The Passing Game Will Come

September 13th, 2022

Stress-free zone.

If you thought the Bucs’ air attack forgot to fuel its fighter planes Sunday night, you wouldn’t be the only one.

Sitting from an end zone angle at Jerry’s World, Joe thought the passing attack looked clunky at best.

Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports has a word of comfort; there is too much talent on the roster for that to continue.

The passing offense will get better: Worrying about the Buccaneers passing game is unwarranted stress. Tom Brady threw for just 212 yards and averaged only 6.7 yards per attempt, which is uncharacteristic after the marks Brady and the No. 1 pass offense set last season.

Chris Godwin’s injury is a concern, yet the Buccaneers still have Mike Evans, Russell Gage, and Julio Jones. They need to figure out the tight end situation, especially since Rob Gronkowski isn’t catching red zone passes anymore.

Tampa Bay faced a good Dallas defense that gets after the quarterback, so that has to be taken into account. Brady and the passing game will get into a rhythm as the weeks go on.

Joe believes Kerr makes an interesting point. Had Chris Godwin not gotten injured, Joe isn’t sure the passing game would have continued to sputter. It sure did seem though that Tom Brady really missed foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski and Godwin. Maybe nutcase Antonio Brown, too?

But think about it: Not long ago the Bucs were down to John Brown and Jaelon Darden in the playoff loss to the Rams, and Brady still found a way to get the Bucs back into the game.

Joe also has a hunch if the Bucs had two red zone touchdowns instead of their several field goal attempts, this wouldn’t even be a talking point.

58 Responses to “The Passing Game Will Come”

  1. rrsrq Says:

    Scotty will also open things up, otherwise he will be running free in the Saints secondary, better believe Green Bay will have an eye on him when we paly them

  2. Bojim Says:

    Not worried.

  3. Greg G Says:

    Two of those drives stalled in the red zone on third down because Micah Parsons got in on TB.

    Listen, if you’re telling me that the guy some are tabbing as the next coming of Lawrence freakin’ Taylor was the reason our red zone offense stalled on a couple drives yet we still dropped 19 points and 150+ yards rushing. I take that all day.

    I agree with Joe, if the second deep pass to Julio connects we don’t have this conversation. If even one of our stalled trips to the end zone gets a TD we don’t talk about this. It’s game one, and we had 4 new O lineman in there.

    We’re going to be alright…just so long as we don’t have any other injuries!

  4. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Can we please cut Jaelon Darden and sign Cyril Grayson back? Jaelon looked scared against Dallas again. Let Scotty or someone else try to return punts.

  5. Buczilla Says:

    I’d be perfectly content with Lenny rushing for 1,500 yards, 20 total td’s, and winning 12 or more games. Keeping our defense fresh and Brady healthy by running more should be a goal if we can manage it.

  6. Alanbucsfan Says:

    As long as we’re playing the “if” game, Cowboys’ decision to not give the ball to Elliot more often and instead use stupid gadget plays that failed miserably helped the Bucs and cost Dallas sustained drive potential.
    Bucs were helped a lot by the Cowboys miserable and often stupid offensive game plan.
    The Bucs showed an excellent run blocking offensive line that helped them win time of possession – it was when they were forced into obvious passing downs is when they got into trouble.
    Let the game dictate whether they run or pass- Bucs have some darn good run blockers up front and a couple of good blocking TE’s.
    Brate as a receiving TE is showing his age- could be an issue down the road.

  7. #8 Says:

    OLine gets better each week also…just in time to catch rams off guard.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    Didn’t use the TEs much in the passing game at all. I think Otton played half the snaps with no catches. Targets? Unsure. Is Rudolf a bust already? Sure would like to see some TEs in the passing game – keep the D guessing.

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    Darden and Smoke Brown did nothing in the Rams comeback. Scotty was key and clutch, drawing double coverage away from Mike so he could burn Ramsey.

    Darden blew his chance on the reverse and runs our of bounds on punts at the first sign of the enemy. Sick of that guy. I know – potential. Let’s see it. Some day. Maybe in the CFL.

