No Run, No Win

October 2nd, 2016
Between a rock and a hard place.

Between a rock and a hard place.

Of the 12 quarterbacks with the most attempts in the NFL, only three play for teams with a winning record: Andy Dalton (the leader after four games), Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger.

America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, led the NFL after three weeks (prior to Dalton’s Thursday night game) with 142 attempts.

The Bucs are 1-2.

The Bucs are not the 1980s San Diego Chargers with Don Coryell all but abandoning the run game. The reason the Bucs have thrown so often is because they have been so far behind in games.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter knows this. Combined with the fact that throwing against Denver’s defense is like chumming the water for sharks, Koetter understands the Bucs must unleash their rushing attack. Koetter all but said without a run game, the Bucs are virtually doomed today against Denver when he spoke last week on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“I think it is going to be tough to beat Denver at their strength,” Koetter said. “They can really rush the passer and they have a lot of guys who can cover. Whoever is the team who is going to end Denver’s streak, is going to have to be able to control the clock a little bit and run that football. Keep the game close. Not get behind where they can turn those [pass] rushers loose and hopefully we can get some turnovers on the other side of the ball and get some short fields. It’s going to be tough sledding throwing the ball against those guys. …

“The thing that is hurting us more than anything right now is that we are having to throw too much. We are throwing in the 50s and running in the 20s. That number, they both need to be in the 30s. We need to be throwing it and running it in the 30s. When you are throwing it in the 50s, it usually means you are behind. You are having to press and that usually means you are turning the ball over which is how you got behind in the first place. So we just need to balance it out. We had a better balance last year. Maybe we were protecting Jameis?”

Well, here is the problem: The Bucs are one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL with a total of 258 yards (injured Doug Martin had just 86 of those yards). Koetter is right that the Bucs need to run the ball but saying and doing are two different things.

Charles Sims, now in his third season, has yet to established himself as a runner to be feared by a defense (he is an incredible receiver out of the backfield). Jacquizz Rodgers was unemployed three weeks ago for a good reason. He was signed by the Bucs (when Martin was still healthy) primarily as a blocking back first, and his return, pass-catching and running skills second, third and fourth, respectively.

So that’s the problem for Koetter: how to craft a rushing attack from two guys who have not been adept at running the ball this season. You can’t just wish a running game. If it dies or does not develop, the Bucs have no choice but to throw.

And that plays right into the hands of Denver’s nasty defense.

20 Responses to “No Run, No Win”

  1. MadMax Says:

    We’ll need the run for every game. Go to have the run to establish the pass. I hope Dougie heals quickly.
    It also helps if JW3 isnt overthrowing his receivers so much. He started getting more accurate in the 4th qtr in that rams game though. He seems to need a lot to warm up and then really gets going after they’re fighting from behind. But thats a great thing, he has that fight in him and wont give up.

  2. BucinJAX Says:

    Joe, what is your 1-3 referring to? Maybe a typo slipped in.

  3. Bob in Valrico Says:

    doug has become pretty good at catching the mball over the middle and we also miss that. So far I have not seen Sims do that.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    BucinJAX … Typo? Or another possibility is that Joe had this story in the hopper and it was supposed to come out tomorrow. Coach Koetter’s 100% right: if we can’t control the clock and run the football it’ll be a long day.

  5. SeattleBuc Says:

    Two Words. Mike James. How easy we forget.

  6. Chris Says:

    I agree Seattle. Mike James has had productive games in the NFL. Sorry Ira, Rodgers has never been a feature back.

  7. pete Says:

    Missing Stocker!

  8. YoungBucs Says:

    Simms can run the ball feed him like u would Doug

  9. Bob in Valrico Says:

    but rogers does hide behind lineman like Martin.We don’t need a feature back,right now we need two very good performances from both backs
    to get by until Martin returns.

  10. BoJim Says:

    1-3? Give em a chance Joe!

  11. LargoBuc Says:

    It wont matter much if Jameis keeps missing targets and being careless with his mechanics. This team will go as far as Jameis takes them, and right now he’s not good enough to be the Broncos. Trust me, I’ll be screaming as loud as any fan come kickoff and rooting and cheering, as my heart says go Bucs while my brain says this could get ugly.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We passed for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns and still lost to the Rams.

    Sure, it would be great if we had a running game but we won’t win without a defense.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Football Sunday!

    A working day for me, but with the game on!

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    LargoBuc…yes because all the losses are his blame.

    I have an idea. Why don’t they start Glennon with his good mechanics and great accuracy?

    That should do the trick.

  15. CalBucsFan Says:

    Bring back Mike James.

  16. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    We need to get Sims in space where he is a beast. Dink and dunk our way down the field. Hopefully once we’ve spread their D Rodgers will be able to run it and Hump and Brate and Myers catch possession style safe passes.

  17. Mike Johnson Says:

    Talk tough alls you like. The tale of our tape will be our Defense. No or very little Defense? And we get slaughtered. Yes, Jameis will complete some throws. But how many turnovers will he have? He’s right up there at the top of theNFL in turnovers. You give Denver a short field and I can 100% guarantee you they are disciplined to come away with 6..not 3 pts. Sure, I’d love to see an upset. But as a realist? Just don’t see it happening. Even if you put something in Denvers gatorade, They still get the W.

  18. orlbucfan Says:

    @Stpete: Amen! At least we’re not playing them at Mile High. C’mon Tampa Bay!!

  19. Dexter Says:

    Jameis is not the problem jameis can be 100% accurate we can have a good running game it want matter if we don’t fix that defense I know we can’t afford turnover that seven points for the other team I defense is weak it cause the offense to throw the ball more the reason is inaccurate some of his throws he is trying to throw is his receivers open its not working they have no one can stretch the field so he have to throw in a lot of traffic causing a lot of incompletions he will have to use his legs today they will win guarantee

  20. unbelievable Says:

    Dirk should be smart enough to to use a couple screens and quick throws to help set up the run, which in turn sets up the deep ball and can somewhat neutralize their pass rush. It’s all about diversity.

    Go Bucs! Let’s bring the upset today !