How Bout A Decent Tampa Bay First Quarter?

January 15th, 2024

Alarming and unquestionable data.

Perhaps the ugliest stain on the 2023 résumés of head Todd Bowles and playcaller Dave Canales (and Joe will throw Baker Mayfield in there) is the Bucs’ horrendous first-quarter scoring totals.

This will blow your mind.

The Bucs scored more in the first quarters of games, a lot more, with Mike Glennon at quarterback in 2013. And the Bucs scored more in first quarters in 2014, with career loser Josh McCown at quarterback behind the miserable offensive line of a two-win team.

Below is a list of the nine teams averaging the least points in first quarters this season. See a pattern?

Jacksonville 3.6 points avg. in first quarter
Tennessee 3.4
NY Jets 2.8
Tampa Bay 2.5
New England 2.4
Minnesota 2.4
Washington 2.3
Carolina 2.2
NY Giants 1.5

Only the Bucs made the playoffs among those teams. That’s the pattern. And Joe finds the data especially alarming considering the Bucs have an elite field goal kicker in Chase McLaughlin.

It’s wild how Todd Bowles’ teams have struggled to start fast. (Joe will rattle the masses by noting Tom Brady and the Bucs last year ranked 27th in first-quarter scoring at 2.7 points per game.)

If this trend continues tonight, then the Bucs will be gift-wrapping the Eagles early confidence on the road, which is exactly what the Bucs don’t want to do.

32 Responses to “How Bout A Decent Tampa Bay First Quarter?”

  1. Rod Munch Says:

    Bowles thinks a quarterbacks main job is to protect the ball, not score points. I’d guess that has a lot to do with it.

    Thankfully the defense has been able to keep the Bucs in a lot of these games as week after week Baker has 50 yards at the half.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Nah, Todd likes close games.

  3. Since76 Says:

    Funny you mention mccown. That’s exactly the feel I get with Mayfield and this offense. The bucs D is the X- factor today. If the bucs D can get through those 1st quarter 3 and outs we’ve faced all year today we have a chance. But by the 3 Rd Quarter the defense gets tired. If a late TD is scored the blame goes to the D. Even if the offense 3and outs most of the game.

  4. Dave Pear Says:

    LOL part of Todd’s “keep it close” M.O. is you don’t want to get out ahead of the other team too soon. Then they’ll expect the run.

    He’s a genius. Like, tonight.

    The Eagles know they’re pass defense sucks. So they might be expecting the Bucs to pass early. Haha! That’s where the genius Bowles will cross them up by running it. No one will expect it!

    And the Bucs will be. Shins 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.

  5. HC Grover Says:

    Keep it close

  6. Usedtocould Says:

    Let Baker Bake!

  7. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    Jeff get your homework done or you won’t watch the game boy

  8. Baking with Canales Says:


  9. unbelievable Says:

    Munch nailed it.

    Need to start fast like we did against Jacksonville (though we still couldn’t score a TD on opening drive).

    If Philly gets a 2 score lead, we’re dunzo.



  10. D-Rok Says:

    @ Jeff’s grandpa,

    You are a good grandpa. As for the Bucs in this game, we’ll see. I hope they win, I hope they are competitive, but I’m not holding my breath.

  11. TonySoprano Says:

    It’s one of the most frustrating and damning indictments against this coaching staff. They can’t figure out how to motivate the team. They can’t script an effective first 15 plays. It’s a lousy staff

  12. Miller5252 Says:

    Christmas is over Joe. That’s a present Santa couldn’t even bring.

  13. NJbucs23 Says:

    We literally will know within the first few series what team showed up.

  14. Boomer Says:

    Every team to win a playoff game this year scored on their opening drive.
    Texas scored a field goal – but they scored.

    Buffalo just went up 3 touchdowns – Steelers are cooked.

    This does not bode well for the Bucs which struggle to score in the 1st Qtr.

  15. TonySoprano Says:

    Lol so any negative comments about this coaching staff won’t go through huh?

