The Miserable Run Game

September 25th, 2017

Woeful rushing attack.

Remember the stat Joe has thrown out that in the past 18 games, when America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, throws 35 passes or less the Bucs are 9-4. And when he throws over 35 passes in a game he is 1-4? May want to get used to that.

The Bucs run game is simply atrocious and until that improves, Jameis is going to be slinging the rock.

Consider yesterday the Bucs ran for a grand total of 26 yards. (But Charles Sims catching a pass makes it all good.) None of the rushing attempts were for negative yardage. None! Why is that stat significant?

The easy, lazy way to explain a bad running game is to always throw rocks at the offensive line, which seems to be a favorite, knee-jerk response of Bucs fans. Trust Joe on this, you should read his Twitter mentions on gamedays. (Joe wasn’t inundated with howling cries about the offensive line yesterday. Bucs fans also seemed strangely fixated on Ryan Smith, Vernon Hargreaves and Case Keenum).

If a running attack never has a run for negative yards, that tells you the Bucs running backs were not getting drilled behind the line of scrimmage very much.

Another example of how rotten the run game was/is? Well, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times did research and showed yesterday’s effort (cough) bordered on the historic.

@gregauman: Bucs went without a single rushing first down in today’s loss to Vikings. That happened just four times across NFL in 256 games last year. … Bucs offense had zero rushing first downs today — by @pfref data, they’ve done that one other time since 1999, in a 2014 loss to Lions.

For a team that has serious, real playoff dreams, that is just shameful.

And no, Joe is not hopeful in any way this rushing attack will magically transform like winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter crossing his arms and blinking like an “I Dream of Jeanie” stunt four days before the Bucs play the Belicheats on “Thursday Night Football” just because Doug Martin is let out of an NFL-forced hibernation and struts through the doors of One Buc Palace.

38 Responses to “The Miserable Run Game”

  1. Destinjohnny Says:

    Kareem Hunt was there at the 2 pick….
    But Jason has this thing about 3nd round picks

  2. Destinjohnny Says:

    2nd round picks

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    and yet some of the delusional fools here will think the answer is a proven unreliable back who can’t stay healthy and let his team down more than not. let’s here it for the unreliable gerbil!!!!!

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sims was thrown to once….that should say it all…..when are we going to hold Koetter accountable for his offensive gameplans….I like Koetter but this gameplan should have called for a heavy dose of Sims receiving.

  5. Poor Glennon Says:

    I lost prop bet. I had D-jax as the fist reciever to lose his mind. At Winston bad QB play. Evans won only two weeks in. Reminded me of Winslow-Freeman

  6. DB55 Says:

    Evident that Licht should have drafted Cook over Howard who has a whooping 29 yards in 2 games. That was just dumb.

  7. Destinjohnny Says:

    Hunts better than cook

  8. ndog Says:

    Yeah our GM was right we didn’t need Cook, Hunt or any other back that could actually make a NFL team. But no fear, we have Justin Evans who we are afraid will actually have to play some day! And we wonder why this team keeps losing. Case Keenum just beat us down and the next 2 QB’s we play have 7 rings combined. Let that sink in for a second.

  9. Joe Says:


    Joe cannot bang on Licht for not drafting Cook in round one. O.J. Howard is going to be a monster and Koetter wanted him badly. As for round two, hey, it happens, you don’t get your man. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any other options.

    Third round? Does anyone believe that Kendell Beckwith wasn’t a total steal?

  10. CautiousOptimism Says:

    Oline is great and Martin still sucks. Do I have that right?

  11. DB55 Says:


    If you combine 26 yards rushing with 3 INTs and 2 sacks not to mention countless hits on the qb then maybe just maybe we might have an issue with the oline specifically Sweezy and Dotson.

    D.Smith didn’t make a mistake yesterday and I didn’t hear or see anything from the left guard which tells me pamphile played the whole game?

  12. DB55 Says:


    Popular arguement. I believe that when you already have a young TE who leads the league in TDs and are in desperate need for a long term fix at RB you go with the RB.

    Jameis threw the ball 40 times yesterday. How did OJ help? 1 catch for 12 yards? I’d rather have the extra 10 rushes.

    But hey Real Football doesn’t start until November and really serious question, wtf do I know?

  13. IsrBuc Says:

    Its not Cook vs. OJ its a glaring need at RB vs luxury pick in a TE. We got no running game. none. on the flip side, we got Brate.
    TE is a cherry on the cake at best, with the talent we have at WR. We actually need to FIND WAYS to utilize OJ so he can have more than 2 for 29 when Winston throws for over 300 yards. A running game IS THE CAKE.

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Let us gather by the river and sang…Way down upon the swannee river…far far from home..Sing it Gdammit!!!