    And last night’s play mix had much more to do with the O-line and what they could execute. If Brady tried 43 passes last night he would’ve been massacred and the Bucs lose.

    Cowboys had good zone coverage last night. They got in trouble when they went to man but still contested pretty well. I was impressed with their defense except for Martha Parsons. Maybe she’s in early menopause.

  10. Bojim Says:

    Agree bucsfan.

  11. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Perriman had a couple chances to show why we signed him back and didn’t make it happen. I’m hoping for more from Gage and Otten, too. With Mike And Julio out there all these guys have to do is take what’s there.

  12. Buc-a-near ring 3 Says:

    The only worries I have is something Joe has pointed out several times this preseason. Bowles seems to be enamored with running the ball even when unlike last night it is not effective. If Bowles falls in love with the idea of old school great defense run the ball football I think it will be a mistake for several reasons. Squandering Brady’s accuracy and one of the best wide receiving Corp ever assembled makes no sense. Brady did not endure the pushback to come out of retirement to hand the ball off most plays. If that’s the plan trade Brady now for multiple draft picks and let Trask hand the ball off. Also, the Bucs don’t have proven quality depth at running back. Until they determine they have a quality RB2, conserving playoff Lenny might be a wise strategy.

  13. Bucanero Says:

    Yeah Perriman got at least 3 targets if my memory doesn’t fail. A little bit disappointing. Wonder if he’ll get that many more chances and hopefully he turns it around

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    Permian isn’t really a sky ball kind of guy. He needs to be in motion and run drags and such. If he’s expected to high point then get him drilling on it this week.

    You know who can high point? Tyler Johnson.

    You know who can’t? Darden.

  15. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Observer – no targets for Otton or Keift during the game. In fact I think there were only 2 targets and no catches for TE’s. Both were to Brate and he dropped one.

  16. Redeemer Says:

    Brady doesn’t need to throw 50 times every game for the team to be successful. Continue to run the ball and play action and things will fall into place. I was extremely encouraged by the Bucs commitment to the run game. Against faster, smaller fronts they should continue to mash up front. I would use a very similar gameplan against the Saints this week, no matter the yards per carry.

  17. Listnfrmafar Says:

    If your offense can run for 150, why would you risk putting it in the air. The two red zone series on 3rd down Brady got sacked. Again why are we praising the oline? I think Brady showed his dismay when he chewed Hainsley a new ahole. Parson made Smith and Wells look like college players and gave Wirf for his money to. If you’re not throw to a TE, keep him in as protection. I don’t get the Edward’s over Neal and Darden sure can find the sideline. How are the coaches blind to this? Actually never thought I’d say it.but I actually miss Mickens.

  18. Marine Buc Says:

    That’s what she said…

    I’m glad to see our run game is the real deal. I have to say I was very impressed with the play selection on Sunday night. BL did one heck of a job directing this offense. I love how the Bucs attacked the edges in the first quarter with quick passes and outside runs. Make those 180 lb DBs step up and tackle LF or JJ. Then challenge them deep. Most of those deep passes didn’t land but it didn’t matter because we ran the ball down their throats.

    I have watched this game several times already and I belive that BL without BA is much better…

    How many worthless runs up the middle on 1st and ten? ZERO!!!

    Great job BL… Maybe he is head coach material.

  19. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree with Goatfarmer.
    We should have cut Darden and kept Tyler Johnson.
    I like this power running game we seem to have discovered lately.
    Not only does it control the clock, but it also keeps of defense fresh.
    It also opens up the passing game when teams come out of zone to try and stop our running game.
    That forces them to play Man Coverage, and no team has enough great corners to single cover all our great receivers.

  20. chris l Says:

    I wasn’t scared last season in either saints matchup but i am petrified this weekend. going into the season i think our line would figure it out but even when healthy for whatever reason the saints own us in the trenches. scared that will continue sunday. when was the last time we ran well against them (probably the divisional round). not having godwin really sucks for that game and potentially smith. our defense needs to shine and pick off that joke of a QB jameis

  21. Darin Says:

    Win by 16 every game I dont care how it happens. Bowles will definitely run more than arians tho. Less opposing possessions are a fav of bowles. Just win baby

  22. geno711 Says:

    Don’t hate Tyler Johnson but really why are we still talking about him. Is he an old girlfriend to some of you?

