Playoffs = 125 Yards Rushing Per Game

July 29th, 2018

New formula for winning.

The Bucs may have the most loaded team at receiver in the NFL.

(And no, Joe never dreamed he would ever type that previous sentence a couple of years ago.)

Mike Evans is elite. DeSean Jackson can stretch the field like few others. Chris Godwin is a budding stud. Adam Humphries could be starting on many teams. Cam Brate and O.J. Howard are Pro Bowl-level talents.

Throw in America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, and it would appear the Bucs are built to throw, throw, throw and throw some more.

Dirk Koetter bellows, “Hold up!”

It seems Koetter is of the mind that the path to the playoffs is not through the air, but on the ground. And the way he talked Saturday, he plans to hand the ball off half the time.

Why? Math and recent history, Koetter said.

“Five-out-of-six teams in the league last year that rushed for over 2,000 yards made the playoffs,” Koetter said. “There was only one team that rushed for over 2,000 in the season and didn’t make the playoffs. That was the [Dallas] Cowboys.

“Two-thousand yards in a season averages out to 125 yards a game. That’s where you’d like to be. Teams that do that are going to win games. They’re going to average a little over 10 wins and they’re going to get in the playoffs.”

Joe isn’t disputing one word Koetter said. However, Joe can also flip the tables on him.

Last year, the Bucs had one of the better offenses in the league and no running game to speak of. So the only way the Bucs had the No. 9 offense was through the air. Only one team that had more yards than the Bucs missed the playoffs.

Offense was not why the Bucs missed the playoffs, though you could argue the Bucs need to be better in the red zone. Having a gutless defense and a rotten kicking game did the Bucs in more than not having a running game.

Banking on 125 yards rushing a game with not-Gale Sayers and a green rookie might be asking a bit much. Especially when you have receivers and tight ends coming out of your ears.

Going back to 2016, only four teams rushed for 2,000 yards, and only one of those made the playoffs.

20 Responses to “Playoffs = 125 Yards Rushing Per Game”

  1. OneBuc55 Says:

    As pass-happy as today’s NFL has become, wins and loses still come back to the basics; running the football and stopping the run…

    Hopefully Dirk can implement this new formula this upcoming season…If my memory serves me correctly we lost a few games last season because Dirk got a little over-zelus with the pass plays when he should have been running the clock out…

    Considering the fact the Fitzpatrick has limited arm strength and may have an issue consistently making all of the throws; I fully expect to see us run a lot more than we have in recent years…Hopefully our offensive line is up for the task…

  2. Destinjohnny Says:

    26th best offensive line…
    125 yards a game ???
    With our offensive our offensive line ?
    Charles sims ? Rogers? Barber? Jones?
    6-10 talent

  3. Lamarcus Says:

    Koetter must of took some coaching classes during the off season.

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Effective running game keeps linebackers close to line, keeps safeties focused on run, keeps DL focused on run – opens up more passing lanes, gives qb more time, therefore improves passing game – plus runs clock and keeps defense off field.
    True, defense was main problem last year, but lack of running game hurt point output, especially in red zone.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Banking on 125 yards rushing a game with not-Gale Sayers and a green rookie might be asking a bit much. Especially when you have receivers and tight ends coming out of your ears.” Uhhh, isn’t there PERHAPS something wrong with this narrative Joe? A 5-11 team has a MAJOR PROBLEM with BALANCE when it had an overabundance in 2 position groups by your admission (WRs & TEs) combined with apparently gaping holes in other position groups (RBs, kicker, all of the DEFENSE … with the exception of our LBs hopefully). Personally I think it’s Scapegoat Smitty’s fault. I’m sure that Koetter the OC would’ve loved to run more in years past (he tried, that’s for sure), but obviously didn’t have the weapons NOR the OLine to consistently git er done.

    Will the Bucs be better this year running the ball? At certain points in each game I think we will … but we’ll still have a problem at crunch time IMO. Our OLine is improved somewhat with the addition of Jensen at Center & moving Marpet back to Guard, but it still lacks depth (and unfortunately injuries happen in the NFL). RoJo MIGHT be explosive (this is the NFL not college), but he’s not a 3-down back at this point. We’re still missing that bruising RB who can wear teams down while gaining yards AND chewing up the clock in the process.

  6. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    You guys that say he is too small are a trip.

    Was Jamal Charles too small when he was the best back in the league not named AP?
    Rojo is bigger than Charles. He was 205 at combine and listed 208 on Bucs site. Plus the guy is 20 years old, he hasn’t even finished maturing yet. He can be special so stop being so pessimistic.
    He can’t carry the load?
    The guy had 275 touches last year. That’s 20 per game.
    He doesn’t need to do that here in year one. We got a hungry Barber and Rojo to come in fresh and hit some big ones.
    Go Bucs!!!

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “So the only way the Bucs had the No. 9 offense was through the air. Only one team that had more yards than the Bucs missed the playoffs.”

    Cherry-picking stats again I see. Number 9 offense? In terms of TOTAL YARDAGE … Yes. In terms of POINTS SCORED … No (we were #18). Last I remember, yardage doesn’t win football games (silly refs;; they still insist that the football actually cross the goal line for it to count as a score).

