Cynthia Frelund: This Unit Of The Bucs Was Most Overachieving In NFL

February 2nd, 2024

The numbers say…

Last year, no passing offense overachieved based on preseason expectations like the Bucs’.

Who said that? Well, the NFL Network’s own Queen of Stats, Cynthia Frelund.

In an after-season project, Frelund, with the help of NextGen Stats, scanned her spreadsheets to determine the most overachieving and underachieving units in the NFL.

For passing, Frelund typed that no team overachieved more than the Bucs and credit lies at the feet of quarterback Baker Mayfield.


That preseason ranking wasn’t on wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Just want to put that out there. Back at the beginning of September, how many folks anticipated Baker Mayfield leading the Buccaneers to the NFC South title and blowing out the defending conference champion Eagles in the playoffs? Not only did Baker become just the second Bucs QB to eclipse 4,000 yards passing with a 90-plus passer rating (Tom Brady is the other), but he also connected with Evans for seven deep passing TDs (20-plus air yards), which ranked second in the NFL behind only the Tua Tagovailoa-Tyreek Hill combo. He also threw 14 touchdown passes on attempts under 10 air yards during the regular season (fifth most) and generated a +40.5 EPA on these attempts — the third-highest figure in the league — with 29 of those tosses going to RB Rachaad White (tops among QB-pass catcher duos).

Bottom line: The Buccaneers crafted a system that worked for their QB, and he executed at a very high level.

Now comes the real trick. Who is Bucs coach Todd Bowles going to find that can craft an offense to get the same results from Mayfield that Dave Canales did?

Could Bowles find someone to make Mayfield even better? Sure. But given that Canales guided Mayfield to a career year, that doesn’t seem likely. To use a term that stat geeks like to use, and Frelund should be familiar with, this is what you would call regression to the mean.

Now a question with no answer. Joe knows Mike Evans thought the world of Canales. It seems Mayfield does too. After all, Canales saved Mayfield’s career and made him a boatload of cash.

Just how eager will both of those guys be to return to Tampa with Canales gone?

10 Responses to “Cynthia Frelund: This Unit Of The Bucs Was Most Overachieving In NFL”

  1. BakerFan Says:

    Mayfield has been handicapped since coming into the league with too many coaches and OC’s. He has not reached his pinnacle yet and this new OC is going to be better. Mayfield did more for Canales than the other way around.

  2. TomBucsFan Says:

    Go Bucs

  3. zzbucs Says:

    With all due respect….couldn´t care less on whay this lady has to say…. she rarely has something interesting to say

  4. BakerFan Says:

    zzbucs Says:
    February 2nd, 2024 at 9:19 am
    With all due respect….couldn´t care less on whay this lady has to say…. she rarely has something interesting to say
    You could just tune her out and look at her.

  5. zzbucs Says:

    @BakerFan…hahahahah youe are absolutely right!!

  6. Craig Says:

    Sorry, but I still think sustained drives are the best way to win football games.

    There weren’t many of those in last season’s offense.

  7. LANshark Says:

    Bucs need to re-sign Evans, Mayfield, David, McGlaughlin, Winfield. Extend and restructure Wirfs and maybe a couple others. All those are possible with creative bookkeeping and some cuts other places (jensen, gage, white, etc.)

    They need to find at least one veteran edge/OLB in free agency, and maybe some backup depth if they don’t think Hainsey and Stinnie are good enough to man the bench. If Chubb is available, and tests OK, sign him ASAP. He is a great complement to White, if he is healthy. For that matter, Kareem Hunt still has miles in his legs.

    They need to draft a young MLB, at least one man-to-man-corner, a stud RB (corum, allen, maybe henderson, or the kid from Missou, etc). And a Center and a Guard (lots of good choices). Maybe a TE like Sinnot out of Kstate. Figure out why Dean cannot stay on the field, and fix it.

  8. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Stats are deceiving. Mayfield didn’t overachieve he lived up to his 2020 self. And he didn’t do it by himself, you can put the ball spot on and the receiver drops it. How about, Baker, Mike and Chris did a great job together. They have a damn good connection. Thing if beauty when the QB can throw a desperate heave and know exactly where their receiver is gonna be. “He’s down there somewhere” ain’t gonna work game 1.

  9. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Or the Bills game hail mary. Spot on because Baker knew where Chris was gonna be and Godwin was exactly where he needed to be. Run it back, Mr Licht. Arrow up because things started coming together with Cade and Trey in the playoffs when the opponent focused on Mike and Chris. Get us a powerful center and a power back in the draft. (Braelon Allen or Audric Estime please)

  10. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Hopefully they can land Liam Coen for OC. directly from McVey and the Rams and worked with Baker already (at least 5 games worth).

    He’d be an upgrade over Canales imo