Bengals-Jags Game Highlights Bucs’ Outdated Offensive Philosophy

December 5th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

It has finally hit Joe. Maybe Joe is late to the party but the evidence can no longer be denied or ignored.

You want to know why the Bucs can’t find ways to target Chris Godwin? The Bucs neither respect nor value offense like most of the NFL does.

Joe was watching the Cincinnati-Jacksonville overtime game last night. The game billed since the schedule was released in the spring … ‘Two of the best, young quarterbacks in the league will duel it out in Florida’s River City.’ Instead, it became a battle of backups. Jake Browning played for the injured Joe Burrow. In the second half, Trevor Lawrence went down with a gruesome-looking ankle injury and was replaced by C.J. Beathard.

And despite both teams led by backups, each offense moved the ball so much more smoothly and with ease than the Bucs do. Cincinnati and Jacksonville spread the ball around to all sorts of weapons. They completed passes. They moved the ball. They got first downs. They scored points.

Contrast that to the Bucs.

Joe doesn’t care if you consider Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield a starter on a bad team or a backup on a good team. He and the Bucs offense are lucky to buy points, forget first downs.

Chris Godwin? The Bucs refuse to target him — Joe’s done with the excuses. A friggin’ high school coach could figure out a way to scheme Godwin open after three months of the season and target him. Enough of the nonsense. Joe’s not playing along any longer.

How many times did you see the Bengals or the Jags run between the tackles last night with Browning and Beathard, respectively, behind center? The Bucs likely matched that total in the first quarter alone Sunday.

It boils down to this: The Bucs don’t care about offense. The Bucs don’t lose sleep about scoring points. The Bucs don’t value moving the ball.

The Bucs offense is designed to eat clock and set up the defense to get turnovers. Ah yes, the almighty turnover. Who cares if you can score more points than your opponent so long as you win the turnover battle!

Offense is not respected with the Bucs. Offense is not valued with the Bucs.

At least, not the way most teams in the NFL value and respect offense.

No wonder Bucs fans are peeved.

58 Responses to “Bengals-Jags Game Highlights Bucs’ Outdated Offensive Philosophy”

  1. Derobbins Says:

    The true line in the tiers this year is oline play.

    More than scheme.
    More than play calling.

    Our oline sucks. On top of that baker sucks deep More often than he doesn’t. This may be the first year where it became obvious to me that oline matters more than qb these days. Qbs aren’t genereals as much anymore.

  2. Tye Says:

    The old adage that says ‘defense wins Championships’ has gone to TB’s head and it is getting him FIRED!

  3. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Also that backup QBs might you know actually be good.

  4. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Derobbins Browning was 32-37 for 357 and Cincinnati couldn’t keep Burrow upright.

    The QB is King.

    That could be Kyle Trask but you blanks are stubborn fools.

  5. SB Says:

    Nice view Joe. Everything you said is viable.

  6. Mark Says:

    Give Canales credit, he just learned the Trips formation exists

  7. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Glad to see you awake Joe. Todd Bowles ruined our top five offense, and I call BS on our oline being bad Baker mayfield has plenty of time to find his receivers down field all game long.

  8. Ricki Says:

    How is it that we always have outdated defense, or outdated offense. Doesnt matter who the coach is.

  9. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Ricki, the Bucs won a superbowl in 2020 with a top 5 Offense and a top 10 defense. I don’t call that outdated

  10. Former Browns Fan Says:

    Fun fact, You know who the Cincinnati Bengals and joe burrow have never beaten? It’s baker Mayfield. As you know the bingles and the browns We’re in the same division, they played twice a year.

  11. sasquatch Says:

    This take is correct. Todd Bowles does not value offense. I gave him the benefit of the doubt for a long time, but after the Indy loss, no more. In the NFL, scoring points is job 1. Turnover margin and time of possession are nice statistics, and DO often reflect the outcome, but the goal is scoring. You have to attack.

