Seven 3-And-Outs

November 7th, 2022

It’s hard to believe the Bucs struggled mightily to beat the Rams yesterday after forcing seven 3-and-outs by the defending Super Bowl champs.

It’s one thing to shut down a team, but seven 3-and-outs is ridiculous. Seven! Still, Tampa Bay needed late heroics to win 16-13.

It was the seventh time this season the Bucs have held a team to 21 points or less. They’re 4-3 in those games but should be at least 5-1 if they’re offense remotely reflected that the talent it possesses.

It’s hard to judge how well the Bucs played defensively because the Rams were so anemic outside of their small handful of big plays. Joe has to dive into the film, but certainly the Bucs got a lift from the return of Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis.

Akiem Hicks playing as much as Vita Vea was a surprise. Hicks didn’t do much but hopefully he shook off six-plus weeks of rust and will make an impact moving forward.

The Bucs’ top 2022 draft pick, rookie defensive tackle Logan Hall, had by far his fewest snaps of the season (nine). Perhaps he got hurt. If not, that was a major change to the Bucs lineup. Joe already has written about how DT Rakeem Nuñez-Rochez might be the reason Bucs aren’t crying in their beers this morning.

As for where the Bucs defense stands, facing Seattle on Sunday will be by far their biggest test since the Chiefs slapped them around in Week 4.

45 Responses to “Seven 3-And-Outs”

  1. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    I’m all in that it starts at the top. This is Bowles team not Leftwich. I think he’s telling them the game plan and Leftwich is limited in what he can do. I think there has to be some major changes in the plan from Bowles if we want to start performing on offense.

  2. firethecannons Says:

    it may be time to fire Bowles and leftwich if we lose in germany they should be fired certainly leftwich–too many missed opportunities with extreme bad play calling

  3. orlbucfan Says:

    Have Bucs ever won one of these (stupid) overseas games? Nope. I’m hesitant to watch it.

  4. Dooley Says:

    This game played out EXACTLY like the loss to GB, iirc from the 2nd qtr to the end of the 3rd the defense got off the field and the ball back to the offense on 7 of 8 GB drives yet because the offense was struggling in that span we still needed our final offensive drive for heroics and came up short on a 2-pt conversion. It’s been a common trend in every game win/loss outside of the KC game, but yesterday the offense was able to seal the deal….on its’ last drive

  5. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    How many three and outs did we have offensively I think we should start worrying about that a little more, my son’s modified team has a better offensive concept then the Bucs!!

  6. Brandon Says:

    Everybody still riding the jock of the most overrated player in a Bucs uniform, Playoff Lenny? How far can you get running the ball with a running back that struggles to actually run the ball? As I’ve said numerous times before, he is average at best.

  7. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    Colts have fired Reich on Monday morning.

    When will the Bucs fire Lefty due to HISTORIC BAD OFFENSE.

    Forget this “wait until the end of the season” DO IT NOW.

    Teams that want accountability are firing now. The Bucs must be OK with Leftwich running up the middle EVERY 1st down.

    Wake up Bucs before it’s too late!

  8. Ash Says:

    Yup when they decided to attack they looked like a different team this team doesn’t seem to have the discipline to run this conservative scheme they are trying to ram down everyone’s throats they suck at running the ball you shouldnt be running on first and second down just to have to try and complete a long 3rd down it’s not that hard stop making it so difficult to win games please.

  9. Bucamania Says:

    Telling you – this is what Todd Bowles wants. Run the ball. Play conservative.

    Run, Run, Incomplete.

    Bowles is playing like it’s 1999.

  10. Adrnagy Says:

    So what do you want ? A 45 yr qb throwing 90 times everygame ? We need to run the ball. Then play action. With our current oline it fits Ra. White and Vaughn better than fournette.

  11. SB~LV Says:

    “Son, we’d like to keep you around this season but we’re going to try and win a pennant.”- Casey Stengel

  12. catcard202 Says:

    Glad the team showed enough late game life to beat a struggling Rams team dealing with it’s own issues…Great!

