BETTER: THE RUN GAME
BUCCANEERS RUN GAME
During the week three match-up against the Vikings the Buccaneers were behind so quickly that they pretty much had to abandon the run game early. Only rushing nine times between four players for a total of 27 yards for 3.0 yards/carry with a game high fifteen yards for Jacquizz Rodgers.
With the two running backs (Rodgers and Charles Sims) playing 25 (Rodgers – 47%) and 26 (Sims – 49%) of the 53 offensive snaps and third rusher Peyton Barber was inactive due to defensive injuries.
Enough said on that awful performance so let’s move on to week fours rushing performance against the Giants, in this game you could tell that the Buccaneers really wanted to try and establish the run, and it worked very well rushing 23 times for 111 yards for 4.8 yards/carry.
With Rodgers being the main ball carrier rushing 16 times for 83 hard and 5.2 yards/carry with a long of 36 yards, and Peyton Barber and Sims with a total of three carries for sixteen yards. Now granted none of the Buccaneers rushers got to the end zone but just having a rushing game was enough to open up passing lanes for Winston and kept the defensive rush off of him and he was only sacked once in the game.
Rodgers played a lot more offensive snaps against the Giants then he did against the Vikings playing on 38 of the 64 offense plays (59%) while Sims play time went down to 22 snaps (34%) and Barber only played 4 snaps (6%).
In Rodgers games with the Buccaneers he has had fifteen carries or more seven time and the Buccaneers have won five, so like any team if the running game gets going the Buccaneers win.
Coming up against the Patriots on prime time Thursday night football the Buccaneers get a huge piece of the run game back in Doug Martin, and we Buccaneers fans know when he is fully healthy he is lights out so the offense could get even more exciting if you can believe that?
DEFENSE AGAINST THE RUN
In week three the Buccaneers did an okay job against rookie sensation Dalvin Cook and the Vikings rushing attack holding them to under four yards per carry, but they still gave up 125 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries (3.4 yards/carry) including six carries for eighteen yards to Case Keenum.
Cook got the bulk of the carries rushing 27 times for 97 yards and a touchdown for an average of 3.6 yards/carry, while the remaining Vikings running backs rushed four times for a total of ten yards.
With Kwon Alexander and Chris Baker out in the middle the Buccaneers fared okay against the Vikings rushing attack, but now let’s see how they played against the Giants still without Kwon and now Lavonte David.
In week four against the Giants the Buccaneers got a lead early on and then let the Giants back into it before snatching a victory at the end, so the Giants were able to continue to run the ball throughout the entire game.
The Buccaneers did a pretty good job against the Giants running back by committee rushing attack keeping them under fours yard per carry, and allowing 91 yards on 28 carries for 3.25 yards/carry but again did give up one touchdown to statue quarterback Eli Manning who rushed three times for 22 yards and a fourteen yard touchdown.
The Giants running back Wayne Gallman ended up receiving most of the Giants carries rushing eleven times for 42 yards with a long of thirteen, Paul Perkins was next rushing nine times for thirteen yards with a long of fourteen yards, and Shane Vereen finished with five carries for fourteen yards with a long of seven.
The Buccaneers without both of their top tackling linebackers (Kwon and Lavonte) played quite well against the Giants run given the circumstance of missing those two stars.
Those were some of the things that the Buccaneers did much BETTER against the Giants in week four then they did against the Vikings in week three, so now let’s move on to the one glaring aspect that the Buccaneers were worse at and it was something that haunted them last season. Can you guess what it is…..?