Buccaneers can learn from poor Thanksgiving showings

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buccaneers need to pay attention to the biggest mistakes on Thanksgiving.

While the Buccaneers don’t have a game today, they do need to use this time to ensure they will be ready to face off with the Colts this weekend. Indy is a very good team that won’t make it easy for Tom Brady and company, and the Bucs would be wise to learn from the mistakes of their peers on Thanksgiving.

The early game was a disaster. The Lions should lose their right to play on Thanksgiving forever after a horrific offensive performance and some massive mistakes from Dan Campbell.

A few time management blunders and some questionable runs on third and long made it seem like the Lions never actually wanted to win the game at all.

The performance from Matt Nagy and the Bears wasn’t much better, but they won in the area that mattered most; passing the ball. Andy Dalton was the better quarterback than Jared Goff by a mile, and this is always the most important factor in the modern game.

As for the second game, the Cowboys and Raiders were able to put together a better performance on the technical side, but the same issues persisted for the Cowboys that the Bears and Lions dealt with.

Running on first down is a dangerous precedent to set. Three of these teams relied on their run game heavily on early downs, forcing their offenses into second and third and long on numerous occasions. This led to stagnated offensive efficiency from the Cowboys, Bears, and Lions.

Teams should never run on first down. There is a time to run the ball, but it isn’t first, and it won’t be in the modern era. Passing on first down when quarterbacks are more likely than not to pick up a bigger gain than the running back would pick up is always the right decision.

The time for football guys is over, and the Buccaneers need to realize this. Nerds and statisticians bring more to the game today than a coach with a “gut” that comes from the wrong decade.

Pass the ball, pass early, and take the easy yards rather than using a strategy that was created before WW2.

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