  12. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Fire Bowles

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Could this be the first draft Joe doesn’t want abfirst round rb?

  14. FortMyersDave Says:

    Good summary of the Bowles’ coaching mentality by Joe. Bowles does not want explosive plays as they would result in his defense being out on the field again even if his team just went up by 7, he would rather the team ran a 15 play drive and kick a field goal over a quick strike 3 play 80 yard TD drive and then hope his D does not get boatraced like they were in Houston or at the end of the ATL game.

  15. adam from ny Says:

    yeah i’m starting to think our head coach is simply a weirdo who “gets off” on defense, and if the defense can’t shine and win a game, then the dude sort of doesn’t care…

    it’s defense or nothing for this coach – and you know what…our defense simply ain’t that good…

    the safe little offense this team offers up each week is a joke – coach booboo is holding this team back from reaching it’s offensive potential because he wants to have a defensive orgasm to rock his world on the sidelines – that way he can look alive instead of like a sideline zombito

  16. adam from ny Says:

    ok maybe i’m being a little harsh…………..

    but we need to soldier into the atl and whoop some behinds like we mean business this sunday…

    none of this 13 point type nonsense vs these filthy birds…

    coach has gotta have these boys unleash that offensive beast in that dome…

    freeze domes in that stank azz dome !

    if you know what i’m sayin’, then you know…and if you don’t, i can’t help you

  17. Rod Munch Says:

    “Who cares if you can score more points than your opponent so long as you win the turnover battle!”


    Any head coach who says a QB’s job isn’t to score points, but to protect the ball, shouldn’t be a head coach.

    Again, I like Bowles as a DC, and would love to see him in that job again. If he was dedicated solely to being a DC, I bet you anything the defense would be better than it is right now.

    But as head coach, he’s truly awful and stuck in the 1970s, where stopping the run, and running the ball yourself, are the two most important things in the game.

  18. FortMyersDave Says:

    Ditto what Vlad said!

  19. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Blah blah blah bucs 24 alt 17 and we keep bowels/canales

  20. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    You’ve squarely hit the target this time, Joe, and that’s why this most recent win feels like a loss.

    We’re going to be stuck with this HC now, aren’t we?

  21. unbelievable Says:


    Todd Bowles would rather lose games and lose his job rather than pull his head out of his stubborn arse and unleash the offense.

  22. garro Says:

    Nailed it Joe!

    I have heard Bowles and Canales talk and both have been full of it! Bowles is a master! His excuses set up his excuses for next week and so on and so forth.

    Canales has failed as a play caller if the only thing he can do is talk about running the ball. Godwins misuse is criminal at this point. He did finally figure out White can catch. What about Chris? I have been willing to give him some room to get this offense going but I am just not seeing it. It all looks disjointed and not well thought out (first quarter lack of points is telling). Kinda like the first scrimage of JV practice in High School.

    Mayfiled is not the answer. If he can’t go through his reads and target anyone but his primary reciever we need to look elswhere. Godwin is apparently rarely the primary reciever. If that is covered he panics and finally pulls it down and runs for his life! Thats rookie stuff! If he is being coached to do that it is criminal.

    I know he is not Brady but an NFL QB has to be able to go through his reads and progressions. I don’t think it’s happening. You throw the ball to the open man!

    I can’t believe we can’t get Chris open. I’m hearing Godwin is not getting separation from some folks in Bucville. That is utter BS! He was getting plenty enough last season coming back from a knee! Is he a speed demon? No, never has been. Get him the ball Canales! His YAC and ability to get the first down is a valuable thing.

    Go Bucs!

  23. Buc4evr Says:

    Not only is the offense outdated, the defense is from the 90s. Everyone agrees that Godwin is not being used correctly. Bowles failure to adapt is just insane. He needs to go.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘It boils down to this: The Bucs don’t care about offense. The Bucs don’t lose sleep about scoring points. The Bucs don’t value moving the ball. The Bucs offense is designed to eat clock and set up the defense to get turnovers. Ah yes, the almighty turnover. Who cares if you can score more points than your opponent so long as you win the turnover battle!’

