Sign Of Team Playing Poorly Or Quarterback Playing Poorly?

June 4th, 2023

“Bryon, just give me a play that scores a touchdown.”

Joe doesn’t understand where people pin the blame of the Bucs’ struggling offense last year on Tom Brady. It just doesn’t add up.

The guy threw for over 4,500 yards — with the league’s worst running game. It wasn’t that long ago that Bucs fans would have killed someone for a quarterback to put up those kinds of numbers.

We all know about the Bucs’ struggles scoring touchdowns in the red zone. Last year the Bucs ranked 25th in touchdown percentage when entering the red zone. Not good.

But in scoring touchdowns in goal-to-go situations, it seems the Bucs were better but still middle of the pack. Per stathead Warren Sharp, Tampa Bay was 15th in the NFL in scoring touchdowns when in a goal-to-go situation.

Joe doesn’t know how a team with Mike Evans cannot be better than that. Evans was made for mismatches deep in red zone territory.

What’s weird about this stat is a team with one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL had the highest touchdown percentage in goal-to-go situations (Tennessee), and the team that was dead-last in this category had a Hall of Fame quarterback (Green Bay).

55 Responses to “Sign Of Team Playing Poorly Or Quarterback Playing Poorly?”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    When a team only scores 18 points per game….struggles in the red zone….has difficulty on 3rd downs……the QB is going to get blamed for some of that….except if it’s Brady.

  2. HC Grover Says:

    The blame is on Bowles.

  3. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Our coaches were clueless, especially Byron Leftwich. Dave Canales gives us hope.

  4. ben Says:

    I thought the head coach was responsible for both sides of the ball. I hope Bowles doesn’t play scared this year

  5. ScottyMack Says:

    All the Mayfield haters should be asking the same question … “Sign Of Team Playing Poorly Or Quarterback Playing Poorly?”

    He’ll have better weapons this year than he’s ever had – certainly FAR better than the piss-poor ones he had with Carolina and the Rams last season and what he had in Cleveland during his final injury-plagued season with them.

  6. Lt. Dan Says:

    Brady is the undisputed greatest QB of all time. That being said, last year he just looked disinterested.

  7. Smashsquatch Says:

    Stats can be misleading. I trust my eyes. Brady didn’t look good last year, but he wasn’t the only problem. Both can be true.

  8. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Joe, you were at the games, I know you could see just as plainly as everyone, except the jock sniffers, the quarterback had zero interest in being hit and didn’t let plays develop and took every check down. Yards don’t mean squat it’s points per game. We were terrible at scoring points. That’s on the dude pulling the trigger. The quarterback.

  9. SufferingSince76 Says:

    The Brady haters hate him because he was a great quarterback his entire career, not because they think he was bad last year. He was hardly the sole reason for last years debacle.

  10. Duane Says:

    Quarterbacks always get too much credit and too much blame. A quarterback can produce no better than his offensive line and skill players can produce, no matter how good or great he is. A mediocre quarterback can certainly hurt an offense, such as by committing lots of turnovers (see Winston, Jameis), but a great quarterback cannot make up for a dysfunctional offensive line made up of scrubs and injured starters, as we had last season.

    It simply amazes that people cannot put two and two together – fantastic offensive line in 2020 and 2021, Bucs behind TB-12 win a Super Bowl and a division championship with the no. 2 offense in the league both seasons. Totally sucky offensive line, lost three of the five starters from the previous two seasons, one of the starters played hurt all year and sucked (gave up the most sacks of any LT in the league, and was the most penalized player in the entire league), and the other starter, though great, missed several games and played hurt much of the season.

    Joe Bucs Fan is the worst offender in that regard, repeatedly mocking those fans who actually know something about the game of NFL football and realize how critical the offensive line performance is to literally every single thing the offense is supposed to achieve (passing and running).

  11. Duane Says:

    BA’s Red Pen – wow you are like the most un-self-aware commenter in JBF threads. Just why do you think the GOAT changed his approach to the game in getting the ball out quickly? You think he just got tired of being the leading passer in the NFL? That he no longer cared about scoring points?

    The GOAT only did what any skillful quarterback would do when his offensive line totally sucked, as it did last season. The only alternative would be to get killed by defenders and end his season and his career in a hospital bed wired up to traction.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Goal to Go the Titans just hand the ball off to Derrick Henry – which is so effective that anytime you want to go a different way – you just fake the handoff to Henry and then throw to the nearly wide open receiver or TE.

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    As with most issues in life – it was a combination of factors…

    – Clueless offensive coordinator way in over his head.
    – Offensive line was below average due to Marpet, Jenson and Cappa missing.
    – Below average tight ends.
    – Below average running backs.
    – Old slow oft injured wide receivers – Gage, Jones, Perriman.
    – 45 year old QB who was NOT going to take a hit and would throw the ball away at the first sign of trouble.

