Short-Yardage Maulers

July 18th, 2019

Dogged research has led to finding a true positive in the Bucs’ running game


If the Seahawks would’ve done this on 2nd-and-goal against the Patriots, they probably would’ve won another Super Bowl.

Just run the ball.

Typically, when a team is inside the 5-yard line, they will run the ball at least once while attempting to get into the end zone. Defensive coordinators know this and tend to see the run coming when backed up inside their own 5.

Somehow, that didn’t stop the Bucs.

For a team that couldn’t run the ball to save its life last year, the Bucs sure could when defenses saw it coming. On eight separate occasions, the Bucs lined up inside the 3-yard line on 1st-and-goal. Of those eight plays, seven were runs. Of those seven, six resulted in touchdowns. That’s a success rate of 85.7 percent, which isn’t too shabby.

Peyton Barber ran for four of those touchdowns. The other two went to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ronald Jones.

Considering how much criticism has come the Bucs’ way, whether it be the offensive line or the running backs, it nice to see that there was at least some form of success in the running game last year.

While running it a few yards for a score is nice, this running game was unsuccessful in pretty much every other aspect. If Bucco Bruce Arians hopes to have the same kind of turnaround he had in Arizona, fixing the running game will be a big priority.

**Note from Joe, intern Zach’s story was born from a nugget in renowned Vegas data guru Warren Sharp’s 2019 football preview. Zach’s fact-checking of Sharp discovered an error in his publication.**

23 Responses to “Short-Yardage Maulers”


    So what was sharp’s error joe?

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Zachary that is an awesome find … Out of 8 first-and-goal inside-the-3-yard-line situations in 2018, 7 were runs and 6 TDs resulted. As our Bucs’ defense found out, it’s extremely difficult to stop anyone when they get inside the 3-yard-line. Bucs advantage IMO is that we’re obviously known now as a passing team. Keeps opposing defenses from loading the box & keying on the run. Unless we tell them that it’s coming of course (we do tend to be predictable it seems). Still, MAYBE there’s HOPE for our run game after all. But shhh, don’t tell Joe.

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    they all came in garbage time….lol…

    GO BUCS!!!

  4. DB55 Says:


    Who did they run behind? Left side, center, right side?

  5. Buccaroo Says:

    When in doubt just hand it to Vita Vea inside the 5 lol

  6. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Fix the defense and the wins will come

    Steelers and Vikings had worse run games and both barely missed the playoffs (9 and 8 wins respectively)

    Eagles and Falcons had only 50 more yards than the Bucs and won 9 and 7 games.

    Absolutely no reason for Jameis to win 3 games a year with a bad run game when other teams win more with similar or worse run games. Fix the defense first and the wins will come you can get by with a not great run game in this league

    Impossible to expect Arians to fix the QB run game o line defense and kicker all in one offseason. Fix the defense first

  7. BucEmUp Says:

    Practice and execution, timing , and anticipation.

    ITS COACHING!!!!!!!

  8. rawdog Says:

    Picture looks like Benenoch actually got some push on that play…or no one lined up across from him & he fell on his face, lol.

  9. rrsrq Says:

    Running for two or three yards wasn’t the issue, it was running for 4+ when there was an issue.

  10. Stonedbuc Says:

    Pound that rock

  11. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Zach you truly are amazing to find a positive out of last year’s run game!

    Longest rushing touchdown by a Bucs’ RB over the last 2 seasons—-5 yards. Inexcuseable.

  12. JimmyJack Says:

    I’m sorry Zach but based on the title and context of article it leads us to believe the Bucs are a very successful short yardage team. I totally disagree. While our first and goal runs maybe successful 8 runs is a small sample size of all short yardage plays.

    I don’t do stays so don’t have nonr to offer but I’ve witnessed this team get stuffed for 3rd & 1 most all of the time for the last 5(more?) years. 3rd & 1 is a much more critical play then 1st & goal.

    If you cannot convert 3rd & 1 with a run you are no short yardage mauler. I detest the headline.

  13. Race to 10 Says:

    Would love to see vea in on goal line runs being a former running back. If we see it we’ll know we have a coach who thinks outside of the box

  14. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    Zach should be the replacement soon.
    Zach is taking JoeL to school!
    Keep it up Zach!!!

  15. BA FAN Says:

    Vea was a FB in High School and can block for Barber, like the Fridge did for the Bears decades ago, on 3rd and one, or he can take it on a quick hitter like Mike Alstott and make his own hole. Or at 250 pounds Jameis can get it on a QB sneak, or you can line up Scotty in the slot and use his great hands and quick acceleration to easily get it on a short pass, and if they are bunched up to stop the run, Scotty can outrun everybody for a cheap touchdown!

  16. Cubano Bucanero Says:

    Just give it to manumana the slender!

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    This just goes to show how often coaches out-think and often out-coach themselves. Football is not a complicated game.
    I love what BA refers to above. As big as Jameis is, it makes no sense to me why we don’t QB sneak more often. Heck, even Drew Brees can get the ball extended and he’s like 5’2″!!!

  18. Miller5252 Says:

    That high percentage is really shocking, I figured it would be really low. Question Joe…. could you look at 3rd and 4th and short? My memory is bad anymore, but I would of swore on 3rd or 4th and short was horrid last year…. could you look at that for comparison. i would put goal line and short yardage on 3rd and 4th down would be pretty close. But like I said…. my memory is so bad anymore I could be thinking of the Bucs from 7 years ago!

  19. Magadude Says:

    Even the worst have a good day now and then.

    Note to Joe: I’m sorry the piece on this Winston book got away (your article yesterday). I bought the book but the newbie posters are really pushing it. Are you sure it’s not you? If so, up to you. If not, didn’t mean to be party of hijacking the thread. I’m off it. Man, I hope the book is more logical than the nut jobs writing/promoting it.

  20. Swamp Buc Says:

    VEA as a FB on the 2 yard line sounds VICIOUS!

  21. Clw JB Says:

    We have a power running OLine, not a zone blocking line – when we lined up and ran off tackle or LG we did fine…when we ran “stretch” plays we got beat by penetration at a rate of 4 to 1 on average

    Goalline is a microcosm of our running game struggles

    Wrong calls for the talent set, simple as that!

    BA and crew will not make the same mistakes

  22. Bird Says:

    One week before training camp starts !

    Ooooohhhhhh yyyyaaaaahhhhh!

  23. John Says:

    Should a been 5 for barber. He got robbed on one that was ruled a fumble which was a touchdown.