    Now on to the most important game of the year…

    Bucs “have to” win in Germany & get back to .500 going into the Bye Week…Otherwise, the season will be back in serious jeopardy & the prospects of locking in a losing season could be at-hand by Christmas.

  13. Winny Testaverde Says:

    I’d take Frank Reich in a minute…

  14. Casual Observer Says:

    Our D was fine. Hope we get Winfield back. If we can learn to run the ball a bit (seems doubtful), we can win in Germany.

  15. kp Says:

    From what I saw, we ran 1 play action pass yesterday. If you are going to consistently run on 1st down, let’s at least try a few play action passes.

  16. Guzzie Says:

    Anyone else feel like Seattle is going to curb stomp us

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    AKickInTheBucNuts … ‘The Bucs must be OK with Leftwich running up the middle EVERY 1st down.’

    Actually Bucs ran it on 13 of 29 first down attempts, not counting 1 where Brady spike the ball. Of the 13 runs on 1st down, Bucs ran exactly ONE up the middle.

  18. BucU Says:

    An ugly win doesn’t make me suddenly forget that our offense is HORRIBLE. And worse than that is these coaches changed nothing on offense. It was the same garbage as 10 days earlier against the Ravens.
    Leftwich is not capable of changing what he does.
    How many more games of complete and utter incompetence from these coaches before somebody does something??? FIRE LEFTWICH NOW.

  19. B.D Says:

    Sometimes you need to pass to set up the run

  20. B.D Says:

    Works both ways,if they are playing the run,pass.if they are playing the pass,run.

  21. HC Grover Says:

    Brady is not going to put up with Sluggo and Lefties BS.

  22. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    But the first half. I think they passed on one first down. All others were runs.

  23. Redeemer Says:

    Defense did their job. Other than the long Cupp TD, (that looked eerily similar to the divisional round) they played solid. Like catcard said, means nothing if they don’t beat Seattle. BTW, what the hell were the Rams doing on defense that last drive? That was pitch and catch for Brady.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucamania … ‘Telling you – this is what Todd Bowles wants. Run the ball. Play conservative. Run, Run, Incomplete. Bowles is playing like it’s 1999.’

    Bucs ran the ball 20 times yesterday ((and they sucked at it) & had 59 passing attempts. That works out to a run-pass ratio of 25.3%. Hardly sounds like a run, run, incomplete attack. Quite the opposite actually.

    BA had a run-pass ratio in 2021 of 33.8%. In 2020 it was 36.3% under BA. Going back to 2019 it was 37.7%, again under BA.

    Seems to me that yesterday’s running the ball on 25.3% of the plays is considerably less than the percentages of the time that BA used to have them run it. Especially considering that under BA we continually ranked right at the bottom of the league in terms of run-pass percentages.

    Oh and BTW, slightly more than halfway through this season, the Bucs have now run it on 30.8% of our plays (only 183 rushing attempts in 595 plays). Seems kinda obvious that Bowles’ team is running it FAR LESS than BA’s teams ever did. I know that doesn’t fit what you’re saying, but them’s still the facts.

    REALITY is that we suck at running the ball AND we suck at passing the ball. Look for the common denominators & I’m sure you’ll figure out why.

  25. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    IMO, The Rams gave the Bucs the game. That was about the ugliest win I ever saw. Same old Leftwitch. I don’t care if they won He still has to go. I mean they won inspite of him. Bowles you better wake up & fire him or you will be walking the door arm & arm. That last drive the Rams just sat back an left TB march down the field.

  26. geno711 Says:

    Rams went three-and-out on 8 of 12 possessions

    Five drives went for negative yardage, only three with more than 7 yards

    Fewest first downs, second-fewest yards of McVay era

    Second-fewest first downs by any team this season

    Rams had zero first downs and 5(!) yards in fourth quarter

  27. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    4000 run to the right on first for ZERO gain

  28. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    @Defense Rules:

    OK. I’ll give the run every first down, I’m just venting, however, you can’t say this isn’t a HISTORIC BAD OFFENSE.

    BL needs to go. Teams have figured out what we do on offense and he is not trying something new to fix it. When teams laugh that we’re running the same plays and they know whats coming, that falls on the OC.

