Football Outsiders: Bucs Victims Of Domino Effect

November 12th, 2022

Downward spiral.

The Bucs offense is just a mess and those who cannot see that are guzzling several Big Storm Brewing beers on game days.

Joe can think of worse ways to watch ballgames.

Per Derrik Klassen of Football Outsiders, the Bucs offense feels like its offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is chasing his tail. He runs, runs, runs on first downs. To nowhere. Almost like he’s frustrated, Leftwich decides to double-down, using fewer play-action plays and more running (to nowhere, of course).

This tends to push Tom Brady to throw more short passes, which neuters Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. At the end of the game, you have a field goal-kicking club.

And that is your 2022 Bucs, Klassen types.

Offense has been a struggle for the Bucs this season. They cannot run the ball to save their lives despite feeling the need to try on seemingly every first down. Their inability to run the ball has morphed into a lack of confidence in their play-action game, so they have called less of that. WIthout an effective run game or a play-action game they like, the Bucs offense relies solely on dropback passing, almost all of which is done via instant throws because Tom Brady doesn’t trust the offensive line as far as he could throw them.

In turn, the offense revolves around Mike Evans in the passing game. That was always true to some degree, but it’s especially true now that the Bucs aren’t getting to as many of the play-action shots that would benefit guys such as Chris Godwin. Evans doesn’t need much schematic help to be useful; he’s just a set-and-forget X receiver if he needs to be, and Brady sure has needed that this season.

Klassen follows that up by believing the Seahawks will only need to limit the damage done by Evans. If Evans is corralled, Klassen reasons, the Bucs’ offense is simply not good enough to overcome the Seahawks defense.

If Evans cannot shine, the Bucs are rendered a poor-scoring offense that struggles to put up 16 points on lousy teams.

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38 Responses to “Football Outsiders: Bucs Victims Of Domino Effect”

  1. PassingThru Says:

    The only legit receiving threat has been Mike Evans. Part of that is the state of the injured WR corp, and until recently very poor production from TE. The pass protection has been unreliable, a pocket QB needs a consistent pocket, which isn’t the case in Tampa Bay. Brady simply doesn’t trust the interior line, leading to short pass plays. He doesn’t have much choice, longer pass plays result in passes thrown to the ground when the protection fails. The only thing that amazes me is why Brady hasn’t thrown more INTs, as there isn’t much time to him to process the field. And yes, Leftwich is a major problem too as his plays and playcalls renders the offense constipated (short yardage, poor 3rd down conversion rates), predictable, and easily defended.

  2. Beeej Says:

    This team isn’t going to be able to recover from turnovers, thankfully there have been very few

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    A sold out stadium says the Glazers couldn’t give a rat’s derrière about how the team is playing. They got their super bowl without daddy and now they’re fat and happy.

  4. Doc Says:

    Everyone is the blame, this is a old football team. As the season continues you will see a lot of injuries and tired football players.

  5. Goatfarmer Says:

    Leftboob looks like he needs a drool rag.

  6. EEK Says:

    Evans can no longer consistently separate or catch passes in traffic (this year) so that hypothesis will be put to the test

    Kicking FG’s on 4th & short is mandatory with this team

  7. NEfan Says:

    Why is it so obvious to everyone Leftnut has to go except the Bucs?? I don’t get it. Is BA still alive?

  8. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Agree with your assessment PASSINGTHRU

  9. Caleb lee Says:

    I firmly believe it will be the coaching that makes difference this week.

  10. Irishmist Says:

    Carolina CB Jackson out for season with torn achilles. That’s 2 Thursday games in a row where a star player has been lost to this devastating injury. 4 days just isn’t enough to recover and be ready to play without significantly increasing risk of soft tissue injuries. The players union needs to take a stand on this, because it’s obvious the owners only care about the money.

  11. Buc4evr Says:

    This team needs to change offensive philosophy. Doesn’t have the OLine to make even a 3rd and 2 on the ground, can’t give Brady a good pocket. WR corps is a mess and TE position is weak. Need to go with a hurry up offense and more of a WC offense and just try to move the chains. This team doesn’t have WRs that can get separation and the vertical game is gone thanks to the OLine. Probably need to install a bunch of trick plays. Lol.

  12. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Challenge for you Joe….

    Find and post a pic of THE MASTERMIND Byron Leftwich in which he appears to look ……… Intelligent.

  13. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bucs performance is due to Leftwaste incompetence and Bowels’ refusal to do anything about it except running the same plays even worse.

  14. Joe Morello Says:

    If Leftwich is that dumb of an NFL offense coordinator to run up the middle play after play after play after play without success then we as fans who are left frustrated then we have the right to call BL a certified IDIOT who should be coaching Pop Warner. The Glazer family is just as stupid for allowing this bullsh**t to happen. Brady is a thrower Mr. L …Let the man TROW!!!!

  15. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Calm down, calm down everyone. The Bucs still have a chance to get it together. But in the meantime why doesn’t someone start a petition to make Brady the offensive coordinator, play caller on game day and Leftwhich can go sell popcorn for the Glazers who have obviously thrown in the towel on the season. At away games Leftwhich can serve as an extra towel boy and jock strap catcher when the game is over.

