“Know Who The Hell You’re Playing Against”

November 30th, 2021

Rex Ryan, the former head coach of the Bills and Jets — and a noted feet filmmaker — was all fired up yesterday on ESPN television.

What a finger wag he gave to Colts head coach Frank Reich.

Ryan hates analytics but he’ll drop a stat or two now and then. And the man who faced Tom Brady more than perhaps any other head coach basically said Reich cost his team a win because he let Carson Wentz throw the ball 44 times and got away from his team’s strength of running the football.

Per Ryan, quoting ESPN data, teams have a record of 6-104 when they run the ball 20 or fewer times against a Tom Brady team.

“Know who the hell you’re playing against!” Ryan bellowed.

Interestingly, Ryan said Brady absolutely was calling all the plays on the Bucs’ game-winning drive and Ryan added that he had no doubt Brady would manage the clock perfectly in that situation and the Bucs would win. Of course, he added, Leonard Fournette threw a wrench in the plan by breaking off a 28-yard touchdown run with about 20 seconds remaining.

Joe can’t claim to agree with Ryan, but that 6-104 record is no coincidence and is impossible to ignore.

The Colts had a lead and the game’s top rusher and opted to bank more on their second-tier quarterback.

28 Responses to ““Know Who The Hell You’re Playing Against””

  1. Beej Says:

    “Per Ryan, quoting ESPN data, teams have a record of 6-104 when they run the ball 20 or fewer times against a Tom Brady team.”


  2. Adrnagy Says:

    It goes to any team.

    Colts were up 10 pts. , give the ball to taylor.

  3. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    It wasn’t working. They tried to run early on. Defense was absolutely stuffing it. They even tried to throwing it to Taylor with no success. If it weren’t for Reicht turning to the pass Indy wouldn’t have built a ten point lead. A lot of hindsight coaching going on instead of watching the game and giving credit to the Bucs run D for forcing the run first colts to be one dimensional. Reicht absolutely knew who he was playing against and knew he had to keep scoring. When the Bucs unloaded the box late they went right back to Taylor. I believe credit is due rather than blame.

  4. Izod Says:

    I only partially agree with Ryan. The Colts effectively leveraged the “threat” of running Taylor to spruce up their passing game, and it was working quite well–who can doubt that when they parlayed it to a 10pt lead?

    The mistake was not going back to Taylor until late, thereby giving Brady/Fournette too many chances. Their defense was doing well against the Bucs all the way up until it wasn’t. It’s kind of hard as a head coach to detect shifts in momentum until after it’s happened.

    In any case, glad to head Tom was calling the plays exclusively at some point. I’m much more confident in Tom than Leftwich. I feel we underutilize our talent. For example, Ronald Jones is better at some things than Fournette–but why not get both of these guys on the field at the same time, even throw Bernard into the mix?

    There are so many things you can do with the diversity of skill the Bucs have, that we really have NO EXCUSE to be predictable.

  5. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    Big Poppa – Outstanding take. Taylor only ran well when we pulled the 7th man out of the box. Add to that that we never seem to cover the TE or slot man (especially on 3rd & 7+), and Reich’s only sin IMO was maybe not going more to Taylor a series or two before. The Buc defense made plays and that was the difference over 60 minutes. As DR says, COMPLIMENTARY football.

  6. Bobby M. Says:

    Reich is like Leftwich and every other ex-qb/oc…..they get too fascinated with the passing game and forget the importance of balance in managing the game as a whole. With Brady, I can see why but Wentz is turnover prone…..always has been. You keep dropping him back, he’s going to give the ball away. Wentz had his best years with a strong running game and defense….to take the ball away from an elite back like Taylor and go all in with Wentz, the Colts got what they deserved….an “L”. I thought that was absolutely the worst strategy, reminded of the Lions years back when they would bail on the run game with Barry Sanders and put all their hopes on the shoulders of Scott Mitchell.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Great piece Joe & great comments. This is what I personally love about JBF: when folks take the time to truly analyze what we did right as well as what we didn’t do so well.

