Offensive Point Of Attack: Buccaneers vs Panthers

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With the defense playing its part, the offense needs to get in gear in order to beat the Carolina Panthers. This will be no small feat with questions along the offensive line. Here’s how the offense can attack opportunities and score.

Last Matchup

The offense struggled mightily in the last matchup against the Panthers. Tom Brady only threw for an average of 5.9 yards per pass while still achieving 290 yards. The run game was shut down and was able to only put 46 yards in the stat sheet. The team abandoned the run early and for obvious reasons as they averaged 2.9 yards per run. This week things need to change.

Two Tight End Sets

With questions remaining on the offensive line the staff should be looking to incorporate two tight end sets to their game plan a little more. If they do Ko Kieft should see more playing time this week and be an inline blocker. So far this season he has averaged a PFF grade of 67.1 in both pass and run blocking.  Against the Panthers this season he had a run block grade of 56.9. With more experience under his belt he should improve this week

against an opponent he has already faced.

Additionally, the Panthers may have been exposed last week against tight ends and their groupings. Jared Goff, who put up very respectable numbers in a losing effort, used his tight ends well. Gaining a total of 68 yards on eight targets. That’s an average of 9.68 yards per pass. Also, he threw three touchdowns to his tight end last week. Exposing a red zone issue for the Panthers. So far this season the Panthers are in the bottom ten for touchdowns allowed to tight ends.

Going with two tight end sets allows for the disguise of some plays, the reintroduction to some play action passes and is a vulnerability of the Panthers. It’s apparent that this weakness needs to be exploited.

Attack The Corners

The Panthers are hurting at cornerback. So much so they brought back Josh Norman. So the four corners going into this week’s game are Josh Norman, Jeremy Chinn, C.J. Henderson, and Kieth Taylor. Of the three rotational players (Chinn, Henderson, and Taylor) Taylor has the best PFF coverage grade for the season at 57.1. Josh Norman hasn’t played this season and will have some rust to knock off as he’s been busy with his enterprises outside of football. Last season he played with San Fransico and recorded an overall PFF grade for the season at 48.8. In the last four seasons where he has had over 350 snaps he has allowed 24 touchdowns and close to 14 yards a reception. His presence, even given his 2015 performance, should not be that intimidating.

Ultimately the offense needs to target the corners early and often as this should be a huge mismatch. Getting Mike Evans involved early will be key.

Final Thought

The defense will perform better if the offense can stay on the field. Also, Byron Leftwich needs to in cooperate deep shots, especially against these corners, and play action to really get this offense going before the playoffs. That’s assuming they win this week.

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