2012 Buccaneers Red Zone Efficiency analysis -- Part two

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“They say freak, when you’re singled out. The red, well it filters through.” – Chevelle

Looking at the first four games set, we have a 2:1 ratio of RZ attempts to games. Which means in a six game set based upon our first four games, we would have had 12 total attempts. That means both the middle and latter six game sets both improved from the 12 RZ attempt baseline. In the middle set, we were averaging close to a 4 RZ attempts per game. The last six games we dropped to a 3:1 RZ attempts to games ratio.

Then I broke down the red zone efficiency. Something occurred in the last trimester that we were not able to replicate in the first 10 games. First, we did not get into the red zone as often as the middle game set. Second, we were not as efficient as the first two trimesters.

Finally, when I separated how we scored into pass TDs and rush TDs, then we start seeing a picture. Our success relied upon our passing game in the red zone. The team was throwing two touchdowns per game during that middle set. Somehow, it had reverted to playing like the first four games of the year. Now we can inquire as to how the passing game became inefficient in the red zone. (A perfect follow up to divulge into the play by play in the red zone.)

Bucs Offense


Red Zone Efficiency


Game


TD Only


Red Zone


Success


Red Zone


Att


Red Zone


Eff %


RZ


Pass TD


RZ


Run


TD


1


1

3

0.33

1

0

2


1

1

1

0

1

3


1

2

0.5

1

0

4


2

2

1

1

1

Sum


5

8

3

2

Average


0.625

0.75

0.5

5


3

5

0.6

2

1

6


3

5

0.6

3

0

7


3

4

0.75

2

1

8


3

4

0.75

2

1

9


2

2

1

2

0

10


2

3

0.66

2

0

Sum


16

23

13

3

Average


0.696

2.17

0.5

11


2

3

0.66

0

2

12


2

3

0.66

2

0

13


3

3

1

2

1

14


0

2

0

0

0

15


0

3

0

0

0

16


1

3

0.33

1

0

Sum


8

17

5

3

Average


0.470

0.83

0.5

Total


29

48

21

8

Total Average


0.604


1.31


0.5

The team did lose G Davin Joseph before the season started. Yet the team still performed well without him. G Carl Nicks fell to injury as well and was placed on injured reserve at the end of October. From game 9 and on, Nicks would no longer grace us with his presence. Within that middle game set and before Nicks exited, the team was scoring 3 red zone touchdowns per game, but dropped to two per game in games 9 and 10. So who knows how big of an impact missing Nicks may have been.

Bucs Defense


Red Zone Efficiency


Game


TD Only


Red Zone


Success


Red Zone


Att


Red Zone


Eff %


RZ


Pass TD


RZ


Run


TD


1


0

1

0

0

0

2


1

5

0.2

0

1

3


1

5

0.2

0

1

4


2

3

0.66

0

2

Sum


4

14

0

4

Average %


0.285

0

1

5


0

2

0

0

0

6


4

4

1

3

1

7


1

2

0.5

1

0

8


3

4

0.75

3

0

9


2

3

0.66

2

0

10


1

2

0.5

0

1

Sum


11

17

9

2

Average %


0.647

1.5

0.3

11


2

4

0.5

0

2

12


3

4

0.75

3

0

13


3

5

0.6

2

1

14


4

6

0.66

3

1

15


2

2

1

1

1

16


2

3

0.66

1

1

Sum


16

24

10

6

Average %


0.666

1.67

1

Total


31

55

19

12

Total Average %


0.563


2.11


2

We will pick up with the injuries for the defense since we left off with injuries on the offense. DE Clayborn went missing since game #4 until the end of the season. CB Talib went out from game #5 and then traded weeks later to New England. And then we also lost CB Wright from game #11 through the duration of the rest of the season.

In the first four games, we didn’t give up a passing RZ touchdown. We had a very stingy red zone defense in the first four games where teams were only 28.5% efficient. That offensive efficiency rate like that would rank 31st based on this year’s offensive red zone stats. Our rush defense did need attention and in the next six games, they reduced the number of times they got scored running in the red zone. But in the middle game set, the secondary was quite porous. Hmmm… maybe Talib was that important to our secondary in the red zone; yet our RZ offense did so well it masked how inefficient our red zone defense was as it allowed other teams to score about 65% of the time. Finally, in the last game set, although the team did have a similar rate of unsuccessfulness (I really didn’t think this was a true word and thought MS Word would have flagged me, but I’m amazed it passed spell check), the defense allowed opposing teams even more opportunities to venture into the land of Red. Apparently, we couldn’t stop anyone in the red zone, passing or rushing-wise. The defense’s season average shows they let the opposing team score one more touchdown in the red zone than the offense’s RZ scoring average.

The red zone is a game within a game. These are aspects both the offense and defense need to work on in the offseason. With a healthy line, the team needs to generate more opportunities in the red zone as well as be efficient at scoring. Aside from one game, the team was within reach of possibly tying or winning the games this year. As for the defense, having a healthy, non-suspended talented group in the secondary would help immensely. Did losing CB Wright affect our pass and rush defense in the red zone? I could say coincidence, but the stats oddly enough support the claim that Wright’s presence helped in reducing the run game in the red zone against us during the last six games. That means we need physical corners that can also be cover corners for our system. The first four games for the defense give us fans some hope in having a very good red zone defense. Unfortunately, the first four games we went 1 – 3. Then again, our offense had difficulty getting into the red zone for those first four games as shown with a lowly 2 red zone attempts per game ratio.

With everyone getting a year under their belts, following the red zone efficiency for this team might sound like a good project to take up and reflect it with this past season. See if we have adjusted and/or having better talent on the field makes a difference. This is just one aspect of the game that contributes to a win or a loss. Winning enough of these mini-games helps to improve our overall success.

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