    Colts bread-and-butter this season has been (1) winning the TOP Battle; (2) winning the Turnover Battle; and (3) playing hard-nosed football yet still winning the Penalties Battle. They have the #4 most productive offense for a reason: they run the ball very very well and capitalize on opponents’ mistakes (turnovers).

    And yet Sunday our woe-begotten Bucs’ defense forced them out of their preferred gameplan. Like BigPoppa says, they tried to run to open the game (first 2 plays were Taylor runs, and we stuffed him). So they quickly went to Plan B: primarily short passes (with a few deep ones thrown in to keep us honest) to open up the run a little more. Bucs didn’t bite, until later in the game. I disagree with Ryan’s take somewhat because Reich’s plan did work: they scored 31 points, and that SHOULD have been enough to win.

    And yet it wasn’t, because our offense put up 38 pts on the Colts’ defense. I think the Colts would’ve won except for one thing: Bucs beat them at their own game. We CONTROLLED most of the game. We won the Turnover Battle 5-2. We won the Penalties Battle 4-6. And in the process we broke even in the TOP Battle 30-30 by effectively running the ball much more than we usually do (43% run-pass). We also capitalized on Colts’ turnovers by making them pay & scoring 24 pts off 4 of their giveaways. Wasn’t always pretty, but it sure was gritty, smashmouth football, on both sides of the ball.

  8. sauron's eye Says:

    Giving the ball back to Brady with a tie game and 3.02 on the clock does not usually end well for the opponent. Reich was wishing the last drive took 3 minutes more off the clock.

  9. Tampaabaybucfan Says:

    I also partially agree with Ryan……I think they should have gone back to the run after they got their lead….sticking with the pass caused them to turn it over an thus the loss.

  10. Wild Bill Says:

    It was a no brainer for the Colts. The best Bucs defense is against the run. Taylor was being stuffed. It was smart to emphasize the pass, it being the Bucs defensive weakness. And it worked very well at first. Especially with Brady struggling in the passing game Again! WTF is wrong with Brady since the Washington Game? Lenny saved the Bucs vs the Colts. And Gronk contributed too. Who else has a great game offensively for the Bucs? Brady just barely did enough.

  11. Doctor Stroud Says:

    The Bucs have bought into the defensive game plan to make teams one dimensional. Teams have been following the Cowgirls’ playbook since Week 1 and are taking what the defense gives them. Frank Reich said it best: “We were rolling. We scored 21 points. We tried to run it in the first quarter, this is the No. 1 run defense, and we weren’t getting anything. We tried throwing in the second quarter and started having a lot of success. Carson [Wentz] was hot. Called a bunch of RPOs that got to throws because they were throw reads. We come out in the third quarter, we move the ball well in the third quarter. We moved down there twice, we’re moving it well. So, I’ll go back and look at it.” You do that, coach! While you’re at it, check out Shaq’s strip fumble that changed the momentum of the game. The problem is that teams don’t respect the Bucs pass rush.

  12. Orlandobucsfan#1 Says:

    My Dad used to say: if the dog didn’t have to stop and take a dump he would have caught the rabbit.

  13. Jon Says:

    That stat is misleading. Need to understand cause and effect/correlation. What is the usual circumstance when a team runs fewer than 20 times? When they’re down by a lot… I bet you could find a similar stat for most quarterbacks relative to their overall winning percentages.

  14. chaingang Says:

    Run the damn ball and the WR’s have too many options in this gameplan

  15. Swampbuc Says:

    The Dolts only ram successfully when the Bucs were playing the pass in the 4th quarter. The Dolts never got more than three when the Bucs were playing 5 down linemen. So, yeah — the Bucs forced Reich off the run but the Dolts were very successful at passing in the second quarter so it seemed like a good idea against Desir and the scrub pass defense.

  16. rrsrq Says:

    The funny thing is that if the Bucs were up 10 points, we would be screaming to pass the ball and run up the score instead of giving it to Lenny and ROjO to close it out.

  17. BA4President Says:

    Tom Brady doesn’t play defense, so to say that the other team’s offense should have done something different simply because of how former defenses (that just happened to have Brady on the roster) performed seems silly.

