Big Games = Little Offense

November 30th, 2010

Like most Bucs fans, Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski is irritated the Bucs cannot beat a team with a winning record.

So the WDAE-620 radio personality and host of the internationally acclaimed “Blitz” — which Joe hopes reappears before 2011 — did a little research and found a nasty common denominator.

It seems whenever the Bucs play a team with a winning record, the Bucs offense goes into hibernation, so Justin wrote on his blog in his weekly “Things I Learned About The Bucs.”

I learned that the Bucs have a tough time putting together offensive game-plans in the biggest of games. In 4 games against teams with winning records this year, the Bucs have managed just 9.25 offensive points per game.  We have seen the Bucs get more competitive later in the season, but the offense has still struggled in these big games.  I’m at a loss for words for why Blount was not more involved.  That’s actually a sentence you could use in 3 of these 4 “big games”.  Blount had 13 carries for 55 yards and was matching the Ravens physical defense with his own physical play.  It was as if Greg Olsen pulled a Jon Gruden on us and thought he could trick the Ravens on every drive.  If I would’ve seen the Bucs throw the ball again on first down and end up with 2nd and 10, I was gonna puke.  This offense needs to figure it out before the Falcons come to town on Sunday.

Very interesting point Justin has, and he pretty much agrees with Joe that Olson, seeing that Josh Freeman was struggling terribly with his accuracy, should have adjusted and fed Blount and Cadillac Williams the ball more, especially on third-and-short situations.

However Bucs fans may want to determine blame for the loss, Joe was impressed the Bucs defense held the Crows scoreless in the second half on their home turf.

11 Responses to “Big Games = Little Offense”

  1. Gary Says:

    After reading Steve’s blog I see how Free should have done better. Personally there were a few 3rd n shorts that I felt Free could have picked up with his feet but instead chose to go for a long pass.

  2. Bucworld Says:

    We blame Olsen whenever things don’t go right, but I don’t know if he is the reason we lost. I don’t care what kind of game plan you come up with, if your quarterback and wideouts don’t deliver on the big plays you will more than likely lose. The good teams are good enough to carry out the game plan to beat Freeman and use his youth against him. Until we counter that, we will continue to lose to good teams

  3. Joe Says:


    After reading Steve’s blog I see how Free should have done better.

    Some nights a pitcher doesn’t have his curveball. It happens.

  4. eric Says:

    Imagine what our record would be without Freeman?


    I wish Freeman would run more. I’ve never been a big fan of mobile qb’s but if it’s there and the game is online, you got to get that first down. Definitely don’t throw it 30 yards downfield when all you need is 3 for a first down. I think when Josh gets a little frustrated, he tends to go for the big or unbelievable play.

    1)Taking that huge sack against Arizona in the 4th quarter, taking us out of FG range
    2)Throwing the pick while getting hit against Atlanta
    3)Tossing the ball to Caddy against Baltimore, Redding almost picks it off.
    4)Throwing way downfield to Spurlock against Baltimore on 3rd and 3.

    But, he still gave us a chance to win on an off day. Can’t be too upset with that.

  6. Harry Stonebeck Says:

    You know, I get the feeling that if Olson had Josh handoff the ball more in the second half, you would criticize him for taking the ball out of Josh’s hands at a critical time.

    I have rarely had a problem with the playcalling this year or last. Instead, I think Josh was running for his life as soon as he got in the pocket and as a result was never comfortable. Neither you, or me or Greg Olson can block for Josh. Should he have handed off more, yes in hindsight. But I think Olson had faith that Josh was going to turn it on in the second half (like we all did) and kept calling his number. I did like the hurry up O.

  7. BamBamBuc Says:

    There was a game earlier this year where we had a 4th and goal and Josh rolled right, had a wide open John Gillmore in front of him and a LB in his face. He chose to take the sack and turn the ball over late in the game, instead of risk a shot put pass over the LB. Gillmore was wide open.

    Now we’re saying that when Freeman sees an open WR, he should pull it down and run for 3 yards. Sure, I’d love to get the first down, but when he feels he can make the throw, the WR is open, and he’s off target… I can live with that. It’s an in-game decision. There’s about 3 seconds from snap to “what do I do with the ball?”. His choices won’t always work out the way he want, nor the way we want, but it’s still choices he has to make in the heat of a play. If he had a WR open 7 yards downfield on a crossing pattern, and threw it wide and incomplete, we’d still be questioning why they didn’t run Blount or why he didn’t take off and run when he was having an “off day”. If we ran Blount and he gained 2 of the 3 yards and we still had to punt, we’d all be asking why we took the ball out of Freeman’s hands.

    Hindsight might help make better choices in the future, but to second guess what happened on the field is a bit out there. Plays were called that would work, that should have worked and didn’t work. It was a bad day… deal with it.

  8. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I’m not fretting over anything at this point. With the Falcons doing so well, there is no chance we can make the playoffs even if we go 10-6…so keeping that in mind, I predicted an 8-8 or better season, and I’m one game away from being right.

    There is every chance last week will be part of a 3 game losing streak for the Bucs.

    I hope we beat the Falcons. I really do. But I won’t fret if we don’t. I’m sure some will consider it a disaster, but I won’t. This season has already been great. It has blown away last season, and I’m not talking about the win-loss percentage.

    I’m talking about games actually being watchable. Last year was horrible. At least this year we are enjoying the games.

    My Prediction for this weeks game:
    Simply put…I ain’t making one. I was wrong last week (though we should have won), and this weeks game is too close to call.

    I’ll just leave it at “I’m hoping for a win!”

  9. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I agree. If Freeman had been more accurate, and if the WRs hadn’t had stiff fingers instead of soft hands, I think those throws would have paid off and we could have won the game.

    Certainly the Spurlock drop would have been a TD, which would have left plenty of time on hte clock to tie the game.

  10. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I think there were a lot of things factoring into this loss:
    – Our offense was not spread on the line
    – WRs did not have soft hands or did not always run routes properly
    – QB was not nearly as accurate as normal
    – Hurry-up was not gone to quick enough
    – Refs made too many bad calls…on both sides of the ball
    – The loss of Grimm killed our defense
    – The playing of Sabby killed our defense

    The only thing they can do is make corrections and move on. It’s games like this that a young team learns from and grows…which is why I’m not bothered by the loss.

    I know when all is said and done…this team will be devastating on the field.

  11. MTM Says:

    Some of Freeman’s best games. Have been when he takes off. When the opening is there. It killed teams when he would take off and either run for the 1st downs or gain 8 plus yds. The games he played well in. It was a good mix of everything. Freeman will come back and play well Sunday.