49ers Defense Begs Teams To Throw Short

December 10th, 2022

What will he do?

If Byron Leftwich is going to Byron Leftwich tomorrow, the Bucs are doomed.

The failing Bucs offensive coordinator seems to have grown an affinity for throwing short passes since Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians decided to step off the field and into a luxury suite during games.

If Leftwich plans to continue that tomorrow, Derrik Klassen of Football Outsiders believes the 49ers will stomp the Bucs’ offense.

The 49ers defense is as good as any at rallying to tackle on short throws. On film, you see them flying around with unparalleled energy and tackling with good, clean mechanics, at least for the linebackers. The numbers more or less back that up. On throws of 5 air yards or less, the 49ers rank sixth in yards per attempt allowed (4.8) and fifth in EPA allowed. Moreover, they have the lowest rate of plays with at least 1.0 EPA generated against them on those throws at 8.9%. They kill quick game, checkdowns, and screens incredibly well.

If — and given the past 12 games that’s a massive if — someone with authority on the Bucs unchains the offense, the Bucs will do just fine. Joe doesn’t believe that will happen because Joe is 90 percent convinced the Bucs coaches don’t want to throw deep often.

They seem more inclined to waste talent and blow their likely last opportunity to make a championship run with Brady than to adjust their deeply ingrained and misguided sacrosanct beliefs.

Why is Joe optimistic about the Bucs’ chances tomorrow if the Bucs open up the offense? Remember back to the loss to the Rams in the playoffs? The offense couldn’t get anything going. Von Miller and Leonard Floyd were having a field day. Near the end of the first half the Bucs adjusted, somewhat neutralized the Rams’ pass rush and rallied, tying the ballgame late.

It can be done, folks. The question is, does Leftwich really want to win? That’s all there is to it.

50 Responses to “49ers Defense Begs Teams To Throw Short”

  1. Beeej Says:

    I can’t wait for the WR screen that will net -3 yards

  2. CrackWise Says:

    In honor of Navy vs Army. I hope we march all over the 9ers singing.

    Your Left Your Left Your Leftnut Left.

    I don’t know what you’ve been told,
    Our OC retired cause he got old.
    Now we’re stuck with fungus like mold.
    He thinks he’s cool and pretends to be bold,
    Little does he know he’s no longer in the fold.
    This game will prove he’s just a troll,
    Leftnut it time for your head to ROLL.


    Your Left Your Left Your Leftnut Left.
    Cut it off NOW and hope for the best.

    Someone please, show Byron the DOOR,
    Tampa don’t want him here anymore.
    one, two………. three, FOUR.

    Let’s GOOOOO!!!

  3. Clapton is God! Says:

    Everything that can be said about this coaching staff has been said already. It comes down to one question: do they change their minds about this absurd offensive strategy or not. If the answer is no, then I doubt we ever see a tv map like this again beginning next year.

  4. Lamarcus Says:

    Who on the team can run go-routes?? Earlier, you said Mike Evans can’t do it so I can’t think of anyone else. Who Scotty Miller?

  5. Jon Says:

    These coaches are the definition of stubborn
    The old heads who can’t adjust. It’s almost like Todd wants to prove a point that his defense is better than it was bc of last year and his way is neutering our high scoring offense to give them rest. I’ll say it again. Fire anyone in this program involved with conditioning and strength.
    They suck. Always injured. Look at Tryon. This team has no speed no power. Wtf are we actually. Finesse. Yet we’re trying to run power football. Make it make fcking sense joe. A pop Warner coach could see this

  6. Clapton is God! Says:

    Early on, Bowles worked for the Tuna, and Parcells always said that to win late season games you needed to consistently run the ball. Of course he was talking about games north of the Mason Dixon line. Someone tell Todd and Lefty that Tampa ain’t New York or New England.

  7. Tye Says:

    What will Leftwich do?

