Red Zone Struggles

October 13th, 2017

“We need a first down or seven, Jameis.”

Consistency in many ways is a good thing, unless you consistently struggle at something.

And welcome to the Bucs and red zone numbers.

Last year the Bucs were in the bottom half of the NFL in red zone stats, No. 20 to be exact at scoring touchdowns after entering the red zone (51.85 percent). The Bucs were particularly woeful on the road in the red zone, scoring touchdowns on 39.29 percent of red zone trips on opponents’ turf, ranked No. 28.

This year the numbers aren’t much better. The Bucs currently are again No. 20 in the NFL in scoring TDs in the red zone (50 percent), just a few ticks lower than last season’s numbers. However, on the road, the Bucs have scored a touchdown each time they have entered the red zone, a dramatic improvement from last year.

One reason Bucs fans have recently constructed voodoo dolls of kickers in their garages is the Bucs are relying too much on field goals.

Yeah, three points is better than no points but how about getting the ball in the end zone? And if Patrick Murray begins to struggle, the Bucs shouldn’t be banking on the guy making any field goals when your weapons-loaded offense only needs a four or five feet for a first down.

24 Responses to “Red Zone Struggles”

  1. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Between the Bucs inability to finish a drive a kicking problem, they are in peril for every game, especially when up against high powered offenses. I don’t recall them actually losing a game last year due to kicking, though they came close in the finale here at home against CAR where they won by one point as Aguayo missed a bunch of FGs/PATs, if I remember correctly. But if Jameis can get his offense to finish drives, all the better–we saw several losses year due to that…at least NO and DAL, off hand. Gotta fix that Red Zone funk.

  2. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Unfortunately, even scoring 3 points hasn’t been a given the last year or so. Gotta find a way to finish drives with 6!

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Four downs to get 10 yards … how hard can it be. Screw the FGs, go for the TDs. No guts, no glory.

  4. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Last, I understand why the bucs struggled…..but this year??????

    There’s too many weapons to not score…….so there’s really no excuses at all.

    Jameis has to play better and Koetter has to get more creative.

    But IMHO, I think it’s 80% Jameis not playing well and the latter 20% of Koetter not getting more creative and using all of his weapons on offense.

  5. Rrsrq Says:

    This is the game we see this team click, light goes on in Jameis head, Bucs offense becomes dynamic and the defense is good and opportunistic, this is the game the runs start and all the media guys who were jumping off the bandwagon, will start saying I told you so. I truly believe this is the game we see all 4 phases, offense, defense, speacial teams and coaching realize you don’t maintain this kinda of talent and stay mediocre. Maybe I’m a optimist, but if the Rams, Eagles and Jags are looking good, why can’t we.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Would like to see Winston looking for opportunities to run it in himself for a TD if LOS is at or inside the 5 yd line and coverage in the end zone is tight.

    Jameis had 6 rushing TDs his rookie year but only 1 last year. IMO – he needs to get back to that “whatever it takes” mentality when deep in the red zone.

  7. LakeLand Says:

    One thing the Bucs lack is a power RB, they love these small backs. they are useless in the run game in the red zone. They haven’t had a power RB since Legarrette Blount. The Patriots got 18 TDS from Blount last season. Teams know that the Bucs look to pass the ball in the Red Zone, because they don’t have a big back. DJax won’t help them in the Red Zone, it will take time for O.J Howard to develop into a Red Zone threat.

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Part of our issue is predictability.
    1st down- HB outside
    2nd down- ME13 fade
    3rd down- Cam Brate time

    A little creativity will go a long way. Open up the playbook Dirk. Maybe even try running the ball on 1st AND 2nd down.

  9. R.O. Says:

    Week 17 Panthers game is a game we should have last regardless if Aguayo missed 1 FG. Gano missed 3 that day.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:


    1st down attempts by the Bucs in 2017 is 55 rush attempts to 63 passing attempts!!!! Sounds pretty balanced to me!!!!! now the second down and third down start to get out of whack, but that is from lack of success with the first down!!!!! Which was more of a roster problem then “play calling” !!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Dreambig Says:

    My sage advice for our Buccaneers and particularly Jameis is to stop worrying about being a playoff team, stop worrying about Jameis throwing for over 4,000 yards, stop trying to make Jameis the next Farve, Manning or Brady. Instead worry about recognizing that young Jameis has a lot of potential but he has a lot of improving to do first. The goal should be continuous improvement. Be a little better this week than you were last week. Improve a little each week and all the rest of that nonsense will take care of itself.

