The Return Of The Play-Action

November 18th, 2022

Back to normal?

The way the Bucs out-bullied the Seahawks bullies Sunday in Munich came about for several reasons.

Derrik Klassen of Football Outsiders did a deep-tape dive and cited several elements going right for the Bucs against Seattle. The offensive line is healthy. Wide receivers are healthy. Rachaad White was worked more into the run game. Brady throwing deep again.

But Klassen found premier element, he believes, for why the Bucs offense hummed. The Bucs used play-action more Sunday and the Bucs were nearly perfect at it.

… … Per Sports Info Solutions, all seven of the Bucs’ play-action passes were from under center on Sunday, their second-most of the season. Only their loss to the Panthers featured more under-center play-action attempts, and they were pitiful at them in that game, completing just four of their nine attempts for 46 yards. By contrast, Brady completed six of seven passes for 74 yards against the Seahawks.

Joe has to wonder if Brady connecting on deeper passes Sunday was part of the reason the play-action worked. All kinds of data out there can demonstrates you do not have to establish the run in order to be effective with play-action.

Either way, the offense clicked. Joe sure hopes that is a sign of things to come.

21 Responses to “The Return Of The Play-Action”

  1. Deeez NATZ Says:

    Hopefully we have turned the corner..I don’t know but maybe those men have alot of pride and were tired of all the noise..
    .Great job Mr Bowles now let’s go on a long run like we did last year…Screw the first half of the season,this is the time to be playing good.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You absolutely do not have to establish a run game in order to pay action successfully.
    You have to make defenses think you’re going to run….and that, my friends, is a very easy task for the Bucs.

  3. Smashsquatch Says:

    We had our best game running the ball, and it coincided with solid play action. Hard to dispute that connection. There’s a lot of ways to setup play action, but for the Bucs it begins with a successful run game.

  4. Todd Says:

    Recurring question. Has the swelling in Jensen’s knee gone down yet to get an x-ray?


  5. Jaybuc Says:

    Yes the better you run the ball the better you are at play action..everybody know that. What many have complained about is always running up the gut on first down especially on the very first play of the series!

  6. Dooley Says:

    I mean, I get not having to run the ball “well” for play action passes to work in terms of production and numbers, but running the ball actually helps accomplish the whole point of using a run fake to set up a downfield pass in the same play. Especially considering the run fake is to freeze as many defenders as possible. PA also hits different when you’re up on the scoreboard dictating your offense to the defense than it does when the defense is protecting a lead.

  7. Buc king Says:

    I played Mike Edward’s on nba2k23…told him to get more picks for touchdowns and congratulated him on becoming a starter.
    His gamertag on xbox is medwards07..
    He had a poor record I offered to help him get some wins I don’t believe he wanted that help.

  8. DungyDance Says:

    “All kinds of data out there can demonstrate you do not have to establish the run in order to be effective with play-action.”

    If a certain offenive coordinator doesn’t give credence to data and stats, then he will miss this particular opportunity for successful plays, and many others. In any case, it was a huge relief to find a formula that worked last week.

  9. Jawain813 Says:

    One name Nick levertt was the missing link along with play action

  10. stpetebucfan Says:

    Much has been made of Brady’s lack of confidence in the young inexperienced 2/3 of his interior line…those charged with keeping the DL out of Brady’s face. There is probably some truth in that but it’s not just the two young guys.

    Donavan Smith suffered a very painful injury and then rehabbed as quickly as possible given the 2/3 inexperience on the interior. And so we should all give Donavan major props for MANNING UP and playing through the rehab of a very painful injury. He’s the man but he’s not a Cyborg and his play was clearly influenced. Again that’s not a knock just a statement of the difficulty of playing in the NFL with painful injuries. I’m curious as to what kind of cocktail they shot him up with to get him through it.

    Bottom line…The most critical OL spot for a right handed QB is LT. So during this time of recovery at the position charged with protecting Brady’s blindside..and failing on occasion…do we suppose THAT may have effected his confidence?

    Meanwhile I end on a great note. Donavan’s play has improved signficantly over the past few weeks…perhaps not just a coincidence in Brady’s and the entire offense’s improved play. And best of all…the Bucs have an entire extra week at the PERFECT spot in the season to complete their healing.

  11. B.D Says:

    pass to set up the run, and run to set up the pass…..

  12. Biff Barker Says:

    The OL earned a game ball. Maybe we can string more than one productive game together before taking a Kool Aid break.

    We still have Byron after all.

  13. Darin Says:

    Don’t have to establish the run for first down play action to work here that’s for sure. Leftwich always runs on first down into the guards’ booty

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    Gee, who woulda thunk that play action would be effective?

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    B.D … ‘pass to set up the run, and run to set up the pass…..’

    Agree 100% on that one BD. Folks get too wrapped around the chicken-or-the-egg when it comes to PA. Looks to me like IF your OLine is playing well (run AND pass blocking), you can make just about anything work. It all starts in the trenches. Open some holes, and the RBs will get their yards. Pass protect well and your QB will have time to pick the defense apart. Of course, having healthy weapons helps too.

  16. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    As you noted on the pod, I think he’s holding the ball a little longer and letting plays develop. Maybe he’s trusting the line more. Obviously PA forces a longer time holding the ball, too.

  17. Goatfarmer Says:

    That Boron Lefturdwich is some kind genius.

  18. captivajim Says:

    put Goedeke on IR for 7 wks .. & the O-Line will be fine

  19. Goatfarmer Says:

    Maybe they can find a way to get Boron on the IR.

    All this current optimism is a fool’s errand people. This is still the same coaching staff that inspired the Bucs to the 21-3 sodomization by the Tanking Coachless Panthers 3 weeks ago.

    The defense is already bored.

  20. Esteban85 Says:

    Start White and please play action deep on the first play of the game. We have pounded it into the teeth of the defense nearly every start to every game. Try it. Mike will catch it this time

  21. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    With the greatest play action-quarterback or greatest quarterback ever for that matter, the Play-action never should have gone anywhere!

    One more thing. Never run an empty backfield unless, your intention is to tell the defense that there is a 0% chance of a run-play, causing no defender to hesitate for an instant. You also lose one potential blocker on an obvious passing down. I get it but, I don’t get the empty backfield!?