To Pass Or To Run?

November 14th, 2021

What should he do?

On the “Ira Kaufman Podcast” this week, you heard that Joe is leaning toward the Bucs going ground-and-pound today. Why?

Well, Joe reasoned the Bucs have two critical starters out in the passing game and perhaps Chris Godwin will be out, too (we will know later this morning). It may be the time to feed Playoff Lenny and Ronald Jones.

However, Joe’s more recent research shows that WTF is truly miserable defending the pass but is much better defending the run.

For example, against the run, per Warren Sharp’s Sharp Football Analysis, Washington ranks third in yards allowed per carry to backs (3.6 YPC), and is ninth in rushing points allowed per game (10.9).

So perhaps this is a chance for receivers like Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden and Breshad Perriman (who was elevated from the practice squad yesterday) to demonstrate their worth. And of course, there is always reliable Mike Evans.

Maybe running against Washington isn’t so smart. Maybe the Bucs should put the ball in the air early and often.

Enjoy the latest Ira Kaufman Podcast.

14 Responses to “To Pass Or To Run?”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    Leftwich had 2 weeks to prepare & the first 15 plays is what he thinks will work. Can’t wait to see how smoothly they go

    Pete says pass to get the lead then run later

  2. Old Sombrero Says:

    Agreed. Get at them early via Brady and Evans and rest of cast.

  3. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    I am still scratching my head why ….. when gronk is hurt they dont utilize Brate more…. great route runner ,has glue for hands … its just baffling to me….

  4. PassingThru Says:

    Yes Joe, I said the same thing earlier this week. One of the few things WFT does well is to defend the run. They are almost the statistical equivalent of the Bucs in yards per carry. The Bucs on the other hand are just rather average NFL team at YPC on offense, despite all the hoopla.

  5. dmatt Says:

    I say let’s go for all the marbles but be strategic about it. Continue to rest Godwin but use him for PRN, as needed only. On the other hand air it out by rotating speedsters Perriman n Grayson on the outside opposite Evans with TJohnson in the slot then add Darden to the equation as u continue to use dump offs n hand offs to Fournette/RoJo n don’t take ur feet off the gas because no matter our opponent, this is big time players play in big time games this time of the year. Focus on winning n not losses.

  6. Hodad Says:

    In boxing it’s bad to just head hunt, you got to work the body. That’s how I look at the running game, it’s body blows. Make the Dline move backwards, and they’ll have a harder time moving forward as in pass rush. You soften them up with body blows, running, than take your shots at the head, passing. The best fighters keep their opponents guessing. Fake to the body, play action, right cross to the head, Evans touchdown. The Bucs need to do both.

  7. Bucs Win Says:

    I don’t think the Bucs change much at all, Bruce is big on Next Man Up. Unless we have dumb penalties and turnovers I don’t see WFT scoring more than 17 which is a good quarter for us. Bucs 31-13

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    dmatt … Love that word ‘strategic’. Too few media & fans seem to think that way though. Heck, I’m not even sure that BA thinks that way (very good at the tactical level however).

    Planning ‘strategically’ is at the very heart of COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL in my opinion. If your offense is stronger than your defense, then strategically you’d want your offense on the field as much as possible. Which implies … controlling the game via the TOP (and minimizing the time your defense is on the field?). Very hard to do that IMO with a pure passing game (unless the completion percentage is close to 100% of course).

    I think that’s why the Bucs had such a low TOP in the first 3 games (Dallas game – 25:33 mins; Falcons game – 26:29 mins; Rams game – 29:50 mins). Our run-pass ratio in those 3 games was only 26.5% (48 runs in 181 plays).

    But in the 4 straight wins following the loss to the Rams, the Bucs game planning seems to have changed, strategically. Look at our TOPs in those 4 games: against Pats – 33:55 mins; against Dolphins – 37:07 mins; against Eagles – 39:56 mins; against Bears – 31:05 mins. Average run-pass ratio in those 4 games increased to 40.6% (117 runs in 288 plays). We ran a LOT more (29 times/game as opposed to only 16 times/game in the first 3 games) … and we controlled those games.

    Interestingly, our average gained per rush improved the more we ran (whodathunkit?). In our first 3 games we averaged 3.5 yds/run while in our next 4 games we averaged 4.5 yds/run.

    Against the Saints in Game 8 we did even better than that: 5.1 yds/rush. Unfortunately we only ran it 14 times that game, and went back to focusing on the pass. We lost the TOP handily (26:44 mins for us vs 33:16 mins for the Saints) … and coincidentally also lost the game. Run-pass ratio in that loss? Back down to 24.1% run vs pass. For the Saints? 44.4% run vs pass. They controlled that game, even though the Bucs were the better team, on paper at least.

  9. Redsox/Bucs1 Says:

    “I am still scratching my head why ….. when gronk is hurt they dont utilize Brate more…. great route runner ,has glue for hands … its just baffling to me….”

    I completely agree with you until Brate actually started playing this year. He has not been good. Hopefully after the bye he can get his game back in gear.

  10. Bucsfanman Says:

    The simple answer to the question is YES!!!
    As DR points out, it’s about COMPLEMENTARY football. You need BOTH.

  11. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Attack their weaknesses not their strengths. Score first and score a lot and make them one dimentional. Why would Bucs play a different game then what got them to 6-2? If BA & BL’s plan is to pound the rock then you might as well say we are going to give WFT a chance to win. PLAY to Bucs strengths DO NOT leave the win to the questionable D. As far as Brate, Brady has tried to connect with him, it always seems like he’s dropping passes or Brady is expecting him in a certain spot and he another. A clear sync issue.

  12. Swampbuc Says:

    Pass AND run. Pass from run heavy formations and run from shotgun.

    Please pass on first down half the time. Play action and screen the bastages to death.

    Cover McLauren!

  13. HC Grover Says:

    Game Day! Fire up the grill. Ice the beer. GO BUCS GO!

  14. lambeau Says:

    Swampbuc is right–stop wasting first down running into a brick wall, and use more play action, at which Tom excels.