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Buccaneers drives show lack of execution and pass protection

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Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off its best offensive output, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense came to halt against the Indianapolis Colts. Although the Tampa Bay offense only scored 12 points in the game and was officially in the Red Zone once, it was actually one yard away from being in the Red Zone twice. In and adjacent to the Red Zone, the offense was 1 for 3.  Bad habits rearing its head again as the lack of protection in the pass and run game have resurfaced. Despite the numerous penalties called, the Bucs still had chances to score, but did not execute well. All the little things not done well have disastrous effects.

For those seeking a pattern, you can find them in two previous Offensive drive Analysis

Game 8, Offensive Drive Analysis:  Red Zone Deficiency Thwarts Win Streak

Game 9, Offensive Drive Analysis:  Power Outage

Indianapolis' Basic stats before the game

Defensive Passing:  29th (278 yards/game)

Defensive Rushing:  21st (113 yards/game)

Points Against:  19th (24.8 ppg)

Tampa Bay's Basic stats before the game

Offensive Passing:  23rd (228 yards/game)

Offensive Rushing:  2nd (141 yards/game)

Points For:  12th (23.6 ppg)

Here is what transpired in the game for the offense:

TB Offense vs Indy Defense
Tampa Bay Indy TB - Opp Differential Differential %
Offense Defense
Game Stat Pre-Game Stat
Passing yds 212 278 -66 76.3%
Rushing yds 132 113 19 116.8%
Points 12.0 24.8 -12.8 48.4%

The Bucs' offense was stymied by Indy's 29th ranked passing defense and 21st rushing defense. Now, we have possibilities why this occurred: Indy's defense has vastly improved or the Bucs' offense did not execute things well.

TB Offense vs Indy 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 12 60 FG 3 1 1
2 2 15 68 FG 1 3 1 1
3 5 76 TD 6 1 1
Half Half
3 4 3 0 Punt 0
5 3 -8 Punt 0
6 9 44 Missed FG 0 1 1
7 4 12 Punt 0
4 8 10 53 Downs 1 1
9 2 5 INT 0
10 2 21 End Game 0
Total 10 65 331 1 12 1 1 2 1 0 5

A tale of two halves can best describe this game.  In the first half, the Bucs' offense was able to move the ball well and scored on every possession. The second half is a completely different story.

First half drive summary:

Drive 1Starting at: TB 20; Ending at: Indy 20.  Third down conversion: 1 for 2.  Red Zone: No.  Result:  FG.  Comment: Early in the drive on a 2nd and 11, Winston throws the ball out of bounds to WR VJax, but missed the underneath WR.  Winston is looking for the big play.  Later in the drive on 3rd and 6 from Indy 20 yard line, Winston misses deep to Evans in the end zone - possible bad play call because middle of the defense was wide open.  Time of Possession:  5:23.

Drive 2: Starting at: TB 20; Ending at: Indy 12.  Third down conversion: 3 for 4.  Red Zone: Yes.  Result:  FG.  Comment:  On 2nd and goal from Indy 2 yard line, RB Martin's TD run was negated by a suspect holding penalty.  Winston gets pressured on 3rd and goal  from Indy 12 yard line and throws it short to WR Humphries in the end zone.  Time of Possession:  7:06.

Drive 3: Starting at: TB 24; Ending at: End Zone (from Indy 20).  Third down conversion: 1 for 1.  Red Zone: no.  Result:  TD.  Comment: Martin had his 56 yard scamper on 1st and 20 from TB 14 yard line.  20 yard TD pass to TE Brate reveals Winston looking for the big play.  Time of Possession:  2:40.

Although the Bucs' offense went 0 for 1 in the Red Zone, their first and third drives had the ball at the Indy 20 yard line.  The Red Zone is inside the 20 yard line; it does not count being on the 20 yard line.  Instead of possibly coming out with an optimum of 21 points, the Bucs offense came away with only 12 points, including K Barth's first extra point miss in his whole career.

What stands out the most in the first half is the 3rd down conversion rate:  5 for 7. In the second half, the 3rd down conversion rate was 1 for 6. The total time of possession in the first half was 15:09 out of 30 minutes of play. For the second half, the Bucs had 12:26 out of 30 minutes. They also lost the run game in the second half by gaining only 38 yards compared to the 94 yards earned in the first half.