    She was kinda nice and had a good personality. Good to introduce to the family and friends as steady. But she would not go down on special plays like some other girls.

    Maybe Bowles now wants some action with the prettier ones right now.
    Oh and by the way, these ones now do go down the field. Nice change of pace and Darden is certainly the fresh piece of… for Bowles.

  23. geno711 Says:

    Wasn’t Darden solid in the punt returns this 1st game of the season?

  24. CrackWise Says:

    Did yall see how well Tyler Johnson played last week. Yeah, it was awesome. I never knew he could play the Blues so well after not being active during the game.

  25. firethecannons Says:

    I think the balance is everything run Lenny and play action Lenny and thereby getting the pass game open Joe can we have some ideas on how to beat the saints. I am concerned jameis is going uptempo and our defense will be caught flat footed. I am glad that happened to the Falcons so Bowles can see that he needs to prepare for uptempo jameis and michael thomas and gang

  26. Bee Says:

    This isn’t a BA lead team. The more we run, the better we’ll be. Brady is deadly on play action.

  27. firethecannons Says:

    Leave Perriman at home and give scotty miller a shot he can play gunner on special teams too

  28. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Brady is washed and should’ve retired last year. He had the damn audacity to miss some throws and get sacked twice in the red zone. He also made a bad read and threw a pick. No great QB makes a bad read. Just put the old man out to pasture. He was the worst QB week 1. Time to move on.

  29. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    Darden was totally fine. He consistently made the first man miss, and the Cowboys punter did a good job of angling kicks to the sideline, restricting any big play ability.

    Seriously, he did really well. Last year he couldn’t make the first man miss.

  30. Infomeplease Says:

    I too believe the pass game will be back soon. As the revamped o-line shows they can slow down the rush!! More reps, more experience, then bam!! Maybe not 60/40ish% like last year. But more like 55/45%, a bit more balanced! Of course the game plan dictates everything! Best approach victory!! LFG!!!

  31. Listnfrmafar Says:

    geno & Joesph, first off one of those punts he lost the first defender he immediately took it outside and another he fair caught with no one 15yds close to him. Yes he is sure handed but he runs scared and will never break one. White, Miller, Periman someone other than Darden.

  32. Infomeplease Says:

    Joe, I’m pretty sure you have to credit the Ram playoff game comeback to the defense’s takeaways!!! Of course TB12 and Lenny did their part too!!

  33. Jonny Says:

    Anyone know how Logan Hall played?

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    Lets face it. Brady didnt have his best game. Even the throw where Chris got hurt was poorly thrown, wasnt a difficult pass either.

    Then you factor in we had issues at LT and that our defense was outstanding and it makes a lot of sense we would lean on our running game.

    But the headlkne nailed it. Youd be a fool to think Tom and this offense wont come back with a fury, hopefully this Sunday!

  35. HC Grover Says:

    No worries

  36. Richard Dickson Says:

    There were plenty of offenses not fully clicking on Sunday. It’s what comes from not playing pre-season games. Oddly enough, two of the offenses that did look in sync — Buffalo and Kansas City — did play their starters in the pre-season.

  37. Marine Buc Says:

    @ geno/Joseph/Listmr/

    Darden was solid. Our special teams in general deserved a B+…

    I too was slightly disappointed that Darden didn’t turn into the next Tyrek Hill but he is still a solid punt returner and had a few nice plays on Sunday night.

    He was a late 4th round pick…

    Sip a little ayahuasca and realize that Darden has become a part of the machine that will win the next Super Bowl.

  38. Crickett Baker Says:

    Coach Bowles when asked about this said there were some plays he wanted to make but we were doing so well with the way things were going he didn’t want to make changes. I agree.
    BTW I saw nothing good from Darden. He fair caught one with plenty of room to run it back, he has zero technique and looked scared, again. Why they don’t at least try Scotty, I don’t know, but I wish I did because I don’t like second-guessing professional coaches.
    I miss BA but I thought Todd is doing very well in all areas, so far.