    Same STUPID $#@% he has every game:

    1st down – run up the middle
    2nd down – run up the middle
    3rd down – that stupid receiver screen that gets nothing
    4th punt

  8. Infomeplease Says:

    Sorry to speculate this but I see a very low scoring game not unlike the other games played so far!! You think the coaches are using nextgen stats to game plan? NOT!!!!!!!! They know what’s best!! That’s why they don’t have a winning record!!!! If they don’t change soon (like tomorrow soon) the season will be lost!! Of course that could be good news for the coaches brought in next season!! Maybe even that guy I hate that smirks alot!!! He is a real bad TV commentator!!!

  9. Kalind Says:

    We already know.. 1st down run off guard. Second down complete swing pass to Godwin for 4 yards. Then a incomplete pass for 7 yards. Punt.

    Book it.

  10. Kentucky Buc Says:

    It is what it is at this point. Stay close and try to win it at the end. I hope I’m wrong. The D getting some turnovers would help immensely.

  11. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    I thought for sure I’d see something here related to the Saints getting fined for the Cam Jordan fake injury. As far as this game goes, their QB was picked last in the draft for a reason. I’m not worried about him or injury prone McCaffrey. As long we can keep the score low, we’ll have a chance to win unless magically there’s a shift in our passing attack and we dominate in the air like we’re supposed to.

  12. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Bucs 6
    49ers 24

    Failing Leftwich gets a 4 year extension as a reward

    Yeah…I made plans to work all day tomorrow and spare myself the misery of watching the debacle

  13. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Bucs 6
    49ers 24

    Failing Leftwich gets a 4 year extension as a reward

    Yeah…I made plans to work all day tomorrow and spare myself the misery of watching the debacle

  14. sasquatch Says:

    Bucs will lose. There isn’t anything that will change that unless they let Brady go no huddle periodically throughout the game. But that would mean scoring points, and Todd Bowles is philosophically opposed to scoring unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  15. HC Grover Says:

    Hard to open up in rain and mud. It gonna be nasty wx.

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    Making that west coast trip usually spells doom for most teams. The Bucs won in LA with Winston at QB like 4-5 years ago but the West Coast victories are few and far between.

    The SF defense is licking it’s chops right now – going against the most predictable OC in the NFL will be fun for them.

    Our defense will limit SF’s offense especially with Purdy at QB. But Sf can run the ball and they will score enough to beat us…

    SF = 17
    TB = 09

    We will struggle in the redzone as usual. 3 FGs. No TDs.

    I hope I am wrong.

  17. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Bowles and Leftwich will not change. They would rather embarrass themselves and their players than admit their offensive (both definitions intended) game plans stink to high heaven. If the Niners score 20, Bucs lose.

  18. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Not sticking up for Leftwich, but to run Bruce Arians offense takes 2 things besides receivers who can get open. It takes a dominate offensive line, and a strong running game.
    We possess neither one!
    I think that has a lot to do with us throwing short so often.
    It may be a blessing that Fournette is out for this game, because White has the speed to really hurt the 49ers catching passes out of the backfield.

  19. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Better watch out for that Polamalu clone they’ve got. Dude is fierce.

  20. NEfan Says:

    The coaches have NO idea because this is a STAT and they ignor stats. Poor TB12 and Bucs players. This should be another unbearable game to watch. Thanks AGAIN Mr. INVISIBLE BA!!!

  21. View from 132 Says:

    Bucs 42, 49ers 11 because the NFL makes no sense and everyone is picking SF for the Super Bowl. Brady goes off for 6 TD passes and admits two years from now he called his own plays that day.

  22. Oneilbuc Says:

    We win this game the 49ers will be overconfident and we will win !!!

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    I sometimes wonder if we’re all watching the same Bucs games. Some folks say that Bowles just wants to run-run-run, and yet we run LESS than any team in the NFL & have the LEAST number of rushing yards by far.