    I see a lot of ‘The Bucs DON’T do this’ and ‘The Bucs DON’T do that’ in there. Apparently I’m the only one willing to throw up the BS flag on that. Of course Bowles & Canales value scoring points. Of course they want to move the ball. They just don’t have a clue how to take THIS group of players & make that happen.

    Bucs have TWO major problems right now: (1) this group of players has mediocre talent at best; (2) this group of coaches has no clue how fuse that into a winning TEAM. Actually should probably add a THIRD major problem: Bucs don’t have the resources … stockpiled draft picks OR excess salary CAP dollars … to dig ourselves out of the hole we’ve dug for several years.

    This is NOT a very talented, experienced TEAM, and certainly nowhere close to what we fielded in 2020 & 2021 when Tom Brady came here. And this is NOT a very talented coaching staff; they’re recycling old ideas instead of being creative & maximizing what talent we do have. When you combine the two, the results are always very predictable. And disastrous.

    The position we currently find ourselves in is NOT about Todd Bowles, nor is it about Dave Canales (they & the rest of this coaching staff are all gone after this year). It’s not about how to use Chris Godwin or Mike Evans, nor is it about us winning the NFC South crown (those are all smoke screens). It’s now about (1) who we have to build upon (the ‘keepers’); and (2) creating a path forward with that as our base. THAT’S the real prize in all this … clearing a viable path forward to get us out of this mess.

  25. Hodad Says:

    Bowles interviewed 8 other coaches before settling on Canalas. When as a head coach has Bowles made the right choice hiring a O.C., certainly not with the Jets, and it looks like he missed on Canalas. It was enlightening watching offenses move the ball with back up QB’s last night. Cinn had a nobody have a career game. Why couldn’t Trask play like that given a chance? Maybe we’ll find out next year when we replace our wooden Indian with a real offensive minded H.C..

  26. All World Says:

    If find it interesting that you wouldn’t dare criticize a bum like Kevin Stephanski, yet fix your mouth to criticize Bowles? Typical though. Your boy Faker is who the Browns, the Rams knew he was, a backup QB. Only guys like you who need your eyes 👀 checked can’t see that. Gthoh

  27. Falconrap Says:

    Joe, you need to watch the All 22. You will see guys open all the time, including Godwin. In fact, you will see Baker look Godwin’s way when he’s open and often pass him up. This isn’t a scheme problem, beyond maybe a few too many run plays. It’s a QB problem. Dude isn’t throwing it to the guys he should be when he should be. He’s holding the ball too long and getting sacked. He’s also missing on the deep ball more than other starting QB’s. Time for Trask. Bet he’ll get it to Godwin.

  28. WillieG Says:

    It’s easy to stick to an outdated philosophy when you aren’t the one who has to suffer the immediate consequences. Boring defensive football doesn’t sell unless you have a great defense with Sapp, Brooks, Lynch, Barber, and Rice. A running offense doesn’t sell unless you have Alstott and Dunn.

    The Glazers are probably feeling it in the wallet right about now. They won’t put up with this. at least I hope they don’t put up with it.

  29. Bobby M. Says:

    I’ve said on here several times….Bowles coaches to not lose, with that comes conservative play calling and clock management. The modern NFL is designed to benefit explosive offenses through passing. Throughout the NFL the RB position is devalued yet that’s the emphasis of everything we do. He’s philosophically stuck in the 90s.

  30. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Nailed it!

  31. UGotRobbed Says:

    Bowles is a bad head coach, that’s very clear! And my view of him as a defensive coach is declined sharply because of the way teams (even with rookie QBs) move the ball on them at critical times in EVERY game! Very old school and outdated philosophy!
    Time for him to go!