  39. Cobraboy Says:

    I expected more Gage targets. He was almost invisible.

  40. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Is Bowles calling plays? No, but he sure is directing Leftwich to add more of the run to the game plan. Does Bowles have his red pen out? I will say that Bowles telegraphed what he expects. Remember he told Joe that while Brady was out it was a good thing because he wanted to work on the run game more. Also, during joint practices and preseason there was much more of an emphasis on running the ball.

    @Greg G made the best assessment of the game. When we were close to the goal line, Parsons by himself stopped our offense. The two runs or first and second down weren’t effective, and then on third down Parson’s pinned his ears back and mauled the LT to sack Brady. Is that why on the next goal line opportunity Brady nixed the run call and instead asked Evans what route he wanted to run? I noticed that Bray didn’t call many audibles and went with the play called.

    The RZ is an area of concern. On one goalie opportunity, we had Darden as the X receiver?! Are you kidding me?! Darden has no business as being part of a goal line package. He scares absolutely no one. He’s too damn small. We really need to practice our RZ packages in practice. We’re missing Gronk badly, and Brate didn’t show up.

    The interesting thing about the RZ was BA really emphasized the importance of it in practice. More than once he went to his bully pulpit and chewed out the offense for their performance in the RZ in games and practice. Will BA be more involved this week in RZ practice?

  41. Jgar Says:

    Darden was 9th in punt return yardage and 7th in yards per punt return.

  42. Beeej Says:

    It appears Brady doesn’t trust throwing to our new tight ends. (They may have been retained as blockers I suppose)

  43. CrackWise Says:

    @Crickett Baker

    Scotty had a year run at PR and DID NOTHING.

    Come to think of it, Scotty has only ever showed up in ONE game maybe two? and he can’t even make an opening day active roster.

    I agree, the coaches know better than you.

  44. Ash Says:

    They have Scotty do it in practice it didnt impress them that’s why he isn’t out there. Darden gets so much hate for a late fourth round pick he improved from last year he will be fine special teams in general looked so much better finally.

  45. SOEbuc be Says:

    You know it’s some national analyst don’t know d!ck about the Bucs when they ask about the TE situation or think Rudolph is some kind of first or second string TE. Our TE situation showed up big time Sunday night, but national media are chumps when it comes to Bucs team.

  46. Ed Says:

    Cade Otton can catch the ball, there is no doubt about that. He deserves some targets. Cam Brate has been a great Buc but speed was never his strength, now its a negative. He has no YAC in him. At least a younger guy like Otton has some step in his legs and has quickness. Otton also is a longer, taller target and is well known for having very good hands and is a smooth route runner.

    He’ll never be a Gronk but even as a rookie he has skills that declining players like Brate do not have. He also has more upside as a blocker despite being a little lean.

    I think short passing game has to include him. We already know that Fournette and White can catch out of the backfield, doesn’t hurt to have a tall target that has the awareness to know where and when to get into holes in zone defenses.

  47. ClwJB Says:

    The passing game will work itself out

    Brate did not look good again, time for Otton to get more passing opps

    The run game was so deadly we didn’t need 350 yds passing

    Maybe a harbinger of things to come 🧐

  48. Jgar Says:

    9th in total punt return yards and 8th in average punt return yards. What’s up? Give JD another year and cut him if he doesn’t produce. He wasn’t a special teams player in college. Watching that game, it looked like Dallas would have taken him off our hands.

  49. Josh f Says:

    The bucs will be fine. Brady will hit big numbers this year ! I am sure of that, we will see many 300-400 yard games 3-4 TDs. But they are taking whatever the defense gives them ! This past week they gave us the run. So when defenses start moving in on us it will open up the pass game. For the saints game I think Brady goes 24-34 305 yards 3 TDs and 1 INT
    Lenny runs for 105 yards and has a TD and we win 31-17 that’s my prediction.

  50. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Wow! I call a case of premature gripping. It was the first game of the season.

    How much time did the offense actually work together this preseason?
    How many days did Brady miss? How many series did the offense run in the preseason?

