Bucs Converted Better On Third Down In 2011

December 3rd, 2012

The “money down” is failing the Bucs.

Whether it’s Josh Freeman falling short of being an upper-tier quarterback, or stunts like running D.J. Ware on 3rd-and-20 in the second half yesterday, the Bucs are statistically worse on third-down conversions than they were in 2011.

This is a key stat because it’s darn difficult to find a good football team among the cellar-dweller offenses in the stat of converting on third-down. Of the 10 lowest ranked teams in 2012, only Cincinnati (35 percent conversion) has a winning record.

Unfortunately, the Bucs are ranked 26th in the NFL at earning a first down when it’s third down. The Bucs get it done 34 percent of the time. During the heinous 2011 season, they were better, at 36.89 percent. In 2010, they were among the cream of the NFL (42.18 percent). Yesterday, the Bucs were 3-of-12 on third down and in their last four games, they’re a combined 17-for-49. 

Consistent offense is about moving the chains. The explosive plays, which the Bucs deliver in a big way, are wonderful, but strong teams, playoff teams, convert on third down.

10 Responses to “Bucs Converted Better On Third Down In 2011”

  1. Josh Says:

    I really like Coach Sciano and the direction the team is going, however the mentality of pushing Martin into good fronts is getting old. Doug is amazing, however is predictable sometimes. Wouldn’t Blount be a change at least one snap a quarter? Bell cow is understandable, but these failed rushes put a leash on Freeman when it’s 3rd and long. Very strange not using the strengths of the offense in the second half except when down by multiple scores.

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    The 3rd and 20 play was strictly to get better field position and punt the ball away. Schiano has consistently said it’s ok to punt the ball and play good defense. Freeman has won us plenty of games, yesterday was Manning’s day. The Broncos don’t win without him. It’s even arguable that they don’t win if we had better CB’s – but we don’t, not until next draft\FA period.

    It’s a loss, lets move on. Very, very few of us thought we would be sitting at .500 in December with a shot at playoffs. I firmly believe with better CB’s and our pro-bowl guards back, we make a serious, deep run in the playoffs next year.

  3. BucFan20 Says:

    Great picture. Williams must have run the wrong route. Had that been Underwood I am sure after the earlier story i would be made to say he ran to far.

  4. BucFan20 Says:


  5. thegregwitul Says:

    As a fan, I hate to see my favorite football team lose a game, but when Manning signed with Denver this was one I had penciled in as a loss after looking at the schedule before the season started.

    I like the fight the Bucs showed in the 4th quarter and I was frustrated with the inability to stop Denver in the 3rd quarter (the pick six didn’t help either). All in all, I think it’s an experience that hopefully will help in the development of the team for the rest of this season and the season coming up. This team needs CBs. EJ Biggers is a nickel CB and while Leonard Johnson has had his moments, he’s a rookie, and as of late, he’s been getting toasted by the elite receivers. I’m hoping Dom doubles up on corners, either in the early rounds of the draft, or by signing one in free agency and drafting one in the first two rounds. It’s so badly a need for this team that it’s almost comical.

    I also agree with the points made by Josh and bucfanjeff. I’m a Schiano fan and I believe this team is going in the right direction. I still think the playoffs are possible if the Bucs play more like they did a few weeks ago as opposed to these last two weeks. My season prediction was 8-8 and I think at a minimum the Bucs will meet my prediction, but I’m hoping that next weeks home game against the Eagles with the 2002 championship team in the house pumps the Bucs up and kicks off a winning streak.

  6. Pete Dutcher Says:

    This is going to sound weird, but my favorite play of the game was a failed one. It was the one where the Bucs faked a handoff and the entire defensive front of the Broncos bit on it, giving Freeman all day to throw. There was no one open (and why he didn’t just run it I have no idea), but it’s a good sign that they are improving on fooling the defenses.

  7. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Josh Says:
    December 3rd, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I really like Coach Sciano and the direction the team is going, however the mentality of pushing Martin into good fronts is getting old. Doug is amazing, however is predictable sometimes.


    Depends on how you look at it. Sometimes predictable is a good thing. It makes the defense expect certain things, so that when you change it up it catches them off guard. Also, not abandoning the run is what opened up the pass yesterday.

  8. Drew Says:

    Josh Freeman has a new name floating around the NFL. I’m hearing Josh Threeman and Out and less than 50 percent.

  9. IdahoBucsfan Says:

    Joe,.. I wouldn’t trade this year’s offense for last year’s offense,… would you? GO BUCS!

  10. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    This comes down to Freeman not being able to perform when there’s any pressure at all from the pass rush. I’d be willing to bet if we looked at Freeman’s completion percentage under pressure it’d be something like 30%. He really is that bad when a defender is within three feet of him. It’s another example of Good Josh/Bad Josh and it’s very frustrating to watch.