Expect A Dropoff In Offense

October 7th, 2021

Numbers show Tom Brady will miss his BFF (best football friend).

When this Bucs offense is humming, it is a beautiful sight.

It’s as good as the Greatest Show on Turf, the 1990s Vikings, the Bill Walsh 49ers.

Sunday night, for the first time in quite a while, the Bucs offense looked, well, out of whack. Off-kilter. Just not smooth.

A lot of that was because of the defense the Bucs were facing. No one, and Joe means no one, has ever done a better job through the years of a guy hatching a defensive gameplan to take away the best weapons of a team better than Bill Belicheat.

Aside from a possession late in the first half when the Bucs went hurry-up, Chris Godwin was in the witness protection program.

Belicheat took him out of the game. That’s what Belicheat does. Regularly.

But there was also another factor, one as Bucs fans we better become accustomed to very quickly. That is life without foot-rubbing, car-littering, film guru Rob Gronkowski. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady seemed lost without his security blanket at tight end. That’s no coincidence.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had NFL Research dig up Brady’s numbers through the decades with and without Gronk.

There is a noticeable dip in Brady’s numbers without Gronk.

So when is Gronk due back? Arians was asked that yesterday and he’s not sure. So who knows, maybe not until November. His ribs are bad but his punctured lung is healed. Joe doesn’t believe Gronk is going to return this week and it might be a while.

So without Gronk, we better expect a not-as-dangerous offense. Potent, yes, but a little more mortal.

41 Responses to “Expect A Dropoff In Offense”

  1. Bucschamp Says:

    Waiting for Tom and OJ connection……

  2. Youngbucs Says:

    These numbers are skewed because gronk was his only weapon. But with the Bucs when need a longer body of work to see if it holds water here.

  3. Miller5252 Says:

    I think Gronks biggest impact is what’s not on the stat sheet and that’s his blocking. With out him on the line I think you’ll see more of our extra lineman and trying to hide a pass play with the lineman blocking isn’t going to work. He’s been great on the run blocking when he’s in there and a couple of his touchdowns and catches are that block and release a lineman can’t do that and Brate and OJ aren’t that good blocking. I think the offense will be fine with out him but they’re on a different level when all the weapons are healthy and on the field. Just more options and disguised plays for Brady.

  4. Robert Says:

    you’ll be waiting till this weekend Bucschamp, then oj will go to IR for a pinky injury. seriously……….I’d bet more on seeing TB to a third string TE than to OJ in the long term.

    Brate will get a lot more catches and I think Darden gets in the mix soon.

    what happened to our man who can not be covered …. ME.

    oh yeah, no more jump balls. I bet he loses his streak this year and AB get’s 1k yards.

  5. Lets Roll Says:

    Considering ME has 280 yards on 23 Receptions through 4 games. I would bet he continues the streak.

    I can see Brate stepping into a bigger role and I will take whatever we can get out of OJ.

    And considering Brady won 4 SB without Gronk. I think we will be just fine.

  6. webster Says:

    robert is about as slow as a turtle on crutches. Evans is on pace for over 1200 yards and thats with having 2 catches week one. Some people are just clowns for no reason.

  7. SlyPirate Says:

    My guess is the hold SMB, Davis, JPP, and Gronk out until after the bye. That’s five weeks and four sub-.500 teams. Heal up for a playoff push.

  8. Buc4evr Says:

    More worried about the defense at this point. Brady will find a way to win.

  9. PassingThru Says:

    Some drop-off is to be expected, but that stat line doesn’t take into account the other pass-catching targets. Those New England teams didn’t have top notch receivers outside of Edelman, who regularly was among the league leaders in dropped passes. Belichick invested heavily in the defense, Brady for the most part was left with receivers who weren’t household names in their own households. In Tampa Bay there’s an embarrassment of riches at WR.

  10. Bucs Win Says:

    Offensive production mat drop a bit while Gronk is but we’re playing three garbage teams in a row so I’m not worried it.

  11. Bucs Win Says:

    *Gronk is out.