  32. Kramden Says:

    The rose-colored glasses are finally off. Hallelujah!

  33. Zoocomics Says:

    It was amazing how well Browning moved that Bengals team last night. I was saying to myself that I cannot remember the last time I saw Baker and these Bucs have a scoring drive like I saw last night, but back-to-back? This kid got put on a pretty big stage, in an away game, albeit with not a whole lot to lose imo, but damn he looked better than I’ve seen Baker play all season. The offense had great rhythm to it. So refreshing to watch, and from a backup QB?

    Because I believe in context, this Bengals roster is more talented and deeper than what we have, I did look up Browning and he’s not short on talent and some bad luck led to him being on drafted, but it goes to show that having talent around you matters, ask Brock Purdy. With Burrow this team could beat any team in the NFL, and whether they won their division or not, they would’ve made the playoffs, and they would have been incredibly dangerous. The offense is loaded, and the Oline seemed pretty solid last night. Browning has 4.7 speed, I think he’s a bit more mobile than Burrow, might be a bit better rolling out, which potentially hides some of those line weaknesses. I actually thought we’d see more of that from Canales’ offense.

    I think the biggest statement I can make on these message boards, that rings so true when you look at all the other undersized QBs around the league. If you are simple using a 6 foot QB as a pocket passer, I think you’re a 100% wrong. I’m not saying I want to see Baker take off with it, but rolling out of the pocket should be essential in order to create space, be able to see the field better. I think it takes a special talent (Brees) to consistently do well as a 6 foot QB playing behind guys that 6-5. Its science.

  34. Kalind Says:

    Illl say it again…you can’t hit DCs to be HCs and expect anything different. There are a few exceptions as in all things human but generally defensive minded people don’t have a crush them w points mentality. And that’s the game today.

    They should never have hired Bowels after Arians in the first place

  35. BUCS4LIFE Says:

    Oh peeved doesn’t even come close to what I am with this insanity.

  36. Colonel Angus Says:

    Winning the turnover battle is an important statistic…when you get points off those turnovers. When you go 3 and out and give the ball right back to the other team, it’s no better than forcing a punt.

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    Week in and week out I watch teams beat themselves over and over. Football is not complicated, in the least bit.

    Stop overthinking everything!

  38. Henry Says:

    Blows should have been fired after the Rams fiasco in the championship game. Simple as that!!!!!

  39. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    All starts and stops with Toilet Bowles

  40. It's Corn Says:

    Dumbest coaches in the league.

  41. Ed Says:

    Joe hit the jackpot in this one, outdated offense, terrible scheme. Give me the Bengals ballboy and it will be better than the Bowles/Canales/Mayfield disaster.

    If Todd Bowles wrote “Imagine”:

    Imagine theres no scoreboard
    Its easy if you try
    No points below us
    Above us only ties

    Imagine all the fans
    Living for a field goal

    Imagine there’s no challenges
    It isn’t hard to do

    Nothing to call time outs for
    And no passing too

    Imagine all the opponents
    Only rushing the ball

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one

    I hope someday you join me
    And football will be no fun

  42. Cobraboy Says:

    Nothing in Buclandia will change until the coaching staff is jettisoned.

    I KNEW when the Glazers retained Bowles and they hired a rook OC the season would circle the drain.

    Ane here we are: 12 weeks in and every game is do-or-die.

  43. Beeej Says:

    Canales is calling nearly the exact same plays as ‘he who shall not be named’….I don’t think that’s a coincidence

  44. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Has Bowles been fired yet?

  45. SufferingSince76 Says:

    We were obviously too hard on Leftwich. Two different OCs, same results. But, hey, the defense is really racking up turnovers and defensive scores. There’s a moron running this team.

  46. BucU Says:

    2 years and counting this team can’t get out of it’s own way. The same mistakes every week. The same Bowles press conferences week after week. This team is literally unwatchable for the last 2 years. I wonder what the common denominator is.

