Yards-Per-Play Blues

September 13th, 2023

Offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

The Bucs averaged 5.1 yards per offensive play last season. That ranked tied for 23rd in the NFL.

So what happened Sunday against the Vikings?

Tampa Bay squeaked out 3.6 yards per play. The only teams this worse thisweek combined to score three points.

So if the Bucs’ offense looked struggling to you, well, your instincts were good.

Clutch plays saved the day for the Bucs offense, as did avoiding penalties and winning the time of possession battle with a plodding but clock-chewing running game buoyed by Baker Mayfield rushing for two first downs.

Two drops by Mike Evans and one by Cade Otton, and at least one misfire throw to Ko Kieft, hurt the yards-per-play numbers. But that’s football. Every game has what-if plays.

Joe will monitor the yards-per-play number Sunday against the Bears. Tampa Bay should be able to beat the sad Bears playing like it did in Minnesota, but that won’t fly in Weeks 3 and 4 against the Eagles and Saints, respectively.

23 Responses to “Yards-Per-Play Blues”

  1. BillyBucco Says:

    Yeah that’s just plain pitiful.
    If you had told me these numbers before the game, I would have bet a ton they lose.
    Hey Miracles happen and that team should know.

  2. Crickett Baker Says:

    Yah, the Vikes played badly. Three turnovers, a crucial penalty, one could say that we were REALLY lucky to win that game with our stats. I do, however, have faith in the complimentary football that we played. The team seemed to gel and it was the first game. I still don’t think we should underestimate the Bears and am hoping we don’t.

  3. sasquatch Says:

    It’s the first game with a new OC, QB, 4 out of 5 starters on OL either new or changed positions. I’m not ready to panic. It may take a few games before they start to click.

  4. RGA Says:

    I’ve been suggesting that everyone needs to calm down with Mayfield as the second coming of Joe Montana, Bowles as the next Vince Lombardi. The Bucs were outperformed 2-1 in yards and somehow won the game due to three untimely turnovers by the Vikings. Let’s get a grip and hope we play better.

  5. Capt2fish Says:

    Just win baby!

  6. David Says:

    Here is something to cheer you all up-

    It’s being reported that Antonio Brown, the Shirt removing, ungrateful, throw you under the bus diva, bet $100,000 for the Bucs to lose.


  7. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:


    Kyle Trask

  8. Leopold Stotch Says:

    As much as I want Trask, I don’t think he would have been as successful with the rollouts or the rushing the vikes got on Mayfield. I think Baker’s got him slightly on that department. I hope I’m wrong, if it comes to that. For now, I’ll be OK with Baker. He showed some want.

  9. Fred McNeil Says:

    Well we ever-so-slightly surpassed our PPG from last year. We scored 19 against the Cowboys last opener which turned out to be our average. I sure hope we average over 20.

    The Bears stunk it up last week. I hope they wilt in the Tampa sauna.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    The offense did just enough to win on Sunday. But ‘just enough’ was ‘good enough’ because the defense turned in a bunch of big plays that held a very good Vikings’ offense to only 17 points. Warren Sapp was surely proud.

    Granted a 3.6 YPP average sucks, but Sunday’s game was really ‘a tale of two halfs’. We REALLY sucked in the 1st half, but improved considerably in the 2nd half … thanks to the passing game coming alive.

    o 1st half: 8 drives … 28 plays (12 runs/15 passes/1 sack) … 10:36 TOP … 3 takeaways (0 giveaways) … 10 points (1 TD/1 FG) … 99 yds total (12 runs for 36 yds rushing; 7 of 15 passing for 63 yds passing).

    o 2nd half: 4 drives … 40 plays (21 runs/19 passes/0 sack) … 20:03 TOP … 0 takeaways (0 giveaways) … 10 points (1 TD/1 FG) … 147 yds total (21 runs for 37 yds rushing; 15 of 19 passing for 110 yds passing).

    So our run game was more effective in the 1st half (3.0 YPC vs 1.8 YPC), although neither was truly effective. Our passing game was more effective in the 2nd half though (5.8 YPP vs 4.2 YPP), surely because Baker’s completion percentage was MUCH better in the 2nd half (78.9% vs 46.7%). We couldn’t sustain drives in the 1st half (8 drives for an average of 3.5 plays & 1:20 TOP per drive), but were able to sustain them in the 2nd half (4 drives for an average of 8.5 plays & 5:00 TOP per drive).

