The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have invested heavily in their offensive lines the past years, but every year they seem to disappoint a little. This year, there were some concerns after the first game against the New York Jets. But according to Pro Football Focus, the Bucs have actually been very, very good -- at least in pass protection.
The Bucs offensive line leads the league in Pass Blocking Efficiency at 89.2. Allowed eight total pressures on 58 dropbacks.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 18, 2013
That was pretty obvious if you watched the tape. Josh Freeman had time in the pocket. There were a few pressures, but you're going to see those on every team. You can't keep NFL defenses from affecting the passer at least a few times in every game.
Now, to be fair, the New Orleans Saints do not have a lot of pass rushers. But the New York Jets sure do, so perhaps that balances out. The offensive line has performed well, at least in the passing game -- and that's without Carl Nicks on the field.
What does this mean for Josh Freeman? Well, it's not good, is what it means. As we've talked about before, Josh Freeman is not the only culprit in the Bucs' stagnant passing offense, but he's a big reason why. Vincent Jackson has played well, as has Mike Williams. While the offense has had schematic issues and the lack of a tight end hurts, at some point Freeman has to step up and just play better. Otherwise, he will be an ex-Buc by the end of the season.