  16. BigMacAttack Says:

    Fortunately for the Bucs the NFC South totally sucks

  17. ChiBuc Says:

    “…until recently very poor production from TE. ” I don’t disagree, but imo it is more of a BL problem than below expected performance. Yes, there is a major drop with the loss of gronk, and a severe injury to the only vet on the squad, but this group has been underutilized.

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    DooshLaRue — LOL!

    That would be like asking someone to post a photo of the Seahag that makes her look pretty.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Derrik Klassen … ‘Byron Leftwich is chasing his tail. He runs, runs, runs on first downs. To nowhere.’

    What a lazy, non-insightful analysis on the part of Klassen. According to him, everything goes downhill BECAUSE we can’t run. Bullspit. Having a pee-poor running game is a SYMPTOM, not a cause.

    Give Byron Leftwich last year’s OLine & we wouldn’t be having this discussion because the Bucs would be scoring points … just like we did last year & the year before. So at the heart of the problem is that our underperforming OLine can’t compensate for BL’s inadequacies. Some teams compensate for meh OLines with excellent planning, great in-game adjustments & play-calling, and yes, quality play from the QB & his weapons. By-and-large we’re seeing relatively little of that this year.

    Despite all that, Bucs can still win, but the defense will have to really step up. So will the OLine. This offense CAN run the ball effectively, but it has to be motivated to do so AND BL has to stop holding it back. Yes he’s the weakest link in the chain right now. I take that back; he’s the 2nd weakest link. Jason Licht gets top honor for not doing his job when it came to building a competitive team with adequate DEPTH.

  20. Goatfarmer Says:

    Licht definitely fell asleep at the switch by not signing more OL depth, trusting that headless chicken JTS would somehow be a consistent force, and investing too much in fragile mostly-injured FAs Whoolio, Gage and Hicks. Rudolph the Dead-footed tight end has been a complete bust also.

    But mostly it’s tolerating the failures of wonderboob Leftwaste. Given the deficiencies Defense Rules describes, why Licht and Bowles haven’t taken the boob by the horns and forced corrective action is a crime against leadership.

  21. Browsing from DC Says:

    Someone needs to strap down BL to a dentist’s chair, clamp his eyelids open ala “A Clockwork Orange” and force him to watch some creative offensive film until it sinks in.

    Have we had a “tackle eligible” receiver even once in short goal-to-go situations? It would be a surprise given that an extra tackle would just make the defense think we’re doing our usual “run it up the gut” crap. Having a big ol’ lineman slip into the end zone to catch a soft lob from Brady would have better odds than Lenny slamming into the back of one of his blockers.

    Have they even considered working with Vita Vea on ball control in practice and using him in 3rd and goal from the 1? His size and strength creates it’s own hole. Hand him the rock and turn him loose from 5 yards deep. Stop that wrecking ball.

    These aren’t gadget or trick plays. They’ve been done with great success over the years and when a predictable team like the Bucs do the unpredictable, it’s a win even if it doesn’t work because now they don’t know what to expect on every play.

    Joe said last week it may be time to use the pass to set up the run. Bingo because the opposite hasn’t worked since week 1. I’ve been having to watch a lot of games after the fact due to travel and some games I’m almost glad I missed. These guys stress me out and now I have to wake up early on Sunday and replace my morning coffee with a few swigs of Pepto Bismal. (I still think they win though…lol)

  22. JimmyfromNY Says:

    Along with his poor hands, questionable effort at times, lack of getting extra yards , going out of bounds and hurt every other play Evans made a business decision this year that his thousand yards receiving seasons are more important than winning games. He’s been dreadful this season.

  23. Joe Says:

    What a lazy, non-insightful analysis on the part of Klassen. According to him, everything goes downhill BECAUSE we can’t run. Bullspit. Having a pee-poor running game is a SYMPTOM, not a cause.

    Give Byron Leftwich last year’s OLine & we wouldn’t be having this discussion

    Speaking of lazy analysis…

    This is complete and total nonsense!

    There have been FAR WORSE offensive lines in the NFL in the past 50 years (including horrid Bucs offensive lines) which had better running attacks that the current Bucs squad.

    When you can’t think of anything better, always rag on the offensive line. smh 🙁

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m wondering how far Camarda’s 12 punts will travel in Munich….

    I have zero faith in Leftwich’s offense….

    He needs to come out with the 2 minute offense and stay in it the entire game.

  25. ChiBuc Says:

    I’m with Joe on this point… yes, geo was rag dolled on a few series and Smith has had some costly penalties, but this line has been serviceable, but the guy under the hood is incompetent. Rather than brute strength and ability, they seem to be misfiring on some common stunts and when teams overload an edge. That is where Jensen calling out coverage is sorely missed, but coaching should be improving C in that area and scheming, game planning, and play calling should have been buying time for rookies to get up to speed. Imo, this is purely an OC issue.

