Spinning Stats On Run DefenseDecember 23rd, 2013
Greg Schiano met the media after yesterday’s drubbing in Missouri and did a masterful job spinning stats to make his run defense look great.
Joe knows better.
Schiano noted his run defense allowed 3.3 yards per carry against the Rams, “which when a team is going to run the ball 39 times, you do that over the season, you lead the league in rushing defense.”That sounded pretty, but it’s ugly for a couple of reasons.
First, when a team runs 39 times on your NFL team, that means you got pounded and will lose 90+ percent of those games.
Second, the Rams’ gameplan was to run Zac Stacy repeatedly, especially with Tavon Austin, their top wide receiver, out of the game. Heck, Joe noted last week that Jeff Fisher somewhat sarcastically said he wanted to see if the Bucs could stop the run. Stacy had 22 carries for 84 yards through three quarters yesterday, with a one-yard touchdown run and a fumble. That’s a solid day. And that came with starting left tackle Jake Long blowing his knee out three plays into the game.
Third, the Bucs should have been thoroughly keyed on stopping the run. Isn’t that why they signed Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson and Johnthan Banks? So they could continue to make teams one dimensional like they did last season, but this time actually shut down passing attack?
The Bucs didn’t make Kellen Clemens beat them. And when they did lock down on the run in the fourth quarter, Clemens was 5-for-6 through the air for 54 yards. He finished completing 80 percent of his passes.
Yes, the Bucs’ final run defense stats yesterday are good enough to lead the NFL in most years. But that doesn’t mean the Bucs shut down the Rams running game, which was their goal entering the game.