Rushing The Ball

February 15th, 2013

doug martin 0215

There’s a cool site out there Joe doesn’t hit on enough. Sure, it’s a stats-heavy site, but not oppressively so.

Plus, like Joe, they try to have fun with their information and also try to work in eye-pleasing photos of lovely ladies. That never hurts. The place is called

A couple of weeks ago, a cat there named Ken Crippen devised a formula involving fumbling to determine not only who was the most valuable rusher in the NFL, but what teams ran the ball the best, and also what defenses were best against the run.

This formula seems to weigh heavily on fumbles and touchdowns, which is not a bad thing.

Though he had over 1,400 yards rushing, Bucs running back Doug Martin was not among the very best rushers in this ratings system. He was, instead, No. 5. While his lone fumble helped him, there were others who had more touchdowns than Martin, which seems to be why he was ranked No. 5.

Despite having one of the top runners in the NFL, the Bucs, when using the same formula to grade out team rushing, did not fare so well. This may be because the Bucs, outside of Martin, had virtually no running game.

In the team rankings, the Bucs are No. 9.

Now it starts to get a bit more interesting. The Bucs had the NFL’s best rush defense in yards allowed. But Crippen’s math came out with a far different result, ranking the Bucs rush defense No. 20. It seems the main reason for this is the Bucs tied for last in the NFL in forcing opposing running backs to fumble, just three times. In addition, the Bucs allowed 13 rushing touchdowns in 2012, a pretty high number, though nowhere near Buffalo’s 23 rushing touchdowns allowed.

What this means to Joe is that Bucs coach Greg Schiano is surely working on ways to tighten up the Bucs defense in the red zone and maybe work on creating turnovers, an area in which the old Bucs defense was so gifted.

11 Responses to “Rushing The Ball”

  1. tampabaybucfan Says:

    Forcing fumbles is a deceptive stat. If teams chose to run less on the Bucs or….pass more because of our run stuffing D…..then it would stand to reason that we would force fewer fumbles.
    I would like to see that stat on a per-carry basis.
    Another item that affected our running game is the lack of a running QB….something we had in 2010 when Freeman was 2nd behind Vick. Let Freeman run more and that stat will improve drastically and it will free Martin up for even greater gains. One of the reasons Morris ran so well for the Redskins is the running of RG3.

  2. Mike J Says:

    The Bucs need to do more gang-tackling in order to force fumbles. In particular, Lavonte David needs some one close behind; David is such a clean, ”form” tackler, hitting low & wrapping up, that opposing runners often are down too quickly for help to arrive, though.

  3. Andrew 1 Says:

    “This may be because the Bucs, outside of Martin, had virtually no running game.”

    This is where Blount should have come in. I think it says a lot when a rookie gets the start over someone who had already entrenched himself as the starting running back on our team. That is not a good sign for Blount as a buc. I think the writing is on the way and he will no longer be on our team in the VERY NEAR future, Im sad to say. But hey, if anyone is going to replace Blount, Im glad its someone with Doug Martin’s talent. Its all about the muscle hamster from here on out.

  4. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ tampabaybucfan

    your exactly right about teams running less on us causing less fumble opportunities. once teams realized they could run the ball on us early on in the game they abandoned it.

  5. Bb Says:

    This sounds about right to me, we lost a lot so we really did not have a good d, fumbles cased is big in the nfl, also we did not seem to control most of the games with our run so 9th feels about right

  6. Brian D. Says:

    These rankings are an irrelevant joke…and you talk badly about ProFootballFocus?

  7. kryq Says:

    Can you imagine Martin and Bush ?? im sure bush will love to play against the aints twice a season

  8. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Our run defense was the beneficiary of a weak secondary, but even so, we won our fair share of the battles in the trenches, regardless of a swiss-cheese pass defense. Look at how many TFLs were made. Now we need corners that can survive being left on an island.

  9. Mike J Says:

    Andrew 1, I believe you left out a ”not.”

  10. Jessup Says:

    For the record, Martin didn’t have a fumble. That was a TD clear as day. Bad call. Not only did it incorrectly give him his solo fumble stat on the year, but it robbed him of a TD as well.

  11. PRBucFan Says:

    Our run D was dominant end of story.

    People can’t be pleased these days, this is evidence of that.

    Virtually no run game? Outside of Martin?
    I’m sorry I thought martin was our starting RB? Our bad lol