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Buccaneers offense needs to cut down turnovers

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Drive Analysis:  Game 3, vs LA Rams

Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers threw for 405 yards and three touchdown passes against the Los Angeles Rams to help the team accrue a total of 32 points... for a loss. It must be the defense and the second-round kicker's fault for such a debacle -€” or is it?

Game 3
LA @ TB
Sun, Sept 25, 2016
QTR 1 2 3 4 Total
LA 10 7 7 13 37
TB 6 14 0 12 32

The Bucs had a lead at the half by three points. And from the score board above revealed the defense gave up 13 points in the fourth quarter. That defense was just abysmal!

OFFENSIVE DRIVES

LA Defense vs Bucs Offense
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 -1 Punt 0
2 3 7 Punt 0
3 9 75 TD 1 7 1 1
4 9 43 TD 1 7 1 1
5 3 9 INT 0
6 1 -1 Half 0
Half
7 8 30 Punt 0
8 3 5 Punt 0
9 8 43 Missed FG 1 1
10 9 47 Fum Ret TD 1 1 1
11 7 75 TD 1 6 1
12 11 75 TD 1 6 1 1
13 9 51 End Game 1 1 1
Total 10 83 458 6 26 3 1 0 3 0 7

There are seven drives of 40 yards or longer. The offense ventured into the red zone on six occasions. Yet, on two trips into the red zone, the offense came away with no points at all. It faltered.

So the offense can move the ball, but inflict unnecessary mistakes upon itself to thwart offensive dominance.

Team Stats

Turnovers:                          2 turnovers (1 INT, 1 FumL)

3rd down efficiency:       8 out of 16 (50%)

Red Zone efficiency:      4 out of 6 (66%)

Passing:                               389 yards

Rushing:                              83 yards  (3.8 yards per attempt)

Turnovers will always decimate chances to win. That is what I wrote in last week's offensive drive analysis. The two turnovers in this game led to 14 points for the Rams' offense.

Turnovers

With a little over 3 minutes left in the second quarter, the Bucs had 20 -€” 10 lead with the ball. It is first and 10 at the Tampa 27 yard line for the Bucs with 2:32 left in the first half. In the previous offensive drive, the Bucs dinked and dunked their way to a touchdown. Rams' coach Jeff Fisher was willing to bet that Winston and Koetter would try to dink and dunk their way for this possession.

They guessed correct. Winston threw to the flat where Sims was running. The defense was primed and jumped the route.  Sims could not get a full grasp on the ball and it popped out as he was hit. Then the ball fluttered into the waiting hands of Mark Barron. This gave the ball to the Rams on the Tampa 22 yard line. Eventually, the result was a touchdown. Instead of potentially scoring more to increase the lead by more than 10 points, the offense gifted the Rams a chance to get closer at the end of the first half -€” and the Rams capitalized.

What makes this worse is that not only could the Bucs have added more points to increase their 10 point lead at the end of the first half, but the Bucs offense would have the ball to start the second half. That is a huge swing in momentum as well as game planning. The Bucs' offense let this huge opportunity for a check mate move early to disappear.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter, where we will inspect the second turnover made. It is third and six at the Rams' 13 yard line. Winston dropped back deep and LA defensive end Quinn sped around left tackle Smith. A strip sack that eventually led to a fumble returned for a touchdown.

Yet another point swing where the offense shot itself unnecessarily in the foot. It was in the red zone on the cusp of either cutting the lead down to one or possibly going up by three points. Instead, the offense found itself being down by 11 points.

Astonishingly, the Bucs still had a glorious opportunity for redemption as they had the ball in the waning moments of the game to still pull off a win.

Top Performers

The offensive line should get a little recognition. All of the offensive productions cannot be done without the offensive line providing protection or push.

LA Rams
Defensive Pressure
At or behind the Line of Scrimmage
Game Team Passing Att Sacks QB Hits TFL's Total Pressure at or behind the LOS
1 San Francisco 35 2 5 4 11
2 Seattle 35 2 9 7 18
3 Tampa Bay 58 2 6 1 9

QB Winston was 36/58 (62.1%), passing for 405 yards, 3 touchdowns, one interception, and one fumble lost.

RB Charles Sims had a touchdown run within his 13 carries for 55 yards. That is an average of 4.2 yards a carry.  His longest run was 23 yards. That is an explosive run play, a run play that is 12 yards or longer.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Receiving
Game 3, LA
Pos Player Rec Targets Yds Avg TD Long
WR Evans 10 13 132 13.2 1 19
WR Humphries 9 12 100 11.1 0 31
RB Sims 6 8 69 11.5 0 33
TE Brate 5 10 46 9.2 2 20
WR Jackson 3 6 37 12.3 0 16

9

Quickly identify the longest yards accrued for one catch per receiver. All top five receivers met the requirement for an explosive pass play metric.  We were moving the ball at will it seems like. Also note, Cameron Brate is a touchdown magnet! Brate was not drafted, but he is one of those "deep cut" finds that GM Jason Licht has talked about for finding talent.

Conclusion

The Good:  The offense, when clicking, looks amazing!

The Bad:  3rd down efficiency needs to improve.

The Uglies:  Although the team was 66.7% in the red zone, it came away with zero points twice. Then there are the turnovers that led to 14 points for the opposition. One other point, the Bucs' had the ball on the LA 23 yard line on third and three, but failed to convert.  K Roberto Aguayo missed a 41 yard field goal attempt just outside of the red zone and came away with zero points. That would imply three red zone or close-to-red zone opportunities that the Bucs' offense had failed to convert.

This offensive output scoring is a great development when compared to the ineptitude from the Arizona game. The biggest difference in production was Winston was more accurate in this game.

Tampa Bay Bucs
Jameis Winston
2016 Game Stats, Games 1 - 3
Game Team Comp Att % Yards TD INTs
1 Atl 23 32 71.9% 281 4 1
2 Ari 27 52 51.9% 243 1 4
3 LA 36 58 62.1% 405 3 1

A little tweak to become more accurate was what made a significant difference in offensive output. You can read about last week's Offensive Drive Analysis here:  P0301, Misfire on Cylinder 1 -€” Faulty Spark Plug.

Despite the numbers, the Bucs came away with a loss. One of the main culprits is not winning the turnover ratio game. The offense gave away 14 points off of turnovers.

Game 3
Offensive Scoring Differential
Points for v Points off of Turnovers
Bucs offense Points off Turnovers Net offensive Scoring
26 14 12

Without those turnovers, the Bucs win. The Bucs' offense could have put this game away at the end of the second half and beginning of the third quarter.

As down trodden we are after the roller coaster ride of being ahead, being down, and still have the possibility of coming out with a win at the end of the game, there is a silver lining. The little tweak helped the offense explode for points. A little more tweaking to control the turnovers and the Bucs offense will be winning more games than losing.

The Bucs offense fought back valiantly after losing the lead. Here is a Win Probability chart from Pro-Football-Reference to describe all of our emotions in the game:

Win Prob, Gm 3, 2016 vs LA