  12. Bird Says:

    If gio back , we good

    Run a few plays out of backfield with our stud three receivers …we will be fine.
    And normal weather …offense fine another week

    Gronk rests another week

  13. Nutterbuccer Says:

    That was when Gronk was there only reciever not named Edelman or Welker. Tom has Evans,godwin and AB he will be just fine

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I posted a few days ago about Gronk’s importance to Brady……not just as a TE….but as a playing partner, buddy….Brady depends on Gronk’s presence a great deal.

  15. Tim R. Says:

    Tom Brady will have an awesome day. Cameron is going to be targetef 5 or 6 times. The backs will play more in the passing game. This is going to set up long throws down field. The defense is going to get 4 or 5 sacks. The secondary will have a much better day. It is going to be a fun game to watch


  16. Wideleftandright Says:

    OJ should be trade bait .He can run n catch but has a difficult time blocking.
    Got to block in this scheme to keep Brady upright and to help with the running game so play action works.

  17. ClodHopper Says:

    You could see it too. There were some passes he threw last week that I thought looked like Gronk would have caught them. But then again, stretching out for a tough catch is kinda what happened when he got hurt.

  18. 163doubleplay Says:

    I thought the Bucs have a depth of WR. What happened to Mr Catch-down-limp-wobble-take himself out-cannot get open Mike Evans. Other teams can do away with one prolific WR and a 1 TE.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    @SlyPirate … “My guess is they hold SMB, Davis, JPP, and Gronk out until after the bye.”

    Agree 100%; they’ve each got significant injuries & there’s no need to rush any of them back. I’m not sure where Gio is in that mix, but may want to rest him for awhile too since Fournette seems to be on fire right now.

    And since Gronk spends so much time blocking, he especially needs the time to let those fractured ribs heal up. Can’t afford to lose the big guy for the season.

  20. Bobby Says:

    Last week was an emotional Brady verse the HC who made him who he is. Like Bill said in his post-game press conference, they faced Tom countless times in practice for 20 years. So he and the coaching staff and many of those defensive players know Tom and knew how to play him. Last week was an anomaly. Brady and the offense without Gronk will bounce back with high scoring games over the next 2 weeks. There is no excuse for an offense that has 3 future Hall Of Famers in Brady, Evans, Brown, as well as good players like Godwin, Brate, OJ, Miller, a good offensive line and Fournette, and Ronald Jones, Bernard, Oh yea Tyler Johnson looks like he could be good as well. Lets quit making excuses for Brady and this offense not performing like they should. If they plan on repeating as champs then they better start looking like a SB contender right now!! It’s time to put up or shut up because if they lose a few games this season could get away from them fast. Now that defensive secondary is in trouble, but this offense should be so good that the this team should overcome the defensive woes. And if they don’t then all that off-season talk about Brady and this offense was a load of crap.

  21. Jb kickback Says:

    Hmmmm don’t agree

    Brady won the SB against the Falcons and came back from a 28 to 3 deficit WITHOUT GRONK

  22. Jb kickback Says:

    Hmmmm don’t agree

    BB has a losing record without Brady
    Still does

    Who made who???

  23. Bobby Says:

    Correction OJ isn’t a good player, but I believe under Arians OJ’s targeting has been minimum at best and that needs to change now. OJ cannot put up or shut up if he is not getting targeted. That is on Brady and the Coaching staff and needs to change now. If OJ was on say on the Chiefs or some other great offensive team we would all be looking at a completely different OJ Howard who is most likely excelling. Because that coaching staff would actually use and target him. Unlike this coaching staff that does not target enough and highly value tight ends as receivers. And if OJ goes to another team and looks like a stud, we are all going to look and blame Arians next season as to why he could not make that work here, ridiculous.

  24. Bobby Says:

    I’m not Patriots fan by any means, I’m a die-hard through and through Bucs fan. But I also pay attention to the rest of the league teams. I think the Patriots are going to surprise a lot of people this year. Let’s not forget BB is one of the greatest coaches of all-time. Mac Jones looks alot better than people thought he would be this early in his progression. The dude completed 19 consecutive passes in last weeks game, take notice. That defense isn’t bad at all. And the AFC east with the Dolphins and Colts having disappointing seasons leaves open for the Pats to surprise people with winning more games than people initially thought at beginning of the season. And you heard here folks.