    This offense was a dumpster fire last season.

  14. Beej Says:

    Evans is 6’5″ with GREAT vertical leap, yet we never did the corner fade route with him….inexplicable

  15. Bigbucfan90 Says:

    Brady is part to blame not saying I hate the guy or anything because he brought a chip and he changed our culture forever but had he just retired last season we would be in a different situation right now. I like the qb matchup we have and I think it gets overlooked because it’s not brady. It’s a win win for all of us if they do good then we have a chance to win the nfc south but if we lose we have a chance to get a premium qb next season.

  16. Alanbucsfan Says:

    It’s pretty simple to explain:
    Bucs had elite players when they won SB and 2021-
    In 2022, gone were:
    Gronk, A Brown, Marpet, Jensen, Cappa, Suh, Whitehead, JPP, Godwin was coming off knee surgery and I would argue the loss of R Jones was a factor in run game.
    The Bucs were not even close to being the same team in 2022.

  17. PassingThru Says:

    Bucs were a mess last year on offense, it wasn’t Brady as much as the following:

    1. Terrible coaching from the OC
    2. Porous OLine
    3. Terrible running game, in part to both #1, #2 and not having a quality RB
    4. Downgrades at WR
    5. Downgrades at TE
    6. Moral; it was obvious the team gave up early last season

    Leftwich is gone, but don’t expect miracles without upgrades.

  18. D-Rok Says:

    Our offensive woes last season were 80+% due to the offensive line being inadequate. Woefully inadequate.

    Now, if only there were some facts, some data, some metrics, to back up how horrid our line was. Does any such data exist? Bueller?
    Maybe our run-game is an indicator of the line performance? We had a good run game last year, correct? #Sarcasm.

    If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck…etc.

    Geez it is so obvious what was wrong last year. I’m STILL simply astounded that people, whomever they are, cannot grasp how bad our line was. SIGH.

    But, water under the bridge. Our line needs to be better this year, or we’re gonna see the resurrection of the Orlovsky safety.

  19. Jack Clark Says:

    “What’s weird about this stat is a team with one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL had the highest touchdown percentage in goal-to-go situations (Tennessee)”

    That’s because Tennessee had the best running game with Mark Henry so defenses were more focused on stopping the run than the pass. The bucs on the other hand had the worst running game.

    Brady is not to blame because he had the worst running game in NFL, a middle of the pack defense, and a scaredy cat head coach who did not like taking risks to win games

  20. tampabuscsbro Says:

    It’s genuinely amazing how much hate the man that brought a title and the first semblance of legitimacy to this team in 15 years is getting in this place.

    I’m not saying he was perfect last year but recent articles by the Joe’s the sage and comments sure are chastising him quite a bit when we had an OC so horrid that we could have pulled a local high school offensive coordinator and he probably could have called a better game.

    Also we had the offensive line in disarray, Mike Evans had his worst year as a pro, Russel Gage was not as advertised there were two games where if he grips the football thrown to his hands we would have probably won late in the 4th quarter and Godwin being 70ish%.

    But yeah it’s the greatest QB to ever play’s fault.

  21. Usedtocould Says:

    I know it sounds harsh, but Bowles and Leftwich should be in jail for last year. Imo

  22. Tbbucs3 Says:

    You’d have to be an idiot to buy into the narrative the that it was all Leftwhich’s fault last season…..I find extremely hard to believe that a Superbowl winning offensive coordinator (that called the plays in 2020) is souly to blame.

    When you have no running game, bad online play, crap tight ends and a declining quarterback unwilling to take hits that’s going to be the result regardless of who’s OC.

  23. Buc4evr Says:

    Combination of factors, OLine injuries and losing players, running backs, TEs were bad, injuries to WRs. Brady didn’t ever seem to get in rythmn and believe the divorce and ftx were messing with his mind. Bad coaching not able or willing to adjust. Overall the team just couldn’t overcome all the issues and I think they just gave up. This season will be worse in my opinion.

  24. realistic-optimistic Says:

    It’s a credit to Brady’s greatness that he managed to put up decent-looking numbers in his age-45 season, with maybe the worst OC to ever patrol an NFL sideline, while playing behind a sub-par OL, and possessing absolutely no mobility. He was also going through a divorce and dealing with millions lost in a crypto scam. I’m impressed that he managed what he did.

    All that being said, his season stats do not accurately reflect the quality of product he put on the field last season. It’s not bashing, it’s true.