    There’s no magic here. Our running game was ineffective, but it did eat up the clock, and the threat of the run is probably what kept the Vikes’ defense ‘honest’ (Bucs ran the ball on 48.5% of our plays). We remained relatively ‘balanced’ in our attack philosophy & thankfully our passing game came alive in the 2nd half (which allowed us to sustain drives). Both teams played quite well on defense, but Turnover differential (3-0) ultimately cost the Vikings the game.

  11. Jonbucfan Says:

    Trask?? Lol thank you!! I needed a good laugh. Trask would have crumbled under that pressure the Vikes gave on Sunday. Tell me, what pocket protection were you looking at? I saw none. Enough with Trask! Win or lose its going to be a long year listening to this wining from the Tiger Beat Trask Fan Club!

  12. Hodad Says:

    Rewatched the game yesterday. We were so close, on so many plays. We got better as the game went on, that’s all you can ask. We won. First real game playing together. If you noticed, most games were low scoring sloppy games last week. Defenses all over the league mainly dominated. That will change. Just keep getting better.

  13. StormyInFl Says:

    Trask doesn’t solve having no running game.

    Trask doesn’t solve a HOF Wide Receiver dropping passes that hit him in the hands.

    Trask doesn’t solve a leaky O Line or TE missing blocks. Hell, thanks to his below average mobility, he would have been killed.

    Mayfield was one of the pieces that was struggling at first. I won’t argue that. He’s also one of the reasons the team won. Some those heads up plays (shuffle pass, the runs) are ones Trask doesn’t make. That’s experience.

    You would be happier losing with Trask, than winning with Mayfield. They would have struggled out of the gate with Trask, too, but I suspect you wouldn’t have been calling for his benching after one series like you did on Sunday.

    At this point, I hope Kyle Trask goes and warms some other team’s bench next year, just to be rid of “fans” like you. And for the love of God, the Bucs stop drafting QBs from in state colleges. I’m not sure who is more insufferable- the Gainesville Trask groupies or the FSU Winston apologists.

  14. caradoc Says:

    Not against the Eagles, but it’ll do for the Saints.

  15. Jason Says:

    The first 4 games is all about the offense figuring out what they do good in a real game. Those Ko Kieft plays probably worked great in practice. Just saying.

  16. BlahBlahTraskBlahBlah Says:

    Even after a win, the The Pinky TRASKaderos are still little bithes!

  17. Beej Says:

    It was the 4th preseason game… First one with actual hitting and tackling. As the O-line play improved, Mayfield was more effective. Right side will get better and better

  18. orlbucfan Says:

    Beej Says:
    September 13th, 2023 at 8:08 am
    It was the 4th preseason game… First one with actual hitting and tackling,
    Amen! The starters had to shake off some rust. That young rookie DB yanking the ball out of the Viking wideout’s arms…..wow, I don’t even think Dungy’s HOF D played like that. Talking to you, Warren Sapp!

  19. Mr. Editor Says:

    There is probably a wide discrepancy in the play (and the statistics) of the offense between the first versus the second half of the game. I hope that the Bucs can keep the momentum going and start strong against the Bears.

  20. JD Still Says:

    Thursday night the Vikings play the eagles, that will be a good measure of if our win was a once in a season fluke or if it was legitimate, in any case it will be a good measure of where We stand and how far we still have to go.

  21. K_bassuka Says:

    No picture of the main culprit Maybefield to hype this post Joe?
    I hope Maybefield sees the field and plays better vs Chicago.

  22. Since76 Says:

    The offense was not good. This will be a long season if it doesn’t get better. Glad we won. I’ll take an ugly win. Don’t think we will get to the playoffs with an offense like Sundays offense.

  23. garro Says:

    The Vikes wer nuts with the blitzes. We did a poor job in pickking them up at times and also executing blitz buster plays. At least two of the plays to Kieft were passes into short middel behind the blitz. We failed at these pass plays most of the game. Canales called them though, so that is a plus. We just have to execute better. Line calls need to improve as well.

    Go Bucs!