Inside the Numbers: Looking at Pro Football Focus’ Statistics for the Buccaneers, Week 1


Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) rushes the ball against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Most fans are not yet over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Week 1 loss to the New York Jets, but there is still time to figure out what went wrong, and how the Buccaneers can try to correct things before a key Week 2 matchup with the New Orleans Saints.

So let’s head over to Pro Football Focus and check out their charting statistics from the game, and see some of the areas where it all went wrong for the Bucs, and some areas that turned out to be positives.

All statistics obtained from Pro Football Focus, subscription required to access some data. Check out their website for more information.

Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) passes against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won 18-17. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Freeman’s Day Off

The Buccaneers’ quarterback certainly did himself no favors in the eyes of his doubters, posting a poor set of statistics in his first game of the season. A completion percentage under 50% and a 1 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio while taking 3 sacks seems like a continuation of the same struggles Freeman has had during his entire career.

But the strange thing about Sunday’s game is that Freeman actually did better while under pressure than he did when not under pressure. According to PFF, Freeman had a 69.7 rating when not under pressure, but a 73.4 rating when under pressure.

I instantly doubt the PFF evaluation of which plays were “pressured” or not for Freeman, as they only credit Freeman for throwing 8 passes under pressure all day. That seems quite low given the amount of pass rush the Jets were generating.

But regardless, the fact that Freeman played poorly both under pressure and without pressure is cause for concern. He was poor on throws deep down the field, completing only 3 of 12 passes longer than 10 yards.

The encouraging sign is Freeman’s efficiency on short throws over the middle. Josh has historically struggled in this area, but found himself completing 5 of 7 passes from 0-9 yards in the middle of the field on Sunday, earning a 113.7 QB rating on said throws.

Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) fumbles after being hit by New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (52) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Going Right was Wrong for Doug Martin

The Buccaneers are missing All-Pro guard Carl Nicks from the left side of the offensive line, and apparently that led them to run right more often than they have before with Martin in the backfield.

The Buccaneers ran left last season at a much higher clip than they ran right, and that trend continued even when Nicks was sidelined due to injury. But on Sunday, the Buccaneers ran the ball to the right side of the formation 13 times according to PFF’s stats, and gained a total of 40 yards. Taking away the draw play late in the game makes those numbers even uglier.

When running behind the right guard, right tackle, or outside the right end, the Bucs had 9 carries for 8 yards from Martin. Donald Penn and either Carl Nicks or Jeremy Zuttah proved to be a great pair of blockers for Martin last season on the left side, so I can’t say I understand the Bucs’ desire to run right during Sunday’s game.

Also, the absence of Erik Lorig was definitely felt, as the Buccaneers are clearly better with their lead blocking fullback in the game.

Revis Island Is As Good As Advertised

For all the negatives we saw on Sunday from the Buccaneers, there was one huge positive takeaway in the form of the Buccaneers’ new cornerback, Darrelle Revis.

Revis was back to his old self on Sunday, and PFF agreed. He was the highest graded defensive player on the Buccaneers, allowing only one catch on 4 targets for a total of 13 yards. The play on which Revis “allowed” a catch was a play where the Jets ran multiple receivers through the same area and Revis was caught in traffic.

Darrelle was credited with two passes defended, and did not see any further targets after his early successes against Clyde Gates and Santonio Holmes. This turned out to be a blessing and a curse for the Bucs, as the Jets would find success throwing to running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers running short routes against linebackers and Leonard Johnson instead.