Buccaneer Breakdown: Offense

The Buccaneers gained 7.7 per play on Sunday.
The Buccaneers gained 7.7 per play on Sunday. /
The Bucs gained 7.7 per play on Sunday.
The Bucs gained 7.7 per play on Sunday. /

The Buccaneers offense was really firing on all cylinders on Sunday, the run game looked potent, the air attack was balanced and effective, pretty much everything the Buccaneers wanted to do offensively, they were able to accomplish against Carolina.

The Bucs were so proficient offensively that they averaged 7.7 yards per play, PER PLAY! That’s something this Buccaneers offense hasn’t done in a long time. Obviously there are plenty of skill guys who deserve credit but it all starts up front with the line. Jeff Faine and Jeremy Trueblood were both healthy and saw action, Faine returned to center and Trueblood came in for James Lee who got the start. With those guys in place, the Bucs line looked fierce. They pushed the defenders back off the ball, they opened holes and they got nasty. The lone mistake by the line came on an Everrett Brown sack, all things considered though it was a great day for the hogs up front.

The skill players also continue to grow and improve. Arrelious Benn caught his second touchdown pass in as many weeks and really demonstrated great ability after the catch. Mike Williams put in a solid day’s work, LeGarette Blount carried 19 times for 91 yards and a score, even Cadillac Williams got into the act, scoring a touchdown and looking like his old self on a 45 yard run.

Still, the two players that deserve the most credit for their work on Sunday are Josh Freeman and Kellen Winslow. Freeman continued to impress by posting another superb day, 18 of 24 for 241 yards and two touchdowns. It’s a nearly identical stat line to what he did two weeks ago in Arizona and he looked completely at home and in control of the offense. Josh Freeman finds new ways to impress me every week, I actually expected him to have a rough game. I thought maybe all the Bucs would play a little too loose, maybe get a big head and have to eke out a win against Carolina. They didn’t have to.

Kellen Winslow arguably had the best day of anyone though. Coming into the game it was well documented that he was seeing a lot of attention this season and his touchdown and receptions totals were suffering for it. He played his best game of the season on Sunday, his stats were modest (six receptions 65 yards and a TD) but if you got to see the game, you saw Winslow outplaying everyone who covered him. He gave max effort every play and caught several balls that he had no business getting a hand on (including a laser for a touchdown between double coverage). If you didn’t get to see that game you may wonder, but if you watched you no exactly what I’m talking about.

It was a great performance by the Buccaneers offense on Sunday, now they need to see how that translated to the west coast against a feisty 49ers team next weekend.