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    After two games…..”fans” are already calling OJ Howard a bust……what a joke.

    To argue Cook vs Howard makes little sense…..Cook didn’t go until the 2nd round…..I can agree that we missed on Mack, Nixon and others…..Jury is still out on Evans so be careful….he may fool some.
    It can’t be argued that Beckwith & Godwin were very good picks.

    There will be many RBs available both in the draft & FA….but a TE like Howard doesn’t come around very often.

    Again…if you want to blame someone….don’t blame Howard….blame the gameplan.

  16. LakeLandBuc Says:

    lol deja vu

  17. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Problem with Licht is he seems to be all over the place and not getting what is needed, did the bucs need a K in round 2 no….did they need an RB last year, yes what does licht do get crafty and grabs evans who runs away from contact and if not cook then mixon, foreman, hunt, mack, but there were legit big time backs available to the bucs…beckwith is a steal only because he came back from a torn ACL and not sure if beckwith totally fits in this scheme in tampa defensively because his coverage skills along with the rest of the team got Caseified yesterday…Im negative on licht from the beginning because of his horrible personnel moves through FA, that have not helped this team one bit, when there were players from K to DB, to DE that could have helped this team but the bucs let penn roll and grab ghost johsnon and collins

  18. firethecannons Says:

    a team that has serious, real playoff dreams (stop saying this sht)

    The Bucs are not able to get any offense going, there is a reason for that, this team is under the impression that Koetter is good at playcalling. Koetter at this point is causing the int’s

    no pass rush, cornerback play was worst ever–completely useless, those two should be made to do something else–blitz them–they are doing no good in the back field.
    Koetter needs to start asking Jameis some questions and determining some answers then put it into play starting next sunday.

  19. Birdman Says:

    Last week Joe was 50/50 on Martin returning.
    This week Joe probably leans 67/33
    Next week Joe leans 75/25 until kickoff.
    The next week Joe said Martin will return all along 😂😂😂

  20. thisBuccs4u Says:

    Play RB Barber,at least he has a good eye and waits for holes to open..In my opinion(just an opinion),he has same mentality,strength,size and speed as DM (until his return).Quizz,is great,but only 28 rushing yards is horrible.Just give Barber the opportunity to lead.

    Bucc for life..

  21. Tom Says:

    Winston and Aquayo are similar in the sense they were both great in college but failing in the Pros. Winston has plenty of time to prove what a good QB he is but he can’t keep making the same mistakes week after week. Of course Aquayo was and out & out bust. By the way I’m not a big fan of Licht’s. He can really make some awful moves.

  22. rrsrq Says:

    I guess we will scream about Dalvin, Tarik Cohen, Kareem Hunt and whoever else has a “good” running back that we did not get when we had a chance to get. The players can’t press the pause or rewind button, so let’s play with who we have, let’s see what happens over the next 14 games, we know DM can do and “if” he shows up, then all this is mute, the teams focus is the Giants and ultimately the playoffs, so should ours, Bucs are not a team that doesn’t have talent, but a team with a third year quarterback and a second year coach.

  23. ndog Says:

    rrsrq where is the talent at DE or at RB or at CB or at Safety or on the oline. Name the player on any of those units that is elite and then we can talk. Grimes is the closest thing to it and he is on his 3rd team, there is a reason for that.

  24. Mo_Downs Says:

    Players Play, Coaches prepare players to play. Injuries, without GREAT back-ups, can ruin all the best plans in the world.

    Very few RB’s can make something out of nothing. Putting irrationalities aside, injuries are our problem, not planning by coaches or execution on the part of the players. Let’s also keep in mind that the refs have the power to change the outcome. Cook’s goal line fumble was a prime example of a bad call.

    Im good at Madden football but I’m not irrational enough to think that I could or should be an NFL coach.

    Got a feeling that some of our fans would have voted for Barabas.

    Go Bucs…Get well SOON..!!

    I’m still a BIG fan….

  25. Mo_Downs Says:

    This may be an unwelcome reality check, but, sometimes the other team is better.

  26. Mort Says:

    Either jump off the bridge or regain your senses. The defense couldn’t stop case Keenan at all because of injuries and ineffectiveness. How is the offense supposed to run the ball being down three scores most of the game? Jamie’s didn’t exactly have a good game, which thwarted any comeback attempt – but it’s hardly all because we drafted OJ Howard – who actually played pretty well. TEs also block, guys! He was in for protection quite a bit.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    Bucs fans also seemed strangely fixated on Ryan Smith, Vernon Hargreaves and Case Keenum


    What do you think is strange about being fixated on our 2 starting cornerbacks not being able to cover anyone? Seems like a pretty normal reaction to me.