    There was some sloppy weird play all across the league…with the obvious exception of Patrick Mahomes. How many offenses fumble the ball on the one yard twice in one game. Do we really think Russell Wilson and the Broncos are going to struggle like that all year?

    I agree with Cris Collinsworth take. He questioned if perhaps it’s smart for teams to sit their starting units through virtually all of the preseason. He thinks that created rust in the opening week.

    And the Bucs have a great huge vat of rustoleum called Tom Brady!

  51. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    @JimmyJack – I have to disagree with you on Brady playing poorly ! Does he need to go throw for 400 yards and 4 TDs EVERY game ? No he doesn’t and that’s what made this win so great. We didn’t have to put it all on Brady’s shoulders. I thought he played great with the situation he was in especially after Donavon Smith went out.. Lenny played his best game as a runner and the Oline looked way better than a lot of people thought. We shouldn’t be a one dimensional offense ( Brady has to play lights out and throw 40 times a game) and I believe with the way our Bucs defense played , and we all know the passing game is going to start working like a well oiled machine along with a good running game .. Watch out !! This team is going to be one of the best ALL around teams we’ve ever had , barring injuries ..

  52. Craig Says:

    Yes it will. The O-line will gel and get used to each other, receivers will heal, and get on the same page as Brady.

    Better yet, teams will be expecting a run heavy snap count and the pass game will confuse them. Then, hopefully, they will freak because Brady can still eat defenses for breakfast.

  53. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    Bucs will at LEAST be in the Super Bowl this year as long as they don’t have any more major injuries.. Got lucky with D. Smith and Godwin. Still thinking they should add at least one Oline player with good experience and can play multiple positions as a depth piece. Remember , this is THE YEAR ! Brady is not coming back to play for anyone next year , unless he gets a divorce then we might have him until he’s 50 ! But our Bucs need to do whatever it takes to keep this team on top. The Rams bought a Super Bowl last year and are going to be paying for it for the next few years , but JL can do things that he did in 2020 when he added important depth at the perfect position’s at the perfect time. He didn’t do that last year and it cost us back to back Super Bowls. And yes , please get rid of the terrible player that is Jalon Darden ! Anyone else would be better than him he’s a waste of a roster spot. Who fields a punt inside their own 10 yard line besides Darden ? Special teams is the only area on the team that really scares me ! That coach should have been fired years ago. Go Bucs and go Joe

  54. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    @Craig- Agree with everything you said. Go Bucs

  55. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    @ St.PeteBucsFan – Well said 💯

  56. Redeemer Says:

    TBDJ82, don’t believe in the myth of the salary cap. As long as you have an owner willing to spend and the cap keeps going up, you can buy great players. It’s fairly simple, they either push the money forward on an ever expanding cap, or they convert the money into a signing bonus. The days of cap hell are long gone. Every team needs to clean the books, but it’s no longer the years long punishment it once was.

  57. Goatfarmer Says:

    The best thing to happen in the WR room is a Darden breakout. The fact that he actually caught some punts and ran forwards before running out of bounds was an improvement. We won’t talk about the punts he should have caught but let hit the ground instead.

    No, his real value comes as a WR, he had a reverse that was there for the taking for a first down minimum. He got two yards. That’s better than no yards.

    Then there are all those targets he got, that he caught.

    Oh, wait.

    Tom didn’t throw to him once.

    But he’s got potential.

    Let’s see it, Darden! We fans are hungry for your breakthrough.

  58. Browsing from DC Says:

    No worries here on the passing game. Give credit to the Dallas defense, new O-line learning on the fly against a tough pass rush, and only game 1 in a long season. I think the passing game will be great in due time. It’s the hardest part of the offense to coordinate and get on the same page with. In the meantime, smash-mouth football with Lenny and the blocking beasts we have can make up for it if our D keeps up with their great play. Won’t need to score 50 a game.

    They definitely miss Gronk down in the red zone tho. There was one series, I think it was 2nd and goal and a running play was called. The TE (Otton maybe) was lined up tight next to Wirfs to block. Only one DB was over him, but had inside position. Brady and Gronk would have seen that, winked to each other and Gronk would have glided toward the pylon for an easy pitch and catch. That chemistry will come in time with the new guys