  47. RustyRhinos Says:

    The grass sure does look so much more green over the fence. Just ask the Panther fans. It can be just ask the Texans fans. We fire the HC and start over, new this (QB) new that (MLB), and we as fans here on JBF will be crying in our hands why us why us.. There is no substitute for working hard and overcoming obstacles together. We could be just like the Cardinals or the Panthers

  48. realistic-optimistic Says:

    We were absolutely not “too hard on Leftwich.” He was dreadful. Yes he and Canales both run/ran up the middle too often (very likely dictated by Bowles). But Lefty could not scheme the passing game to save his life. He learned from papa Bruce that every WR should just run option routes and win. No creativity. 100% reliance on mano y mano routes. Canales at least schemes WRs open. Problem is Baker can’t/won’t throw to them.

    I’m torn on the Trask topic. Games like the one last night clearly show that you never know what you have in a backup until they hit the field. Yes, I’m fed up with Baker and want to see him benched. I have no idea if Trask can do anything, but who really thinks any QB will ball out with Bowles as HC? Clean house ASAP.

    Cap issues and talent issues are dragging this team down a little, but the primary roadblock is Bowles. He slows down and dampens the entire team. Players play with zero aggression. No accountability. Terrible game management. Stubbornness. All the major problems are Bowles.

  49. Craig Says:

    The Bucs might care about points, action, and all that, but their midget QB can’t see enough of the field to be able to look like a modern NFL QB.

    He sees Evans and Otton because they are tall enough to see some of their helmets. He throws the ball that way.

  50. UKBuccaneer Says:

    By all means roll out a rookie QB behind this o-line, supported by this running game. That’ll guarantee another top 5-10 pick next year as well.

  51. BucaneroJim Says:

    Last night’s game was a pleasure to watch, kinda forgot how fun football can be. Gees, another back-up quarterback who makes good.

    Browning in his first starting game 8/14 for 68 yds, second 19/26 for 227 and last night 32/37 for 354. Kudos to the Bengals staff for setting him up to succeed. The announcers said Browning has been spending lots of money to be coached on his own. Seems to me, I once read Trask had been doing that as well.

    If Trask is any good and his first start was similar, I doubt he would have the support from our fans or staff to succeed. It keeps coming back to coaching.

  52. Glass used to be Half Full Guy Says:

    What stood out to me in this game was that both teams let their QBs play. All 3 of the QBs who played last night are “mobile” as is Mayfield. Not crazy run-around guys like Mahomes or threats to pull the ball down and take off like a Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson, but able to move and they schemed them to move with roll-outs and bootlegs.

    The offenses were alive, not stagnant. Lots of pre-snap motion, pulling guards and great blocking by receivers at the point of attack. They didn’t constantly try to force runs up the A gap. They did run inside at times but never predictably. They threw screens behind over-aggressive pass rushers (and got great blocking from receivers on those as well).

    Canales should watch last night’s tape (or any 49er game film) and copy it play for play. You know how you know your OC sucks? When you play 12 games and have yet to score a TD on your opening drive where the first 15 or more plays are scripted by the genius after a week of preparing it.

    Coaches clash all the time over “philosophies” or how they want to run a certain aspect of the team. If it truly is a case of Bowles wanting to just burn clock and try to win the turnover battle, Canales needs to grow a pair and remind him that points win games.

    I don’t remember what game it was on Sunday (I watched 6 or 7) but I finally heard a coach at the halftime sideline interview say “We need to get more POSSESSIONS”. It was a lackluster scoring game with each team “grinding the clock” and had only 2 or 3 possessions each by the half.

    Each possession is a scoring opportunity. You want more scoring, you need more possessions. You need some up-tempo play or some chunk plays to do that. The old “long, sustained drive” garbage to “keep the other offense off the field” is stupid and defies logic.

    Last time I checked, teams get an equal number of possessions. You possess and score or punt, the other team gets the ball next. You get more possessions by moving the ball on offense with some faster pacing then the defense stops the other team from burning game clock with long drives.

