Quick, name the team with the best run defense in the NFL right now. Baltimore? Pittsburgh? Minnesota? Perhaps. But how about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Not only are the Buccaneers the only first place team in the league nobody seems to be talking about, they also may have the best run defense in the league through the first six weeks. If nothing else, they should be in the discussion.
Based on the traditional stats, the Buccaneers are currently the only team in the NFL to not allow a rushing touchdown, while also not surrendering a 100-yard rusher. Opponents are averaging 3.4 yards per carry (fourth best in the league), while they held Carolina's Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams to 39 yards on 17 combined carries during Sunday's 27-3 thrashing.
If the traditional numbers don't do it for you, the metrics from the good folks over at Football Outsiders have the Buccaneers run defense as the No. 2 unit in the league behind only Baltimore. Bottom line, whatever measuring stick you prefer, the end result is the same. Now that they have their quarterback situation figured out -- for now -- the Buccaneers could be a dangerous team in the NFC.