If there’s one thing the Bucs’ offense would like to see perform better in Week 2, it’s the run game. Tampa Bay ran the ball just 14 times in their first game of the season, the fewest attempts in the NFL.
In defense of the Bucs, they were successfully attacking the Cowboys through the air as Tom Brady threw for 379 yards and four touchdowns on the way to 31 points. Tampa Bay didn’t need to run the ball much, but greater efficiency in the ground game would help in Week 2.
Bucs LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“You kind of want to establish the run game,” left tackle Donovan Smith said. “I feel like that’s every team. Nobody wants to be one-sided. To establish the run and get it going and get positive yards and actually make it count when [runs] are called is huge. It just makes things that much easier down the road as the game goes on.”
The Bucs averaged 3.7 yards per carry on 14 rushing attempts in Week 1. That’s adequate, but not good enough. Tampa Bay’s longest run of the night was just seven yards. For the Bucs to justify running the ball more, an increase in explosive plays is crucial.
A Week 2 matchup with the Falcons could be the perfect opportunity for the Bucs. Atlanta dropped their season opener at home 32-6 to the Falcons. The Falcons defense allowed 173 yards and 5.6 yards per attempt while getting gashed on the ground.
Atlanta’s weaknesses could play right into building up the confidence of Ronald Jones II, who Bruce Arians said will get the start this week. We know other players on the team are on board. The Bucs know they can be a more efficient rushing team, and look forward to proving that on Sunday.
“I would say one big thing is to get the run game going,” tight end Rob Gronkowski said. “That would be nice. I love run blocking, so let’s get the run game going this week.”