Third Downs Killing The Bucs

November 3rd, 2022

Troubles begin on third down.

No wonder the Bucs are on pace for a top-10 draft pick.

They’re atrocious on third downs. Offense, defense, it doesn’t matter. They stink.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles was asked yesterday why the Bucs have been boatraced in the third quarter of games. It boils down to garbage play on third downs.

“It’s been third downs on both sides,” Bowles said. “We’re not converting no matter whether it’s third-and-1 or third-and-long [and] we’re not getting them off the field, whether it’s missed tackles or a busted assignment or otherwise. We’re not getting off the field in the second half.”

That is a big reason why the Bucs lost to the Crows last week. So how bad are the Bucs on third down? Think 25.

How does “25” represent their third-down horror show? That’s where the Bucs rank.

On offense, the Bucs rank No. 25 in the NFL converting 34.5 percent of third downs. All teams but one ranked below the Bucs have either a rookie quarterback or brutal offenses on sorry teams.

Thanks, Byron Leftwich!

On defense, the Bucs rank No. 25 because opponents have converted an atrocious 42.11 percent of third downs against Bowles’ defense. That’s just not getting the job done, that’s all there is to it.

The Bucs won’t turn a damn thing around if they don’t start improving on third downs. On both sides of the ball.

38 Responses to “Third Downs Killing The Bucs”

  1. Hodad Says:

    Whatever happened to the quick slant pass? Seems Evans, and Godwin could pick up a 3rd, and three on a quick slant in their sleep, yet the Bucs never call it.

  2. BucU Says:

    And what exactly have the coaches done to correct this abysmal 3rd down issue on both sides of the ball? Talk talk talk. And on Sunday we’ll see the same garbage just like the week before. And the week before that. And the week before that. And the week before that. Sunday night we’ll hear the same old lines. Execution. Communication. Blah blah.

  3. Lakeland Steve Says:

    I think we all knew it because we watched it. At least the Bucs recognized it and now it’s in writing for everyone who turns the game off at halftime to watch Heidi.

  4. Hail2dabucs Says:

    This is exactly how I judge the game if we have a shot 2 win it or not . The eye test in 3rd down . With this bunch of softies who are badly coached , every frigging time ! It does not matter if it’s 3rd and 1 or 3rd and 21 , the D gives up a first down…all game long , game over

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Thanks, Byron Leftwich? (And yes, I know, you’re being sarcastic Joe). Byron has already proven that given the best QB in the league, armed with the best weapons in the league, supported by the best OLine in the league, and overseen by an offensive guru that he can produce adequate results. Wow, major accomplishment. Take away any of those & he struggles (I’m being kind). If you polled JBFers as to whether the Bucs offense succeeded BECAUSE OF Byron Leftwich or IN SPITE OF Byron Leftwich we both know what the overwhelming response would be.

    Still, it’s the horrendous play of our OLine that’s killing our 3rd down efficiency. We’re 1-dimensional since we can’t run effectively, and that’s not a good formula for converting on 3rd downs. And since we can’t pass block either, we’re pretty much screwed. So instead of thanking BL, you should be thanking JL. See, sarcastic is easy to do.

  6. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Fournette stinks too. It was a mistake to resign him.

  7. SufferingSince76 Says:

    He forgot to mention they aren’t world beaters on the other three downs, either.

  8. George Says:

    Licht caused this mess by not bringing proper linemen

  9. Listnfrmafar Says:

    What no one on this site pointed out was Brady has no option to check down to the run. Yes we all know Bucs can’t run the ball but once you take out that check down, what’s left? What we’ve seen, some forced passes, Dlines pinning their ears back and corner blitzes. BL has to go, he hasn’t done anything creative to take the pressure off this limping O except a 2&1 reverse to damaged goods Jones.

    DR, you failed to mention the D 3rd down issue that’s been plaguing this team for the last since at least 2020. ALL these DB’s cannot be this bad, maybe Bowles should try a little man to man once in a while like ALL the other NFL teams instead of a soft zone coverage package.

  10. Tap-Out Says:

    Draft SS396!

  11. SB~LV Says:

    At some point they will need to find out about Trask

  12. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    When we fail to make 3rd downs, it fails to give our defense a rest.
    Lately, not only can we not run the ball, but our ball control passing attack is non existent.
    However, I look for a turnaround Sunday, since we have had 10 days to prepare for the Rams.

  13. Jake Says:

    Geez, I sit back and watch TV. I predict 90% of the plays and where they are going. It’s the coaching. And stop dumping the ball off for 2-3 yards. Geez. How do I have to explain all of this.

