clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Buccaneers have to find more red zone opportunities

New, comment
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been outstanding over the past four games, but the offense has struggled while the defense has carried the team. Before introducing the 3rd Report Card, I will show the first two quarterly Report Cards.

Quarter 1:  1 Win, 3 Losses

2016 Q1 Offensive Drive Report
Opposing Defense vs Bucs Offense
Gm Team Drives Plays Yards RZ Pts 40 + yard Drives 50 + yard Drives 60 + yard Drives 70 + Yard Drives 80 + Yard Drives 90 + Yard Drives Totals
1 Atl 12 62 397 2 31 0 0 0 3 0 1 4
2 Ari 14 77 301 1 7 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
3 LA 13 83 458 6 26 3 1 0 3 0 0 7
4 Den 13 66 213 1 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Total 52 288 1369 10 71 4 1 0 8 0 1 14
Average 13 72 342.3 2.5 18 1 0.25 0 2 0 0.25 3.5

In the first four games, the Bucs' offense was feast or famine. Against the Rams, the Bucs' offense had a chance to win the game as it drove into the Red Zone in the waning moments of the game. It had four chances to win the game, but came up short. Yet look at the Red Zone opportunities for the Rams game. Out of 6 opportunities, the Bucs' offense only scored 26 points. A max potential total of 16 points were left off the scoreboard for that game.

The average of 18 points per game is very lack luster considering this was the second year of the offense. For the previous year, the Bucs' offense was averaging 21.4 points per game (ppg).

Quarter 2:  2 Wins, 2 Losses

2016 Q2 Offensive Drive Report
Opposing Defense vs Bucs Offense
Gm Team Drives Plays Yards RZ Pts 40 + yard Drives 50 + yard Drives 60 + yard Drives 70 + Yard Drives 80 + Yard Drives 90 + Yard Drives Totals
5 Car 12 74 325 4 17 0 2 1 1 0 0 4
6 SF 13 76 499 5 34 0 2 0 2 0 1 5
7 Oak 13 62 314 4 24 2 0 1 0 1 0 4
8 Atl 10 70 342 4 28 0 0 0 3 0 0 3
Total 48 282 1480 17 103 2 4 2 6 1 1 16
Average 12 70.5 370 4.3 25.8 0.5 1 0.5 1.5 0.25 0.25 4

For the 2nd Quarterly report, on average, there is one fewer drive, about two fewer plays, but an increase in 0.5 long drives. That does not explain the nearly two extra opportunities per game in the Red Zone.  Fortunately, in my 2nd Quarterly Offensive Drive Report Card article explains this phenomenon -€” the defense and special teams helped create a plethora of short field situations for the offense.

If you remove those situations, then the scoring average drops to 18.0 ppg. That is quite similar to the 1st quarter scoring production, which is not that great.

Quarter 3:  4 Wins, 0 Losses

2016 Q3 Offensive Drive Report
Opposing Offense vs Bucs Defense
Gm Team Drives Plays Yards RZ Pts Drives (in yards) Totals
40 + 50 + 60 + 70 + 80 + 90 +
9 Chi 11 70 319 4 27 1 1 1 1 0 0 4
10 KC 8 75 425 5 19 0 4 3 0 0 0 7
11 Sea 12 64 314 1 14 0 0 1 1 0 0 2
12 SD 9 64 328 5 21 0 4 1 0 0 0 5
Total 40 273 1386 15 81 1 9 6 2 0 0 18
Average 10 68.25 346.5 3.75 20.25 0.25 2.25 1.5 0.5 0 0 4.5

The third quarter produced some interesting results. Although the offense possessed two fewer drives, the average long drives per game increased! This shortens the game as the Bucs' offense is able to hold onto the ball longer.

The Red Zone opportunities dropped. This is probably due to the offense not being gifted the ball on a short field like it was during the 2nd quarterly games. Here is a chart to help denote this idea:

Bucs' Offense
Drives less than 50 yards
Scoring Opportunities
Team Turnover Type LOS RZ Result Points Qtr Total Pts
1 Atl 0 Quarter 1
2 Ari 0
3 LA 1 Def Fumble 43 yd line 1 FG 3
4 Den 0
3
5 Car 1 ST Punt Rec 39 yd line 1 Missed FG 0 Quarter 2
6 SF 1 ST Punt Rec 36 yd line 1 FG 3
1 Def Fumble 27 yd line 1 TD 7
7 Oak 1 Def Fumble 34 yd line 1 TD 7
0 Punt 47 yd line 1 TD 7
8 Atl 1 Def Fumble 19 yd line 1 TD 7
31
9 Chi 1 Def Fumble 29 yd Line 1 TD 7 Quarter 3
10 KC 0
11 Sea 0
12 SD 0
7

Because there were fewer opportunities in the 3rd quarter set, the average scoring dropped between 2nd and 3rd quarters. As mentioned in the Quarter 2 section, if you remove these short field opportunities, then you will have the true measure of the offense without help.

In Quarter 2, the total scoring was 103 points. Remove 31 points, as identified in the aforementioned chart, and the new result is 72 points total. The average of 72 points in four games is 18.0 ppg.

Similarly, we can apply this situation to Quarter 3. The total scoring in Quarter 3 was 81 points generated by the offense.  Remove 7 points and the new total is 74 points. The average of 74 points in four games is 18.5 ppg.

Thus, in all three quarterly reports, the offense, on its own, is generating around 18 points per game. That discovery is a scary discovery.

Red Zone Opportunities

The lack of scoring could be attributed to ineffectiveness in the Red Zone.

2016 TB Bucs Offense
1st Quarter
Red Zone Offense Efficiency
Team Made Attempts %
1 Atlanta 1 2 50%
2 Arizona 1 1 100%
3 LA 4 6 67%
4 Den 1 1 100%
Total 7 10 70%

While 70% success rate is very good, the lack of opportunities is not. If the Bucs were able to convert one of the Red Zone opportunities in the LA game, then it could have come out with a win.

2016 TB Bucs Offense
2nd Quarter
Red Zone Offense Efficiency
Team Made Attempts %
5 Car 0 4 0%
6 SF 3 5 60%
7 Oak 3 4 75%
8 Atl 4 4 100%
Total 10 17 59%

In the 2nd Quarter set of games, the Bucs have been able to increase their opportunities by seven. Unfortunately, they were only able to convert 59% of their chances. If the Bucs were able to convert one more Red Zone opportunity in the Oakland game, then it could have come out with a win.

2016 TB Bucs Offense
3rd Quarter
Red Zone Offense Efficiency
Team Made Attempts %
9 Chi 2 4 50%
10 KC 1 5 20%
11 Sea 1 2 50%
12 SD 2 5 40%
Total 6 16 38%

This finding is actually quite disastrous. Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good. Sometimes, it is nice to have a good defense to keep the opposing teams from scoring more than your offense.

On the Horizon

How long can being lucky last?

Head coach and offensive play caller Dirk Koetter must find a remedy and fast if the Bucs want to be solid contenders. Winston needs to hone in on Red Zone efficiency. The offensive line run blocking must also improve in order to help make the Red Zone offense more effective.

Although Coach Koetter has called recent wins "complimentary football', I do not believe that the offense doing barely enough is good enough in the long term. Scoring 18 points by the offense without help is not a very promising outlook.