The Numbers Say…

May 19th, 2022

Cynthia Frelund predicts.

So last year the Bucs had a dynamic offense. Will that continue? A certain person who plays with numbers for a living has doubts.

The Bucs offense was electric last year. Only the Cowboys (30.4) scored more points per game than the Bucs (29.9). And Tom Brady led the NFL in passing (5,316 yards). Flash back nine years ago and who would have dreamed any of this was remotely possible?

One person who spits out numbers for a living believes the good times will fade this year. But only a little. And that is NFL Network’s stats queen Cynthia Frelund.

As she likes to say, she ran her models (up until about two years ago that phrase for Joe meant someone was playing with toy trains or cars, or a casual Wednesday night for David Lee Roth on the Sunset Strip) and she concluded the Bucs will drop to the No. 4 offense in the NFL this season.

The Bucs had two key free-agent snags that created a ton of value relative to how much we talked about them. Russell Gage is perfect for a team that led the NFL with an average of 6.7 yards per play in 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs). And in the wake of Ali Marpet’s abrupt retirement, getting Shaq Mason from the Patriots in exchange for a late-round pick was huge. Those two moves help give Tom Brady the weaponry and protection he needs for his Age 45 season.

Speaking of Brady, no QB fared better in NGS’ “accurate plus” metric. The ageless wonder also led the league with 27 touchdowns on short passes (0-9 air yards, per NGS) and logged an NFL-best 42 big-time throws (Pro Football Focus). Brady was well-protected, facing a pressure rate of just 16.2 percent, the lowest by any qualified QB in the past five seasons. Drafting Rachaad White added depth the RB room. At receiver, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both have high odds of eclipsing 1,100 receiving yards each this season (with good health, though it’s notable that Godwin will be coming back from a torn ACL suffered in December).

The Bucs received my highest win-total projection at 11.7. At this moment, they’re my odds-on favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Here is what worries Joe: Just from a touchdown production standpoint (and at the end of the day, it is all about scoring more than your opponent), the Bucs might have to replace a sh!t-ton of touchdowns to the roster.

Three of the five active touchdown receiving leaders in the NFL played for the Bucs. That’s foot-rubbing tight end Rob Gronkowski, mental patient Antonio Brown and Mike Evans.

Gronk may be gone. Brown is gone. Evans is still here and healthy. Not included in that list is one of Brady’s favorite targets, Chris Godwin, who accounted for 1,943 yards the past two seasons and an insane number of first downs (98).

If Gronk leaves and Godwin’s rehab takes longer than expected, having the fourth-best offense in the league might just be Brady’s crowning jewel of his unprecedented career — to be able to pull that off at 45-years old.

30 Responses to “The Numbers Say…”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If, if, if, if, if……..this is the if time of year.

  2. K2 Says:

    I will take Gage over Brown, but still hoping Gronk returns!!!!

  3. Craig Says:

    I don’t think they will fall that far. Bowles will push Leftie into a more progressive offense, and if Gronk falls in his shower and can’t get up, Otton can fill that hole.

    Grayson and Perriman might start with big numbers and they don’t ever show up in the models of the talking heads, talking bodies.

  4. SufferingSince76 Says:

    It would be nice if the offense could count on the defense like they could the Super Bowl year. We have a defensive coach for HC. Surely they plan to improve the defense further before the start of the season.

  5. PassingThru Says:

    I think I figured out where that pic was taken. It’s along the Santa Monica coast. I am guessing the Jonathan Club in the background, though I don’t see the cyclone fence. There’s a second club out there too, called the BC.

  6. BUCman Says:

    Gronk will be back! Gage is an upgrade over Brown considering that Brown most likely would get himself suspended somehow. White is an upgrade in the passing game over Ronald Jones. The only real concern is Godwin. Will he be ready to start the season and will he be 💯 percent.

  7. PassingThru Says:

    In terms of her “models” I suspect she’s just using some summary stats from last season, slightly tweaked, on an Excel spreadsheet. Her background is that she’s a financial analyst and MBA. I would trust her to run some financial projections, but nothing in the realm of “predictive analytics”. That’s part of her bio is pure PR.