    That game I referenced had each team with only ONE possession in the 1st quarter. Each had a long, clock-eating drive (a Todd Bowles wet dream) with one team kicking a FG and the other in the red zone at the end of the quarter.

    You can’t score 21 points in the first half of a game by “grinding the clock”. You might get 4 possessions that way so you’d need to score a TD on 3 out of 4 which is asking alot no matter who you are. Scoring 10 points in a half sucks but add in another possession or 2 with a chance to score 17 in a half and you probably win with 34 points.

    Your share of a 60 minute game clock is precious and finite. You can’t waste it with sluggish drives or burning the play clock down to 2 seconds if the game clock is moving. It’s malpractice, just like wasting timeouts.

  53. Jack Sparrow Says:

    We all know Todd Blows doesn’t care about offense that’s why he hired a water boy from the Seahawks organization to handle this outdated offensive schemes. To ultimately put blame on the OC instead of him.

  54. Denny Gay Says:

    Just watching Browning’s highlight passes from last night, you can see that he has great touch on the different passes. I don’t think Baker has good touch at all. Similar to Winston. You have to be able to whip a 10 yard out to the sidelines and then drop a pass over the hands of a linebacker on the next play. Touch, Peel, and Stand

  55. Bucdude Says:

    The Bucs need an entire overhaul, starting with a new head coach

  56. D Cone Says:

    Every down the defense is coming for the ball. If you fail to move the ball 10 yards in 4 plays it’s a ‘turnover on downs’. If you punt then you have conceded the ‘turnover on downs’ and gain field position for admitting you sucked on that drive.
    Bucs sucked on 8 drives. In contrast Jordan Love who has started as man6 games as Mayfield has Preseason games alone failed twice. Once with seconds left in the first half and once when milking the clock and up in the 4th. Maholmes failed once.

    Now I know Mayfield is no Maholmes but with Love protecting the ball to the tune of 2 punts against the Chiefs and Mayfield giving it up with 8 punts against a 1-10 team I wonder if Love is that good or Mayfield is that bad.

    Sure the Bakettes will find a way to throw the rest of the offense under the bus but the ball is in his hands every play. It’s his job to continually make plays until the ball is in the end zone.

    He turned the ball over 9 times against the lowly Panthers. 1 pick/ 8 ugly drives.

    Yeah yeah yeah the ball was wet blah blah blah but he chose to throw it and he chose to play on an ankle where he really could not plant it and drive the ball.

    But then he chose to play injured at CLV too (after Case Keenum went 2-0 in his absense). Mayfield did what was best for Mayfield and CLV sucked because of it. Only good thing was that move gave Stefanski the leverage to get rid of him.

    Since then the Browns have beaten the Bengals without Mayfield by doing what was the reason for his success to begin with. Defense. Held Bengals to 3 points and pounded them all day long.

  57. Falconrap Says:

    Some of you guys keep saying it’s Canales, but it isn’t. It’s the QB. We have guys open on about 80-90% of all passing plays. The passing offense is light years ahead of the Leftwhich ran passing attack that required the receivers to beat the DB’s. On X, RealBucsTalk shows one of these very plays where Godwin was wide open in the middle beyond the sticks, but Mayfield locked onto Palmer from snap, staring him down when he had tight man coverage on him and the safety was dropping back, leading to Godwin being so open. This is one of many examples I’ve seen, like the strip sack against SF when Otton was wide open for a TD and Godwin was open beyond the sticks right in front of Baker, but he took the sack and lost the game.

  58. Pewter power Says:

    Stop saying the Bucs Joe and start saying Todd Bowles. This used to be a high flying offense. BA won a Super Bowl for lazy and stopped focusing on the offense. Bowles doesn’t value points, he is the reason this team runs up the middle constantly. Leftwich is gone so he’s the only the obvious culprit