  28. sorryitriggeredyou Says:

    @Mo_Downs Yep. It happens. They were well coached.

  29. Pickgrin Says:

    Good takes Mo and Mort. Its hard to read through all the whining and finger pointing going on up in here.

    Mo’s point was significant. “refs have the power to change the outcome”

    I can’t be the only one who noticed that the refs were literally letting the Vikings get away with murder out there. The Cook “TD” was indeed a fumble and he did NOT cross the goal line 1st. But they acted like it wasn’t even barely worth reviewing. – “Move it along – it was a TD – nothing to see here…”

    Much worse though was the allowance of holding, illegal contact and outright personal fouls by Minnesota on damn near every play. I was getting pissed because I was seeing it all over the field. Cam Brate took a blatant “targeting” shot to the head on his TD catch. Concussed for sure! Ejection? No – Flag for personal foul? No Was it even mentioned by the broadcasters? – not really – just like glossing over the initial Vikings TD that in fact never happened…

    Rewatch the tape with an eye for “missed” penalties against the Vikings. You will NOT like what you see.

    Its Shameful! It reminded me of “pro wrestling” style refereeing.

    It really bothers me when I catch glimpses of what looks like “favoritism” by officials in the NFL towards one team. Especially when “Vegas” has their preference based on leanings and those 2 events seem to magically coincide. It happens all too often.

    Yes the Bucs came out “flat” and the injuries hurt our abilities substantially. It just seems though, from the way the game was officiated, that even if we had come out playing well – the deck was already “stacked” against us in this game for “whatever” reason….

    Hate that chit! Really makes me question the integrity of the game sometimes… I bet I am not alone in these observations.

  30. Pickgrin Says:

    And to the point of the article – Doug Martin comes back in 8 days and is quite likely IMO to provide a tangible and visible “boost” to our running game.

  31. unbelievable Says:

    Pickgrin- def not just you.

    That was some truly horrendous officiating. Vikings DBs were teeing off on our receivers, not to mention that Cook clearly fumbled on that 1st touchdown. They barely took any time to review it all.

    I knew it was gonna be a long day at that point.

  32. Wausa Says:

    Lets face it the Bucs have worst group of running backs in the NFL.
    I must’ve said it 1,000 times on this board before the draft(many others echoed those comments), but Jason Licht did a terrible job of addressing the running back position this year.

  33. Duke Says:


    DM unfortunately won’t be back in 8 days. 4 game suspension is 4 games.

  34. Trubucfan22 Says:

    He served 1 of those game last season. Keep up junior.

  35. Trubucfan22 Says:

    So last season it was Doug Martin fault the run game sucked. Now it is Quizz and sims fault it sucks. Joe, we aren’t saying it is 100% the o lines fault. But a good o line should let any RB look decent. A good o line and a good RB should equal over 1400 yards. You need both parts of the puzzle for a good run game. Sadly we haven’t had either piece this year. And no Doug won’t come in game 4 and save the run game. Because Martin can’t block and run the ball at the same time. He will need the o line to step up, if the team wants to resurrect this defunct run game

  36. Jimmy T Says:

    OMG Tom, please it sounds stupid to say Aguyao & Winston r great college players but not pros. Jameis will be here for 12 yrs he Is the real deal!!! Aguayo will NEVER make another NFL team. Stop w stupid comparisons. What is your problem w Jameis. We went 9-7 last year! He is the ONLY QB in NFL history to throw for 4K yards in his first 2 years. And u r comparing him to Aguayo! Enough

  37. BucTrooper Says:

    “…Joe is not hopeful in any way this rushing attack will magically transform like winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter crossing his arms and blinking like an “I Dream of Jeanie” stunt four days before the Bucs play the Belicheats on “Thursday Night Football” just because Doug Martin is let out of an NFL-forced hibernation…”

    Well, Joe…. that’s pretty much what the Bucs’ gameplan is. They knew they had a problem with the run game. They failed to address it in free agency. They skipped Dalvin Cook. Their one feeble attempt at drafting a RB ended up seeing that pick run off to the other coast. In a nutshell, the strategy is “survive 3 games and pray Doug Martin returns to Pro Bowl form.”


  38. LongSeason Says:

    Someone tell Winston he sucks right now. He probably knows it. He knows he has to improve. Throwing ball to who? Forcing the ball to whomever? Overthrowing open receivers? Panic under pressure? Sounds a lot like Trent Dilfer or any other QB we have. Exceptions: Doug Williams, Brad Johnson, Jeff Garcia. Not that Jameis is not on the list of exceptions. Part of the panic under pressure is no help from the team. He feels he has to take it all on his own shoulders. Winston cannot block for himself. He cannot catch the his own passes. He cannot go out on defense and turn the ball back over to himself. He needs help.