  25. Pewter Power Says:

    Last I checked Brady only played with the Bucs one full season. Stupid stats like this are only relevant if he’s playing in a Bruce arians offense. Why on earth would the offense drop off when losing a tight end.

    Mike evans is the leading receiver followed by Chris Godwin. The only issue is Byron leftwich outsmarting himself playing cam brate more than Antonio brown

  26. Tackleblockwin Says:


    The Patriots are one deep threat WR away from being good on offense. I know they like to run the ball and throw short yardage, but they have got to create big plays down the field once in a while to be competitive every week. On Defense they are set.

  27. Bobby Says:


    I agree with you

  28. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Will OJ realize his big opportunity and take advantage of more playing time with Gronk out? That is the question. I’d love it if Tom, Gronk, and OJ could sit in a meeting room together for a little bit and figure it out. OJ lacks the experience, mentality, and blocking ability of Gronk. But there is no debate, OJ has big play ability in the passing game. They just need to figure it out.

  29. Craig Says:

    I consider last week an anomaly. It is not the sign of a trend, because Brady was who was off last week and he doesn’t stay that way.

    The receivers got open, the line opened running holes, and protected well on passing downs.

    That says that next week will be different. The emotions that were clouding Brady are gone and he will be hungry to redress his self-imposed problems.

    Look for an offensive explosion from the start.

  30. jopaz Says:

    I luv the way most everyone here provides coaching tips, tactics, personnel critique, O & D schemes the team should be executing… I wonder how many here actually played in the NFL or had coaching experience in the league? Hindsight makes us all great wannabe players and coaches… y’all are entertaining.

  31. Joe Says:

    Hmmmm don’t agree

    Brady won the SB against the Falcons and came back from a 28 to 3 deficit WITHOUT GRONK

    This is known as an “outlier.” You are using one game as evidence that a pattern of over a decade of results is wrong.

  32. Buc1987 Says:

    jopaz…welcome to JBF!

  33. PassingThru Says:


    I agree somewhat, I think they’ll be a legit wild card team next season. They really need to fix that O Line, they haven’t sucked at pass protection like this since 2019. They overspent on WRs and TEs but still lack an ROI on that investment… better than last season, but far from where they need to be. I loved Mac Jones prior to the draft, I thought the online draft sites were crazy wrong with their appraisals. You have to admire the way he stands tall in the pocket and delivers quick, accurate passes despite getting clobbered repeatedly.

    That team will get better as the season progresses, and next season I expect a breakout.

  34. crazybucs_CL Says:

    Gronk after bye week. That is the wise thing to do, and the RIGHT thing to do.
    Save Gronk!

  35. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I pulled a hamstring, just watching the game.
    I jumped up too quickly off the couch to go get another beer.

    I told my wife, I’m going on the IR list, while I nurse this injury, and she’s gonna have to do more around this house.
    I’ve got her outside cutting the grass, right now.
    She’s gonna fix the leaky kitchen faucet, when she’s done in the yard.

  36. Beastmode Says:

    I keep waiting for an O.J. Howard revival but the guy remains practically M.I.A. most of the time. Looks like the unsung for now will have to be Cam Brate.

  37. unbelievable Says:

    Sorry but having the BEST WIDE RECEIVER TRIO (Quartet maybe even?) in the game, plus a good pass-blocking o-line, should allow any quarterback, especially the goat, to put up massive points. With or without Gronk.

  38. unbelievable Says:

    @Beastmode –

    OJ has played more snaps each week as his injury heals, and was responsible for a ton of critical blocks in the run game Sunday night.

    Arians said he was open a bunch, they just didn’t throw to him.

  39. orlbucfan Says:

    If Methusaleh Brady can’t handle running an AllStar offense without his ancient pal, then he needs to retire. Period.

  40. Merlin Says:

    I didn’t read all the comments. Is no one talking about how it was raining like hell and Brady over threw at least 150 yards of completions because of it?

  41. Sucatkane Says:

    Did you not watch the game it was raining like crazy