One Score Games

June 11th, 2024

Solving opening-drive riddle.

Perhaps the Bucs could figure out a way to score a touchdown on an opening possession. Or maybe just score more points?

Despite being two plays away from possibly playing in the NFC Championship game last winter, the Bucs were a losing team in close games. Specifically, the Bucs were not a good team in one-run games.

Per noted handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp, the Bucs had a 3-4 record in one-score games in 2023. That’s not terrible but it is not good.

Yes, Joe thinks resolving this might be as simple as scoring more points. Remember, the Bucs went all last year without scoring a touchdown on their opening drive. For a team with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rachaad White, that’s inexcusable.

Think about it: Opening drives are often scripted. What did Dave Canales miss in game film in the days leading up to a contest that prevented him from ever find a soft spot in an opposing defense on the first possession to exploit and get six?

The Bucs ranked tied for 20th in the NFL in touchdowns scored. That could easily jump to top 15 or better if new offensive coordinator Liam Coen can find ways to get few touchdowns on the Bucs’ first drives.

11 Responses to “One Score Games”

  1. Dude Says:

    A bump up in the level of execution can make our offense a dangerous unit. There’s alot of time to get that situated between now and the last preseason game. Raise the consistency in which we execute calls and the points will come.

    After diggin into Coens’ scheme at UofK there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be putting guys in position, but the guys gotta make the plays on a much more consistent basis than last yr.

  2. Beeej Says:

    There are so many stats like this which we’re at the bottom of, it’s amazing we didn’t have a losing record

  3. LetsBucs Says:

    We got bailed out a lot by individual talent. Even in our first game it took Baker figuring out defensive signals until we did anything as an offense.

    Evans, Baker, White (as a pass-catcher) all had some huge individual moments.

    That’s including the defence helping out (Texans final drive nonewithstanding).

    Late season (Packers, Jags, Eagles) showed promise by Canales and I certainly would have enjoyed having him back, but there’s a reason I personally see Coen as an upgrade.

  4. JimBobBuc Says:

    Q1 scoring is game planning and execution and I put our shortfalls on Canales game planning and Bake/ME misses. Bake overthrows and ME drops.

    Brady was a master of 1st half 2 minute offense and really focused on the first 3Q possession.

  5. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    When you can’t score any points on your first drive let alone the 1st quarter because your qb takes that long to figure out the defensive hand signals its going to affect your 1 score winning ability

  6. Beeej Says:

    Apparently Brady couldn’t figure out that stuff either

  7. Hearty Dikerson Says:

    Haha very true. I like this site but that’s what makes it odd. One article about how the Bucs had the 29th ranked pass D. Or the 23rd scoring offense. Or last in rushing. Or bottom 10 in pass rushing.

    …Yet the next article cries about the team getting no respect. Let’s be real, it was not a sharp, exciting brand of football last season. A plodding offense and a conservative, death by a thousand cuts defense

  8. Dave Pear Says:

    Naa, can’t be. Todd loves to keep it close. Meaning he thinks the Bucs are better than their opponents in close games.


    Once again, the data is inconvenient and the fact doesn’t lie.

    Todd would rather keep it close than score a lot of points.

    Too slow to start on both sides of the ball.
    Too obsessed with ball control on offense, and letting the opponent have the ball for three weeks when playing the soft zone bust Defense.

    Todd – evolve or study for the LSAT.

  9. heyjude Says:

    Guessing and hoping they are working on first drive TDs. Coen will be doing the play-calling. This will be his first time calling plays in the NFL since McVay called the plays during their time together. Coen called the plays with the Wildcats and did a great job. McVay isn’t perfect. He had some clock management issues this past season.

    Baker stated in February that Coen runs a similar system to what the Bucs run. That was under McVay and could be changed up somewhat for this season. Plus, the Rams took on Baker’s contract off waivers. And at that time Baker only had two days to learn the playbook so they started their other QB. This is Baker’s 2nd season with us. Things will be worked out. Optimistically, I am feeling a great season! Go Bucs!

  10. garro Says:

    We let two maybe more wins slide out the door because of incompetence.
    Playing with a lead? Wonder what stat boy says about that?

    Go Bucs!

  11. PSK Bucs Fan Says:

    Part of the problem was Canales’ commitment to run n on the 1st down of the game fr no gain and you start in a hole……