Despite the Buccaneers 31-23 playoff victory over the Washington Football Team, Tampa Bay left a large amount of points off of the scoreboard. Buccaneers faithful found themselves sweating this game pretty much throughout. A large reason for keeping this game way closer than it should have been was the Buccaneers red zone offense. The Bucs made five trips to the red zone in Saturday night’s game, and only one trip resulted in a touchdown. The other four trips, the Tampa Bay offense stalled out and had to settle for field goals.
Ryan Succop Saves the Day
It appears the Bucs kicking curse has finally been lifted *knock on wood*. Kicker Ryan Succop went 4-4 in his field goal attempts. Succop has been reliable all season, and came through when the team needed him most. However, you would like to see Succop attempt extra points rather than field goals.
Regular Season Red Zone Offense
During the regular season, the Buccaneers found the end zone approximately 67% of the chances they had inside of the 20 yard line. Compare that to the only 20% success rate in their playoff game, it becomes a bit of a concern. In order for the Buccaneers to beat teams such as the Saints and Packers, Tom Brady and the rest of the offense will need to find ways to finish their drives. Settling for three points will not get it done against any of the remaining seven opponents in the NFL.
The Buccaneers next matchup will take place on Sunday, January 17th at 6:40 PM in New Orleans against a Saints team that defeated the Buccaneers twice in the regular season. New Orleans finished the season 5th in red zone offense at a little over 72% success rate. However, it will be a better red zone matchup offensively for Tampa Bay, as New Orleans’ defense allowed a 67.3% opponent red zone success rate. This is far more favorable for the Buccaneers, considering Washington allowed just a 50% opponent red zone success rate.
Regardless of their struggles, the Buccaneers offense is clicking. They have won five straight games and have scored over 30 points in each of their last four games. That will need to continue against the Saints, who gave up just 13 points per game to the Buccaneers this season.