This SR’s Fab 5 column on the Bucs is exclusively serviced by Discount Garage Doors – the official garage door company of PewterReport.com. If you are in need of a new look for your garage doors or if you are in need of repairs, turn to Discount Garage Doors. Whether it’s a broken cable or springs or a crooked door, Discount Garage Doors can help you out. Click here for a list of locations as Discount Garage Doors services 17 Florida counties and The Villages.
The holiday season is almost here! It’s time to beautify your home for the holidays with a new set of garage doors. Call 866-420-DOOR or visit DGDoors.com to view Discount Garage Doors list of services and garage doors that can be installed to improve the look of your home. And remember, Discount Garage Doors offers FREE service calls. Don’t wait – call today!
Mention PewterReport.com and SAVE 10% OFF your order or service call at Discount Garage Doors!
SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.
Before We Get Started With This Week’s SR’s Fab 5…
Changes, time’s makin’ changes in my life
Rearrangin’, can’t seem to stop the hands of time
I remember, I was so young, I was much too young to see
Now I’m older, growing older, and I see things differently
Oh can’t you see, it’s changin’ you and me
Tesla – Changes
Time is makin’ changes to my Discount Garage Doors SR’s Fab 5 column. Starting with this edition, SR’s Fab 5 will be meaner and leaner. Faster for me to write, and faster for you to read – but not sacrificing any great Bucs content.
I know your time is at a premium in today’s world – now more than ever. So let’s make the most of it shall we? My goal each week is to produce an SR’s Fab 5 that is like Michael Jackson’s Thriller or a Def Leppard Hysteria – full of hits without the filler. If I happen to have a long interview that is worthy of a longer section in SR’s Fab 5 that you’ve been used to, don’t worry – you’ll get it all.
Each of the first four sections will have The Big Takeaway, which is the main idea, and will conclude with The FABulous Ending to summarize the section. In between will be the important stats, quotes, Tweets and highlight videos to help me make my points, and inform and educate you – the PewterReport.com reader. So let’s get to it.
FAB 1. Bucs’ Run Game Is Worse Than You Think
While digging through some statistics for my entry in this week’s PR Roundtable, – which asked: “Where do the Bucs need the biggest upgrade?” – I came up with an amazing find when it came to Tampa Bay’s ground game. The Bucs have the league’s 27th-ranked rushing attack (98.7 ypg) and the 29th-ranked rushing average (4.0 avg.) despite ranking 18th in the league in rushing attempts (324). But then it occurred to me that the Bucs’ running game is worse than you think.
The Big Takeaway
The total rushing yardage that the Bucs have this year has been greatly manipulated by the amount of yardage that Tampa Bay’s quarterbacks have contributed. The combined 396 yards rushing between Jameis Winston (244) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (152) ranks in the Top 3 in the league in terms of QB rushing yards this year behind only Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (475) and Joe Flacco (45) and Carolina’s Cam Newton (473).
The Bucs have rushed 324 times for 1,283 yards (4.0) and nine touchdowns with 69 first downs. But take away the rushing yardage from Winston and Fitzpatrick and Tampa Bay’s ground game has actually rushed for 887 yards on 247 carries (3.6 avg.) with only six touchdowns and just 44 first downs.
Stats That Count
There are five worse rushing teams than the Buccaneers league-wide, according to total rushing yards – Philadelphia (97.9 ypg), Pittsburgh (89 ypg), Minnesota (85.4 ypg), Arizona (84.1 ypg) and Atlanta (81.2 ypg). Let’s remove the QB rushing yards from each team and reveal the true rushing numbers and compare that to how the Bucs stack up.
It’s important to remove the QB rushing numbers because those stats can underinflate or overinflate a team’s rushing stats. Multiple quarterback kneel downs at the end of the first half or the game hurt a team’s rushing averages. Outside of a few quarterback sneaks and called runs featuring the QB run game with certain teams like Baltimore, Carolina and Tampa Bay – on occasion – most quarterback runs wind up being scrambles. In other words, those plays were originally called into the huddle as pass plays – not run plays.
