Bruce Arians detailed several of the Buccaneers’ offensive struggles against the Washington Football Team to Casey Philips on Bucs Total Access. For example, one glaring issue with the Bucs’ offense was their inability to attack down the field. Tom Brady’s average depth of target (ADOT) was only 5.6 yards – a far cry from his 8.7 ADOT over the entire season.

“Interior pressure,” said Arians when asked why there were so few downfield passes. “Our interior guys. We busted an assignment on third down on a blitz up the middle and had to throw it away. Those are the type of errors that are just driving me crazy.”

Arians was referencing a third-and-2 play on the Bucs’ first possession of the second half. With the ball on Tampa Bay’s 46 yard-line, Brady took the snap, felt immediate interior pressure and threw an incompletion to Cameron Brate. The tight end was held on his shallow crossing route, but the officials did throw a flag.

Although the Bucs had the right play call, dialing up Mesh against Washington’s Cover 1 blitz, a blown protection caused the play to break down. Center Ryan Jensen should have stayed on Allen, but passed him off to pick up the linebacker. Also, Giovani Bernard should get eyes inside here, fitting up on the linebacker Jensen ends up picking up. Two mistakes makes me think there were communication issues between the line and Bernard pre-snap.

The Buccaneers compounded the third down failure by punting on fourth-and-2. The decision cost Tampa Bay 8.1 win probability percentage points according to Ben Baldwin’s model.

Per Sports Info Solutions, Brady faced pressure on six dropbacks. This tied with Week 8 for the fewest pressures allowed in a game by the Bucs all season. Contrarily, the Rams pressured Brady a season high 22 times. While interior pressure did affect some plays, it was only one of many reasons for the lack of downfield passes. For instance, Washington’s coverage shells, Tampa Bay’s offensive play selection and Brady’s decision-making were all significant factors as well.

The Buccaneers offense will try to regain its’ explosiveness against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. However, the Giants defense has only allowed an ADOT of 7.1 – the seventh lowest mark in the NFL.

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About the Author: Paul Atwal

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fredster
2 months ago

Yes, this is not new news to me. I’m no expert but watched enough and played enough football to know main reason Brady was having to check down was pressure in his face that you can’t step up in pocket and avoid it. Guys on here talking about Brady looking old or it’s his fault are comical. It wasn’t his best gane but you try playing QB with guys pressuring you in your face. It was also a total team loss. O lines worst game of season imo. Defense was putrid other than run defense. I’m still shocked they came… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by fredster
Horse
Reply to  fredster
2 months ago

I agree with you. No energy from the get go and that toxic demeaner spreads like wildfire. It started even before the game. I was there to watch the pre stretching by several players and then the actual team warmup. It just looked like they were just going thru the motions, and entered the game with that same mode.

scubog
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Horse: Attending the games, I always try to get a read on the pre-game demeanor of the team. Many times you can just feel the positive energy and other times it’s as you said, “just going through the motions”. One of the biggest differences between the Bucs and the opponent was the Super Bowl against the Chiefs. Even during warm-ups Bucs clearly displayed more intensity than the Chiefs who almost seemed to be poo-pooing the game. It was really evident going in at the half after the Bucs wiped that shit eating grin off their faces.

Horse
2 months ago

Where does “lack of energy” comes in to play, than all this fuzzing math? How about that real issue noted by players and coaches?

Captain Sly
2 months ago

Riviera turned this into a grind’em out type game and Arians couldn’t adjust. There were plays to be made in the middle of the field (mofo) but BA/BL stuck to there identity trying to stretch the field. Boneheaded IMO!

bucballer
Reply to  Captain Sly
2 months ago

No halftime adjustments to what the other team was doing. It’s either just being hard headed or just plain stupid. It’s like they have a game plan going in and once it starts to fall apart or unravel they r paralyzed to make changes. Again, I don’t understand. Make some adjustments. Rotate some different combos of players. Do something! Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. As for Brady, he’s human. He didn’t play his best game the last two games. I’ll give u that. But surprise, ur 45 year… Read more »

Captain Sly
Reply to  bucballer
2 months ago

I’m hopeful but I have my reservations bucballer. It’s copycat league and I’m afraid WFT set the blueprint. Just look for yourself at BA’s win/loss even dating back to Winston. We have to score at least 30 or more points or 95% chance it’s a loss. He can’t win unless he has a QB that can throw it 50-60 plays a game. It’s Boom or Bust scheme for offense and defense!

bucballer
Reply to  Captain Sly
2 months ago

I hear ya Sly! Throwing the ball 40-50 times a game can just plain wear a QB out, even more so when that QB is 45!

Naplesfan
Reply to  Captain Sly
2 months ago

It wasn’t play calling – it was lack of making plays. Coaches never make plays – players have to make plays.

