After last week’s Germany outing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to have got their run game going. An essential part of the balanced offense they desire may be on track, and at the right time, to start having an impact.
Coming into the game while sitting at the bottom of the league in rushing the Buccaneers knew they needed to get something rolling. In order to help facilitate this Byron Leftwich decided to further integrate rookie Rachaad White into the game plan. After outpacing Leonard Fournette by 1.3 yards per carry in the previous week it wasn’t a bad idea In fact it helped spark the offense.
White and Fournette became a two headed monster in week 11. White, with 22 carries, had 105 yards and an average of 4.8 yards a carry. Furthermore, Fournette was given 14 carries and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. Fournette was also given a short yardage attempt at the endzone and found six points on the other end. Lastly, and of note, White brought momentum to the offense a few times with multiple double digit yard runs to include a 29 yarder.
The run game looked good.
I for one would not yet call the run game “reemergent” or declare they are back just yet. Subsequently, the Seahawks are 28th in the league in run yards allowed, 24th in rushing touchdowns allowed, 24th in first downs by rushing allowed, and 22nd in yards per carry allowed. They are awful against the run.
Over the next two weeks they face the Browns (21st in rush yards allowed) and Saints (25th in rush yards allowed). Ultimately, these games can provide one of two things. First, a opportunity to gain some confidence. Or second, a stretch to add to false hope. On the back end of those two games looms a huge test. The 49ers are currently first in yards allowed in rushing, yards per carry, and first downs allowed. If the Buccaneers can get the run game going during that away game then and only then would I declare the run game being back.
A phrase comes to mind after week 11’s run success. First time is an anomaly, two times is a pattern, and three times is a trend. The Buccaneers need to be able to show continued success for me to feel they have turned a corner. One way to get towards that goal is to continue to start White over Fournette.
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