Buccaneers: What Are the Most Important Improvements After the Bye?
The Bucs’ ground game hasn’t lived up to its potential so far in 2016. Part of the reason for that is the absence of Doug Martin, who went down with an injury early in week two. Charles Sims stepped in for weeks two through four before landing on injured reserve, and Jacquizz Rodgers shifted into the starting role during week five. Oddly enough, Rodgers was the first Buc to run for 100 yards in a game, doing so against Carolina on Monday Night Football. Sitting at 2-3 with a chance to contend for a playoff spot, Tampa Bay needs its run game to get going after the bye week.
Without balance on offense, Jameis Winston has had to throw the ball far too many times, which has forced some big mistakes. The Bucs are far more effective when they can field a balanced run-pass split. Their backfield situation should improve greatly after the bye, with Martin possibly coming back as early as next week. The offense needs to be able to run the ball the rest of the season to stay competitive. Sims will be out for a while, but with Martin coming back and Rodgers emerging as another solid option, the outlook on the run game for Tampa Bay is a much more positive one.