    Others say that he’s hog-tied BA’s Bombs Away, No-Risk-It-No-Biscuit, and yet I see Brady attempting 5 DEEP PASSES in our win against the Seahawks (and completing 3), 9 DEEP PASSES in our loss to the Browns (but completing only 3) and 6 DEEP PASSES in our win against the Saints (and only completing 1). Just in those 3 games, that’s an average of 7 DEEP PASSES and an average of only 2 completions per game.

    We’ve won 2 of our last 3 games (admittedly not pretty), and our 3rd down conversion rate has improved in those games to 22-of-45 (48.9%). We’ve far more plays in those 3 games than our opponents, an average of 72 plays/game for us versus only 60 plays/game for them (kinda leads me to believe we must be doing some hurry-up since our TOP roughly breaks even over those 3 games). All that with a makeshift OLine due to injuries, a bunch of banged-up weapons, and a patched together Secondary.

    But ya, we must really suck. For sure … ‘Bowles is philosophically opposed to scoring unless it’s absolutely necessary’. Sure, let’s all believe that. Or maybe we can believe ‘1st down – run up the middle; 2nd down – run up the middle; 3rd down – that stupid receiver screen that gets nothing 4th punt’. Oh ya, much more believable.

  24. BucsfanFred Says:

    The crowd was not chanting let’s go Brandon at the end of the game last Sunday
    They were chanting let’s go bi-ron Clapp.Clap ClapClapClap!

  25. BucsfanFred Says:

    That said, I hope TB can overcome and the defence can get a few pick sixes.

  26. unbelievable Says:

    You expect Byron Leftwich to change his game plan based on the Bucs opponent?

    LOL joke’s on you.

  27. Arn platz Says:

    For crackwise

    Byron’s not going to throw it deep,
    All us fans prepare to weep,
    Leftwich will run it between the tackles, never a sweep
    No risk it no biscuit game plan we should keep
    Conservative play calling sow what you reap
    Byron leftwich needs to go he bleep bleep bleep

  28. Pewter Power Says:

    Bucs will get smashed because of Bowles and Byron. Who trusts BL to scout another team defense without BA?

  29. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Weather is supposed to be in the 50s and raining the whole game. This is going to be an ugly game all around.

  30. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Joe, Leftstiff still hasn’t shown us that he is capable, capable of making any type of adjustments. Not one adjustment that makes cense. What is even more frustrating is the fact that we, the fans, the outsiders, don’t have any say so in the matter, none. No voice to compel a reaction from anyone with power within this organization. What the hell, all this talent, wasting away before us and there isn’t a thing we can do about it. So what are we going to do next year exchange quarterbacks with the 49ers?, I can definitely see that happening, Garapolo under center while Brady drives up to San Mateo to see his parents every other day. Great waste of talent and smarts, the Glasers still haven’t woken up. Damn shame, damn shame Joe.

  31. Bob in valrico Says:

    While I don’ t want to make excuses for Leftwich or his play selection. Brady’s game has included short passes to backs and other targets. The quick passes passes tie in with his desire to get the ball out quick. I would like to see more intermediate routes early to sidelines,etc. Then open up to some deeper shots Better utilization of backs in blocking
    schemes might be necessary to buy more time for Brady. It seems like Lenny
    rarely stays in to block or chip block, but I have seen White pick up a couple of blitzes and attempt to chip block.

  32. TexasBucsFan Says:

    If management wasn’t happy with the Bucs coaching, there would be changes. So the only conclusion one can draw from the offensive situation is that management is happy with the play on the field. No change in the coaches

  33. BucsfanFred Says:

    If we’re gonna make up rhymes,
    Rockabye bi-ron on the side line.
    On first and then you’ll run every time
    On third and twelve when you throw the ball.
    Short of the first the runner will fall.

  34. steele Says:

    “Why is Joe optimistic about the Bucs’ chances tomorrow if the Bucs open up the offense? Remember back to the loss to the Rams in the playoffs?”

    Joe, that should make us more pessimistic. That’s the “because Tom Brady” formula, one that they turn to far too often, and too late, and it only works if the team is not otherwise demoralized already. And if Todd Bowles isn’t losing the game with a bad plan regardless of TB12 heroics.