  25. Tap-Out Says:

    The game is changing, the pure non mobile, drop back passer is fading to the way of a scrambling, hostile & mobile QB ….If this team fails badly, get in position to draft SS396 (Coach PrimeTime’s son)! ….in any case Go Bucs!…I been a fan for since 1976!

  26. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “maybe the worst OC to ever patrol an NFL sideline”

    I don’t think the worst OC of all time would have a Superbowl under his belt, get a clue

  27. SlyPirate Says:


    The comments on this page are impressively accurate. Most of you remember the offensive line was horrendous. In one game, the Bucs had to max protect just so TB12 could dink and dump.

    This isn’t rocket science. OLine was horrible and the OC wasn’t savvy enough to make necessary changes.

  28. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    TEN doesn’t surprise me because they had a running game that needed to be respected. The Bucs had no run game so Evans and Co could be keyed on and pass rushers could pin their ears back and go after Brady with bad protection. Not a big mystery to me. We probably did better than we
    deserved to. Brady threw a few stinkers and had one bad pick in the end zone (one is one more than he usually throws in a season).

    Short goal line I still want to see Vita Vea tote the rock instead of blocking for a back in that situation. His massive size and strength hitting the linemen with a 3 to 4 yard running start? Fuggedaboutit

  29. Duane Says:

    I didnt like Brady or his game last season, he played shell shocked all year long. I thought the biggest problem with the offense was that they couldnt put the ball in the endzone once they got inside the 20. The percentage of the goal to go success is not a horrible stat, but I think the missing stat is how many more times we got into the red zone than the other teams while failing to convert. Running game didnt help, and not finding Evans there was a travesty. The real problem was a leadership and recognition one, and you can easily leave that at the feet of Todd Bowles, Byron, and his boy Tom Brady. You can still be The Goat and have a down season. Wonder what excuse NEfan will make for Brady when Traskerfield puts up similiar numbers this season. LFG.

  30. Destinjohnny Says:

    For some reason 98% of people that watch football don’t under that if a qb or running back has a crap line that it’s going to be ugly.
    We had the worst line in decades last year

  31. ChiBuc Says:

    I think you are all right. The one thing that everyone neglects to mention is that regardless how inept the OC is (and he was inept from day 1. It was only masked by him hiding under BA’s skirt), the QB has the final say at the LOS. Surely, if we are talking about the GOAT, he could have audible out of some of those 1st & 2nd down runs, he could have insisted more on a no huddle offense, he could have taken a lateral step every now and then. For all ye faithful who believe that what Tommy put in the field last year (despite your many, many excuses) was a GOAT product, then your low expectations have primed you nicely for what’s yet to come

  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    Had Tom Brady played better, we would have not only had a winning record last year, But we would have gone at least thru the 2nd rd of playoffs. Buc fans just will not admit Brady was about 60% of why the team failed last year. Its like the fans were watching f ox news or something.

  33. unbelievable Says:

    I guess we like beating dead horses around here…. So here we go again:

    – O-line regressed in pass protection

    – So Brady rushed throws at times, leading to less completion, touchdowns and yards

    – We had no running game / threat of a run game, making us 1 dimensional

    – Because Leftwich (and Bowles) were clueless, predictable, and played not to lose instead of playing to win.

    – Add in some WR injuries, some tight ends with butter fingers, etc. and this is what you get: on offense that struggled, despite having the GOAT and some studs.

  34. unbelievable Says:

    Mike Johnson delusional as usual. I would give Brady about 15% of the blame (which is a lot for just 1 player)

  35. Lakeland Steve Says:

    One explanation for that. We couldn’t run the damn ball!

  36. Destinjohnny Says:

    Put Tom on the Eagles and you win a super bowl

  37. Crickett Baker Says:

    This is a very interesting article and it spawned a bunch of interesting comments, too. Stats are sometimes fun. 🙂

    In any event, I really do not see a way our team can be worse than last year, no matter who the QB and HC are. I even doubt that we can be as bad. I’m sure looking forward to August!

  38. BigMacAttack Says:

    Brady shares in the blame whether Joe likes it or not. Here’s one for you Joe. How many passes did TB12 under throw or put in the ground several yards short of his receivers? It’s a bunch and 4500 yds could have been 5500 or more. Sure you can blame the O Line, Leftwich or receivers. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but 1 man slings the ball and where it goes after leaving his hand is 100% his fault or his doing. When have as many passes that fell short as Brady did last season, not holding him in large p

  39. BigMacAttack Says:

    part is naive and true man crushing homerism

  40. Tbbucs3 Says:


  41. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I will assure you that Dave Canales in year 1 as an OC will not be better than Byron Leftwhich…..

    Maybe at motivational quotes on Twitter but certainly not at play calling.