    Bucs scored 335 POINTS last season (28 of which were scored by the DEFENSE, and a number of other points were directly attributable to our offense scoring after turnovers created by the DEFENSE) Those are BOTH good things BTW … COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL. How many playoff teams scored LESS than 335 POINTS you ask? Aah yes, that number would be … 2 teams (Titans & Bills). BOTH wildcard teams in ‘easier’ divisions than the NFC South. BOTH heavy running teams.

    Bucs are almost at the bottom (#30) of the NFL when it came to percentage of the time they ran the ball (39.1%). The playoff team with the LOWEST % running was the Chargers (they ran the ball 41.8% of the time). Team with the HIGHEST % of running the ball was the Bills (50.6%). In our division, the Panthers ran the ball 49.5% of the time, the Saints 45.3% and the Falcons 44.8% of the time. All 3 made the playoffs as we know. Dirk knows what he’s talking about … we need to run the ball MORE AND BETTER. (Although I seriously doubt we’ll see 2,000 yds rushing out of the RB stable that we’ve presently got).

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The key to Bucs winning is balance on offense and dominance on defense…..we do need to be able to run the ball effectively…this is part of our red zone problems….we move the ball down the field and then our run gets stuffed in the red zone…..longest rushing touchdown of 2 yards is proof.
    Our defense needs to be stout…..pass rush an run stop…..period.
    If this happens…we will win no matter who is the QB.

  9. OneBuc55 Says:

    I agree Alaskan…

    I believe Rojo gives us the home run hitter we haven’t had here in quite some time…The coaching staff just needs to really monitor his carries…He’s tuff but this is the NFL; unfortunately RB’s are just 1 play away from being done for the season…

    The perfect example is Dalvin Cook…Jimbo ran the dog crap out of him at FSU for 3 years…he ran for a ridiculous amount of yards and carries; he proved to be very durable on the college level…Fast forward to the NFL; he doesn’t even make it through half a season because imo Minnesota overused him…

    My point is we just need to careful with this kid, we need him to last all season…Fans should expect to see the RB by committee philosophy in full affect…15 touches per game should be a nice starting point for Rojo imho….

  10. WestminsterCoBucsFan Says:

    Well thank the lord. For some reason I thought jameis suspension was the reason the bucs would/wouldn’t make the playoffs. I Gotta stop reading these posts.
    I thought defense rules might wanna throw in the defense. Hard to run the ball in the second half when your defense can’t make a stop on third down. I agree we need to score more in the red zone, but rushing/passing yards seem to correlate with wether or not you’re playing with lead or playing from behind.
    I keep thinking about the 2016 saints compared to 2017. Worst to first in the division, and it ain’t about the offensive output. The saints scored 4 less touchdowns in 2017.

  11. Bucnjim Says:

    The down side to being a pass happy team is when you go three and out the D has about 20 seconds to catch their breath before heading back on the field. There were many times the past couple years where they didn’t have time to even take their helmets off.

  12. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    ……. Koetter is right

    Every coach knows the run sets up the pass

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    Probably the most important point for running the ball is clock management. Nothing closes out a game better then running the ball down an opponent’s throat and they can’t stop you. Has happened to the Bucs way too often.

  14. Jim Says:

    What Defense said. The offense last year was below average in what counts, points scored.

  15. Dapostman Says:

    Bucs are almost at the bottom (#30) of the NFL when it came to percentage of the time they ran the ball (39.1%). The playoff team with the LOWEST % running was the Chargers (they ran the ball 41.8% of the time).


    @Defense Rules,
    the Chargers did not make the playoffs in 2017.

  16. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I hate to agree with everybody here since I LOVE wide open let er fly offense.

    But OneBuc55 got it right at the start. Run it…stop the run…get after the passer and it’s all good.

    And it does seem the team is now headed in that direction. Less talk about Fameis bombs to DJAX and more talk about the hope for our RB’s and Oline.

    And LOTS more talk about our defense! What a difference a year makes. Last year it was all the talk about the weapons for Jameis…now it’s let’s make this defense great.

  17. Joe Says:

    Here is the thing: It’s nice to say “We’re going to run the ball” but you better damn well have the horses (running backs) to do so. It could blow up in Koetter’s face.

    Joe remembers when Lou Tepper took over for John Mackovic (who took over for Mike White) at Illinois. Tepper, a meathead defensive coach, said in his press conference, “We’re going to run the ball!” Well, the damn team was built to pass not run.

    Oh, sure. Tepper ran the ball all right. With predictable results. Tepper didn’t last long at Illinois.

    Remember how Koetter mocked Peyton Barber last year saying he wasn’t “Gale Sayers?”

  18. Lucious Selmon Says:


  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    Keyword is “blocking”.

  20. Jeffbuc Says:

    If he was planning on this all offseason. I still have no idea why we did t go after CJ Anderson. And then let him go to a division rival on a one year deal. I believe he is only 27 so has a couple years left where we could have given him a 3year deal. With an easy no cap hit release in year three. I would feel a lot better with him here. One injury and we are going to wishing we would have. Going into the season with the backs we have is risky business. Not one running back with a starting whole season under there belt. Not good managing of a team there. Maybe with all the linebacker we have we can swing a trade for a running back if something happens. From what joe is saying about Rojo it doesn’t sound like he is doing to well so far. But it is way to early to know anything about him until the lights come on in the preseason. Hopefully he gets a couple long runs and builds the confidence he sounds like he needs to know he can make it in the nfl. Probably tuff on a 20 year old to have confidence. He is still a kid playing among players he probably idolized growing up. Can’t even get a beer with his teammates