Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston is averaging 47.3 pass attempts per game. – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio//PR
At the current rate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is set to decimate single-season franchise records.
Team stats related to passing are primed to be surpassed: yards, touchdowns, attempts, completions, all of them.
Normally that would seem like a positive. But not quite. That’s because the Bucs are putting themselves in situations where Winston has to pass his way back into games far too often, head coach Dirk Koetter said.
“To start off with, in the last two games we’ve thrown too much,” Koetter said Wednesday afternoon. “We’ve got to stop getting behind by two scores.”
Two weeks ago in Arizona, Winston set a new personal record by throwing the ball 52 times. He went and topped that last Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, pulling the trigger on 58 occasions.
Statistically inflated over the past two weeks, Winston enters Sunday afternoon’s home game against the Denver Broncos as the NFL’s pace setter in pass attempts. His 142 passes edge out the 140 thrown by NFC South counterpart Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints.
If this trend held for an entire 16-game schedule, Winston would eclipse Brad Johnson’s single-season team record of 570 pass attempts by the time Week 13 in San Diego rolled around and he’d finish the year with 757. To put that last number in better perspective, it would break Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s NFL record of 727 attempts set in 2012.
It’s time to hit the breaks on Tampa Bay’s runaway train of a passing attack, Koetter said, but that can’t happen until the running game gets itself on track.
“We need to run the ball better,” he said of the Bucs’ 23rd ranked ground attack. “And when I say run it better, I’ve told you guys this before, we need to run it more. The more you run it the better you get with repeat runs.
“Now, as far as Jameis handling the volume? Heck, I’m sure he’d throw every time if he could. But for our team to be successful we can’t be throwing it in the 50s and running it in the 20s.”
When asked about the pass-happy nature of the offense lately, the second-year quarterback just said he’s running the plays that are called for him.
“My job is just to do whatever Coach Koetter asks me to do,” Winston said. “Obviously the way the games have been turning out we’ve had to be in more passing situations and I definitely take on that challenge. So I just do what I’m coached to do and go out there and try to get wins.”
With the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos coming to town Sunday and starting running back Doug Martin expected to miss his second straight game, this week may not appear to be a great one to start turning things around.
Or is it?
While the Broncos sport a perfect 3-0 record after beating Carolina, Indianapolis and Cincinnati, they haven’t done so by smothering their opponents’ running backs. Denver’s surrendering the sixth most yards per game in the NFL (127.7) and 4.7 yards per rushing attempt.
The Bucs’ first game of 2016 without Martin last week didn’t include much of a ground attack. Backups Charles Sims III and Jacquizz Rodgers were given a combined 10 carries in the first half against the Rams and finished with 18. The duo totaled 70 yards and added Sims’ 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but the run was all but abandoned in the second half.
Of all the times to talk about too much passing when we are playing the Bronco’s; Martin is out, and we have no monster TE, and, no pass rush or Safeties. Really?
I mentioned this last week when I saw Winston had tossed the ball 58 times. Egad’s that’s almost as many passes as a team has plays in a game.
Winston is a good QB but he isn’t Drew Brees good yet.
The Bucs outplayed the highly ranked defensive Rams up and down the field on offense all day last week but were still beaten. Very Buc like.
Someone mentioned out here last week that Winston was in the same boat as Drew Brees when it comes to winning games. He almost has to score every time he gets the ball because his porous defense doesn’t stop anyone. See Monday nights Atlanta game.
Of course a field goal kicker would also help win some games as well.
It sounds good in theory….but in practice it means Sims and Rogers leading us to victory….that sounds a little far-fetched. Maybe this is just coach speak BS.
If I’m the OC this week going against Miller and Ware; running the ball by committee, quick passes to the backs and occasional deep shots would be my game plan. That Rodgers used to hurt us as a Falcon.
At least we don’t have to worry about Ware, he is out with an injury. I believe he broke his forearm against the colts a couple weeks ago. He had surgery to put a plate in his arm on Sept 20th. He should be out 4-6 weeks.
That’s what I thought too but the Injury Report shows Ware as Full Participation
Our offense isn’t the base problem. Our defense is the problem … if our D stopped giving up more points per game than any other team in the league, we wouldn’t be getting behind by multiple scores, and there would be more opportunity to run the ball and play the clock in our favor.
I’m sure Coach Koetter would much prefer more balance in the attack … but Coach Smith has to fix his D or that’s simply not going to happen.
Is it just me or does anyone else notice that the Bucs seem to be a team that helps their opponent fix a problem they’re having? I take notice when pre-game commentators or writers bring up deficiencies in our next opponent. Sometimes it’s brought up as a weakness the Bucs can potentially exploit. Sometimes it’s just a bad streak they’re on. But my observation of this team is that usually they help get the opponent off of their bad trend. For example, a team is struggling to run the ball. I expect them to have a stellar running game against the Bucs. A team has yet to score an offensive touchdown. We’ll give up four. A team can’t seem to get sacks. You get the picture. So of course now I read (above):
“While the Broncos sport a perfect 3-0 record after beating Carolina, Indianapolis and Cincinnati, they haven’t done so by smothering their opponents’ running backs. Denver’s surrendering the sixth most yards per game in the NFL (127.7) and 4.7 yards per rushing attempt.”
Can anyone guess what I’m thinking? I don’t want it to happen and I’m not seriously thinking that Eric Horchy just jinxed the Bucs to 53 yards of rushing. But I’ve just grown accustomed to my pessimism. It’s like a comfortable fleece blanket. It envelopes me. Ok, it is Eric’s fault. Why did you have to bring that up Eric? Thanks a lot.
Good observation .
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