Who Has the Better Defense: Tampa Bay or Kansas City?

Who has the better defense: Tampa Bay or Kansas City? We take a look at the numbers to see which team has the edge heading into the new season.

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Tampa Bay’s Defense

Tampa Bay has the best defense in the NFL. They are ranked first in points allowed per game, first in yards allowed per game, and first in sacks. They have only allowed one rushing touchdown all season. They have the best linebacker in the NFL in Lavonte David, and the best defensive line.

Pass Defense

Tampa Bay’s defense is predicated on stopping the pass, and they are very good at it. They finished the regular season ranked first in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (192.6) and second in passing yards allowed per play (5.4).

The key to their success is a deep and talented secondary that features two Pro Bowlers (cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves III and Brent Grimes) and a former first-round pick (safety Justin Evans). Hargreaves has emerged as one of the best young corners in the league, while Grimes is still playing at a high level at age 34. Evans is a physical presence in the back end who can lay the wood when necessary.

The Bucs also have a good pass rush, led by former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston. He had 12.5 sacks this season, including 8.5 in the final eight games.

Run Defense

While both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs have strong defenses, they each have different strengths. The Buccaneers have a strong run defense, while the Chiefs have a strong pass defense.

The Buccaneers allowed an average of only 90.6 yards per game on the ground during the regular season, which was the third-best in the NFL. The Chiefs, on the other hand, allowed an average of only 204.4 yards through the air, which was the best in the NFL.

So, if you’re looking for a team with a strong defense against either the run or the pass, either Tampa Bay or Kansas City would be a good choice.

Kansas City’s Defense

In order to find out who has the better defense, Tampa Bay or Kansas City, we must first look at the statistics. Tampa Bay is allowing an average of 21.4 points per game, while Kansas City is allowing an average of 17.6 points per game. Tampa Bay is also allowing an average of 5.4 yards per play, while Kansas City is allowing an average of 4.9 yards per play.

Pass Defense

The Kansas City Chiefs finished the 2019 regular season with the best record in the NFL, at 12-4. They also had the best defense in the league, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. The Chiefs’ defense was especially good at one thing: stopping the pass. They ranked first in DVOA against the pass, and second in yards per attempt allowed.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meanwhile, ranked sixth against the pass in DVOA and seventh in yards per attempt allowed. So it’s safe to say that the Chiefs have a better pass defense than the Buccaneers.

But which team has a better defense overall? When we look at Football Outsiders’ overall defensive DVOA metric, we see that the Chiefs again come out on top. The Chiefs had a defensive DVOA of -14.1% this season, while the Buccaneers had a defensive DVOA of -10.7%.

So it’s clear that Kansas City has a better defense than Tampa Bay, both against the pass and overall.

Run Defense

Both the Buccaneers and the Chiefs boast strong run defenses that should make life difficult on their opponents’ rushing attacks. In 2019, Tampa Bay ranked second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (82.2) and Kansas City wasn’t far behind, ranking fifth (92.1).

The Chiefs have been particularly good at stopping opposing runners in recent years. They’ve allowed an average of 91.3 rushing yards per game since 2017, which is the best mark in the NFL over that span. The Buccaneers have been almost as good, allowing 92.6 rushing yards per game over the last three years.

So who has the edge in this matchup? It’s tough to say. Both teams are extremely talented and well-coached on defense, so it could come down to which unit is able to make a few more stops on Sunday.


Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs have great defenses. They are both ranked in the top 5 in points allowed per game. Tampa Bay is ranked 4th and Kansas City is ranked 2nd. Tampa Bay is allowing 18.6 points per game and Kansas City is allowing 17.7 points per game.

Pass Defense

One of the most interesting aspects of the Super Bowl this year is the fact that both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have strong pass defenses. In fact, both teams are in the top five in the NFL in terms of fewest passing yards allowed per game.

The Chiefs are led by safety Tyrann Mathieu, who had four interceptions during the regular season. The Buccaneers have a strong secondary as well, led by cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting.

So, who has the better pass defense? It’s hard to say for sure, but both teams will certainly be tested by the opposing offenses in the Super Bowl.

Run Defense

The run defense statistics for Tampa Bay and Kansas City show that both teams are very strong against the run. Tampa Bay is ranked 4th in the NFL, allowing an average of 93.8 yards per game. Kansas City is ranked 5th, allowing an average of 94.2 yards per game. These two teams are very close in terms of their ability to stop the run, but Tampa Bay has a slight edge.


After analyzing the numbers, it’s clear that Tampa Bay has the better defense. They have a higher ranked scoring defense, allowing almost 10 points less than Kansas City. They also have more sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles.

The one thing that Kansas City has going for them is that they have a better red zone defense. This could be because they allow less yards per play, which gives the opposing team less room to work with when they are close to the end zone.

Ultimately, Tampa Bay’s defense is more consistent and effective overall, which is why they have the better defense.

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