The first two drives in the second half had two things in common:  3rd and super long as well as failed screen passes. In drive 4, the officials decided to impose their will by calling a holding call on WR Vjax because Vjax owned that block as he sealed his man.  Winston tried to get all 20 yards on first down, but it did not work out. The ensuing play was a screen to RB Martin, but the blocking was not there down field.  For the fifth drive, on the second play, the Winston could have been sacked from three directions: RB Martin did a terrible job on his chip job on the blitzer, RT Cherilus had his guy in the back field, and LT Smith's guy was pushed far back, but still had time to get to Winston. That was a terrible play call or lack of adjustment as all the routes took too long to develop. Winston should have rolled out and thrown the ball away, but he wants to make a big play. The third play was a screen, but the pocket collapsed too fast as Cherilus and Smith could not contain their respective defenders and the ball was thrown prematurely. The blocking down field was there.

On drive six, the 54 yard missed field goal attempt drive, it was 3rd and six from the Indy 36 yard line, Winston hit Evans on a deep route, but Evans dropped the ball that hit him in the belly and both arms. While it was terrible that Evans dropped a first down and possibly more, Winston missed the easy play underneath for a first down with WR Humphries running free and ahead of his defender. Winston went big on third down instead of nickel and diming to push the chains for another set of downs, especially when the team was behind. Two plays before, Winston went deep to WR Evans, but they were not on the same page.

Drive seven, Winston gets sacked for a six yard loss on 2nd and 5 at the Tampa 46 yard line. He had RB Martin open in the flat, but was looking down for more.  But on 2nd and 3rd down, the offensive line did a terrible job on pass protection as he was sacked on 3rd down, resulting in a punt for that drive.

Then on drive eight, everything looked promising. The refs missed a defensive pass interference by hitting TE Stocker before the ball got there, but the very next play Winston hit TE Brate for 8 yards.  3rd and 2 on the Indy 28 yard line. Winston again went big trying to hit WR Vjax on the seam when there were WRs open in the flat for a first down. On 4th and 2, there were two slant patterns that Winston could have attempted, instead he tries to thread it between a safety and underneath defender to TE Brate.  Unfortunately, he threw it behind him.

For drive nine, Rainey did a terrible job fielding a punt. The ball dropped on the 30 yard line and bounced back to the 18 yard line. On 1st and 10, Winston overthrew a wide open Evans deep as Evans had broke away from two defenders. Two plays later, Winston went big again by trying to fit a throw to WR Vjax into a soft window behind the linebackers and in front of the safeties. The ball sailed and was intercepted. Winston had time and was not bothered on that pass.

Trying to be the man and go big cost Winston on the events he could control. Winston was the big cat last week and deserved all the praise. This week, he should have followed old man Hasselbeck's lead and take what the defense gives you. The huge win also got to the offensive line's hubris as it slacked in pass protection and run blocking.

2015 Bucs Rushing Stats (after 9 games)
Without Longest Run
Game Team Pass Rush Scoring Long w/o Long Rush att Yds/A
1 Ten 181 92 14 14 78 25 3.12
2 NO 194 139 26 20 119 34 3.50
3 Hou 261 57 9 17 40 19 2.11
4 Car 270 141 23 26 115 29 3.97
5 Jax 186 183 38 39 144 39 3.69
6 Wash 289 190 30 49 141 29 4.86
7 Atl 173 117 23 18 99 31 3.19
8 NYG 247 136 18 59 77 22 3.50
9 Dal 246 84 10 18 66 25 2.64
10 Phi 238 283 45 84 199 41 4.85
11 Indy 212 132 12 56 76 20 3.80

The lack of continuing to run in the second half was hampered by the Colt's offense not being stopped on its four drives in the second half. Offensively, the team panicked. But the 7 minute drive by the Colts in the fourth quarter that put them up by 13 points negated any real chance to run. From the chart above, remove the longest run and you can find a pattern from other games.

Execution and taking what the defense is giving you to move the chains is what hurt the offense from producing. If they would have produced 21 points in the first half, then the offense could have continued to run the ball and probably had more success. Even then, the offense could have produced more in the second half as it did have two long drives that resulted in not much.