  29. Craig Says:

    Though I think Leftie is out of his league, I can’t blame him completely for yesterday.

    The offense falls apart on almost every drive. It is little things like holding calls and dropped passes that is their doom.

    It doesn’t matter how many three and outs you force, if you can’t sustain a drive, and the Bucs are snake bit right now.

  30. JimbobBucfan Says:

    I saw Brady grab Byron and give him a big hug after the game. Methinks those guys appreciate each other! They both need to wrap their arms around the defense and special teams. Tom keeps preaching that it is a team sport. Will some fans ever get this?

    Go Bucs!

  31. Goatfarmer Says:

    Hicks may not look like he does much, but there’s no denying the defense has been better when he’s been on the field. He enables Vita to beast which enables Diva to screw up a little less. Stay healthy, Hicks.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Thisisouryear!! … ‘But the first half. I think they passed on one first down. All others were runs.’

    Not too far off. Bucs ran it on 9 first downs & passed it on 5 of them in the 1st half. Problem was that BL showed absolutely ZERO imagination; Bucs ran it on 9 of their first 10 first down attempts. Interestingly we got a total of 39 yards rushing on those 9 attempts (4.3 YPC). However, we only got a total of 51 yards rushing on the day, on 20 attempts. Means that on the other 12 run attempts (not on 1st down), we only got 12 yards. That’s beyond sad.

  33. Dooley Says:

    Also the D did a much better job this week getting off the field on 3rd down and even setting the Rams up(with their help) in 3rd & Long on 6 occasions and getting off the field for every single on of them.

  34. JBBucs_06 Says:

    Called the win yesterday! Was nervous and pissed but glad we pulled it out. Now we need same defensive effort and more diversity in the backfield (Lenny is tiptoeing). Last 2 years the holes were wide this year they’re slim. We need a shiftier back with quicker feet and better vision. Balance the load, play them both at the same time. Perhaps RB screens, play action Lenny up the middle screen to White….some misdirection.

    But D is better with health, rush D White, play DB in coverage. Return of Winfield only makes it better. On obvious passing downs D White should be on the sideline or rushing in place of Shaq.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    I’m all for a run pass ratio of 35/65! JUST DON’T RUN ON 90% OF THE 1ST DOWNS!!! When we do the results are not good!! White needs more snaps!! A good rotation could create good results!! Worth a try!!

  36. Ash Says:

    Let’s be real about the defense the rams are about equally as terrible on offense as the bucs are need to see more consistency before I’m convinced for sure.

  37. Beej Says:

    Short pass is replacing the run, I don’t see the problem there

  38. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Listen most people want leftwich fired and I will agree to a certain extent. The play calling has bin terrible but if you watch film players have bin messing up too. Missed blocks players not being on the same page dropped balls and the timing between Brady and Godwin has bin off. Leftwich has got to do a better job at play calling but the players have got to do a better job at executing the plays

  39. Browsing from DC Says:

    I disagree on Hicks. His presence alone helped Vea get freed up to make plays.

    The 3 and outs are way too common (understatement) but Brady has a history of giving up on plays and tossing the ball away or in the ground at a receiver’s feet in order to avoid a sack or a pick and to move on to the next play. This season however, he seems to have an itchy trigger finger on the “abort” button. Little faith in his protection and players not getting separation have a lot to do with it.

    Most of his throws into the turf seem to be in Godwin’s direction over the middle. He just isn’t getting separation or another defender is approaching from the other direction so rather than risk a pick or a tipped ball and a pick, the ball is thrown at his feet.

    Like beating a dead horse, the Bucs 3rd down woes begin with 1st down runs that net zero yards, receivers not getting past the sticks with their routes (these receivers aren’t Gronk who could drag defenders 10 yards after contact). Add in penalties, drops and miscommunication at the worst possible times and you have the Bucs 3rd down problems in a nutshell. Everyone here knows this. Certainly the Bucs coaches know this and these are all fixable.

