Playoff Lenny The “X-Factor”

January 28th, 2021

Key for offense.

When a former running back talks about running, Joe will give the guy a listen.

And so it is with Maurice Jones-Drew of NFL Network. MJD decided to type a piece about the Bucs’ running attack. It has improved in recent weeks and MJD — who isn’t a huge fan of Ronald Jones — gives Playoff Lenny, Bucs running back Leonard Fournette, much of the credit.

MJD believes if Fournette can have a decent night in Super Bowl LV, the Bucs offense will hum.

After averaging just 94.9 rush yards a game in the regular season (T-28th in the NFL), the Bucs are putting up 115 per contest in the playoffs. For that, they can thank Leonard Fournette, who came up big in Sunday’s NFC title game with a 20-yard, tackle-breaking, defender-eluding touchdown run to help the Bucs earn a spot in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 in their home stadium. He’s been the X-factor in the postseason and will be the biggest key to Tampa’s success against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. …

If Fournette’s effective, I have no doubt the Buccaneers’ offense will have success against Kansas City. The Chiefs will be forced to drop a safety down in the box to honor the improved run game, leaving the door wide open for Brady and the Bucs’ talented receiving corps to exploit a numbers advantage with play-action, an area where Brady has made his opponents pay. On play-action attempts of 20-plus yards, Brady completed 56 percent of his throws for 17.4 yards per attempt this season. Those are juicy figures. With Fournette running the way he is at this stage of the season, I’d look for the Bucs to increase their use of play-action (used on 20 percent of Brady’s throws this season) in the biggest game of the year.

Now Joe thinks RoJo is slightly getting the short end of the stick here by MJD. RoJo leads the NFL with 7.2 yards a carry between the tackles (with seven or fewer men in the box).

But hey, Joe is a big, big believer in not fixing something that isn’t broken. Since Fournette took over as the starting running back, when RoJo got The Sickness, the Bucs offense has been fine.

RoJo coming off the bench with fresher legs and carrying the ball 10 to 15 times is a very nice change of pace.

With all the Bucs weapons, luring a safety into the box just might make park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs quarterback Tom Brady drool.

10 Responses to “Playoff Lenny The “X-Factor””

  1. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete Says:

    @ Joes & all Bucs fans,

    Check out this Bucs Fight Song I wrote this morning…

    @ Bucs Marketing Dept or whoever (Lol), please hit me up to license this Bucs Fight Song and I will get a studio version produced on-the-fly for use if a need arises, just fyi…

  2. Beej Says:

    Rojo finally got some carries at the end of the game (for little total) but the Pack KNEW we were gonna run it, so he had nowhere to go

  3. Clean House Says:

    Both backs are great- when Rojo gets hot, look out!

  4. CalBucsFan Says:

    Clean House is right, when both backs are producing the Bucs offense is at its best. The running game will be vital, perhaps more so in this game then any other since the playoffs started. Not only will it open up the middle for passing routes, it will also help to limit the number of possessions the Kid-Goat will have in the game.

    Only 10 more days…

  5. adam from ny Says:

    the kid goat with the funny voice has won 25 of his last 26 games he’s started…

    houston we have a problem

  6. Mike Says:

    One Joe loves RoJo too much. He cannot catch, that is the reason he failed in the playoffs.

  7. I CARE NOW Says:

    Who was the last team the Kid-Goat lost to and what game was it? Just curious.

  8. Brandon Says:

    I’m sorry. Fournette has broken four tackles in three playoff games. They were all on the same run. Rojo is 100x better.

  9. orlbucfan Says:

    MJD was a very good RB back when the Jags were respectable. His speaking highly of Fournette counts.

  10. Lou. Says:

    Brady and the Bellicheats (a rock band) played a number where they used two running backs, one as starter and one as change of pace. The starter was usually more rounded and the sub was often bigger with more power.

    It sucked for both backs ‘cuz they couldn’t get the yards and stats they deserved. But it sure lit up and wore down the opposition. See L. Blount, for example. Look at play counts and carries for the last couple of decades and you’ll see what I mean.

    Surprisingly, the Bucs are in position to use that same approach. Who’d a thunk?