The backfield, the stomping ground of the running back. We’ve seen some great ones in Tampa over the years; but is anyone back there at the moment. The absence of the running game has set up a vicious circle that has forced the offense to pass, and opponents to expect the pass. This has meant that the Bucs have found it frustratingly hard to move the football and keep on the field. The defense can’t rest and is getting burned for long drives.
A quick look over basic stats shows that the Buccaneers have the 28th ranked running game averaging 82.8 yards per game. The very fact that the passing game is the 3rd ranked in the NFL, shows just how much the offense is leaning on the pass this year.
At this point I don’t care if it’s the players, the line, the play calling or the blocking scheme. It HAS to change! Running the football should be the basic element of our offense, so we can create mismatches with our weapons on offense. So far the running game is letting the team and the fans down. What was promised as a run play action team is anything but and things are clearly wrong.
Personally, I side more toward the coaching and if the scheme is effective at all. The few times the score has allowed Jameis Winston to hand off the ball, the blocking has rarely been effective, running lanes haven’t been there and because the backs appear they don’t trust the line, aren’t running with authority.
Fixing the running game won’t save the season, but it would go a very long way to stopping the bleeding.