  16. NE Fan Says:

    Yes, the same as all season

  17. D Cone Says:

    But the first quarter is to establish the run and set up play action for the rest of the game.

  18. G Buc Says:

    Bowles has saved all his first-half timeouts … just for this moment.

    Go Bucs!

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    G Buc Says:
    January 15th, 2024 at 5:52 pm
    Bowles has saved all his first-half timeouts … just for this moment.

    Go Bucs!


    When Mike Tomlin for no reason called that timeout with 2 seconds left in the half, the first thing I thought of was how mad Todd Bowles would be with someone wasting a time out they have collected.

  20. JD Still Says:

    Being since we only averaged around 20 points a game over the entire season , we didn’t have too many points to average in any quarter!

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    I see a LOT of comments blasting Bowles for being an ultra-conservative defensive coach, but I’m not convinced that any of those commenters REALLY have taken the time to validate their positions. Just for kicks relooked at our very 1st game this season, a 20-17 win against the Vikings (that we won thanks to our defense BTW). Here’s how the play-calls went in the FIRST quarter:

    o Drive 1: Mayfield short pass – Incomplete. Mayfield deep pass – Incomplete, Mayfield short pass – Complete for 2 yds. PUNT.

    o Drive 2: White run (over LG) – 4 yds. Mayfield short pass – Complete (6 yds for 1st down). Mayfield short pass – Complete (4 yds). Mayfield short pass – Incomplete. Mayfield deep pass – Incomplete. Punt.

    o Drive 3 (after defense forced a fumble & gave the offense the ball at the Vikings 18-yd line): Mayfield short pass – Incomplete. White run (over LG) – 4 yds. Mayfield sacked. Field Goal.

    o Drive 4: White run (over LG) – 6 yds. White run (over RG) – no gain. White run (around left end) – 1 yd. Punt.

    So there we have 4 drives … 14 plays plus 1 FG & 3 punts. Mayfield was 3-for-8 (12 yds) & took 1 sack. White ran 5 times for 15 yds. What I see as a result is a QB who was very ineffective on those 4 drives (3-for-9 passing attempts for 12 yds?), and a RB who did fairly good running over the LG (3 runs for 14 yds) but faltered on the right side & trying to go outside. I also saw some very questionable play-calling. Of course that was Canales 1st game; he got much better by the Saints & Panthers games.

  22. Erik The Viking Says:

    A gift wrapped turd. Can’t wait to see the lame game plan TB zero has in store.

    Eagles 24 Bucs 12.

  23. G Buc Says:

    When don’t trust “The Goat” aka “Mr. 7 Rings” … yep your conservative.

    I rest my case.

  24. NE Fan Says:

    If the Bucs win tonight it’s because the Eagles want to get rid of their HC.

  25. Marky Mark Says:

    . And the Bucs scored more in first quarters in 2014, with career loser Josh McCown at quarterback behind the miserable offensive line of a two-win team.So what you are saying joe is scoring early is a bad idea. Score late and win.

  26. Beeej Says:

    I wonder if they run certain plays they’re pretty sure will fail, JUST so they can fool them with that formation later on

  27. orlbucfan Says:

    I need to have my head examined. I figured I would check in an hour before kickoff, and it’s the usual negative BS. Why is that, $$Joe? The weather is holding off. Can we can the negative for a few hours? How about it, Joe. Go Bucs!

  28. HeavyE Says:

    Let’s Go BUCS!!!!

  29. NE Fan Says:

    Take a chill pill Oralbuc, we are just prepping you so you’re not disappointed later.

  30. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    be a positive pansy you guys orlbuc demands it

  31. BakerFan Says:

    Well game time, if Baker doesn’t get it done and the defense lays an egg the stinking Eagles will win….. Wishing him the best, come out firing.

  32. Jeremy Goins Says:

    Thank God they came out throwing. Todd Bowles is a good DC. GO BUCS