The Fatal Flaw

January 12th, 2022

“Tommy, let’s show those SOBs how fatal our receivers are.”

Joe has maintained that the best way for the Bucs to repeat is to try to turn the offense into a more ground-and-pound attack.

Joe is a huge believer in getting the ball to your best players. The more touches for them, the more damage you can do. It has nothing to do with that nonsense balance.

Balance only means your best players get the ball fewer times. A recipe for defeat.

For the longest time, no defense was going to shut down Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski, when healthy. And the few games when all four played together, they just effing toyed with defenses. It was both beautiful and scary.

That all got flushed down the toilet when Godwin got hurt and Brown went mental and quit.

Noted X’s and O’s guy Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire thinks that may be the “fatal flaw” of the Bucs. Why? Well, Brown and Godwin got YAC. Evans, not so much.

So, we need to turn to the receiver corps, where Tom Brady will have to work with a less than stellar group of targets. Brady is used to that over time, but the loss of Chris Godwin to a torn ACL in Week 15, and the release of Antonio Brown after… well, *waves hands everywhere* leaves Brady and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich with Mike Evans and Tyler Johnson as the primary guys at that position. Evans is a natural WR 1 in theory, but his connections with Brady have been off-and-on, and he’s not the player Brady needs to catch and run in the timing of the down — that was Godwin, and that was Brown.

This is an interesting thought. If the immortal Cyril Grayson can get back on the field and Breshad Perriman can get quality snaps, those two do have big-play, YAC potential. What they do not have is playoff experience.

Joe has a hunch Le’Veon Bell is going to play a key role catching passes out of the backfield in the playoffs. And he certainly has playoff experience.

Of course, the great equalizer to this “fatal flaw” is Mr. Seven Rings himself.

26 Responses to “The Fatal Flaw”

  1. bucschamp Says:

    Bell was open plenty of times vs Panthers.Tom was just looking for more yards. if nobody was open ball goes to Bell

  2. Bird Says:

    Not sure what it is but i like bell as a runner too. These last 2 games he has that stop / studder / cut and moves forward. Give him some reps. He can get 4-6 yards a clip with this oline. He wont take to the house but not necessary if lenny comes back. That quick pass out of backfield – brady does better then anyone. Bell has better hands then brate (of late) and maybe even a few receivers. 😂 Get the dude involved.

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Chris Collingsworth said during a game that the Bucs can be a power running team, if we wanted to be.

  4. HC Grover Says:

    The formula is this. Them less than 25 points and us more than 30 points.

  5. Buc4evr Says:

    Our O-line needs to take over this game and KV and Playoff Lenny need to grind it out. On the D it all about gap control and assignments. They are going after us on the edges for the most part and an occasional run up the middle by the QB. Stopping the beagles on third down will be key.

  6. Jordan Says:

    It’s all about matchups – against someone like the Rams, we definitely need to pound the ball a ton. They are built for finesse and cannot handle a physical run game – Lenny is a power back and our offensive line can do whatever they are asked. I would really rather avoid a game where Arians thinks he can just drop back and pass every play and let Von Miller and Aaron Donald pin their ears back and rush every play, I can pretty much guarantee you we will lose. We can win though if we just give them a wide variety of run plays to have to think about.

    The Eagles on the other hand finished 31st in the league in sacks – need to stay somewhat balanced against them, but should be able to air it out just fine.

    If we protect well, I could almost care less who is at receiver. The modern NFL favors teams that can protect well, not necessarily the team with the best skill position players.

    I think the 49ers would probably be our toughest matchup because they can get after the passer, but are not exactly finesse only, they are really more of a complete package on defense.

  7. Rick Says:

    I have a hunch Bell won’t be on the roster in the playoffs lol… Fournette, RoJo, Gio Bernard, Keyshawn Vaughn.

  8. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Get the ball to Gronk, Gronk and Gronk. In that order.

  9. John Olmstead Says:

    If it ain’t broke ………..

  10. PassingThru Says:

    Yes, that’s something I’ve mentioned over and over. Godwin and Brown were the chain-movers on this team. Evans can do this from time to time, but not as consistently as the other two. The Bucs really need a chain-mover, someone they can go to work within the slot. That will have to be Gronk.

  11. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    And not abandon the run after a 1 yard gain.

