Running Backs: D
The Bucs’ running back situation has been very disappointing through four games in 2016. I wrote in the offseason that the backfield would be a strength for Tampa Bay, but early on, it’s been a big weakness. Doug Martin, fresh off of signing a new contract, went down with a hamstring injury early in week two, which left Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers as the team’s top options at the position. As a group, the trio has averaged just 82.5 rushing yards per game.
The primary disappointment for the backfield has been Sims’ inability to step up. Sure, at times he has been a threat as a receiver, but as a running back, he hasn’t been able to find any space. He is averaging 2.8 yards per carry this season over 41 touches, and has developed a turnover problem in the last few weeks. Twice has he seen a pass go off of his hands for an interception and once has he lost a fumble.
The backfield as a whole hasn’t been reliable this year, which has left the passing game to overcompensate. Jameis Winston has had to throw the ball far too many times this year (177), and that’s largely due to the incompetence of the Bucs’ ground game.