    That said, 6-104 is nuts. I wonder what the average winning percentage is for teams that have 20 or less carries in a game. If it is anywhere near 5%, then the fact that Brady is on the roster means nothing.

  18. webster Says:

    How the hell does ryan know who called the plays on the last drive? I dont remember him in the huddle and I clearly remember seeing Brady look to the sidelines for calls. But whatever.

  19. Jmarkbuc Says:


    I agree.. why not a two back set? Look at the Niners… all kinds of formations.

  20. Listnfrmafar Says:

    webster, I guess the name fits you, obviously your too short to see your entire TV. Go back and watch the game, you will see receivers were blanketed pretty good and to be honest a slow clunky Gronk had no problem getting open. The pass run mix got the O 38 points, it’s called game management. No one is mentioning this but if Bucs kick FG, special teams let Indy right back into FG range and the outcome could of been much different.

  21. REV IKE Says:

    BUCS WON THATS WHAT COUNTS! I think the Bucs are light injuries and keep your hand hidden so they can have everything lined up when its needed the most. USE THE BARE MINIMUM and play dead POSSUM! SMART THINKING AND LONG TERM.PLANNING MANUEVER!

  22. PassingThru Says:

    So we’re arguing over Rex Ryan? He’s providing a foot note (sorry).

    Yes the Bucs went light with their personnel packages and shaded their LBs into coverage, which helped the Colt running game. To be honest, the 5 man front was likely experiencing fatigue in the fourth quarter as well. While it made the Colt running game effective, it forced Indy into using too much clock.

    The Bucs for most of the game took away Indy’s best weapon: Taylor. Indy countered by taking away the Buc’s best weapon: Brady. That’s sound NFL coaching by both teams.

    Indy was using a high Cover 2 shell to take away “biscuit” football. The best way to counter is to run the football and work on short and intermediate passing game. That’s why Gronk was open, as well as Brate (plus Indy sucks at covering TEs). That’s what we saw and should expect to see out of the Bucs from here on out. AB is magnificent at those intermediate routes, that’s going to add a needed dimension to the Buc offense.

  23. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Thank you Passing Thru, finally someone understands pass coverage.

  24. Oneilbuc Says:

    Listnfrmafar in your eyes Brady does nothing worng to you it’s always the receivers fault !! You are a Brady fan not a bucs fan even though in New Orleans he threw a pick 6 and lost the game but you still blame everyone else. This is why I can’t wait until Brady retire because of people like you!!

  25. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Oneilbucyall, I don’t deny I am a Brady fan and you should be to because Bucs went 7-9 under BA without him and 23-8 since he arrived. Yes he threw the pick and could not SAVE the game but let’s not forget it was Brady who got the lead before defense blew it and left the offense 1:14 to fordge a comeback win. By the way did your hero Jamais ever fordge a comeback win? He is NOT perfect but those like you continue to belive just because Evan’s doesn’t catch passes and get his ego stroked it falls on Brady. He spreads the ball around, that’s what he does, there were games where Edleman or Gronk were limited to 1 or two passes, doesn’t mean his game is going south. It will be interesting to see when AB comes back to see if he can get open.

  26. Infomeplease Says:

    The Colts head coach helped the BUCS work their game plan! The BUCS had wanted to stuff the run, get an early lead which would then force CW into passing the ball more in an effort to keep up with the BUCS scoring.Thkis situation would produce turnovers either thru the air or thru fumbles. CW has had this problem through out his career!

    The BUCS did stuff the run but failed to get early points so the Colts didn’t have to go pass heavy the way they did, they had a 10 point lead at half time! By doing so they allowed the BUCS defense to create turnovers which stopped Colt drives and gave the BUCS a shorter field and when you give Tom Brady a short field.. the BUCS score points.

  27. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Oneill you’re not a Bucs fan because you’re a Jaymiss homer. You just can’t let him go. Brady has been the best player the Bucs have EVER had the pleasure/ honor of having but of course you’re blind to that fact aren’t you? Brady on his worst day is still better than your man crush on his best. Your enjoying when Brady falters even when the Bucs lose proves you ain’t a Bucs fan. Go talk to ndog your sister

  28. unbelievable Says:

    That stat is simply insane.