Bucs Central
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The game plan featured a  ton of two or more tight end sets and six offensive linemen, on 22 plays to combat the Seahawks defensive front. Koetter and the Bucs decided against putting Winston in the shotgun, lining up in the shotgun set a season low, 30% of the time. On defense Mike Smith was once again active with blitzing. Sending more than 4 rushers on 12 of Russell Wilson 45 dropbacks.

Virtually, a mistake free game orchestrated by Jameis Winston, against the Seahawks; albeit with the exception of one throw late in the fourth quarter where he threw into double coverage to Mike Evans, resulting in an interception.   It’s remarkable the consistency in which Winston is playing with since the teams by week. He is averaging 33 attempts per game and completing 64% of his passes for an average of 262 yards per game with 13 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. He has shown marked improvement throwing to his right and for the most part, is allowing the coverage to dictate where the ball should be thrown based on his progressions.

The offense was successful in attacking the Chiefs defense with two tight end sets running 12 personnel (1RB, 2TE, 2WR) 30 times, gaining 202 total yards out of the personnel package, for an average of 6.7 yards per play. Defensively the team was shredded on the ground when in their nickel package as they allowed the Chiefs to gain 107 yards on 15 carries, good for an average of 7.13 yards per carry.

Jameis Winston was the catalyst for the Bucs against  a stingy Kansas City Chiefs defense. Spraying the football all over the field – Winston had, his, shall I say defining moment as an NFL quarterback. I know some will argue that his game  as a  rookie against the Philadelphia Eagles, was that game. However  it like comparing apples to oranges. Against the Eagles, Winston had the added help of a ground game, that racked up 283 rushing yards on 38 carries by backs for which they averaged 7.4 yards. Whereas the running backs against the Chiefs averaged 3.2 yards per carry. Putting the onus squarely on Winston’s shoulders to lead his team to victory.

Winston has had his ups and downs this season, he has remained consistent on third downs throughout the year, completing 60 of 96 attempts with three touchdowns to one interception. Good for a completion percentage of 63%. In the redzone he is 19 of 29 with 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Good for a completion percentage of  66%.

The Buccaneers defense got after Jay Cutler early! Sending an extra rusher 7 out of Culter’s first 10 passes attempts. Of his final 25 drops backs, the Bucs sent an extra rusher a mere 3 times. They blitzed Culter on 10 of 35 drop backs. The Buccaneers offense decided to attack the Bears with extra offensive linemen and two or more tight ends on  27 of 68 plays – running the football on 21 of those 27 plays.

Jameis Winston had a very productive day throwing to the right sideline versus the Bears; completing 8 of 8 attempts and one touchdown. He was 6 of 8 on third down passes. He was 3 of 5 in the redzone with one touchdown. Since the bye week, Winston has completed 83 of 132 attempts good for a completion percentage of 63%, while throwing 10 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. Prior to the bye week, Winston had completed 58% of his attempts (121 of 207) throwing 9 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. He is averaging 33 attempts per game since the bye, compared to 41 prior to it.

It’s clear the Buccaneers, thought the best approach was to attack the Falcons defense via 11 personnel (1RB, 1TE, 3WR) – as they ran the personnel grouping 62 out of 70 plays. I know many fans are wondering why Mike Smith does not blitz more…well he blitzed the Falcons nearly once out of every four pass attempts.  Their fourth highest total on the season, for the Bucs defense.


Jameis Winston had his best first half of the season completing 13 of 19 attempts and 2 touchdowns. He also had two drops by eligible receivers.  On the first sack it’s clear that Winston and the running back were not in  sync and screwed the play up at the mesh point. The second sack, Winston was trying to climb the pocket, when it looks like a Falcon defender used his leg to trip Winston.

Jameis Winston, was average to below average from a  completion and ball placement standpoint. However, there were some positives to glean from his performance. He had his best showing of the season throwing to the right sideline; completing 5 of 8 passes, and was 2 of 2 under pressure when throwing to the right sideline. On his touchdown to tight end Cameron Brate, the Bucs were in 13 Shotgun personnel (1RB, 3TE, 1WR) – it’s the first time the team showed the formation in a  game.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on offense, in week 7, unveiled three new personnel packages that they had not shown previously this season under Dirk Kotter. They were; 02 (0RB, 2TE, 3WR), S10(Shotgun 1RB, 0TE, 4WR) and S21 (Shotgun 2RB, 0TE, 3WR) the first gained 31 yards on a  pass play to Mike Evans. The second was a pass play the was not completed – it was the deep pass into the endzone with the ball being thrown just out of the reach and slightly to the outside of Evans. The last one was a screen pass that went for 11 yards to A. Smith.

