What Happened To The Run Game?

November 9th, 2014
Joe cannot figure out why the Bucs have abandoned Bobby Rainey and the run game against garbage rush defenses. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)

Joe cannot figure out why the Bucs have abandoned Bobby Rainey and the run game against garbage rush defenses. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)

Generally, in football, you take your strength and try to expose the opponent’s weakness. But Joe guesses in the world of Lovie Smith, it might be the opposite.

That is the only reasoned explanation for the Bucs just throwing in the towel on the run game this afternoon.

The Bucs were virtually running at will on the Browns last week with Bobby Rainey averaging over five yards a carry and 80 yards at halftime. In the second half, the Bucs ran the ball a grand total of eight times.


Even Lovie said the Bucs should have run more, and he’s the friggin’ head coach!

Today, it seemed almost like Lovie was bound and determined to prove to America he knew what he was doing drafting Charles Sims in the third round. Sims, coming off the injured reserve list, got his first start in his first regular season NFL game. And he was pedestrian as one could imagine.

Sims finished the day with 23 yards on eight carries. Rainey had but six carries for 14 yards. As a unit, the running backs had 52 yards on 18 carries.

Yet the Dixie Chicks are one of the worst rush defense teams in the NFL. So for reasons unknown the Bucs, with journeyman backup Josh McCown, decided to put the ball in the air 43 times.

No wonder McCown was crying! You have a decent running back in Rainey and you all but don’t use him for a guy who is in his first NFL game and you have a journeyman backup going all Air Coryell.

What. The. Hell?

Now some will point to backup fullback Luke Stocker’s injury for not running. Really? When did Stocker all of a sudden become Lorenzo Neal or Jimmy Taylor? A backup fullback being hurt is why you won’t attack garbage rush defenses? Really?

That, my friends, is what Joe calls tail-between-your-eggs football.

12 Responses to “What Happened To The Run Game?”

  1. RealityCheck Says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate, the Falcons pass defense is arguably worse than their run defense and our WRs tower over their DBs. But in reality, the play calling sucked, per usual. Atlanta gives up 27 points a game on average, and we score 17. The Bucs are the only team to score less than 21 points on Atlanta, and they did it twice in both losses.

    Also heard an interesting stat on the radio. Atlanta has 11 sacks on the SEASON, 7 of those are against the Bucs.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I am surprised that they seemed ready for us when we ran…..we threw enough to have established some confusion, at least….but they were in our huddle…

  3. RealityCheck Says:

    Also, it was obvious even from the stands how they used each running back. Rainey got the normal carries and pass protection. Sims got the sweeps to the outside. Smith got the straight ahead power and short yardage runs. Rarely did it vary from this pattern. Probably not that hard for the defense to pick up on.

  4. RealityCheck Says:

    Smith = James; I’ve been calling him Smith all day for some reason.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    McCown ran for nearly 8 yds per carry…..

  6. jo_mama Says:

    fastest way to the playoffs

    Get veteren QB to come in. I like Brian Hoyer

    Get Marshawn Lynch – he is a Free Agent.

    Trade our #1 Draft Pick to build through the draft.

    Get rid of McClown – Even though I like Glennon Trade him if you can get a 4th or 5th round draft pick.

    We are a long way away from a great team with just a so call Franchise QB. Look at Cam Newton. Look at Colin Capernick.

    We need a great team.

    Marshawn Lynch and Brian Hoyer would be a perfect fit to our offense. We draft O-line and some defense and we are a play off team.

  7. buc4lyfe Says:

    Lovie is the most pathetic excuse for a coach I’ve ever seen on the bucs sideline, you come out and tell the damn press you should have run the ball more? Hey stupid your the head coach you idiot why not tell the guy who works for you to run more (firing the game) old moron. How the hell did you come to Tampa and forget how to coach. You know he sucks because all the former defensive players have disappeared and won’t talk about him

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    It looked to me like Atlanta did not have to play that hard to come out with the win over the pushover Bucs. Those lousy Bucs teams in the eighties were better than this team.

  9. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    Everyone but the Vikes and Bucs have run and passed all over the ATL and I think the Vikes 9 point effort was pre-Bridgewater when they were still trying to make a go of it with Cassel or Christian Ponder who are collectively as “backup” as Glennon/McNown or Vick/Gino in other words pathetic….. Anyone with a competent QB and a gameplan has schooled the ATL D….

  10. Rik Sapp Says:

    Lovie Smith sucks!!!

  11. Rik Sapp Says:

    Lovie Smith sucks!!!

  12. DickBig Says:

    hey geniuses you need an O line to run the ball