THE OPTIMIST: Surging Offense In Place

October 11th, 2015
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THE OPTIMIST lays out the evidence

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe.

As promised, it’s starting to happen: your Tampa Bay Buccaneers are improving offensively, across the board.

It’s happening in spite of the turnovers that came last Sunday, as our rookie is sometimes playing like a rookie, which is to be expected. Winston currently has six touchdown passes and no one has kept him from scoring one so far in a game.

The six TD throws ranking him 13th in the league, but more importantly a record is breakable this year, because no Bucs QB has ever thrown a TD in every game for more than 15 games. The top five spots — starting with 10 games in a row — were all accomplished spread out over two seasons!

Here’s how they stack up:
15 TD  Freeman  10/10/10 – 9/18/11
13 TD  Freeman  12/17/11 – 11/18/12
12 TD  Griese    10/10/04 – 9/11/05
11 TD  Johnson  9/8/03 – 11/24/03
10 TD  DeBerg  10/6/85 – 10/12/86
If Jameis can keep up the pace, he will break all of those Bucs marks in his rookie season! Winston is currently on pace for 24 TDs, which would be third place all-time behind Josh Freeman and Brad Johnson. They recorded 25 (Freeman), 26 (Johnson), and 27 (Freeman) in a season.
Winston also has 965 passing yards, on pace for 3,860, which would pass Brad Johnson (3,811 in 2003) for rank second all-time, just behind Josh Freeman’s 4,065. Rookie mistakes will happen, just check out‘s stat lists for Brett Favre in 1992, Peyton Manning in 1998, Troy Aikman in 1989, or John Elway in 1983. But unlike other rookies who don’t turn out to be much, even in their freshman campaigns they produced impressive offensive numbers.
The rookies on the offensive line are gelling now that Joe Hawley has taken over at center next to Logan Mankins. shows offensive line rankings now, and the Bucs are ranked 20th overall. But on the left side of the line, Tampa Bay gets better grades; 11th in power and 8th place in 10+ yard runs on that side.
Overall, the Bucs offense is ranked fifth in 20+ yard passing plays, which could be because the play-action fake is effective.
Last week, the Bucs had a 100-yard rusher AND a 100-yard receiver as the Bucs piled up over 400 yards on the Panthers’ pretty good defense.
There has been an upward trend in total net yards:
Titans       273
Saints      333
Houston   318
Panthers  411
Charles Sims is playing a more active role in the offense, splitting touches with Doug Martin, and soon, Winston’s favorite target will be back in Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Get your Bucs shades on! Cuz the future’s so bright.

16 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Surging Offense In Place”

  1. Yar Says:

    That’s all well and good, but where do they stand in points scored. The most important stat.

  2. Bucnjim Says:

    75% of those yards come after we are down by several touchdowns. Don’t want to rain on the parade, but teams play very lose when they are up by 21 points.

  3. Bucnjim Says:

    Now if he can lead us to a 14 point lead without turning the ball over today I will be back tomorrow to say great job Winston!

  4. Buccfan37 Says:

    A Bucs win would lift the fans spirits immensely and make the bye a bit more upbeat. Home is where the heart is, play it like that. Go Bucs!

  5. ufour20 Says:

    LOL! So we’re down to cherry picking stats from 90 different QB’s to make us feel better about this trainwreck of a team and less than stellar first round pick?

  6. LargoSamIM Says:

    Buc would’ve been better if they took Marcus like Koetter (not our offensive guru, Lovie) wanted to do !!

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    I enjoy Houllis, but is the guy EVER correct?

  8. @FamousBroy3434 Says:

    Some of you guys seriously suck. Read an optimistic article and complain. HES A ROOKIE. STFU ALREADY MY GOD. U DO F-ING BETTER

  9. @FamousBroy3434 Says:

    AND ENPUGH ABOUT MARIOTA. KAP AND RG3. Bam. Huge rookie years and absolutely suck now. I dare you to come up with one argument proving that wrong. Double dare you. Jameis is more like Favre and Peyton and Mariota is more like rg3 and Kap. That’s a damn fact right there argue and look like a fool

  10. LargoSamIM Says:


    You (and the Joe(s)) are so biased that you miss the logical, obvious point that someone can be a Bucs fan – root for them to win every week – yet be smart enough to realize that the Bucs should have taken Mariota. I hope he ETS good… really…. it is just pretty obvious to any unbiased person that, at this point, they made a mistake !

  11. Jameisbucsfan Says:

    Jameis will be the best qb in the NFL in 4 years . Just hope all you crazy negative fools don’t run him out of town first.

  12. Wrong Guy Says:


    Why people keeps bringing up RG3 is beyond me. MM and RG3 as a rookie are quite different!

    1. MM does great as a pocket passer. RG3 beat the defense with his legs as a rookie. He had great passer rating mostly from his running.
    2. MM reads the defense. His experiment as a pocket passer has worked so far. RG3 couldn’t read the defense. His experiment as a pocket passer has never worked.
    3. MM has always been a humble guy. RG3 was certainly not. He is now.

    MM is going to be figured out. So are all the other rookie QBs, including JW. So, it’s important for a rookie QB to learn from his mistakes and keep growing. To me, a rookie making quick and accurate decisions and quick and accurate throws is more likely to succeed. JW still hasn’t fixed his major flaws from his college days except for his off-field behaviors. So, I’m not optimistic.

    The Bucs is stuck with JW, hoping he would turn out to be a great QB. I think JW is due for a good game today, though.

  13. LargoSamIM Says:

    @Wrong Guy….

    I agree 100% with everything you said…. including today’s game !

  14. LargoSamIM Says:

    I have to say this about Jameis— he is a smart, smart, very smart young man ! he KNOWS offensive football (of course, there are plenty of 50 year-old commentators who do too, they know it – just don’t have the physical tools to do it either)… but like I said, Jameis is one very smart young man – if he would have stayed at FSU for one more year, there is NO WAY he would be the #1 pick !!

  15. @FamousBroy3434 Says:

    Mariota is yet to light it up. Made a crucial red zone pic 6 to cost his team a game. Has better game planning and his best game was garbage time practically against Tampa. He’s shown nothing. Yeah man he doesn’t throw picks. Cuz that wins tons of games in 2015. Cmon people. Game managers do not win games and yes Mariota is a manager with no balls that NEVER takes a shot. wonston showed already he can put it together and how in gods name am I biased because I’m sticking up for Winston. I live in New York and am no Florida state die hard. But coming out of college despite picks I’m still saying I would have picked Winston over Marcus. And would again if the draft happened again so don’t sit there telling ME I HAVE TO ADMIT WE SHOULDVE TAKEN MARCUS AFTER FOUR GAMES. A TURNOVER PRONE QB WILL TAKE LONGER TO TRANSITION THAN ANY RUNNING QB KNOWN FOR PROTECTING THE BALL YOU BLOODY FOOL. JAMEIS IS STILL MORE NFL READY. PICS DONT CHANGE THAT

  16. SSG Mike Says:

    Put down the Crack Pipe and step away. Just Step Away. 1-3 Freak. W’s is all that Matters and I’m tired of losing!