So, What About That Run Game?

August 17th, 2022

A lot of folks have broken out into a sweat and chugged several Big Storm Brewing beers wondering if the revamped Bucs offensive line can protect old man Tom Brady.

That’s a valid concern, no question. And Joe is worried about that as well. However, there is a flip side to the restless nights Bucs fans have had since Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen blew out his knee.

What will the new offensive line do for the run game. The Bucs had one of the more productive run games in the NFL.

Handicapper and stats nerd Warren Sharp documented how good the Bucs were running the ball. In all three downs, the Bucs were above if not well-above NFL average success rate.

What the hell is success rate? Well, it is when a running back carries the ball and gets 40 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent of needed yards on second down, or 100 percent of needed yards on third or fourth down.

“Needed yards” refers to yards needed to move the chains.

As recorded in the Warren Sharp 2022 Football Preview, the Bucs had a success rate on the ground of 53 percent on first downs, 55 percent on second downs and 69 percent on third and fourth.

That’s crazy! Think about it: Well over half the time the Bucs chose to hand off on third and fourth downs, the result is a first down. Amazing.

Joe hates to type the following, but with three new interior offensive linemen, it seems unreasonable to expect the Bucs to match that.

If the Bucs can duplicate that success rate this fall (or improve?), Joe thinks the Bucs will be in good shape come January.

24 Responses to “So, What About That Run Game?”

  1. CrackWise Says:

    Two words:

    “The Grinder” aka KO Kieft – will be the great equalizer.

    Let the Pancakes be severed.

  2. CrackWise Says:

    How awesome will it be to have a FULL BACK again!!!

    What is Ko Kieft’s #???

  3. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    You misunderstood the statistics. They did not get a first down half the time, they were “successful” at least half. Meaning, I guess, that they surpassed some arbitrary amount each time. Need more context though with other teams success rates.

  4. CrackWise Says:

    Slightly bigger version of John Riggens??

  5. Bucntarv Says:

    Crackwise, I believe he is #41

  6. geno711 Says:


    To each their own. I could go without ever seeing a fullback again.

    I go back to watching a Navy v. Airforce game in the Naval Stadium in Annapolis about 8 years ago. Watching each team, run the ball over 50 times in that game. Just boring.

    Lots of ways to win in the NFL. Plenty of teams right now among the best without any fullback usage. I prefer the passing teams like the Bucs to watch.

  7. Joe Says:

    What is Ko Kieft’s #???

    41 🙂

  8. Craig Says:

    The O-line needs to get it together some before they can do any blocking to help the run game.

    In part, that is why I would like to see Mason in the game this week. He needs to play with the rest of the line before he has to protect Brady.

  9. CrackWise Says:

    I get it, it’s not for everyone.
    But you must have missed the A Train era. Football don’t get any more exciting than watching you team pound the will out of a team with its Running/Full Backs.

    As your college football example. Yeah, sorry I don’t watch that level. If I do, I prefer going to my local high school games here in Tampa.

    And we agree, while many things have changed about the game over the years. Some things never will. Running the ball is critical and a power run game is classic SMASH MOUTH.

    Our guy’s vs your guys. You just hope your guys are better.

  10. duff man Says:

    to be considered successful on third or fourth you have to convert the yardage. So it does mean they got a first down more than half the times they ran on 3rd and 4th

  11. Smashsquatch Says:

    Brady under center improves the run game. His lethality as a passer opens holes. A brand new interior line will put that to the test. Teams will bull rush the middle with a constant onslaught of run blitzes. Leftwich and Brady need to have a vile of kryptonite on hand, and as Ira has pointed out, it will be a healthy diet of screens. The short passing attack will setup the run this year. The RB stable is filled with pass catchers, and the WRs who make the cut will be the ones who can play in the slot.

  12. CrackWise Says:

    And by all indications. They plan to start every game by running it up the middle.

    Get ready for some serious Smash Mouth football this year.

    It will only help the passing game too.

  13. SB~LV Says:

    Check out the video of White on the Bucs YouTube from a few days ago. STRIKING difference between he and RoJo who had trouble with the playbook and confidence. White says he has the book and assignments down!

  14. KoKiefer Says:

    Did someone order some Kief? Arggghhh. Move the chains.

  15. CrackWise Says:

    Oh I like it Smash, we have The KryptKOnight Kieft… LOL

    I’m just excited for some FOOTBALL. Coining names for players, coaches, teams and all that is part of the fun for me.

  16. CrackWise Says:

    Good call SB~LV


  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Smash-mouth football” has its place, even in today’s “passing league.” There is nothing more soul-crushing than being ahead in a game and the opposing team just can’t stop the run.
    Most playoff teams have an effective ground game, passing league or not.

  18. Buc92’ Says:

    Rachaad white , that is all folks


  19. SlyPirate Says:

    If you ran the ball on three consecutive plays, that would be 4, 4, 2 yards.

    No way we get 4 yards up the middle. They need to change things up.

  20. CrackWise Says:


    I just switched my name up for the season too. You just landed on gold. You can buy me a beer at the watch parties. LOL.

    You sir have Cracked, Wise!!!

  21. Oneilbuc Says:

    They don’t want to run the ball because they are trying to help Brady win the MVP. Brady has become bigger than the team so it’s all about Brady until we lose a game then it’s about team.

  22. David Says:

    It is all about Stinnie and Hainsey.
    Mason is a very good run blocker and will get better as he gels with the lineman around him

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    Osqueelschmuck, every time I think y’all have bottomed out on boobery, y’all outdo y’allself again. Go cheer for the Aints. Maybe y’all can get Jamiss to sign y’all’s lifesized poster of him so you can amuse y’allself that way rather than stating y;all’s “thoughts” in public.

  24. 941Boltsfan Says:

    Not to mention that having a well established run game can protect the passer and open passing lanes. Id like to think a lot of the success on the run rate would be Tb12s ability to read defenses.