The way the last two games have gone and ultimately ended up for the Buccaneers, losing both competitions, especially what just happened this past Sunday versus the “tanking” Carolina Panthers (in Division), you would think the Buccaneers offense was BROKEN.
The Bucs only managed to score three points against the Panthers, not in the first quarter or first half; they were fortunate to score at all considering their inability to convert third downs during most of the game and also lose the time of possession battle in considerable fashion. None of this also mentions a dropped seventy-five-yard touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Tom Brady to wideout Mike Evans on the opening drive.
Who is to blame for the mishaps on offense? There are fans already saying that Byron Leftwich, the offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers, is the root of the problem. Actually, there are fans claiming that Leftwich needs to go or could use some help from the departed previous Superbowl winning head coach, offensive-minded Bruce Arians.
The issues that face this struggling team are a conglomeration of problems that have been compiling for some time. As I am focusing on the offense mainly, what needs to be pointed out is the poor play of the offensive line.
The left side of the offensive line is totally struggling, particularly rookie left guard Luke Godeke. Pro Football Focus, which grades each position in the National Football League, has a grade of 39.2 for the rookie.
To put that into perspective, a Pro Bowl level grade would be in the low 80’s or higher. Tampa Bays’s former left guard, Alex Cappa, had an overall PFF grade in 2021 of 71.3, which is a very respectable grade.
There is so much pressure coming up the middle, particularly more towards the left, which is causing Brady to rush his release of the ball in the passing game and does not allow hardly anything to develop in the running game. It is fairly obvious to see and the only thing that the coaches and management, Jason Licht, have done to improve the offensive line or situation, is to play third string left guard Nick Levertt.
General Manager Jason Licht knew before the regular season started that his team lost their starting center, Ryan Jensen (it still has never been announced what injury Jensen sustained), and the starting left guard Aaron Stinnie, who tore his ACL and MCL during the pre-season game verse the Tennessee Titans. Licht opted to not replace these key positions with proven reliable athletes; instead going with basically the opposite. It also appears that Licht is still holding out hope that Jensen is going to return this season and somehow save the day, while his team fades away…
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