We all know it, right? The Bucs are awful in the red zone this year. The narrative is so often repeated that we’ve accepted it as fact. We are definitely than last year too, right?
Well, um, no actually. This is a bit awkward but looking into the stats the Tampa Bay offense is in fact better than it was last year! That’s right fans, better! While I will openly state that statistics don’t tell the whole story they certainly provide an insight to what’s going on in the Red Zone, let’s look shall we?
51.8 % – that’s the percentage of times the Bucs scored a touchdown when inside the 20 in 2016. So basically a smidge over half the visits resulted in 6 points. So let’s see the difference from last year to this;
This year the percentage of times the Bucs scored a touchdown when inside the Red Zone is 55.45% actually a slight improvement. But let’s put this stat into context, this percentage puts our Buccaneers 13th out of 32. Just putting us in the top half of the league with 19 teams worse than us. But that’s not even the whole story. So to put that stat into perspective, I’ll give you another one, 3.1, that’s the average number of visits per game. With 100% efficiency that would be a shade over 21 points per game, but with our just 55.54% efficiency, that gives us (gulp) a little over 10 points per game.
I can almost hear the screams. Just over 10 points per game from the Red Zone? Sounds bad, right? Let us delve back into the numbers and see where we are? That number of 3.1 actually puts is 12th best in the league and 0.2 visits per game behind the offensive behemoth that is the Green Bay Packers, who funnily enough are actually 10th in visits per game. Last year our average number was marginally better at 3.4, but no where near enough to justify the thinking we are so much worse than last year.
In a nutshell, are we exercising confirmation bias whenever the Bucs offense steps inside that 20 yard line? Are they really as bad as we think or are there other factors at play?
Look deeper and the stats tell the story that this team is better than 2-5 On offense.
Coming soon “The Defense for the Defense”