  8. HC Grover Says:

    Enough wit da negative waves Moriarity. LFG

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    BUCman Says :”Godwin. Will he be ready to start the season and will he be 💯 percent.”

    The answer is no and no.

  10. Hodad Says:


  11. HC Grover Says:

    She know nothin’
    This is the year of Brady’s Hero’s….Starring…
    Tom Brady as…Brady
    Gronk as…Oddball
    Jensen as …Big Joe
    Licht as….Crapgame
    Leftwich as…General Colt
    LFG…get the gold we even got the gravediggers behind the lines.

  12. SOEbuc Says:

    You look at Gage and his skills with Matt Ryan with the chicks and compare that to Brady and the Bucs.

  13. SlyPirate Says:



    As Daniel Tosh says, “If Eminem doesn’t say it, you definitely can’t say it.”

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs’ offense has been ‘explosive’ for the past couple years, with lots of BIG plays either accounting for outright scores OR getting us into scoring position to score within 1 or 2 following plays. Not convinced we’ll be THAT ‘explosive’ this year. Rather I think we’ll be more ‘methodical’ in moving the chains & scoring (more rushing; more short passing to backs). Whether that leads to more points or not is anyone’s guess at this point.

    Where I think we will most likely be impacted this season is in scoring off of turnovers. Last season we had 29 takeaways; we scored on a ton of those (can’t remember the actual numbers however). I doubt we’ll get that many takeaways from this season’s opponents (the most since 2016). Players who we lost accounted for 5 INTs & 2 FRs BTW, and we’re going against tougher teams. Fortunately we only gave the ball away 19 times, although half of those were against the Saints (5 TOs) & the Cowboys (4 TOs). We’ll see this season if that was an anomaly.

  15. fern Says:

    Joe Gronk is a phone call away

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Cage an “up grade” over AB …… Child Please!

  17. Robert Says:

    can we still get AB back now that BA is not HD

  18. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    I read this on this morning, or tried to she said she applied some kind of number grades to all 53 players and ran the simulations.
    As beautiful as her body is I could only date her if she was into wearing a gag ball.

  19. BucBoy Says:

    Site traffic down, Joe? Hence the photo?

  20. sasquatch Says:

    The other way to outscore your opponents is to make sure they score less. Yes, that’s right — DEFENSE — football’s lost art and the only thing that keeps the game interesting.

  21. sasquatch Says:

    Gage isn’t as good a receiver as AB… but he is a better fit… and seriously, these prima donna receivers can go phoueck themselves. Happy to have Gage and glad AB is gone.

  22. Duane Says:

    The numbers are going to be down because they WILL feature the run more. Lenny made it easier to abandon the run because he is a 3 down back with great hands and has an incredible rapport with TB12. Run the ball, increase the time of possession, save snaps for the defense, and collect that W. Save the Air Raid offense for shoot outs and the 4th quarter.

  23. Infomeplease Says:

    Can’t wait!!; Bring it boys, bring it!! Go Buc’s!!

  24. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I do not care about “stats”. 1st…4th…doesn’t matter to me. If you have a top 5 offense you’re in contention for the Lombardi IF you have a Championship D.

    I’m more interested and concerned to see how our D performs.

  25. HC Grover Says:

    Them 20 us 30…That is the magic formula.

  26. ClwJB Says:

    Can’t see Gronk not coming back, he is just evading off season work

    Gage is a Godwin type WR – ATL didn’t use him that way, but we will

    The O is Rock solid the second Godwin and Gronk are in the fold and something tells me TB12 didn’t come back to go 9-8 with limited weapons…


  27. Mark A Swygert Says:

    HC Grover: Love the Kelly’s Heroes tribute. Donald Sutherland’s funniest performance.

  28. HC Grover Says:

    Mark….Get me my uniform! LOL

  29. David Says:

    I still have no doubt Gronkowski will be back and Gage is an awesome pick up. Besides, if anyone knows how to strribute the ball no matter who he has a receiver, it’s Brady

  30. BUCman Says:

    Joe… that pic of Cynthia Frelund! Just saying 🔥