    The Niners are going to come out in beat down mode early. They are going to hit fast and hard. Count on it.

  35. ClwJB Says:

    Put whatever spin you want on barely winning against bad teams, the O is historically bad even as compared to the prior Bucs teams

    We are wasting a loaded offense with a under performing OC plain and simple

    It’s much deeper than the play calling – although that is a huge part of it – it’s the constant mistakes – constant 3 and outs 6 times in a row – second lowest points per game in the league!!!!!!!

    I can’t believe some people are gonna defend this ass clown

    The HC is horrible at time management and motivation – okay so what does he do well? Take chances on D and play ultra conservative on O

    20 yards is not a deep pass BTW

  36. Crickett Baker Says:

    “I enjoyed the poetry”, she said, shyly, “but you should listen to Rock Riley”. Seems Purdy is being talked about the least, but according to the podcast, this guy is a BEAST!
    He’s cussing out players so he–
    ain’t looking like a rookie.
    This sucks.
    GO BUCS!

  37. Bojim Says:

    Throw long more and maybe we score more than 18 points. Duh.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    ClwJB … ’20 yards is not a deep pass BTW’.

    I think officially it is.

  39. LakelandSteve Says:

    I hope I am wrong but if the recent past is any indication the 49’ers should win easily. The Bucs don’t want to get behind too far and become one dimensional, if they do that 9’er pass rush will be brutal. Let’s hope the game stays close and the Bucs can run it just enough to keep them a little off balance and we can pull it out at the end.

  40. Woodenman Says:

    Suppose to Rainy and in the 50’s this game will not won throwing the ball. Who ever runs the ball best will win.

  41. Woodenman Says:

    Not to mention very windy so even FG ARE NOT A GIVEN

  42. Buczilla Says:

    I think that this season was doomed as soon as Arians stepped down as head coach and replaced by two dudes who in no way deserve their current positions. Licht has been the best gm in the league for 3 years running, but if it takes sacrificing him to lure Harbaugh or some other proven head coach I’m all for it. I’d love for Bowles to prove me wrong, but I’ve seen nothing from him that gives me faith that he can.

  43. Barkingupthewrongtree Says:

    If they really were chanting Lets go Brandon at the game, I hope the Bucs lose every game for eternity. Idiots like that don’t deserve joy, they deserve muzzles. I will excuse myself and find another team with less idiotic fans. I can’t be associated with such stupidity.

  44. BarstoolCowboy Says:

    No kidding dude…

  45. BarstoolCowboy Says:



    I think the overreaction to the play calls, is not that we ACTUALLY run up the middle on every play. Its an emotional reaction to the INCREDIBLY PREDICTABLE play calling. As others have said, I can assess with about a 60% accuracy what they are going to run throughout a game (I have kept tabs the last few games). If I can do that, a pro defensive coordinator should be in the 85-90% range. An offense cannot be successful if the other team knows what’s coming. Period. Again, not everyone has time to pull the numbers like you do and that is appreciated. But I think the sentiment is accurate. We are #&$*ing predictable as any team I have ever watched in the Pros.

  46. Keimosabe Says:

    What happened to the intermediate passing game??? That’s where Evans and Godwin eat, that’s the only way we open up the deep game

  47. JD Says:

    Bowles and Leftwich are straight up losers. BA can talk out of his behind all he wants but these two coaches purely suck and all you have to do to confirm that is listen to the press conferences.

  48. orlbucfan Says:

    Doesn’t Brady have the power to change a call he doesn’t like? Then why doesn’t he do it?

  49. Jonny Says:

    I don’t know of our coaches are even aware of this analysis of 9ers defense. And I don’t know if they are capable of gameplanning differently even if they did. Let’s never forget, BUCS lost to the 3-8 Browns after coming off a bye.

  50. Destinjohnny Says:

    It limits what you can do when your center and 2 guards are prob the worst in the league .
    Not even talking about our left tackle….
    On the good side we have the best right tackle in the last 10 years