Red Zone Major Malfunction

July 26th, 2018

Dire warning for offense.

This freaked Joe out so much this morning he didn’t need his weekday cup of Peet’s Big Bang.

Many Bucs fans would rather see journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick stand behind center full-time than see America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, run the Bucs’ offense. In fact, some want Jameis gone.

Joe has always politely told these people they better be careful what they ask for. And the following is disturbing evidence of what Joe has been cautioning these irked fans about.

So the Bucs struggled in the red zone last year, right? Well, per the fingers of Vincent Verhei of Football Outsiders, Fitzpatrick is one of the last guys you want on the field to fix a red zone offense.

Per the research of Verhei, Fitzpatrick is among the worst red zone quarterbacks in recent years. Since 2015, Fitzpatrick is tied with Matty Ice and Eli Manning in throwing picks in the red zone. The difference between the three? Fitz isn’t a starting quarterback.

Some 4.3 percent of Fitz’s attempts in the red zone are picked off. That is a frightening amount. Only DeShone Kizer with 15 percent of his red zone pass attempts being intercepted is worse.

Joe isn’t sure how one can improve a red zone offense with a guy who has a documented habit of throwing the ball to the wrong-colored jersey in those situations.

Once again, careful what you wish for.

23 Responses to “Red Zone Major Malfunction”

  1. Dooshlarue Says:

    What is JW’s red zone turnover stats Joe, for comparison.

  2. Bird Says:

    Groundhog Day again . See my post in last article

    Bash another player not named Jameis with stats

    Yet show only good stats for Jameis. Like Jameis has the best qb rating of any quarterback in the NFL for his play in the 1st 5 minutes of the third quarter. Who cares . Painfully old. Shocker alert.

    How many articles out of 10 today will be about Jameis who is not starting the first 3 games.

    I’m going with 8 out of 10. That’s usually on par here.

  3. WestminsterCoBucsFan Says:

    C’mon guys…why so mad at joe??? I appreciate all these articles dishing out facts…Is it because finding red zone stats on the internet is too hard for you?

  4. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    This article was about Fitz, I don’t know what you guys read. Joe is just pointing out one of many areas where Jameis is superior. Fitz is a good backup but he shouldn’t start ahead of a healthy Jameis Winston.
    We had so many red zone issues last year. One time it would be a penalty, then a bad throw, then a drop, then a fumble, and so on.
    I heard something on the radio and I couldn’t believe it. I had to go and watch a video of all 38 of our TDs last year. I was amazed to learn…our longest rushing TD last year was 2 yards.
    2 Freakin yards. Really?
    Rojo man we need you and we need Jensen to be the real deal.
    We just need to execute. Cut the penalties, drops, overthrows, and mental errors. Get it done!
    Go BUCS!!!

  5. Pete I Says:

    So basically both of our QB’s suck in the red zone. Not surprising. Same coaching staff, same play callers, same results.

  6. Pete I Says:

    “Joe isn’t sure how one can improve a red zone offense with a guy who has a documented habit of throwing the ball to the wrong-colored jersey in those situations.”

    Thought this was about the turnover toucher but it was fitztragic.

    The Choir boy would be more like this: ” with a guy who has a documented habit of dropping the ball to the turf and being inaccurate when throwing the ball in those situations.”

  7. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Didn’t Jameis throw 12 TD and 0 int in the red zone last year?
    Wait who else did that? Oh ya, Aaron Rodgers.
    You guys are a trip.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    You improve your red zone offense by using Rojo, Barber and Howard – run it snd use play action

  9. Alexander Nascimento Says:

    Run, Fitz, Run!!

    Run, Bucs, Run!!!

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m quite sure that Fitz didn’t have the weapons he has now….so hopefully his red zone stats will improve…..

    I agree that when your longest rushing TD is 2 yards…..our problem in the red zone is far more than passing.

  11. HowToSpellRhonde Says:

    Winston has few red zone picks in his career. You bags looking for a gotcha best back off this one.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    One could also argue that a little creativity might aid in putting the ball in the end zone. Ahem, play-calling!

  13. Wombat Says:

    “Some 4.3 percent of Fitz’s attempts in the red zone are picked off. That is a frightening amount. Only DeShone Kizer with 15 percent.”