The Bucs ran behind six offensive linemen a total of 13 times for 96-yards and passed out of the formation 2 times for 10 yards . They used three tight ends 7 times gaining a  total of 27 yards.

Defensively the team unveiled a different look utilizing the 3-3-5 (3DL, 3LB, 5DB) showing it a total of 15 times, all with Daryl Smith as the roving stand-up player ether dropping in coverage or rushing the passer. The 49ers passed 14 out of 15 times gaining a total of 42 yards, two of the teams three sacks came from this formation.

Noah Spence had his best day as an edge rusher and just missed out on two more sacks as he could not hold on to his prey (Colin Kaepernick) – He did record his second sack of the season and has a batted pass.

Jameis Winston, had his best passing performance of the season, in week 7, against the San Francisco 49ers; On third down, Winston completed 80% of his attempts (8 of 10, 1 TD) – was 4 of 5, in the redzone  with 3 TDs. Under pressure, Winston completed 64% of his passes (7 of 11, 1TD & 1 Int).

On the lone interception, Winston initial read was to the left. Bucs are lined up in Shotgun 11 personnel (1 RB, 1TE, 3WR) 11-Adam Humphries motion from trips side (right) to left. 49ers blitz CB from right. 10-Cecil Shorts left wide open!  After reading through his progression on the left Winston scanned to the middle – 55-Ahmad Brooks lined up in wide 9 stance – at snap Dotson takes lateral outside quick set – Brooks takes quick outside jab step then knives inside crossing face of Dotson –beating Dotson inside with no help. Typically the rule of thumb for offensive lineman is that you do not quick set unless you have a guard sliding with you and it’s a three step drop.

Compounding matters is that, Dotson did not shuffle feet in his kick slide – but rather  hopped outside –  i.e. leaving his feet off the grass – leaving him vulnerable  to an inside move – as he was off balance with no foot to grass contact.  Brooks did nothing extraordinary on the play. It was a complete mental breakdown of blocking rules and technique by Dotson. That allowed quick pressure.

With no one sliding with Dotson – it should have been an angle set where Dotson looks to take away the outside while maintaining inside out leverage  to prevent the defender from attacking his inside shoulder where there is no help.

The offense was balanced versus the CarolinaPanthers, in week 5; 34 runs to 35 pass attempts. The game plan was to emphases the run, with 9 runs to starts a drive. The Bucs ran behind 6 offensive linemen, 15 times and utilized two tight ends sets 36 times. They decided to forgo the use of shotgun – using it on a  mere 24 plays, out of 69. The team’s lowest percentage through the first five games.

Defensively, the team held the Panthers to a 22% conversation rate on third down. It’s an even more impressive feat considering the Panthers had an average distance to gain of 2.5 yards, on third down. The defense blitzed Derek Anderson on 7 of 29 attempts. Sending 5-rushers, five times and sending 6-rushers, twice. Both the defenses interceptions came on early downs.

Over the past two games – the Buccaneers, or more realistically Dirk Koetter has been limiting the number of passing attempts, Jameis Winston takes during the course of a  game. Down from nearly 45 attempts a game to  a season-low of 30 versus the Carolina Panthers. The Bucs decided to emphasize the run, with 6 offensive lineman and 2 tight ends, for much of the game. A renewed attempt to impose your will on the opposition. And, what do you know, the Bucs got their second win of the season. It was not all sunshine in rainbows however,   Winston struggled versus pressure, completing 1 of 6 on the night, with 2 drops, one by Cameron Brate and one by Mike Evans.


Winston continues to struggle on throws to the right sidelines, for the season he is 2 of 15 overall and 0 of 5 versus pressure.


A couple things this week: first the Bucs used 10 personnel (1RB, 0TE, 4WR) for the first time running the personnel package twice, both times passing out of the formation – neither pass attempt was completed. On defense the team used 5-3-3 (5DL, 3LB, 3DB) – during a goal-line play, they were unable to stop the play – resulting in a one-yard touchdown run by the Broncos.

Daryl Smith was pressed into duty on multiple occasions as a defensive end – lining up at both left and right defensive end after Noah Spence went down with a shoulder injury.