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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – A Statistical Look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Well kiddies, it’s that time again. Time for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly where we take a statistical look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We’re now at the midway point of the 2008 season, so I figured now was as good a time as any to review some of the things that the Bucs are doing right and some of the things they are doing wrong – all from a statistical perspective. So here we go.

The Good

We have quite a few more good than bad or ugly items, but hey, the Bucs are 5-3, let’s try to see the glass as half full for the time being.

5-3 – Tampa Bay is currently 5-3 and in second place of the NFC South. Included within that 5-3 is a 2-1 divisional record.

341.3 – The Bucs – mostly thought of as a defensive team – average 341.3 yards of offense per game, good for 13th in the league. Although that’s not off the charts, it does put them in the top half in the NFL.

277.6 – Of course there’s nothing wrong with thinking of Tampa Bay as a defensive team. The Bucs are 5th in the league in yards allowed.

15.0 – Even better, Tampa Bay allows the 2nd least amount of points in the entire NFL.

+3 – The Bucs have taken away the ball 15 times and only given it up 12. You always want to be on the positive side of this.

88.7Jeff Garcia’s quarterback rating continues to improve. Although he isn’t making any fantasy owners scramble to pick him up, he is a steady game manager who rarely turns over the ball. Garcia has only thrown 2 interceptions all season while completing 67.5% of his passes.

13 and 19 – Although they trailed off a little in recent weeks, running backs Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn still rank among the top 20 in the league in rushing yards. Graham was expected, but Dunn has been a welcome surprise.

3 – Rookie cornerback Aqib Talib leads the team with 3 interceptions, which ties him for 6th in the league. Some local fans were hoping the Bucs would draft USF product Mike Jenkins, but it looks like Talib was the right choice.

The Bad

21.3 – Despite being 13th in total offense, the Bucs are 21st in points scored, putting them in the bottom half of the league.

3 – The Bucs are dead last with 3 forced fumbles.

55 for 485 – Tampa Bay’s 55 penalties are the 5th most in the league and the Bucs 485 penalty yards rank as the 4th most.

4.9 – Rookie Dexter Jackson was never able to crack the 5 yards per return mark and now seems to have lost his job. I hate to say it, but it’s starting to look more and more like he is much farther from being ready to contribute than the Bucs once thought.

The Ugly (or Weird depending on how you look at it)

.500+ - Every team in the NFC South is currently .500 or better. The division is tough this year and even the Atlanta Falcons are making some waves.

4 – Garcia has only thrown 4 touchdown passes so far this year. That’s not horrible considering he is completing a good number of passes and rarely turns over the ball, but it would be nice if the Bucs could get into the end zone through the air more. At this point, opposing defenses aren’t very threatened by the passing game.

37, 451, 12.2, 1Antonio Bryant’s 37 catches and 451 receiving yards both rank among the league’s top 25. His 12.2 yards per catch and 1 receiving touchdown are nowhere to been seen on the NFL’s charts. Bryant is getting the ball more, but the Bucs aren’t stretching the field and aren’t going to him in the red zone.