Teamwide Woes On Third Down

December 8th, 2020

The numbers don’t lie, and our beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers are thoroughly average on third down — on both sides of the ball.

The “money down,” as its called, really matters. It’s certainly a huge deal in the playoffs.

The Bucs are allowing opponents to convert 41.72 percent of their third-down attempts. That ranks 16th in the NFL.

It’s a stunning departure from last year’s Bucs, which were third-best in the league at 34.4 percent. Has the NFL figured out defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and his inexperienced secondary? It sure seems that way.

The Vikings, Sunday’s opponent, have held teams to a 36.36 percent conversion rate on third down, sixth-best in the NFL, which is rather stunning since they don’t have much of a pass rush.

On offense, the Bucs are equally as mediocre. The Bucs rank tied for 13th in the NFL at third-down conversion (42.95 percent), which is where they ranked after last season. The Vikings rank eighth this season.

Joe sees Sunday as a playoff game. And that’s what Bucco Bruce Arians is telling players.

Well, to win in the playoffs, you usually have to play well on third down. Joe will not-so boldly predict third down will be the story of Sunday’s game.

16 Responses to “Teamwide Woes On Third Down”

  1. SOEbuc Says:

    You ain’t gotta tell me.

  2. Jason Says:

    Just curious. Where do we rank on yards to go on 3rd down? Any correlation to our success rate?

  3. Ftmyersbuc Says:

    If this team fails to get across the opponents 30 yard line within the first three drives then whoever is game planning on offense seriously needs to be self scouting or have a consultant come in. And on the other side of the ball if the Vikings March down and get to the Red Zone on their first three drives same thing needs to happen on the defensive side

  4. Beeej Says:

    Third and six: We run a 2 TE, mebbe a guy in backfield. That means 2 wide receivers, both of whom are double covered, running back probably drops pass, which leaves whichever TE who tries to release off of his blocking duties, who will ALSO be double covered.

    Brady ends up throwing the ball at Gronk’s shoes

  5. D1 Says:


    I don’t know the number but the team has problems staying on schedule. Meaning, we often find ourselves in third and long (+6yds).

    Surprisingly, the team is good in those situations, but they happen too often to be mitigated by the teams 3rd down efficiency. One situation presents a huge opportunity for improvement is 3rd and short (>2 yds ). This is more problematic than 3rd and long . The distance does influence the success ratio of these opportunities, however, there’s a inverse relationship between needing 6 or more yards vs 2 or less.m

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The word here is CHOKE……

  7. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Eyes forward!
    Win one game at a time!
    Just win! Egos aside.. this is their collective chance to win a Super Bowl
    They can do it !

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    “The Bucs are allowing opponents to convert 41.72 percent of their third-down attempts. That ranks 16th in the NFL.”

    That’s a fairly ‘average’ NFL ranking (#16?). And our record (7-5) pretty much reflects that. What that stat doesn’t tell us though is how many were converted via pass versus run by our opponents.

    I’ll go out on a limb & guess that probably 75% (or more) were converted via the pass. And considering that our pass defense currently ranks #22 in terms of total passing yardage surrendered, and #30 in terms of passing attempts, it’s fairly likely that our Achilles Heel in terms of 3rd down conversions is in fact our pass defense. Until we fix that, we’ll probably be lucky to stay ‘middle of the pack’.

  9. Craig Says:

    I will lay the blame for both sides at the feet of the coaches.

    On defense they play the corners far enough back that a slant route is virtually guaranteed.

    On offense, they run on first down go long on second and end up third and long. Try to go for the sticks, just like the last series, and everyone is covered.

    Both sides need some misdirection plays. Seen better football on high school teams.

  10. catcard202 Says:

    So, your saying it might be time to stop chucking it 30yds down field into double/triple coverage on 3&short??

  11. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Hey Byron….. just remember… on the first play run ROJO up the middle.
    They’ll NEVER see that coming.

  12. BucEmUp Says:

    Maybe stop wasting a play every set of downs attempting a long bomb and let Brady play his short game and run playaction? Hmmm….thats an idea!!!

  13. David Says:

    Off-topic but I want to bring this up.

    JOE- What are your thoughts on the Bucs trading for Sam Darnold?
    He has shown some awesome potential and sitting behind Brady for a year while completely healing his shoulder would be ideal for him.

    Just a thought because there’s no way the Jets are not taking Trevor Lawrence.
    I am guessing they’ll want a 2nd and possibly 4th or 5th for him.

    And the Bucs need to get a quarterback to sit behind Brady next year and then take over.

  14. Trey Long Says:

    Without getting too deep. Tampa coaching is poor.

  15. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Anything that any of us or any experts can say they need to do is moot because they are coach my schemes and they will keep doing what they’ve been doing even though it’s a 50 50 bet it doesn’t work. They are stubborn and will not listen to anybody. What we’ve seen thru 12 games is exactly what we’ll get for the rest of the season and IF they make the playoffs. Brady wants to prove he not Bellichick who made NE great and that he hasn’t lost anything(which he really hasn’t), Arians and Bowels won’t change so that’s that. Everybody but those 3 know we need to utilize RoJo more in order to make this offense better not Brady chucking it 50 times a game.

  16. Beeej Says:

    Jason Says:
    December 8th, 2020 at 4:28 pm
    Just curious. Where do we rank on yards to go on 3rd down? Any correlation to our success rate?

    Just saw elsewhere, we average 3rd and 7

    Also saw an interesting stat, we’ve YET to turn the ball over in the red zone. THAT’S a difference from last year