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

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As the season came to an end on Sunday, none of us were all too happy. Our 9-3 playoff bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers had become a 9-7 non-playoff team no one wanted to claim. As the losses piled up, so did the statistics…and not the good ones. So here’s one final statistical look at the season that was.

The Good

4-0 – The Bucs went 4-0 over the third quarter of the season, instilling hope in fans everywhere (take an antacid before reading the first of The Bad numbers).

226.2 – The passing offense actually finished 11th, which represents the highest finish since 2003.

306.1 – The defense finished in the top 10 in the league once again, allowing 306.1 yards per game. We’ll ignore the numbers they gave up in the final four games for right now.

90.2 – For all the criticism he gets, Jeff Garcia is a fairly efficient quarterback.

63 carries, 233 yards, 4 touchdowns – I don’t care if his stats were all that impressive or not, seeing Cadillac Williams back on the field was simply great. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for him to be ready for training camp.

83 catches, 1,248 yards, 7 touchdownsAntonio Bryant was a welcome addition to the offense. Bryant finished 11th in the league in catches, 8th in yards, and 12th in touchdowns.

5th and 2ndClifton Smith didn’t play until week eight, but became an instant favorite. Smith is headed to the Pro Bowl after finishing 5th in the league in kickoff return average and 2nd in punt return average.

131 – Having the toughest season of his life emotionally, Matt Bryant finished with 131 points, good for 4th in the league.

137Barrett Ruud had another good season, finishing 4th in the league with 137 tackles.

The Bad

0-4 – Completely counteracting their record in the third quarter, the Bucs lost four straight to close out the season.

3-11 – The Bucs are 3-11 in December over the past three years.

386.0 – Over the last four games, Tampa Bay gave up 386.0 yards per contest, looking nothing like the typical Bucs’ D.

25 – In two years as the Bucs’ starter, Garcia has thrown just 25 touchdown passes. In 2008, seven other quarterbacks threw at least that many in just one season.

4 – Williams and Earnest Graham tied for the team lead with only four rushing touchdowns.

4.9 – The man who was supposed to be the next great returner – Dexter Jackson – averaged 4.9 yards on punt returns before losing his job. Jackson didn’t appear in a single game after week seven.

84.2% - While 84.2% may seem good, in a league where kickers seem to be getting more and more accurate, that number is only good for 20th in field goal percentage.

6.5 – While he’s shown flashes of greatness at times, Gaines Adams led the team with only 6.5 sacks. This isn’t a knock on Adams as much as pointing out that the Bucs need to get to the quarterback more.

1 – Tampa Bay only had one player with 80 or more tackles, the first time that’s happened in…well…I stopped looking back too far, it was getting depressing.

The Ugly

341.0 – The offense averaged 341.0 yards per game, good for 14th in the league and up four spots from last season. But the Bucs made the playoffs last season, so what would you take more offense or a spot in the playoffs? The answer is easy.

44-6 – The Philadelphia Eagles put a classic whooping on the Dallas Cowboys, assuring the Bucs a spot in the playoffs IF they had been able to get passed the Oakland Raiders.

2 – Two Bucs finished among the league’s top 40 rushers. Unfortunately they ranked 27th and 38th.

73 – Fighting through a number of nagging injuries, Derrick Brooks finished with 73 tackles on the season, the lowest total of his 14-year career.