Breaking Down The Rushing Numbers

September 27th, 2023

Running back Rachaad White.

The Bucs looked pathetic running the ball on Monday night. Should there be air raid sirens as a result? Joe isn’t sure.

For example, the Eagles have yet to give up more than 76 yards in a game this season. That came in Week 1 against the Belicheats. The Bucs got 41 yards on the ground against Philadelphia. Minnesota was held to 28.

But here is where it doesn’t appear the Bucs struggling to run against the Eagles puts them in terrible shape. Handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp calculated the percentage of rush attempts per team with running backs running for zero or fewer yards.

The list teams with worse percentages — and slightly better ones — than the Bucs is interesting.

Pittsburgh (!) leads the NFL at 29 percent. The Bucs are the eighth-worst team in the league at 22 percent. The Lions are No. 6 at 23 percent.

Teams just below the Bucs tied No. 9 at 21 percent include Baltimore, Cleveland and Seattle. Those five teams have a combined record of 10-5.

So good teams throughout the league are struggling with consistent running. It isn’t just the Bucs.

38 Responses to “Breaking Down The Rushing Numbers”

  1. It's Corn Says:

    successful runs on 1st and 2nd down would be a more useful stat.

    The Bucs probably have a lot of 1-yard, 2-yard runs.

  2. Hogg Wild Says:

    Trask for Breece Hall straight up. Everybody wins.

  3. TDavis Says:

    This makes sense. Running is just generally hard for all but a couple of teams, is less effective than passing, and is not the key to winning in the modern NFL anyway.

  4. gp Says:

    Inside the tackles, the weakest part of our O-line, isn’t working for us. Imagine that?
    Why are we attempting the majority of our runs between the tackles?
    Shake it up a little Dave! Up the gut just ain’t happenin right now!

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Not understanding how NOT being the worst in the league at having your RBs gain nothing (or less) is good news. It’s terrible news in our case because this year’s offensive scheme calls for a reasonably ‘balanced attack’.

    So what exactly are we accomplishing here? Balancing out 0 yard or negative runs with 1, 2 & 3 yard runs to average 2.4 YPC for the whole Eagles’ game? That’s not a formula for winning ballgames.

    Obviously Rachaad White got the lion’s share of Monday night’s carries (14 runs for 38 yards … 2.7 YPC). His longest run was 12 yards though, so on his other 13 runs he averaged 2.0 YPC. Not impressive, but he did OK catching the ball (3 targets, 3 catches, 24 yards … 8.0 YPC). MAYBE we should’ve tried a couple less runs and a couple more passes?

  6. Hodad Says:

    Rewatched some of the game, the run blocking wasn’t all that bad. One play was blocked to perfection. All Tucker had to do was beat one man the safety, and he’s taking it to the house. Tucker couldn’t make him miss. He gets taken out by the feet. White does not hit the hole with speed, or power. Look at his fumble after catching the short pass before the half. What’s he doing turning inside into traffic where he gets creamed? Just keep running straight to the sideline AWAY from traffic. Surprised he never got hit by a car crossing the street. None of our backs have it. The O line isn’t great, but backs need to run better than what our two are doing.

  7. Ricki Says:

    Jonathan Taylor?

  8. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    White has no burst and cannot make second level tacklers miss. White was projected as a RB3 by after his combine and that is a correct judgment. ROJO has burst and makes second level tacklers miss and breaks 20 yard plus runs-LICHT needs to sign ROJO for league minimum and make this roster BETTER.

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Well Chicago/Minn give up an average of 120 yards per week through 3 weeks and Philly is at 48

    We are part of those numbers, and based on that we should be averaging ~96 yards per week and we’re at 78.

    Mostly the eye test shows we suck at running the ball and White is not an above average RB1. It’s frustrating to play fantasy, and every year we see mid to late round drafted RB’s backs blow up and none are Bucs.

    You’d think we’d get lucky one year lol.

    These all would be upgrades-

    Devon Archane (3rd round), Brian Robinson Jr (3rd round – drafted after White), Zach Moss (3rd), Jerome Ford (5th), Pacheco (7th), Kyren Williams (5th), Raheem Mostert (undrafted), Tony Pollard (4th)

    And there’s Breece Hall / James Cook / D’Andre Swift / Chubb – 2nd round

    And it’s a mix of these talented RB’s doing well on both bad and good teams.

    We do not know how to to scout/draft that position for some reason. Or we don’t move up or take the good ones higher when we need to.

  10. Mike S Says:

    Rashaad White looks like he’s 67 years old in the pic Joe uses lol.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Don’t forget we had 3 kneel downs in each of the first two games…..that’s 6 for minus yards……not meaningless.

    The way I see it, we are not using our TEs & RBs enough in the passing game….and, vs Eagles….I can’t recall even 1 WR screen….

    We also didn’t attempt an end around……those have been successful for us thus far.

  12. go dawgs Says:

    white is not a starting nfl running back. Weve seen enough. He is a nice change of pace back to catch passes and give a guy a breather. Unfortunately, we aer stuck with what we have this year.

  13. Leighroy Says:

    Ok now run those stats again but with the longest runs teams have had. You’ll find the bucs at the bottom, because they’re also last in the league at 2.79 yards per carry.

    I’ll see your cherry picked stats selected to spin a narrative and raise you the full picture.

  14. Bucfan Says:

    Play calling? 1st & 10 to go. Which play will the Bucs attempt? You guessed it – up the middle for a 1 yard gain or perhaps a 2 yard loss. Seems like Byron is still calling the pays. Bowels needs to go!!!