    When I learnt math, 4.5% is closer to O which is perfect and contains ALL the QB’s who have played since 2015??? Then the next guy is 15%???

    So 1 in 22.5 passes is compared to 1 in 7??? Remembering that every other QB is better than Fitz. C’mon Man!!!!!

    Stats are for losers!!!!! Joe needs a second job or soon will be writing more dribble than L Ron Hubbard and his space fiction…..

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    @TBBF … “I’m quite sure that Fitz didn’t have the weapons he has now….so hopefully his red zone stats will improve.” That’s one HUGE factor TBBF. Another is that Fitz is a BACKUP who doesn’t get nearly as many practice reps each week as our starting QB does. IMO, Fitz did started out slow in the Cardinals game when he came in for Jameis in the 2nd qtr (behind 24-0) by throwing an INT in the Red Zone (lack of practice?), but came on strong in the 2nd half by leading us to 33 pts. Zero INTs in the 3 games that he started either (2 wins BTW).

    Red Zone scoring … regardless of who the QB is … has been a Bucs problem for quite awhile. Last year for instance JACKSONVILLE led the NFL by scoring on 69% of their trips into the Red Zone, up from 60% the year before (quite impressive IMO). The Bucs were ranked #24 scoring on 49% of their trips into the Red Zone, down from 52% the year before.

    Interestingly, the Bucs ranked right up there with the best of them when it came to Red Zone scoring attempts per game last year (3.3 per game got us a #8 ranking, immediately ahead of Carolina ranked #9 & immediately below New Orleans & Atlanta who each had 3.4 and the #5 & #6 rankings). IOW, we’re getting in the Red Zone with the best of them but we’re not scoring (which we all knew). Where’s the A-Train when you desperately need him?

  15. Not there yet Says:

    Don’t need stats to know Winston is far better than Fitz, that much is common sense for those who have it but I’m confident in his ability to be a fill in for 3 games. The first 3 games is where this defense needs to show it’s dominance and Mike Smith needs to be competent, if we win time of possession the first 3 games those will be close games win or lose.

    Here’s to hoping for dork is using Todd monken to help improve in the redzone

  16. put up or shut up Says:

    ronald jones is the answer, speed is a killa

  17. Dapostman Says:

    Anybody who thinks Fitzpatrick is a better player than Winston has blinders on. Fitzpatrick is a 15 year vet who has starting experience and is a more than capable #2 QB. Winston is a 24 year old who is still immature on and off the field but his upside is YUGE! Fitzparick’s career has more than likely peaked but Winston’s is no where near his peak. If he comes through and grows up man this could be fun. My opinion is he will.

  18. 813bucboi Says:

    so we have an average QB(Winston) and a career back up journeyman(fitz)…..GREAT!!!!!…..RUN THE BALL!!!!!!!!


  19. Syl Says:


  20. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Sorry % just don’t do it for me. I need to see the sample base compared to the other QB’s actual numbers. If this was over a large enough base then it has meaning.

    I get nervous when any of us start cherry picking stats. But clearly Fitz has a higher int % period. Then again if we wish to cherry pick we could take Fitz’s good seasons in New York…he threw for under 3% ints for two consecutive years as a fact his %’s were right at Jameis career %.

    I’m with the crowd that believes our success does not hinge on who plays QB.
    Run the ball and hope our D really has improved. We have a gazillion targets that any NFL QB could find and ANY NFL OC would be able to get open. Let’s get ahead in a game and stop all the 4th quarter heroics.

    Remember how many chump backup QB’s have sliced and diced the Bucs because we had NO pass rush and poor run defense? If our OL can give Fitz/Jameis enough time to get the ball ten yards down the field whichever QB plays should be able to slice and dice any D with ME13…OJ…Brate…Godwin…DJAX…Hump…if Koetter can’t get one of those guys open with all the available options from two TE sets to 4 wide if he wants and everything in between.

  21. Syl Says:


  22. Casey Morgan Says:

    How many fumbles for Winston in the red zone?

  23. Trench War Says:

    4.3 out of how many attempts? If it’s 4.3 % out of say 400 pass attempts then that’s still better than 0% out of say 10 pass attempts. That was a problem with Jameis last season, he didn’t attempt or complete as many passes when needed in the red zone, and, or he fumbled the ball away. I thought our policy was that stats are for losers because they can be manipulated to form a narrative? Go Fitz!