3 ways for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to dominate the Saints
By Rob Leeds
Establish the pass early
The Buccaneers won their last game due to a variety of reasons on the offensive side of the ball, but Leonard Fournette‘s consistency played a large role in the success. The only downside to having a running back dominate is that the coaching staff may think this is the best foot to lead with in the next round of the playoffs. It isn’t.
Fournette was great, but the offense found the most success because 43-year old Tom Brady was able to throw for nearly 400 yards and zero interceptions when it mattered most. The Bucs could’ve run the ball all game, but Fournette’s impact will always fall short of Brady’s.
Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich may want to wash the stink off of the last loss with such a small number of rushes, but the total number of attempted rushes is not correlated to wins at all. Derrick Henry and the Titans can talk up the run all they want, but they can do it on Zoom from their various vacation destinations. Scheme always outweighs running back talent, and the Buccaneer scheme is based on passing the football.
Tom Brady currently has scorching chemistry with Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and would with Chris Godwin if he didn’t have the worst game of his career last week. The starting three Buccaneer receivers have a chance to each go for 100 receiving yards every single game, and Brady should try to hit that mark.
The Bucs have been great in empty sets so far this season with Evans, Brown, Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and Cameron Brate, but the play-action has also been great. Tampa Bay needs to call as much play-action as possible early in the game, which will actually open up the run, not the other way around.
Having Ronald Jones back may make the Buccaneers look better on paper, but the Bucs need to stick to their greatest recent success if they hope to beat the Saints this weekend.