Explosive Plays Change Seasons

August 3rd, 2018

Powerful new data

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is consistent. He always talks about how important explosive plays are.

Koetter measures an explosive as any running play of 12 yards or longer or a pass play of 16 yards or longer, and has said his goal is to get eight each game.

What he didn’t say is his goal for how many explosive plays Mike Smith’s defense should allow.

Koetter talks about explosive plays more than Joe discusses Rachel Watson or drinking cold beer. Koetter believes only turnovers determine more outcomes of games than explosive plays. But now there is a graphic to demonstrate just how important explosive plays are, not just rhetoric.

Marcus Mosher of The Athletic put together a graphic that showed net-explosive plays, combining the number an offense created and the total a team allowed.

The data below is very consistent. Teams with more explosive plays than those allowed were highly likely to be winning franchises. The big outlier here is Cleveland. The Brownies had more explosive plays than they allowed yet they couldn’t win a game last year.

So when Koetter says the Bucs need more explosive plays, he’s not joking. It could mean the difference between a fourth year leading the Bucs or watching NFL games from his living room.

12 Responses to “Explosive Plays Change Seasons”

  1. gp Says:

    I’m thinking consistency is more important
    Not that I don’t love those explosive plays, but notice where NE sits on this graph

  2. Im tired and 87 is right Says:

    What I’m concerned about is how many penalties are going to be called for hitting with the top of the helmet…just in tonight’s opening game I think I saw at least 6 penalties called because of this new rule and every one of the flags thrown I was confused on…I can see this rule being a disaster.

  3. gp Says:

    Move the chains, wear the defense down while giving our defense a rest
    The splash plays will come
    I remember a recent Super Bowl where this was played to perfection
    I strongly dislike NE but you gotta give Bellicheat his due, the man can gameplan

  4. Dapostman Says:

    Win the turnover battle, win the sack battle, win the red zone. Winner!

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with gp … ‘consistency is more important’. Was really impressed when I first saw that graphic. Vikings, Saints, Eagles … all way up there on the positive side & all won their divisions, etc. But then, still on the positive side, you get to the Seahawks, Broncos, Browns, Bears, 49ers, none of whom made the playoffs and only one of whom had a winning record. Broncos had the same record as us, yet they were Plus-21 and we were Minus-30 on explosive plays.

    Explosive plays obviously help in terms of offensive productivity, but consistency has to be a huge factor. I would think that one reasonable measure of consistency would be the total number of 1st downs made on the season. Looking at 2017, ALL of the teams in the Top-10 in that category (1st downs made) went to the playoffs EXCEPT one … the Buccaneers. Interestingly, our defense gave up only 1 more 1st down in 2017 than it did in 2016 (327 vs 326), BUT … 3rd down stops totally flip-flopped (worst in 2017 but best in 2016). No consistency there obviously.

  6. Stanglassman Says:

    Vikings were ridiculously good last year. I’d like the Bucs to have there kind of ballance, great def and offense. If I had to pick one team to win it all this season I’d pick them.

  7. WestminsterCoBucsFan Says:

    Nuts!! Who needs chunk plays when you have a consistent offense? Sure, take it if it’s there, but not having to convert on third and long every series would be ideal.
    Minnesota’s at the top because their defense doesn’t give up chunk yardage.
    Cleveland is an outlier because they had to throw it up and pray while their opponents could just sit on the ball until the game was over.
    Koetter wants chunk plays to get tds because his predictable play calling is useless in the red zone. Top 1/3 offense with a bottom 1/3 red zone percentage.

  8. D-Rome Says:

    Many coaches seem to depend on the things that don’t happen too often on the football field. The Joe’s used to roast Lovie on being obsessed with turnovers. The Bucs defense was terrible in 2016 until they ended up getting…..wait for it…..turnovers!

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yea, the defense last year found new creative ways every game to give up the booty on 3rd and longs. The logic was always to force offenses into 3rd and long on defense. Unless you’re the Bucs, of course! I can’t recall how many times I prayed for 3rd and 2!
    3rd and long was a guaranteed 1st down last year.
    I’m on board the “consistency train”. That means balance, that means Jameis is throwing less than 35 times and we’re running the football. Chunk plays happen organically, you don’t force them.

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    in other words, dirk doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about……if your offense is consistently moving the chaining, you don’t need to rely on “explosive plays”…..

    just another excuse dirk uses for his lousy slow starting offense….some “guru”……


  11. stpetebucsfan Says:

    There is no simple choice here…BOTH sides have merit. Yeah grind it out..run it…hit open receivers..move the chains…eat up clock…keep the D off the field…everybody loves that…

    OTOH…long drives have to survive any holding or offsides on the OL..any fumbles or int’s by the QB…Quick strikes eliminate this worry.

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    I think it goes without saying but long drives that keep the defense fresh are just as critical