The Road Puzzle

December 8th, 2017

“Please make sure everyone knows we are playing in Tampa this week.”

It is a mystery that, if solved, could secure many a good man his job.

What is this great puzzle? How the Bucs can play good defense at home, and on the road often act as if they never had a practice in the days leading up to a game.

The Bucs are actually No. 17 in the NFL in yards allowed at home, allowing an average of 324 yards a game. Not great, but compared to the road defense it is.

On the road, the Bucs allow 429.6 yards a game, dead last in the NFL.

And that’s dead-last by a large margin. No other NFL team averages 400 yards allowed on the road.

Earlier in the week, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith essentially threw his hands in the air saying he can’t figure it out. Yesterday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter all but said the same thing, noting most teams in the NFL play better at home.

Joe understands some folks will be quick to point to the pass rush (what edge rush?) as the culprit. Hmm, don’t the Bucs have the same wet noodle pass rushers at home as they do on the road?

They play in domes, they play under the sky. They play on grass, they play on turf. They play in the tropics, they play on the tundra. The results are the same: a friggin’ conundrum.

It will go down as one of the great riddles of our time: how the Bucs can play sometimes inspired defense at home, but on the road turn into a flag football defense — a bad one at that.

10 Responses to “The Road Puzzle”

  1. Buc believer Says:

    It could be that there is NO accountability on the road and the players take it as a time to party and have a good time away from home. Easy enough to figure out.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This could be simply motivation or lack thereof. Players apparently are much more motivated to perform in front of their fans than on the road. It takes a different type of motivation to want to beat an opponent in front of their fans.

    This is to some degree coaching…..recognizing, preparing and motivating. There is a very thin line between talent & performance between most NFL players and coaching motivation makes the difference.

  3. Eric Says:

    A bit late for the good men to solve it now.

  4. lightningbuc Says:

    Kumbaya Gerald is requesting no boos this Sunday no matter how bad the Bucs play. Only positive vibes for the ice cream man.

  5. Mr. Ed Says:

    Joes – the mystery is solved when you realize that the Bears, Giants And Jets were Home games. Those teams are pretty woeful.

  6. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Agree with Buc Believer. We got Jameis riding in ubers which means hes been drinking. I dont care about the allegation part, why is he even out partying before a game day.

    This team needs a head coach that keeps players accountable. Sorry, but we dont have Warren Sapp. All of our player leaders are, enjoy the game, types. Not that its bad style, but you need a balance. If our player leaders our this player-first mentality, than you need a disciplinarian coach. If we had a leader like Warren Sapp on this team than sure we could get away with Raheem 2.0.

  7. martinii Says:

    What TBF says plus a fan friendly environment. In terms of motivation, it used to be a goal of past Buc Defenses to (Dungy Era) humiliate a team in front of their home fans.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Bingo Mr. Ed. Really not THAT difficult to figure out if you look at the quality of the teams we’ve played at home vs on the road thus far.

  9. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bucs are 17 in pts allowed at home? Still bottom of the barrell. HEll, I’m 17 in work performance on my job. Guess thats why I’m not getting a bonus this Xmas too!!

  10. westernbuc Says:

    Jolly, Jameis took his Uber ride in March of 2016. No games were being played.

    Here’s my question, if Mike Smith is so awful, why do the Mara family want him?