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    First down is killing the Bucs.

    Second down is killing the Bucs.

    Offense and defense.

  15. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Only 4 1/2 years left of the Flatulent One, and we can move on.

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s both side because it’s complementary, or not so complementary in this case!
    I’ve never seen a team struggle so much with 3rd and short on offense.
    Conversely, on 3rd and long our defense has no answer.

    CLEARLY, whatever we’ve been doing does NOT work. If every armchair QB this side of the Mississippi can see it…well…

  17. Bucfan Says:

    Ditto to all of the above. Is it 2023 yet?

  18. Ed Says:

    Not having a legit #3 WR this season is one of the reasons the 3rd down offense has been so bad. Gage’s injuries have robbed him of his quickness and he would have been the guy that Brady would have found to move the chains. His lack of being able to cut and run crisp routes is killing the offense. Scotty Miller or Darden cannot play the #3 role, they don’t have the moves to get open in 3rd down route tree.

    If Leftwich had any brains he would work Rashad White in the slot and have him run Gage’s routes. White has the body of a WR and played the position before he became a running back.

    Good coaches take advantage of the skills their players have. Byron’s offense is not utilizing the talents of his players nor using the kind of players they need.

    The rookies that played in the preseason both showed speed and ability to catch contested balls. Why is Byron putting out injured receivers on critical downs when after 8 weeks he could have been working these healthy younger and more athletic players into role players.

    He doesn’t see the game from the sidelines and isn’t putting healthy players on the field.

  19. SB~LV Says:

    I watch the Bucs like my wife now, just looking up at the TV for as long as the play lasts.
    The most bizarre chapter in Bucs history!
    I feel like I am on a psych ward on Thorazine

  20. BucU Says:

    Leftwich isn’t capable of doing anything other than what we’ve seen game after game after game.
    He’s still trying to run the 2020 offense because that’s all he knows and that’s why we’ve seen the same thing game after game with no adjustments.
    And that’s why we’ll lose again Sunday.

  21. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Fire Leftwich

  22. SB~LV Says:

    It’s not even fun coming to JBF

  23. Craig Says:

    Third and less than three is a Lenny run up the gut.

    Third and over three is a three yard pass and a hopeful run after catch.

    Need some imagination in there.

  24. Leighroy Says:

    Bring back the creative mind of Les Steckel!

  25. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    The trouble usually begins, right after the opening kick-off.

  26. Bucamania Says:

    25th is about right where this team ranks. Can’t win on the money downs.

  27. My Momma Says:

    My Momma says they can’t, Joe. They don’t have the horses in the trenches, plain and simple.

  28. FortMyersDave Says:

    Poor and predictable coaching on both sides of the ball is killing this team. Well at least the Bucs will have a shot at a nice replacement for Brady for whomever the new head coach will be if the losses continue to pile up…..

  29. FortMyersDave Says:

    Leighroy: at least Stecker would make the slackers climb ropes. Jeff Jagodzinski would be an improvement over Leftwich with his leaflet playbook.

  30. Redeemer Says:

    It might sound counter intuitive, but the bucs aren’t running enough, especially on second down. There are cheap rushing yards to be had on second and long. Draw plays, delayed handoffs and the like. Very rarely have I seen BL showing one thing, and do another. I’m beating a dead horse here, but it’s about predictability. If you’re constantly in third and long, the conversation rate will suffer.

  31. D-Rok Says:

    Good points, Redeemer. Yet, is anyone holding their collective breath that Bland Byron will do something creative or unexpected in 2nd and long situations?

  32. Ontario Mike Says:

    Josh McDaniels is a bad HC and will soon be fired and therefore available to reunite with TB12 to run the offence in place of BL. Bowles may be kept to run the defence. He looks like a statue on the sidelines with his arms crossed.

  33. Your Mom Says:

    Honestly 25 seems a lot higher than I thought. I would have expected 32 or maybe 31st with how bad they’ve been.

    What kind of half-time speeches is Bowles giving that neither offense nor defense can do anything after he talks to them at the half….

  34. Another j Says:

    Perhaps we should try working on 1st downs too!
    They’re also a problem.

  35. BucEmUp Says:

    Maybe stop running the ball on every first down

  36. Rich S Says:

    Fire Bowles and Leftwich period.

  37. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bowelswich killing the Bucs.

  38. Goatfarmer Says:

    Don’t matter. Leftwit can injure him again on the first series or just render him useless.