Surprise, surprise! Pro Football Focus and their analytical spreadsheet warriors have knocked the Buccaneers yet again. Somehow, people still buy into the nonsense they like to throw against the wall.
It’s not the first time I’ve talked about Pro Football Focus, and it’s likely not the last. At least not until they stop attacking the Buccaneers in what has become an apparent mission to discredit any and everything they do.
In a recent rankings, PFF put the Bucs’ offensive line 23rd in the NFL, ranking their pass blocking 20th, their run blocking 20th, and their penalty rank at 31st. Here is what the brilliant minds had to say about it;
"Stud: Rolling back the years, Logan Mankins proved a good role model on the field for Ali Marpet.Dud: Rookie Donovan Smith had a year of finding out just how talented NFL pass rushers really are.Summary: It was always going to be hard for the Bucs’ starting two rookie linemen, and then losing their starting right tackle at the beginning of the year amplified the issues. All things considered, this could have been much worse, and you’d expect improvements in 2016, given the lumps they had to take this year.More from Bucs NewsDevin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on TwitterUpdated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicampTodd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with BucsThe Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023Todd Bowles admits he only looks at three things on Bucs schedule"
So let’s recap, shall we? Apparently Donovan Smith was trash, J.R. Sweezy is trash, and the entire unit – outside of Ali Marpet, I guess – is abysmal.
Let me ask this: if this line was so bad, how is it they had a record setting offense in 2015? How is it they had a rookie quarterback throw for over 4,000 yards for only the third time in NFL history while only being sacked and average of 1.68 times per game, which was the fourth best rate in the NFL, behind only the team formerly known as St. Louis (1.13), New York Jets (1.38), and Baltimore (1.5).
Oh yeah, and let’s not forget Doug Martin running for the second most yards in the NFL with 1,402, behind only Adrian Peterson, while the team as a whole rushed for 135.1 yards per game, good for fifth best in the NFL, behind Buffalo (152.0), Carolina (142.6), Seattle (141.8), and Minnesota (138.2).
So again, I’ll ask the question, how in the world are these calculator warriors that live in an analytic world for a sport that isn’t analytically friendly ranking the Bucs so low? How can you grade players when you don’t have access to the playbook, the position meetings, or have any idea what a player’s true assignment was? How exactly does that work?
At this point, I’ve all but given up hope that they’ll ever wake up. It just appears more and more that they have some sort of ax to grind against Tampa Bay and will go out of their way to knock them. Maybe it’s because they ranked Anthony Collins so high when he signed yet was so awful he can’t even find a job now.
I don’t know what their problem is. What I do know is that their ranking of the Buccaneers’ offensive line is laughable and they will once again be shown as the fraud that they are.