Buccaneers: Where the stat watchers go wrong in Tampa

Tanner Hudson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tanner Hudson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Don’t let the box score watchers tell you anything about the Buccaneers.

Box score watching has destroyed the modern sports discussion experience. People who don’t watch games can look up stats and scores and build an opinion off of these alone, which negates the majority of the actual available evidence in their argument.

These fans can base their entire perspective on their teams on a few numbers on a screen, and while they tell you some part of the story, a strategy like this is willfully neglectful of other important information.

This is especially true in the preseason and with the Buccaneers.

If you looked at stats and box scores from the past two weeks for the Bucs, you’d think Tanner Hudson was a better tight end than O.J. Howard. Hudson leads the Buccaneers in receiving yards over the past two games, but even that may not be enough for him to make the final roster.

Hudson is the definition of a preseason star. While he is a scrappy player and fun to follow as an underdog, he shines in the preseason but disappears in the regular season. The Bucs don’t need to waste their time with a player like this, but that argument becomes much weaker if you’re only looking at stats.

Moving positions, Ke’Shawn Vaughn has been the featured back for the Bucs over the past two weeks, and his stats have been anything but impressive. Low yards per carry and a ton of touches aren’t a great look for a running back stat line, but he has actually been playing well behind a patchwork offensive line.

It is impossible to run the ball effectively behind an offensive line that can’t open up any holes, but Vaughn bears the weight of the responsibility in the minds of the stat watchers.

Don’t fall victim to box score watching. Vaughn can be a good running back with a future in the NFL, while Hudson can be a fringe NFL talent at best regardless of their stats, and anyone who uses this as the primary way to judge players may want to reevaluate their approach.

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