any team could benefit from having on their roster. But defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren’t about to let opportunity slip through their fingers, so they changed their usual approach.

Along with timely play from quarterback Tom Brady, the Bucs relied heavily on three things: running the football, stopping the run and rushing the passer.

Gettleman would be pleased.

While the Chiefs did rush for 107 yards and average 6.3 yards per carry, the numbers were a bit skewed due to Mahomes’ 33 yards and a 26-yard run by Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Without the one big gain, Kansas City gained just 81 yards on the ground and their rushing attack never really factored into the game.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, gained 145 yards on the ground and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. They rushed 33 times compared to just 29 pass attempts, winning the time of possession, 31:23 to 28:37.

Then, of course, there was the pressure. Led by linebackers Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, the Bucs defense hit Mahomes 10 times and recorded three sacks. Seven different defenders registered at least two pressures with Barrett leading the charge at eight.

That relentless onslaught led to Mahomes completing just 26 of his 49 attempts for 270 yards and, most importantly of all, two interceptions. It was the same sort of pressure that prevented Brady from leading the then-perfect New England Patriots to a title in Super Bowl XLII.

In the end, defense (and running the ball) still win championships.

Now it’s up to Gettleman to finish his rebuild and the Giants to carry out their general manager’s three basic truths.