Buccaneers football is back! With that comes the inexplicable desire to run the ball on first down when the pass is proven to work so much better.
It is good to see that some things never change. Consistency is usually a reassuring thing. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with the Buccaneers.
One half if over in the first preseason game and three broad things stand out:
1. The passing attack is just as dominant as ever
2. The defensive struggles are to be expected
3. Running on first down still does not work
The individual players were something to be excited about, but box score watching isn’t going to help here.
To make the most of this first preseason showing, we are going to look at the team and the offense as a whole, and that side of the ball left plenty to be desired from a play-calling standpoint.
Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert were 13/18 through the air for 145 yards, a touchdown, and a very wonky interception (8.05 yards per attempt).
On the other hand, the Bucs had 19 rushing attempts for 43 yards and a touchdown (2.2 yards per attempt).
Anything stand out?
Was it that Giovani Bernard should not be carrying the ball up the middle? Perhaps the first down runs into the teeth of the defense isn’t working?
One way or another, the same problems that slowed the Buccaneer offense down in 2021 have to stop before the 2022 season begins.
The pass sets up the run-not the other way around. If the Bucs want to run the ball, they need to establish the pass. Trying this the other way is not going to work in the modern NFL.
It makes sense that the Bucs are trying to evaluate some depth running backs and their offensive line, but doing so in a way that will lose games in the regular season is silly.
This needs to stop if the Buccaneers want to win. Byron Leftwich can do much better.
Want to write about the Buccaneers? Apply below!
Want your voice heard? Join the The Pewter Plank team!