Bucs Central
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Throwing to the right has been an issue this season, for Jameis Winston; however, versus the New Orleans Saints, Winston connected on 9 of 12 – a  75% completion rate. On the season Winston completes passes on a  50% clip to the right. Versus the Saints Winston attempted   16 passes of 11+ yards through the air – completing  8 of them.

The Buccaneers, on offense, ran four different personnel packages against the Dallas Cowboys.  One of the more concerning aspects of the offense this season is their inability to execute consistently – as each one of the 11-ppalyers on the field taking turns with their execution during plays -which his stymied the offense and has really had a negative impact on early downs.

the Cowboys.

Jameis Winston struggled throwing outside the numbers down the right. However was 8 of 14 throwing inside the number in the intimidate range of 11-20 yards – and was a remarkable 4 of 6 in the same range under pressure.  On third down he was not his typical-self versus the Saints going a pedestrian 6 of 11 – he is usually much better, I should say money, on third down.

 

The Bucs offensively approached the game against the Saints, running a balanced offensive attack with 30 runs to 31 passing situations. They continue to increase the total number of plays per game they are utilizing 12 personnel (1RB, 2TE 2WR). There was another wrinkle introduced by Koetter, with the use of WR Josh Huff – the Pistol formation, where the QB lines up 4 yards behind center, in shotgun rather than the traditional 5-7 yards. They also incorporated an RPO (Run/Pass Option) out of the pistol.

Defensively the Bucs decided to play coverage against Brees and company only sending 5 or more rushers twice. The secondary is playing mostly Cover 1 or a variation of Cover 3 – The defensive back is only dropping to play man coverage if the receiver takes off vertically. If the receivers cross though, they drop to play a zone, meaning their eyes are in the backfield.

Dirk Koetter utilized two or more tight ends on 21 of 59 plays, good for 36% of the time against the Chargers. Used an extra offensive lineman on 10 of 59 plays.  Of late Jameis Winston has been finding success in the passing game out of 12 personnel (1RB, 2TE, 1 WR) – against the Chargers he threw out of the formation 8 of 12 times for 84 yards. On the season the Bucs have aligned in 12 personnel 172 times, and threw 72 times gaining 646 yard through the air. It’s the third most favorite personnel grouping on the season and is the second most productive when it comes to gaining yards, with 946.

On defense the team blitzed the Chargers and Phillip Rivers 9 out of 31 drop backs, making it the second highest, from a percentage standpoint the team has blitzed all season.

Jameis Winston has been a  model of consistency, since the bye week – over the past four games he has demonstrated tremendous growth – all wins! His performance against the Chargers was not statically dominating  in any passing category, however, he  has settled into a  groove as an on the cusp elite caliber signal caller. For the most part, he has worked with spare parts around him while managing to produce and raise their level of play. That’s the hallmark of an elite caliber QB, in the N.F.L.

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.