Bucs Didn’t Beat Bucs Too Often In 2023

July 8th, 2024

Not many offensive flags.

When Bucco Bruce Arians first came to town, he often railed in disgust at how the Bucs were so penalty-happy.

“Bucs beating Bucs,” Arians used to growl and grumble. He wasn’t wrong.

That season, 2019, the Bucs led the NFL in penalties with 133. The next season, the Super Bowl-winning season, the Bucs cut that to 84, 20th in the NFL.

So last year, Joe would have thought the Bucs, at least on offense, would have had a lot of penalties. Part of Joe’s thought process was that the Bucs had a new quarterback and a new offensive coordinator. And, the Bucs were starting a pair of rookies on offense and both tackles were new at their positions.

Impressively, despite all of those factors, the Bucs didn’t commit many penalties on offense. Per noted handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp, the Bucs last year were 21st in offensive penalty yards (333).

So the Bucs played a lot of smart ball. Or, as Arians would say, “Bucs weren’t beating Bucs.”

Can that improve with new offensive coordinator Liam Coen?

20 Responses to “Bucs Didn’t Beat Bucs Too Often In 2023”

  1. geno711 Says:

    Like, I always like to say. Lots of ways to win in the NFL.

    KC wins even with the most penalty yards.
    While everyone wants us to run better, we won our last Super Bowl being a passing team and not so good on running the ball.

    I want a better running game. But in the end, I do not care, if we pass block well and we score a ton throwing the ball all over the place.

  2. sdm5821 Says:

    Almost a useless stat as the results do not indicate when the penalty occurred, namely was it a drive killer. False start, holding, illegal block, personal foul, etc. All could change the outcome of a play or add to yardage needed for a first down. A penalty on first down can be overcome much easier than one on third or fourth down.

  3. TampaBayBucFan Says:

    It’s the timing of the penalties that matter….not the number.

    I might add that Donnie (hold and false start0 Smith is no longer a Buc and now at KC…..wonder if that’s a factor.

  4. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    If I ever meet Jerome Boger on the streets I will probably wind up in prison.

  5. Dude Says:

    Not in penalties no, but BA would say we left a sh*t ton of points on the field from week 1 to the divisional playoff game. You imagine BA after scoring 9 total points on offense? He’d probably be swinging on his own guys post-game. Even with Winston in 2019, we were a top 5 scoring unit. I miss BA.

  6. GP Says:

    The penalty yards (333) do not accurately represent the ‘yards lost’. Such as the 50 yard run brought back for holding actually equals a 60 yard loss of production. Even worse when it takes points off the board.
    What drives me nuts is when it appears to be an arbitrary call by the zebra and it totally changes the face of the game.

  7. geno711 Says:

    Interesting. Some posters see KC on the top and Baltimore near the top and all of a sudden, this is not an important stat or the penalties do not accurately represent the yards lost.

    Ok, GP I remember one long play from last year called back by penalty.

    We all remember the Kelce play where he lateraled to Toney that would have been a 48 yard TD. But instead, was a 5 yard penalty on Toney for leaving early.

    Donovan Smith had 9 KC penalties called on him. 3 were declined or were offsetting. The other 6 were, 5 holding and 1 false start. So, 55 of those 486 yards were his for KC. Not as good as Wirfs, but not horrible for a guy playing left tackle.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Only 2 teams of the 11 that had fewer penalty yards than the Bucs made the playoffs last year – Green Bay and Philadelphia
    So maybe there’s more of a correlation between Time of Possession and penalty yards

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    More proof of how bad Leftwich was.

    Speaking of Leftwich, I want to remind everyone what a moron he was. The guy had the Jags HC job in his hands, and he played hard ball, demanding his own GM and the Jags then told him to get lost. Leftwich is so clueless, he actually thought he’d have his pick of head coaching jobs and didn’t have to settle with the Jags.

    Now he’s sitting at home as the Bucs still pay him, hoping his phone rings, and yet it never does.

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    Getting rid of Donovan “The human penalty machine” Smith certainly helped.

    And KC was the worst last year – so……..

    It is important to “play smart” – but you can’t let fear of penalties temper your aggressiveness either…

    Flags that come from legally hitting a QB “too hard” for instance or on a Safety trying to “separate” a receiver from the ball with too much force are part of the game if you are playing it correctly. It just happens sometimes – usually at the whim of a referee….. “aggressive” CB coverage resulting in PI often falls into this category as well. Coaches don’t usually have much to say to the “offending” player in these instances.

    Its the “mental” penalties that are killers. Offside – and especially lining up offside is inexcusable. Motion and presnap alignment penalties – 100% mental.
    Holding (whether Offensive or Defensive) is a lot more subjective – but if its blatant and happens away from the play – then it was a stupid mental penalty.

    Play Smart. Play Tough. That will be Coach Bowles message to his team this year.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Not sure why Warren Sharp focused on offensive penalties (defensive penalties are just as damning). Bucs have been amazingly consistent in any event in terms of Total Penalties for the past 3 years in the regular season (100 in 2023; 99 in 2022; 97 in 2021). We’ve been pretty much in the middle of the pack in each of those years.

    Far cry from 2019 when we logged 133 penalties in just 16 games, or 2018 when we got tagged with 117. And especially from our worst year (2015 under Lovie) when we got nailed for 143 penalties for 1195 yards. We’ve come a long way baby.

  12. GP Says:

    The other side of the equation would be penalties refused because we lost yards anyway

  13. JimBobBuc Says:

    I am a little concerned with Coen calling in three plays and then letting Bake view the defense and then switch to a new play. Seems like a lot on the plate of not just Bake, but the whole offense. I can foresee a few more delay of games and false starts. The plays better come in quickly from the sideline so that Bake has time to see the defense and switch plays. Generally, I thought Canales got the plays into Bake quickly last year.

  14. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Yeah the Bucs beat the Bucs because they couldn’t score points. If they had a better scoring offense their defense did enough to take them to the championship

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    I personally watched 4 definite games, possibly 5 Our Bucs could have easily won had we a PASS RUSH.

  16. SlyPirate Says:

    When the SB Champion has the worst stat and the three teams with the worst stat did sniff the playoffs, that stat goes out the window as utterly useless.

    The all-time record holder for most combined tackles in a single season is the Bucs Hardy Nickerson (214). This is interesting because with an extra game, Hardy’s record is bound to be broken. Props to Hardy. Bucs fans should appreciate it while we can.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    SlyPirate Says:
    “Hardy’s record is bound to be broken.”

    Perhaps at some point – but that 214 combined tackles in a season record has easily lasted for 31 years. Closest anyone has come to it was Chris Spielman the following year in’94 had 195 combined tackles.

    Even with 17 games now – nobody has ever broken 200. Bobby Wagner was the leader last year with 183.

  18. Bucnjim Says:

    I’d like to see how it coincides with time of possession. Seems like the teams at the top have the ball a lot and score a lot.

  19. garro Says:

    Goedeke had eight holding calls last year and five false starts. He needs to clean up the false starts! No excuse for it.

    My real issue is that at least three of those holding flags were thrown when his man went to the ground (flopped) or he got a tremendous block! These overzelous refs assumed it was because Luke was holding. WTF! There was nothing wrong with those blocks!

    Fix the Refs! Roger! They are affecting the outcome of games!

    Go Bucs!

    Go Bucs!

  20. Jeremy in Lutz Says:

    Kansas City sitting on top. Didn’t they take Donovan Smith from us? He is a holding machine, very glad he is gone


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