This season isn’t progressing according to the supposed plan when it comes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense. In week five they faced the Atlanta Falcons with the hopes of showing growth and poise. Ultimately the result was mixed. Here is how they started.
Starting Off Fast
Well, at least attempting to. The Buccaneers’ first drive was unimpressive and rather disjointed. Byron Leftwich started off with a scripted series that had Tom Brady attempting all short-range pass plays with poorly designed runs. If this was Leftwich’s attempt at incorporating the passing game more to start a game and it failed. It lacked guts and aggressiveness. Something this offense struggles with to start the game.
The play calling and execution picked up in the second drive. The run game was consistent (until the last play) and the offense attempted pass plays into each level of the defense. This allowed the offense to put together 11 plays and gain 62 yards and keep the defense on their heels.
Luckily the play calling seemed to stay somewhat aggressive for the remainder of the first half and resulted in some good drives. Now all they need to do in order to put games away early is to finish. Of the last two drives of the half one went 13 plays for 84 yards but the offense only came away with a field goal. Though three points aids in a victory seven goes a long way to extending leads and applying pressure to the other team.
Second Week In A Row
Again these offensive struggles are not new this season. In fact it’s week five and this is only the second time this season the offense has scored a touchdown in the first half of a game. Yes you read that correctly, only the second time. The good news is its two weeks in a row. A positive direction for the team. With two struggling teams on the horizon this team can gain some momentum and Leftwich can work out some of his play calling issues.
Much like you have heard from me weeks before it’s my personal opinion that passing plays must be designed to encompass a route for each level. A short, intermediate, and deep route keep the defense from compressing the field and stagnating a drive. Leftwich only subscribes to this theory when the team is in trouble. Oddly enough it works when they go to it. Now if they could start with this idea and follow through the entire game that would be a step getting this team to reach it’s true potential.
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