The Tampa Bay Buccaneers season is over. It was probably over last week, but like everyone else, I had an ounce of hope they might win in New York. Silly me. Nothing doing for the Bucs this week as they fall to 3-7 after losing four straight. Their aren’t many players or coaches on this team that will be here next year. The stats don’t make anything look better, but they do help us determine who should stay, and who should go.
The Offense: Good
Peyton Barber had his first 100 yard rushing game this season. They finally stuck with the running game and look what happened. This is only the third time this season the Bucs have given him at least 18 carries. Game script dictates that sometimes, but more often than not, this Bucs team under Dirk Koetter hasn’t committed to the run. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank 23rd in the league in rushing attempts per game at just under 24 a game. The NFL is a passing league, there is no debating that, but that hasn’t rendered the run game completely useless. It’s no surprise that only one team below the Bucs in rushing attempts per game is above .500. Running the ball sets up the play action and helps the pass game. The Bucs have been waiting for that to happen, but they haven’t committed to making it happen. It only took the Bucs 11 weeks to figure it out. It’s a slight positive, but hey, why not look at the bright side?
The turnovers have been the story all season for this Bucs team. It’s not just Winston anymore either. Fitzpatrick looked terrible. What’s next week going to be? Whoever can throw the least amount of interceptions gets the start? As stupid as that sounds, it hurts to say. Could it be that the Bucs are on the cusp of a huge rebuild? I don’t want it to be true, but I don’t know that the quarterback of the future is on the roster right now. The offense has a good amount of talent (The offensive line needs some help), but the Bucs have more questions than answers under center. Whatever happens in the off-season one thing is clear, it’s a scary time to be a Bucs fan….. Yet again.
Side note: At least Cairos Santos made all his kicks.
The Defense: The bad
Normally there are at least a few good things, but Sunday there wasn’t much. Sure, the Bucs defensive line managed four sacks. That’s all well and good, but this Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is closing in on “worst ever” territory and fast. Let’s go with the two worst stats this week to illustrate that.
Oh we know exactly what this is. This defense can’t find a way to force a turnover. There are some excuses, Brent Grimes is nowhere to be found, the defense misses Chris Conte and Hargreaves, but regardless, they have to find a way to force a turnover. Someone needs to make a play. With Kwon Alexander done for the year and Lavonte David out on Sunday, the streak continued. There isn’t much to say about it, the Bucs have to find a way to get some turnovers or the franchise will have one of the best defenses ever and one of the worst. Not something anyone wants to be able to say.
Stat #2: 100%
The defense allowed a 100% conversion percentage in the red zone. The Bucs defense is now allowing touchdowns on 87.50% of opponents trip into the redzone. yeah, 9/10 times when the opposing team gets in the redzone, they are scoring. That’s insanity. The Bucs defense worked wonders for Eli Manning. Eli Manning went 17–18 for 231 yards and two touchdowns posting his highest quarterback rating and completion percentage of the season. It seems like Tampa is the team to play when you need to get your offense back on track. With this teams historic defenses of the early 2000’s, it’s hard to watch the defense this 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneerss team is fielding. Nothing short of pathetic.
What’s next for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?