Many folks are waiting for the Buccaneers offense to explode. On paper, they like like offensive juggernauts. But on the field, the story has been different.
After two games, Tampa Bay’s offense ranks near the bottom of the league in passing and just a tad higher in rushing after two games. The expectations were high heading into 2020 for obvious reasons and with the offensive production not reflective on the stats sheet nor on the field, many are quick to point out the flaws — especially a struggling Tom Brady no one is used to seeing.
However, head coach Bruce Arians isn’t concerned. He’s confident that Brady and the offense will get things going.
“It’s going to take time,” Arians said when asked about Brady and the offense adapting to each other. “It’s both – it’s our offense, [but] it’s letting him have his say like we always do with all our quarterbacks and build a game plan for the best way to beat the defense and put every guy in a position to be successful.”
What will speed up the offense’s success is a strong running game.
Tampa Bay’s backfield struggled a bit against the Saints in Week 1. Week 2 was a different story as the running backs played much better, even before Leonard Fournette’s big run in the fourth quarter to close things out. His 46-yard run caused some to wonder if Ronald Jones II’s short time as the lead back had expired. But Arians has no plans for switching up how they are currently managing their backfield.
“I love the way it’s at right now,” said Arians about the running back rotation. “RoJo (Ronald Jones II) had a great run for a touchdown – saw that good blitz pickup. We did screw up the handoff on the draw, but that’s easily correctable. To have Leonard come in with fresh legs in the fourth quarter and pound it like that – very few teams have that combination. Shady (LeSean McCoy) did a good job on third down. I know he had the one catch he’d like to have back that he dropped, but I thought our backs played really, really well other than the handoff fumble.”
Next up for the Bucs is the Broncos. Denver has struggled defensively as they gave up 300-plus passing yards last week in Pittsburgh and have given up over 100 yards rushing in both of their games to open the season — including a 59-yard run by James Connor. They are also dealing with injuries on the defense.
If the Buccaneers are looking to improve on offense, this week will be a good opportunity for them to do so.