  12. BA4President Says:

    Balance is about pass/run attempts, not yards. If the D knows that you are only passing or only running, then then that is like having an extra player on defense because now you can use all of your guys to defend the run or pass.

  13. John Olmstead Says:

    Reps for Bell at slot.

  14. geno711 Says:

    Rick Says:
    January 12th, 2022 at 9:27 am
    I have a hunch Bell won’t be on the roster in the playoffs lol… Fournette, RoJo, Gio Bernard, Keyshawn Vaughn.

    Did not think that Gio Bernard was physically able to make it back this year. Is he healthy again?

  15. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    In telling you give him some slants and crossing routes and see what happens

  16. Devon Says:

    Totally agree with a lot of the posters here… BELL is the man! Get him in the game running and receiving and we will win! Bell is a legit bada$$ and he’s so fired up to make a huge impact. Love what I’ve seen from him so far.

  17. Mike Johnson Says:

    Playoff Lenny is a major key. If he can return somewhat close to himself, Defenses are in trouble.

  18. SlyPirate Says:

    Hello … the alternatives are Gronk and Brate

    If you’ve ever watched TB12 you know he uses his TEs A LOT in the playoffs.

    (History lesson … the usage of TEs in the Bucs’ offense is funny because two years ago BA was adamant about NOT using TEs in the passing game.)

  19. Bob in valrico Says:

    With Godwin out, I think we will see more of Mike lined up on the right side.
    Thats where his 37 yard catch and run came from, 25 of which were YAC yards.
    It seems like the first place TB 12 starts his progression and it is also possible
    that it is easier to locate and get these passes off quicker for a right handed QB.

  20. Swampbuc Says:

    Sorry but check Mike’s YAC for week 18 against the Panthies. At least half his receiving yards were YAC. It’s all in the route design.

    Perriman is great with YAC (see Buffalo OT).

    Leftwurst can juggle the guys and put Mike in the slot. Perriman proved he can play WR1 in the final 4 games of 2019 when ME and CG were both hurt. Put him there but with TJ at WR2 and ME in the slot.

    Of course in 12 and 13 packages Mike is still in.

  21. BucEmUp Says:

    This is where Tyler Johnson, O.J Howard and Scotty Miller earn their keep right here. This is not a ground and poiund football team. Our wrs need to step up. They know the plays its their turn…next man up. Keep throwing.

    With that said I would like ot see more of Vaugn. Rojo just doesnt seem to have the dog in him and I havent see enough from Vaughn. Gotta keep throwing tho.

  22. Ed Says:

    Just tackle the Eagles runners and don’t turn the ball over. The Eagles are neither equal to the Bucs defensively or offensively. If the Bucs play smart and have a good game plan they will win. If they continue to not tackle rbs and give the wrs those cushions, then the game will be much closer.

    I certainly expect them to be much more focused than they have been in the regular season. So many of their games were good half/bad half. Have to start putting it together.

    I hope Bruce Arians has more input into the offense than BL. Just do what Brady wants, he knows how to attack the defenses.

  23. PassingThru Says:

    Bell is a good pass-catching RB, but he isn’t as proficient as a slot receiver. That’s a glaring weakness on the roster. It pretty much means that we’ll see more targets to Gronk. Just hold your breath and hope the hits will be to the upper body.

  24. Ash Says:

    Not going to ground and pound against the eagles or anyone for that matter and with Lenny coming off of injury we will see but I trust Brady above all others in this one gonna be a tough one for sure

  25. unbelievable Says:

    People acting like Evans can’t be a chain mover or consistent… I’m sorry but what?!?

    You think he’s had EIGHT 1,000+ yard seasons by not moving the chains?

    Yes him and Brady have been off at times, and he’s not usually a 10+ catches/per game type of guy, but all the guy does is produce. In fact most of his receptions are either for first downs or touchdowns.

    How about the fact that Mike Evans ranks 6th in the entire NFL for percentage of receptions that result in a 1st down? And he also ranks 9th for % of catches on 3rd down that result in a 1st down.

    None of our other WRs even rank in the top 20 for either of those.

    But yea, he can’t move the chains… lol. Some of ya’ll are crazy.

  26. unbelievable Says:

    Oh here’s some more fun stats about Evans, the guy is only a WR1 in theory:

    # of touchdowns: He ranks 2nd in the league

    # of big plays (over 25 yars): He ranks 9th in the league
    (none of our other WRs are even in the top 20)