  26. Redeemer Says:

    The drop back game must be protected, especially with a statue like Brady. The screen game is non existent. I don’t consider those little quick sideways passes a screen game. They are essentially passes designed to mimic the run. You can’t drop Brady back 50 times, with no threat of a run game.

  27. PSL Bob Says:

    Bucs need to go hurry up offense for first few series. That will soften up the run game. Then you can go play action. Got to keep Seattle’s defense off balance.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    The FULL statement Joe was … ‘Give Byron Leftwich last year’s OLine & we wouldn’t be having this discussion BECAUSE the Bucs would be scoring points … just like we did last year & the year before.’

    Bucs scored the most points in Buc history last year. That’s a fact & that’s history. We did it with the same QB and he had many of the same weapons to work with. He also had a MUCH better OLine, and it’d been the same for 2 years in a row. This one has several new players (3 out of 5?).

    Klassen’s statement was that ‘They cannot run the ball to save their lives despite feeling the need to try on seemingly every first down’. For starters, that statement’s not true; we DON’T run on every 1st down. Not even close, although I’ve seen any number of folks spout that as the party line. Go back & analyze each of the 9 games & you’ll find that we pass on 1st down considerably more than we run.

    But for another, Klassen is into the famous chicken or the egg analysis. Which comes first? Are you bad BECAUSE you can’t run or are you bad BECAUSE your OLine doesn’t run-block very effectively & thus your run game never gets going. Throw BL’s inadequacies on top of that & it spells a 4-5 record.

  29. Redeemer Says:

    Defense speaks the truth. The problem isn’t that they are running on FD excessively. The problem is when they do, they can’t do squat. If opponents don’t need to worry about the run, everything is harder in the passing game. There’s cheap rushing yards to be had. IMO the problem is two fold. A line that can’t move people, and a poor play caller. Where are the screens, and draws. Where is the misdirection. When was the last time you said to yourself, that was a well designed play.

  30. ChiBuc Says:

    @Redeemer: “When was the last time you said to yourself, that was a well designed play.”

    I say it all the time. Unfortunately, it is about the other team 😕

  31. Redeemer Says:

    Chi, exactly

  32. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    Just want to chime in with my expert analysis.

    BL sucks.

  33. DBS Says:

    The truth is. Notice back a few threads DR talks about the poor defense being “banged” up. Of course as he always makes that excuse for any of their failures he never says a word about that for the offense. No he wants to stick up for BL now and give him last years line. But go back a few threads like yesterday maybe the day before when he was bashing BL and his play calling. But of course his #1 priority everyday is to somehow attack Joe.

  34. Beeej Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    November 12th, 2022 at 6:06 pm
    For starters, that statement’s not true; we DON’T run on every 1st down.

    True enough, if you’re counting the whole game….which would include the part where we’re hopelessly behind and have to pass every down in hope of catching up

  35. DoooshLaRue Says:


    We also had the Red Pen last year keeping THE MASTERMIND in check.

  36. FortMyersDave Says:

    Solution: The Glazers and Licht need to tell Leftwich he will be fired if they get less than 20 points in a loss in Munich. If Bowels objects, inform him to take a lesson from Frank Reich with the Colts, the Glazers have the coin to eat his contract. The loss will be on ownership as well as the Glazers choose to play on the road internationally as a home team but never play as the road game as they do not make as much coin as a road team (if I understand the finances correctly). They give up home field and a win advantage for coin!!!!!…. …

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    DooshLaRue … I’m not a very big fan of Leftwich at all, and I certainly can’t ‘stick up for BL’ as DBS said. My earlier point was that the 2020 & 2021 Bucs had so much talent that even BL couldn’t screw it up (although he did his best). Essentially, we won in spite of BL, not because of him. And yes, I think the fact that ‘We also had the Red Pen last year keeping THE MASTERMIND in check’ made a monstrous difference.

    Regardless of who’s calling the plays though, once a play is selected the OLine is the first critical element. If it breaks down or doesn’t do its job, the play probably won’t succeed. I believe that’s what we’re seeing in the run game … the blocking isn’t consistently there. I don’t expect them to open up massive holes for our RBs to truck on through, but at least open up a tiny hole to give our RBs a chance to make it to the second level. We’re not even doing that; we’re losing our too many of our 1-on-1’s it looks like to me. So we’ve chosen to pass more than ever & the results are speaking for themselves. We’ve gotta get the running game back on-track IMO if we’re gonna finish on a high note & end up with a winning record this season.

  38. Matt Ware Says:

    This is the original BUC since 1976, I’m encouraged by the Creative Play Calling today, this season may not be at a total loss. However, the game in Munich wasn’t by any means perfect but it’s a start, I believe balanced play will soften up the defenses which we face and allow the Team to establish a beneficial running game. which will help facilitate the play action. By utilizing the upcoming week off to insert a few additional plays into the Offense will help to keep defenses honest going forward (once the starting Center returns) and the offensive line is reset. this is where Jensen calling out coverage is sorely missed, since the coaching was much improved this week and the schemes are a little simpler, going forward game planning, and play calling should help the rookie running back(White) become more effective sooner. GO BUCS!!!