Worst At Third-And-Long

January 9th, 2015

Josh McCown got scant help from his leaky offensive line.

Offense isn’t rocket science, though the Bucs acted as if simple offensive football was calculus. What a team does on first and second down often tells the tale on how good the third down offense converts.

Well, the Bucs offense was downright turrible, mainly because the Bucs painted themselves into a corner possession after possession after sorry possession.

Having one of the league’s worst quarterbacks, that didn’t help matters. Per Pat Yasinskas of ESPN, no team sunk itself on third downs quite like the Bucs.

All too often they gained little or no yardage on first and second downs. That left them with difficult situations on third downs.

The proof is in the numbers. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Bucs were the worst in the league when it came to distance needed for a first down on third downs.

Tampa Bay’s average needed yardage on third down was 8.56. The St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars were tied for second at 7.86 yards. Arizona was fourth at 7.69 and Cleveland was fifth at 7.67.

Too often, turnover-prone quarterback Josh McCown just heaved balls in the air hoping Mike Evans or Vincent Jackson could out-leap defenders and play jump ball. But part of the reason for this inept offense on third-and-long was McCown himself, and the sketchy running attack and the porous offensive line.

Joe hopes new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter can clean this up. In a hurry.

15 Responses to “Worst At Third-And-Long”

  1. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    e need a damn good O Line coach and hope the Licht and Lovie get it right with UFA this year. Outside of Evans, the 2014 draft picks still have a ton of questions.

  2. T in Orlando Says:

    I think if we can get the OLine to adequate, the Offense will improve significantly under Koetter in 2015. Maybe not top 10, but top half of the league should be expected.

    While the Koetter hire isn’t exactly splashy, he’s shown he can consistently get productive offenses with different types of personnel; David Gerrad and MJD leading the way for the Jags vs Matt Ryan and Julio Jones for Falcons.

  3. Tom Edrington Says:

    Most importantly, the Bucs were the worst at winning….

    Always love when Lovie would say:

    “We lost for whatever reason……”

  4. Tom Edrington Says:

    @ T in Orlando…..

    It’s Garrard…..a little respect for my East Carolina guys please!

  5. Barry Says:

    “We just not in sync” – Lovie Smith, sorry Tony Dungy

  6. Robert 9 Says:

    I approve of the Koetter hire. Job well done L & L. Now let’s trade back. and shore up the OL and DE.

    We can keep Vjax since we finally have a vet OC that can spread the ball around. But rework his deal.

    Trade Martin, sign rice, incognito and suh.

    Get a vet QB not name mcclown for a backup and hand the reigns over to MG.

  7. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Turnover prone and you can add ‘ill fitted’ Josh McCown for good measure, while you’re at it.

  8. Dean Says:

    Look we all know what the problems were. We’ve all been complaining about:

    1. The horrific Offensive Line. No holes to run through and no time to set up and pass.

    2. No creativity on offense. The same ‘ol plays time after time….and each time they fail.

    Don’t you think the new Big Three (Jason, Lovie and Dirk) see the same problems we see?

    They’ll try to address these issues and bring some creativity to our offense, while embracing Lovie’s run and protect-the-ball philosophy.

    Let’s give them a chance, after all it can’t be worse than last year.

  9. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Another name to look for in the OL coach hiring is Paul Dunn. Dunn was Houston Texan’s OL coach and was let go this morning after only one year. Dunn was with the Fowlclowns the previous 6 years, serving as OL coach for Koetter.


  10. port richey george Says:

    when are they going to fire the o-line coach?
    usually the new o-coordinator wants his own people.

  11. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    More on Paul Dunn:

    A person familiar with the situation said he thought O’Brien wanted to go in a different direction from Dunn, who had spent the previous six seasons with Atlanta.

    Dunn, who was fired by the Falcons after the 2013 season, coached an offensive line that helped the Texans rank 17th in offense, including fifth in rushing and 24th in passing.

    The Texans allowed 26 sacks, tied for the fourth fewest in the league.

  12. OB Says:

    The real key is will Lovie let the new OC run the offense since Lovie has more than proved he doesn’t have a clue? If he does, we have a chance, if he doesn’t, we don’t have a pray until Lovie is fired.

    As to the QB, it doesn’t matter who we like and dislike, it is who will take us to the SB in the OC mind’s opinion.

  13. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    Given the pathetic state of the OL and the OC the Bucs had last season this stat is not surprising…. Notice that the Lambs, Jags and Cards were right down there with the Bucs; all teams with poor qbs and bad OLs as well. You can bet that all those penalties that the OL liked to earn during the course of the game also helped contribute to this pretty darn unbelievable # as the Bucs could have been 3rd and 8 by just having McNown do a qb sneak for 1st and 2nd down for a yard a pop and average 0.56 yards better than they did……

  14. Brandon Says:

    Koetter will undoubtedly have full authority on offense. Lovie gave Mike Martz full authority and even traded away one of their few good players for peanuts (Greg Olsen) because Martz didn’t “need” him.

    The good thing here is that Koetter likes to have as many moving parts as possible.

    In Atlanta, the 2 main WRs got plenty of balls thrown their way, but Koetter also loved his #3 WR (Harry Douglas when he wasn’t starting, and Devin Hester). He also liked using good athletic TEs. Tony Gonzales really had some great years and was a great weapon with the Falcons. When Gonzo retired he tried working in the behemoth TE from Stanford (Tulolo sp.) Koetter also, with the Falcons, not so much the Jags, liked using RBs for different situations. With guys like Martin, Sims, and Rainey (and even James), they each possess a skill set that Koetter will like. Martin has a little Jones-Drew in him, Sims is a little like Lovie’s Forte, Rainey can be compared to Jacquizz Rodgers, and James runs a little like Steven Jackson-all players Koetter and Lovie have had success with in the past.

  15. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    It’s the result of Dungy/Lovieball. Run-Run-pass-punt.

    The first two runs are easily predictable. It would be difficult for a team with a good OL to keep “in synch” with downs and not fall behind when the defense is 90% certain of what you’re going to call.

    The difference in talent between players in the NFL is not like college..it’s usually very thin. You can’t just line up and blow people off the line without any deception whatsoever.