  15. Beej Says:

    In fairness to White, he in fact doesn’t make second level people miss because he never gets that far

  16. adam from ny Says:

    yes AI has aged rachaad white heavily in the above photo lol…

    he looks 38 in the pic and ready to retire

  17. adam from ny Says:

    ok regarding mr. white….

    he very well might be working his way to being the bucs 3rd down back next year…because that might really be precisely what he is…he can drop the extra bulk he added, get quicker, catch the ball – which he does well, and thrive as a 3rd down dude…

    it might just be who he is – and he might be so good in that role, that in the future, we might even resign him in his role…he’s no bowling ball built rb…he doesn’t hit the hole hard like rojo did…he just doesn’t do much in his current role…

    and running thru the tackles and hainsey at this point is clearly not the answer…he might really be more of a 3rd down back type that’s currently in an rb1 role – start sweeping him outside past the tackles and blockers for a handful of yards – it’s probably a better route for yards – and rachaad has a nice stiff arm move that can be used when he turns the corner…

    i think you gotta switch up the play approach for him – as he’s simply not much of an “alstott up the gut” type runner…

    but if you want to leave things as is for now going into new orleans and the bye, that’s fine…but make some changes for after the bye if the “up the gut” moves once again stall out at the superdome

  18. confido75 Says:

    White is a #2 RB at best. Honestly, I had never heard of the guy until the Bucs drafted him and he had one good season at ASU against PAC-12 competition, and the total stats don’t tell the whole story. He struggled when playing lesser opponents in half of those games. That tells me all I need to know about RW. I think the Bucs coaching staff’s expectations don’t align with the talent.

  19. adam from ny Says:

    and running thru the guards and hainsey at this point are clearly not the answer

  20. adam from ny Says:


  21. HC Grover Says:

    Bucs got too far behind.

  22. adam from ny Says:

    i’m not a film study dude, but from watching every pro game of rachaad’s pro career live, i seem to recall the bulk of his successful yard gaining plays seem to be outside the tackles and between the sidelines…whether rushing or receiving…

    so why try to bulk him up and come crashing up the gut – it’s simply not working…

    stick to what works and have him rock n roll on the outside

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    Despite what many believe, you HAVE to have the threat of a rushing attack. The statistics do not lie. The percentage of TOs increases exponentially after 30+ pass attempts, regardless of the QB.
    If White cannot stop dancing in the backfield, call plays that put him in motion or to the outside. Inside runs need to be instinctual and violent. The minute he hesitates, it’s done.

  24. HC Grover Says:

    The team will either get better, or worse from here.

  25. Canabuc Says:

    We need a better o line.
    Look at the dolphins scheme. The running back aren’t even touched for 3+ yards. It’s share backfield space with the defense.
    Swift had holes big enough to drive a truck through untouched. We need to improve the scheme and maybe get the backs on the edges as our guards and center are not making homes.

  26. Canabuc Says:


  27. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    white is doo doo, better off going out and getting forunette back on the team at this rate, take that stupid #1 from him as well, the bucs had a #1 back in the 90s losing era that was doo doo too, think it was michael morton

  28. CleanHouse Says:

    The GM is a failure in the RB dept.

    He had two great backs- Jones and Fournette

  29. Corris Lyles Says:

    Can someone please tell our coaches that our great punter ran a 4.5 forry yard dash at the combine last year. If I was the special team coach I think I’d have some fake punch in my play book. Don’t waste that kind of speed just letting him punt. With his speed he could win us a game or two keeping drives alive

  30. Toad Bowels Says:

    Before you go on a buying spree, take a look at what you already have in the cupboard.

    Bucs former 3rd round pick KeShawn “Sneak” Vaughn has exactly 0 carries after 3 games.

    Try Sneak as #1 RB and White as 3rd down back for a half-game and see what you have.

    If it is not much, then sub in Sean Tucker as #1 RB for the 2nd half to see what he can do.

  31. Dave Pear Says:

    Well, at least Bowles can stop the other team from running.

    Oh, wait.

  32. JimBobBuc Says:

    We have two years of experience with White and we know what he can and can’t do. We need to give Tucker and Sneak much more meaningful touches and see what they can do.

    No matter who is in the game, we need to throw more to the RB’s where the back swings out and is running forward while catching the ball. Let’s see which RB can make people miss in space. Both Tucker and Sneak are quicker than White and could do well with wide pitches – we’ve had some luck with those.

  33. orlbucfan Says:

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, you have to have a rushing attack. Whoopee. You also have to mix it up with stuff like screens, sweeps, and even a very rare bootleg option. That takes the pressure off a new OLine and QB. Why? Cos it’s UNPREDICTABLE! The opposing defense is caught off guard. Then with the receivers we have, bam, you nail the opposing team with a passing attack. Peewee football 101. ME13 and CG14 had a game day off MN. Yeah, Evans dropped that one ball but he was shocked that BM threw it to him.

  34. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Im Rick James B!tch!”

    Kobe Faker

  35. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Rashaad “Cha Cha” White is a huge disappointment. I’m not saying we have a fantastic offensive line or anything, but Cha Cha is Dancing With the Stars. There is never an initial burst and he doesn’t break many tackles, outside of that Angry Run last year against the Seahawks. There is no chance we have a #1 running back on our current roster.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    I am not thrilled with Mr White as our bell cow. He hasn’t really shown much. He’s been terribly hyped just like that DE of ours Tryon who completely disappears in games.

  37. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    definition of insanity

  38. garro Says:

    Wow that was lot of words and stats to prove …What point exactly?

    Go Bucs!