    Bowles and Lefty running this team is like giving them the keys to a Ferrari and realizing later that they can’t drive stick.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    AKickInTheBucNuts … ‘you can’t say this isn’t a HISTORIC BAD OFFENSE’.

    And I won’t; it’s horrendous. Our offensive attack is totally out of whack. Our running attack sucks, but still we’re at historic lows for running the ball (30% on the season). Brady’s compensating by throwing the ball a LOT more. But look at the numbers & it becomes obvious WHY that’s not working & WHY it sucks. Our OLine blocking has been terrible for 1 thing. That all by itself, combined with the predictable (aahh, let’s use the work AWFUL) play-calling, explains a lot, but it’s not the whole story.

    Look at our TE targeting & production. It’s down quite a bit over the past years under BA. Brady REALLY misses Gronk. Look at our RB targeting & production (in the passing game). It’s also DOWN quite a bit over the past years under BA. Brady is going much more-so to his WRs, and quite frankly, they’re doing a lousy job. Not getting open, and the number of dropped balls is ridiculous (I saw TWO potential TDs dropped last night, and on the night, the announcers said the Bucs’ receivers dropped either 7 or 8). That’s gross.

    Evans is on his way to another 1,000 yard year, but his performance in the clutch has been terrible (only catching 62.9%). Godwin is having an even worse year (only catching 64.6% which is very low for him). Julio is a non-factor (50% catch rate), and Perriman is the same (50% catch rate). Brate’s sitting at less than 60%, as is Scotty Miller. They’re all under-performing & under-producing. Brady’s not blameless either IMO, BUT … if the guys you throw to aren’t getting open, it’s hard to say how much of this is on TB12 & how much of it is on his receivers.

  41. unbelievable Says:

    Outside of that 1 blown play on the Kupp touchdown, the defense really was playing great.

    Davis and SMB were both tackling machines in the run game, which was really nice to see.

  42. unbelievable Says:

    @Defense Rules – the drops by our receivers seem to be getting worse each week. I’ll give Evans a bit of a pass on yesterday, as he was clearly injured after the very first reception. But the rest of the guys- there is no excuse.

    Also – it is insane to me that yesterday, in week 9, was the first time a tight end has a caught a touchdown for us this year.

    Actually I guess it’s not the crazy, since we have struggled SO BADLY to score at all week after week. Like you said, there is blame to go around to everyone: the receivers, the o-line, even the QB. And obviously most of all – the GOD AWFUL playcalling from Leftwich.

  43. Defense Rules Says:

    Guzzie … ‘Anyone else feel like Seattle is going to curb stomp us?’

    Quite the contrary Guzzie, I think we can beat them. All we need is a different OC by Sunday.

    Seattle’s lost 3 games … to 3 teams none of which have a winning record. All 3 beat them in the same way: they ran the ball down their throats. 49ers ran it 45 times (64% run-pass ratio). Falcons ran it 31 times (56% run-pass ratio). Saints ran it 48 times (65% run-pass ratio).

    Seahawks defense ranks #22 overall, and they’ve allowed 220 points (24.4 PPG). Their run defense ranks #27 & their pass defense ranks #20. Their offense in contrast ranks #4 overall, and they’ve scored 241 points (26.8 PPG). Pretty obvious where the Seahawks weakness is.

    I know I’m in the minority, but I’d tell our big hogs to put on their big boy pants & blow the guy in front of them off the line. Excuses are for losers. Seahawks defense is very susceptible to the run, but not the way BL operates it. I’d have all 3 of our RBs switching off early, and whichever one gets hot, run that horse into the ground. Bring in 1 maybe even 2 extra OLinemen, and just for kicks put Vea in there some too.

    Every team that the Seahawks beat passed more than they ran; most a lot more. Every team the Seahawks lost to ran more than they passed, a lot more. Their weakness is obvious. Run it down their throats.

  44. csidedave Says:

    I don’t know if I am more hoarse from yelling when we were on defense or when I screamed NO, NOT THAT PLAY! every time the Brady turned to throw the wide receiver screen. So many times……

  45. Bucamania Says:

    Bucs offense averaging a paltry 13.7 points per game the last 3 weeks.

    Only Indy has been worse.