  12. sorryitriggeredyou Says:

    @Dreambig Agree! Bucs need to go the Blake Bortles plan next year. Draft QB early and warm up the seat for Jameis then do not pick up his option. Take the ball out of his hands as much as possible. Make the young man sweat and work his head game. The physical game is strong, the head game not so much. Put up or sit down next year for JW. I’m confident he would have a very efficient 3k throwing 21 td – 8 pick kinda of season that gets them in the playoffs.

    Hey Koetter and JW, CHECK THIS OUT 11 vs. Peterson. Please notice the 0 coverage. Go ahead and run this play on Sunday. FEED 11!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. johnnybuc Says:

    this is definitely a koetter problem all these big weapons but can’t seem to find a way to get them open in the end zone? you don’t just have to throw the back shoulder fade to mike

  14. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Lakeland great point… weird the bucs didnt draft an RB this year or even sign a power back that was available in off season to get those yards… think the bucs need need to get creative and get djax ball more if jameis cant get him on deep ball

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Realist- I wasn’t sure, but it felt pass-heavy to me. I’m just still sore from the toss-right to Quizz a few weeks ago. The shortest distance between two points is and always will be a straight line. Thanks for setting me straight though.

  16. Mike Johnson Says:

    People are trying to make Jameis comparisons to too many QB’s. Let the kid play and develop. Looks like Jameis has been told not to run. But he needs to when opportunity presents itself. Especailly near the endzone. Arizona luvs kicking Field goals. So we need to score TD’s.

  17. Bucamania Says:

    Agree, 80% of the problem is Jameis. He’s rushing throws in the red zone. They are too predictable in the red zone as another poster mentioned. Run, ME fade, force it to Cam Brate.

  18. DB55 Says:

    weapons-loaded offense only needs a four or five feet for a first down.
    Koetter doesn’t believe in using his 6’5” QB on sneaks either. Smh

  19. orlbucfan Says:

    Don’t see why DK won’t call more bootleg options. Fameis would waltz into the end zone. Bucs win Sunday.

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    @pichgrin…I agree….jameis should run more if the play breaks down….dirk should incorporate more boot legs for jameis to run….3rd&1…I rather see jameis on a boot leg with the option to run or pass than watching quiz try to muscle his way in ..or that dreaded toss sweep….

    @Lakeland…that’s why I was screaming for donte foreman or james connor….

    @realist….55rushes….63passes….doesn’t look to balanced to me….that’s an 8play differential….that’s screams PASS HAPPY….and that’s dirk’s MO….he gets way too pass happy and abandons the run way to soon….tell ya boy to run the ball….and do it again…and again….and again…GO BUCS!!!!

  21. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    Ppl say run on first and second down yet they complain so hard and say he’s so predictable with his run run pass. Slightly contradictory

  22. 813bucboi Says:

    running on first and second down doesn’t have to be running right behind marpet every first and second down…..

    run off tackle….
    run a reverse…
    run a jet sweep…
    run a draw…
    run out of the pistol formation…
    run a boot leg….

    get creative with the play calling….GO BUCS!!!

  23. Broy34 Says:

    It’s 50/50 Koetter and jameis. And pickgrin correct as usual. This game decides the season. If they can’t go on the road and beat a mid to low level team then we aren’t winning a playoff game. Panthers lost its time to go to 3-2.

  24. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I swear we have like 3 or 4 dropped TD passes. It comes down to execution. Jameis has to make a good throw, but the recievers have to catch it and get both feet inbounds without getting a OPI, and without the o line getting flagged for holding. The bucs make it seem so complicated some times.

    Perfect pass (check)
    great catch (check)
    holding offensive line, repeat 3rd down (fml)


    Great blocking (check)
    Great pass (check)
    Great catch (check)
    Offenive pass interference, repeat thrid down (fml)

    They have to play cleaner football. Minor mistakes taking points off the board. A hold here or a drop there, or another inaccurate pass. Gotta clean up the execution, imo.