Captain Sly
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Coaching Matters waay more than some of you think! Not even Great Players can overcome bad coaching. Tom Brady looked old, past his prime Sunday and some of you guys are blaming a OJ Howard false start. This problem goes way deeper than routine mental mistakes that every team makes…Their defensive play calls erased our chunk plays, their offensive play calls neutralized our blitzing defense period..

Naplesfan
Reply to  Captain Sly
2 months ago

I did not say coaching doesn’t matter. But you are going to have to prove that coaches made plays on the field in order to prove that coaching was responsible for Bucs players not making plays lately. We’re not dealing with 18 year old college players – these are all grown mature men from their mid 20s to mid 40s. It’s their job to make plays, to prepare themselves mentally. If they don’t they will be replaced, and that’s where good coaching comes in. I suppose you were were one of those who failed a class in school somewhere and… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Naplesfan
Captain Sly
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Maybe only in the world you live in there’s no need for motivational speakers, You can just look in the mirror to draw Inspiration from within, Your coaches need not ever speak once they’ve handed you the playbook because you are so driven and have studied your opponents next move to point where everyone watching is wondering why would anyone show up to play against You! Then there’s the rest of us lazy losers who have to adjust when our opponents has the upper hand.

Captain Sly
Reply to  Captain Sly
2 months ago

It’s the Coach’s job is to come up with a Game Plan. It’s the Coach’s job to make sure his players are executing his Game Plan. If there’s 1 player not executing the Game Plan it’s the Coach’s job to put someone in who will. You keep trying to convince Every Bucs fan watching the game that every single player on the team didn’t show up to execute the Coach’s Game Plan. It’s Collusion I guess but it looks more like Delusion!

Last edited 2 months ago by Captain Sly
drdneast
2 months ago

I didn’t see one shallow cross in the entire game which is a great way to beat one on one Cover Two or Zone. I think we ran maybe 7 play action pass plays. This dull unimaginative play calling has got to stop. I know a couple of times on third and short we went with an empty backfield. Guess what defense, our next play is a pass. Lefto as a head coach? Can we take up a collection for a team to hire him away so we can get an intelligent OC in here. I’ll toss in the first… Read more »

bucballer
Reply to  drdneast
2 months ago

He better figure it out! The Brady window is slowly beginning to close!

scubog
Reply to  drdneast
2 months ago

Perhaps one that has a Super Bowl victory on his resume’ and been OC of a top 5 offense?

Naplesfan
Reply to  drdneast
2 months ago

I repeatedly ask you to stop commenting so that we don’t have to read your clownish ignorant statements which is pretty infuriating for a real Bucs fan to have to wade through. Yet you persist.

Theydidwhat
2 months ago

It looked to me like Marpet should’ve picked up that guy based on how the play went. They do seem to be set in their play calling sometimes. I think they gave up on the run game too soon which eliminated to play action passing. Gronk is coming back and hopefully AB soon. They will get it together in the second half of the season.

scubog
2 months ago

It’s starting to get comical how some of you are more intent on blaming the coaches and the play-calling for this unexpected loss than the players on the field who jumped offsides on the first play, let a ball bounce up in the air for an interception and totally blew their assignments. Certainly not the way it’s drawn up in the playbook or instructed by the”idiot” OC. There’s enough culpability to go around and all should accept their portion. In my mind (what is left of it), it was the mindset of the players that was the biggest factor in… Read more »

Captain Sly
Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

I’m not sure what game you were watching! Did you watch the 4th qtr after we scored that touchdown and we let them run over ten minutes off the clock? Did you see the defensive scheme that allowed a backup QB Tyler Hienickie to lead the drive? You are blaming all of this on the 1st qtr? OJ offsides and a rookie fumble!

Naplesfan
Reply to  Captain Sly
2 months ago

Schemes don’t get stops on third down. Schemes don’t sack the quarterback or cause tackles for loss. Schemes don’t cause normally productive players to play as if they couldn’t wait to go to the showers and head to the team plane.

scubog
Reply to  Captain Sly
2 months ago

Not at all blaming it on the O.J. penalty. Just that it was a precursor of what the teams’ mindset was that day. What makes you think it was the “scheme” and not at least partly on the players themselves, who likely were gassed after the lopsided 40-20 time of possession? The opponent has coaches and NFL players too. Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work. That same “scheme” was good enough to win a Super Bowl. Different psyche on that 2020 team as the hunter. Need to learn how to defend.

Naplesfan
Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

Yup. But all of the self-named Hall of Fame experts here in the PR comment threads, and several of the writers here, know that they know vastly more about how to win NFL games than do the Bucs coaching staff.