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Analyzing the Buccaneers offensive incompetence against the Saints

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Lost.  Lost opportunities, lost on third downs, lost on time of possession, loss of offensive possession, and loss of offensive plays. All this sums up to an evident loss.

New Orleans' Basic stats before the game

Defensive Passing:  31st (287 yards/game)

Defensive Rushing:  32nd (137 yards/game)

Points Against:  32nd (31.6 ppg)

Tampa Bay's Basic stats before the game

Offensive Passing:  25th (226 yards/game)

Offensive Rushing:  2nd (143 yards/game)

Points For:  18th (22.5 ppg)

Here is what transpired in the game for the offense:

TB Offense vs NO Defense
Tampa Bay NO TB - Opp Differential Differential %
Offense Defense
Game Stat Pre-Game Stat
Passing yds 176 287 -111 61.3%
Rushing yds 115 137 -22 83.9%
Points 17.0 31.6 -14.6 53.8%

Against the worst defense in the league, the offense came out impotent. The only good thing about the offense was our production from our running back tandem Hack and Slash of Martin and Sims. On 11 attempts, Martin averaged 7.3 yards per run. Sims had eight targets and 64 yards receiving, both tops in the passing department.

TB Offense vs NO Defense
Qtr Drive Plays Yards Result RZ Pts 40 + yard Drives 50 + yard Drives 60 + yard Drives 70 + Yard Drives 80 + Yard Drives Totals
1 1 3 4 Punt 0
2 3 4 Punt 0
3 5 13 Punt 0
2 4 10 80 TD 1 7 1 1
5 6 46 FG 3 1 1
3 6 11 55 Missed FG 0 1 1
7 3 5 Punt 0
4 8 9 80 TD 1 7 1 1
9 4 24 Punt 0
Total 12 54 311 2 17 1 1 0 0 2 4

The Bucs only had 9 offensive possessions that only produced 54 plays. That is it, 54 plays. Over half of the offensive drives were of five plays or less that resulted in punts. To give perspective of the 54 plays in the game, allow me to present our average of plays for the season, not including this New Orleans game:

2015 TB Offense vs Opposing Defense
Team Drive Plays Yards Off Scoring 40 + yard Drives 50 + yard Drives 60 + yard Drives 70 + Yard Drives 80 + Yard Drives 90 + yard Drives Total
Ten 12 63 225 14 1 0 1 1 0 0 3
NO 12 64 356 26 1 1 1 0 1 0 4
Hou 13 60 303 9 2 0 1 0 0 0 3
Car 13 78 389 23 1 0 0 0 3 0 4
Jax 11 64 336 30 2 2 1 0 0 0 5
Was 9 63 399 30 0 1 1 2 0 1 5
Atl 10 66 344 23 0 1 1 2 0 0 4
NYG 11 64 409 18 1 0 2 1 1 0 5
Dal 11 69 365 10 2 2 1 0 0 0 5
Phi 12 73 493 38 1 1 0 2 3 0 7
Indy 10 65 331 12 1 1 2 1 0 0 5
Atl 10 66 393 23 0 1 0 1 2 0 4
Totals 134 795 4343 256 12 10 11 10 10 1 54
Avg 11.17 66.25 361.92 21.33 1.000 0.833 0.917 0.833 0.833 0.083 4.500
Percent of drives over total number of drives 9.0% 7.5% 8.2% 7.5% 7.5% 0.7% 40.3%

Our average of plays for the season, excluding the last game against the Saints, the Bucs' offense was able to earn 66 plays. That is 12 extra plays in the game, or possibly two extra drives. Time of possession would also identify this lack of possession of 22 minutes and 46 seconds, roughly a third of the game.

3rd Down Offensive Opportunities
vs New Orleans, Game 13
Opp Drive Location Yards to go Play Converted Scoring Drive
1 1 TB 24 6 Pass (Inc) 0
2 2 TB 24 2 Pass (lateral) 0
3 3 TB 30 6 Sacked 0
4 4 NO 42 10 Scramble 1 18 yard QB Scramble
NO 19 5 Pass (Inc) No Play Penalty - Defensive Holding; Gives first down. Yes - TD
5 NO 21 5 FG FG made End of half Yes - FG
Half
5 6 TB 43 5 Pass 1 Sims
6 NO 38 1 Run 1 Martin
7 NO 33 6 Pass 0 Short pass for 4 yards. No - Missed FG
8 7 TB 25 5 Pass (inc) 0 TE Brate
9 8 TB 29 1 Pass 1 13 yard pass to Evans
10 TB 37 15 Pass (Screen) 0 Sims Yes - TD
11 9 TB 44 10 Pass (Inc) 0 WR Dye drops a first down pass.
11 Total 4

Out of 10 qualified passing opportunities on third down, only three of them were converted except one of those chances was an 18 yard scramble. This represents a 30% success rate in a passing situation. Winston for the day was 18 - 32 passing, or 56.2% accurate. To be fair, the Bucs' distance to convert 3rd downs of five yards or more was eight opportunities. Which means the offense is not doing enough on first and second down so it can help itself to a more advantageous third down situation.

Conclusion

The passing game and play calling have spiraled toward the Arroyo vortex, 16.0 points per game average. As mentioned on several occasions throughout the offensive drive analysis, so goes the offense do the wins follow. For the past three games, the Bucs' offense has been averaging 17.3 points per game. During that same game span, the Bucs' defense has allowed on average of 22.6 points per game. The performance put out by the offense against the worst defense in the league has me disappointed, but the past three games have been pathetic offensively after what they dealt to Philadelphia, a 38 point outburst.

With Martin averaging 5.7 yards per game before the final offensive drive on 10 rushing attempts, here is how the last drive concluded:

1st and 10 @ TB 20:  Martin to TB 44 for 24 yards with 4:41 left in the game.

1st and 10 @ TB 44:  Winston incomplete to Evans, short middle.

2nd and 10 @ TB 44:  Winston incomplete to Sims on a wheel route, overthrew Sims.  (In Koetter's weekly interview, he noted how Winston was looking off the safety and blindly assumed Sims would be in that area of he were not bumped on his route.)

3rd and 10 @ TB 44:  Winston incomplete to Dye on a deep slant.  Dye simply dropped the ball.

4th and 10 @ TB 44:  Punt with 4:21 left in the game.

Tampa's most consistent and most explosive player was not utilized often enough on the last drive.  Recall earlier in the article how the Bucs' offense needed to help itself by producing in its first two downs for a third and short - it went big and relied on rookies.

The offense never had a chance to see the ball again because the Saints converted three 3rd downs to milk the clock away, one of them a defensive penalty.