  42. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Is that you, Byron?

  43. AtlBuc Says:

    Brady and Byron crafted the game plans together so both should share the blame for a bad offense. The same would have happened in 2020 and 2021 if not for BA’s Red Pen!

  44. Cobraboy Says:

    I dunno.

    It’s somewhere between an incompetent OC and an old QB who no longer cares.

    That’s a bad mix.

  45. AtlBuc Says:


    It would be nearly impossible for an OC to be worse than BL was last year. He totally took himself out of the running for another OC position.

  46. HC Grover Says:

    It was a coach, coaching poorly.

  47. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “The same would have happened in 2020 and 2021 if not for BA’s Red Pen!”

    Thats flatly an absurd statement….all of a sudden after a bad year in an off-season where you lose major pieces on offense like Ryan Jenson, Ali Marpet, Gronk, and sign free agent dud Russel Gage and have a wobbly Chris Godwin….Bruce Arians is now seen as a god after 5 years of being just an above average coach in Arizona.

    The reality is from a player only standpoint, the Bucs offensive roster in 2020/2021 was absolutely LOADED and completely fell off a cliff in 2022.

    Yes, the team culture was obviously much better under Arians compared to Bowels but can we stop acting like Bruce Arians was some sort of magical wizard?

  48. David Says:

    I seriously do not understand the debate and the questions anymore. After watching the entire season, a few things became painfully obvious-
    1. Brady missing training camp, getting divorced, discussions with Miami, etc… distracted him. I don’t care that he threw for 4500 yards— it was dump offs, WR screens, and 5 yard passes all day. He was not the same “all in” player.
    2. The O Line was a massive issue and this year it’s a big question as well. Wirfs is at a new position, who knows how good Jensen will be, and the other three guys are new and an unknown at those positions.
    3. All that said, BL’s playcalling was absolutely atrocious and the main problem.

    ****Hopefully it was BL’s play calling and not directives coming down from Bowles or it’s going to be an atrocious year.

    Although, it probably already is since the D line is a complete question, The LBs have no depth, the running game is question, and the QBs are a massive downgrade.

  49. Oneilbuc Says:

    Joe. So you just going to ignore the fact that Brady was changing the game plan the day before the game?? You actually had a article about the media asking Brady do change the game plan and Brady never denied it. One of the things Brady has done is exposed how weak our Franchise is from the front office to bucs media wich trigle down to the fan base! That’s why no one will ever hold Brady accountable for nothing especially on this site. Hmm, Ira Kaufman wrote a column here last week titled, “Bucs Primed For Improvement Without Tom Brady.”

    There has been a divide on the subject at world headquarters, with more blame going to Byron Leftwich and keeping the perspective that Brady still was the best quarterback in the division and better than most in the NFL. Still, the Bucs can’t do much worse offensively this season (18 points per game) and some of that is on Brady, for sure. –Joe
    And now I really understand why the bucs is the most losing team in all sports and love my bucs but the facts are facts!!

  50. Oneilbuc Says:

    And please stop blaming the offensive line Brady was the least sacked quarterback last year. We have seen plenty of times Brady had time to throw the ball and he would just throw it in the dirt or check it down. Some of y’all just create excuses for Brady. I didn’t hear running game or having a trash defense when Jamies was the quarterback and he didn’t have Tristan Wirfs at right tackle and plus Jamies was the most sacked quarterback and our offense was ranked top 5 every year when he was the quarterback with no running game or defense.facts !!!

  51. Brandon Says:

    Everyone wants to give Brady all the credit for 22020 and 2021 but none of the blame for 2022. Not everyone. Just stupid people.

  52. Bucswin Says:

    I blame Giselle and the 15lb weight loss. How good is a QB that’s scared to get hit?

  53. BillyBucco Says:

    Georgia Bulldogs would have whipped last years team along with about 5 other college teams.
    It’s all of the above obviously and arguing about it looks as dumb as our offense did.
    How could you watch Brady all year and not see it.
    Can’t take anything away from him, but he didn’t want to be there. PERIOD.

  54. BuckeyeBuck Says:

    The trenches win and lose ballgames. Brady statue-ball didn’t work so good last year because he either threw dirtballs under pressure or padded his stats in garbage time. Red zone stats show it up, that’s when the garbage yards get reined in. Canales offense should work much better; athletic linemen, more misdirection and rolling pockets with planned bootlegs will keep the defenses guessing.

  55. Power of Pewter Says:

    No running game and no Gronk takes away a lot of goal line options. Having an OC unable to mask those deficiencies with clever play-calling/design just puts a stake through it. Brady wasn’t the problem, he was the main reason Bucs could move the ball at all. This upcoming season offense could be even worse.