Stats Say Run Play-Action

December 2nd, 2020

“Play-action wins games, Tom.”

Earlier today Joe brought word from former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms who repeated his firm stance that if the Bucs ran more play-action, their offense would hum.

And stats dug up by Jenna Laine of ESPN back up Simms.

The Bucs rank 30th in the league in play-action frequency (18% of dropbacks) despite Brady being second in the league with 9.1 yards per dropback using play-action, according to ESPN Statistics & Information.

For crying out loud, if a quarterback averages over nine yards a play using play-action, that ought to be like 70 percent of your offense.

But Joe gets it, when you are down by 17 in the first quarter and your defense isn’t showing any signs it can slow down an explosive offense, suddenly you have two opponents: the team you are playing and the clock (unless you are Anthony Lynn and time is just a perception).

If the Bucs are really as good at play-action as stats and Simms’ observations suggest, then why isn’t Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians being the adult in the room telling Mr. Six Rings, “Look, Tom, I know you want to play Dan Fouts. But for us to win we have to ground-and-pound some. You could go down as the undisputed greatest quarterback if you get a seventh ring here in Tampa.”

11 Responses to “Stats Say Run Play-Action”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:


  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Also Byron, correct me if I’m wrong.

    We usually run on 1st & 10,
    We usually run ob 2nd and 10.
    We always run on 2nd and 1 or 2.
    We usually (almost always) run on 1st & 10 in the red zone no matter what the yard line.

    My wife even calls our plays before they happen….

  3. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Well based on what I read elsewhere, apparently Arians threw Brady uner the bus again by saying “Brady picks all the plays. We call what he picks.” But all I see week after a week is a stoic/stunned Leftwich, Arians looking confused and dumbstruck, and vanilla plays that my 90 year old mom see’s coming. Cast of stars in this roster led by inept fools as coaches where all seems out of sequence, uncoordinated, unprepared.

    Okay, then “make all the lights blink in sequence (from “Airplane II”).”

  4. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @TBBF…the ladies in your family too, eh? Read yours after I posted mine. LOL!

    Don’t forget too: They line up for (and throw) the obvious pass on 3rd and 2 (with NO ONE in the backfied at all to suggest just maybe the Bucs will run.

    I don’t know what the actual play call mix is, but it seems like what you noted.

  5. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Watch the bucs run plays, then watch their play-action. Two totally different looks; Which is a really terrible way to run play-action.

  6. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Actual quote from Mike Silver on Arians: “He picks all the plays now. We call what he picks. We just have to get better. He’s getting more comfortable every week. We’re getting close.”

    WHAT WEEK IS THIS? They are NOT close…they looked better in Week 2. He11, their season opening drive in NO looked better than many 1st quarters.

    “We just have to get better.” After “I don’t know why” and the “Virus is our biggest threat.” Assinine. What other coaches of good teams talk like that? Oh, wait a second…maybe they’re not such a good team.

  7. lambeau Says:

    Joe doesn’t get it–running is not required for play-action.

  8. Ftmyersbuc Says:

    That’s what drives me rffing nuts is on 3rd and 1 or 3rd and 2 we go empty set shotgun. So effing stupid. No threat to run, and the play is almost surely going to be a 20+ throw from a guy who for whatever reason, it’s not important in this situation, can’t hit deep pass like he was.

    When asked about this idiocy, bruce says tom makes those throws every day in practice.

    Practice, where Tom cannot get sacked, knockdown, pressured, or even touched.

    Yup sounds exactly the same as a live nfl game to me too bruce!

    I have very little hope for this coaching staff to correct our many problems.

    Having the biggest staff is not the most efficient, clearly.

  9. PSL Bob Says:

    TBBF, leave your wife out of this. Be glad she’s watching the games with you.

    What I seem to remember is that the Bucs played a lot more play action in the first part of the season, and this was not a time when the Bucs were running the ball better than they are now. But it seemed that the offense was more in sync and humming then than it is now. Just me?

  10. unbelievable Says:

    Offense has been broken since AB came to town.

    And for the record I think Brown has played quite well since getting here.

  11. rrsrq Says:

    When it comes to play calling (I agree we get away from the run, i.e., no way we are down 17 early against the Chiefs if we are running the ball) and establishing the LOS. Thereby setting up play action. It comes down to execution. You have Marpet coming back after a two game hiatus and Donnie on a bum ankle, why are you making them pass protect 50 times a game