Rushing total: 312 runs for 1,273 yards (4.1), 9 TDs, 73 first downs
QB Carson Wentz: 34 runs for 93 yards (2.7), 0 TDs, 9 first downs
QB Nick Foles: 4 runs for 7 yards (1.8), 0 TDs, 3 first downs
Adjusted rushing total: 274 runs for 1,173 yards (4.3), 9 TDs, 61 first downs
Rushing total: 282 runs for 1,157 yards (4.1), 16 TDs, 72 first downs
QB Ben Roethlisberger: 24 runs for 94 yards (3.9), 3 TDs, 13 first downs
QB Joshua Hobbs: 4 runs for 11 yards (2.8), 0 TDs, 2 first downs
Adjusted rushing total: 254 runs for 1,052 yards (4.1), 13 TDs, 59 first downs
Rushing total: 274 runs for 1,110 yards (4.1), 6 TDs, 49 first downs
QB Kirk Cousins: 37 runs for 108 yards (2.9), 1 TD, 10 first downs
Adjusted rushing total: 237 for 1,002 (4.2) 5 TDs 39 first downs
Rushing total: 291 runs for 1,093 yards (3.8), 8 TDs, 60 first downs
QB Josh Rosen: 17 runs for 81 yards (4.8), 0 TDs, 5 first downs
QB Sam Bradford: 2 runs for 7 yards (3.5), 0 TDs, 1 first down
Adjusted rushing total: 272 runs for 1,005 yards (3.7), 8 TDs, 54 first downs
Rushing total: 273 runs for 1,055 yards (3.9), 8 TDs, 63 first downs
QB Matt Ryan: 25 runs for 101 yards (4.0), 2 TDs, 11 first downs
QB Matt Schaub: 1 run for 0 yards, 0 TDs, 0 first downs
Adjusted rushing total: 247 runs for 954 yards (3.9), 6 TDs, 52 first downs
Rushing total: 324 runs for 1,283 yards (4.0), 9 TDs, 69 first downs
QB Jameis Winston: 41 runs for 244 yards (6.0), 1 TD, 16 first downs
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: 36 runs for 152 yards (4.2), 2 TDs, 9 first downs
Adjusted rushing total: 247 runs for 887 yards (3.6), 6 TDs, 44 first downs
So what does the adjusted rushing total tell us? Taking away QB yardage, the Bucs have rushed for the fewest yards in the league (887), the fewest first downs (44) and have the league’s worst rushing average (3.6).
Peyton Barber is the team’s leading rusher with 183 carries for 677 yards (3.7 avg.) with four touchdowns and 33 first downs. But Barber is only averaging 52.1 yards per game, while Winston is averaging 30.5 rushing yards per game. And when Fitzpatrick was in at quarterback he was averaging 19 rushing yards per game.
Now to be fair, let’s take away the rushing yards by Jackson and Flacco in Baltimore and Newton in Carolina and compare them.
Rushing total: 331 runs for 1,786 yards (5.4), 15 TDs, 93 first downs
QB Cam Newton: 96 runs for 473 yards (4.9), 4 TDs, 33 first downs
QB Taylor Heinicke: 2 runs for -2 yards (-1.0), 0 TDs, 0 first downs
Adjusted rushing total: 233 runs for 1,311 yards (5.6), 9 TDs, 60 first downs
Rushing total: 415 runs for 1,748 yards (4.2), 16 TDs, 115 first downs
QB Lamar Jackson: 95 runs for 475 yards (5.0), 3 TDs, 30 first downs
QB Joe Flacco: 19 runs for 45 yards (2.4), 0 TDs, 10 first downs
Adjusted rushing total: 301 runs for 1,228 yards (4.0), 13 TDs 75 first downs
What do we find? Both the Panthers and the Ravens commit to running the ball and both teams can do it well even without the designed QB runs and scrambles by Newton and Jackson, evidenced by the fact that both teams are over 1,200 yards rushing without QB rushing yards, have at least nine touchdowns and at least 60 first downs on the ground.
The FABulous Ending
Do the Bucs get the benefit of the combined rushing yards between Winston and Fitzpatrick? Yes, those yards still count.
But they hide the true ineffectiveness of Tampa Bay’s ground game and the numbers are worse than you think. Heck, Winston has been the leading rusher for three games this year, including the last two, which is embarrassing.
I believe the culprit is offensive line coach and run game coordinator George Warhop first and foremost, followed by the offensive line play and then the Bucs’ running backs in that order. Expect big changes next offseason in this area regardless of who the head coach is.