NFC South Reporter
One of the most frustrating aspects of the Bucks’ struggle to a 6-7 record this season is the complicity of the entire team.
The Tampa Bay offense has slipped significantly — on the course, less than half the touchdowns the team had a year ago — but defensive and special teams have also played a part. Make the life of a struggling offense easier.
When the 49ers kicked off late on Sunday, rookie receiver Deben Tompkins kicked off to the San Francisco 44 54 yards out. It also ended a similarly jarring drought, marking the first time under any circumstances since Week 4 that the Bucks offense began a drive on the friendly side of the 50-yard line, “plus territory.” did.
This is eight full games with no single returns or turnovers to give the Bucs excellent field position. And unsurprisingly, the Bucks offense took advantage of that rare opportunity and quickly gave it back to the 49ers.
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Field position has been a nightmare for the Bucks all season. Consider touchdown drives of 50 yards or less. In 2020, the Bucks made 18 such drives en route to the Super Bowl championship, most of them in the NFL.Last season, with a 13-4 record and en route to a division title, the Bucks were on the NFL recorded 16 drives, his second-highest in the NBA.
This year, the Bucs will have one such drive all season long.
In 13 games, he had one touchdown drive of 50 yards or less, matching Washington on Raw in the NFL. In the past 10 seasons, he is the only team to finish an entire season with just one touchdown drive of 50 yards or less. He went 3-13 for the Bears in 2016. The Eagles have already recorded 13 drives this season. And the only score the Bucks have all year was an interception by Sean Murphy Bunting with five minutes remaining against the Chiefs to trail 41-24 and set up a 34-yard touchdown drive.
The Bucks have averaged 76 yards for touchdown drives this season. This puts him 12 yards longer than Tampa Bay’s average in a Super Bowl season, a long way especially when the Bucks are struggling to produce big his plays.
What about a short field that at least leads to a field goal? Surely there must be some of those when describing the Bucks’ struggles in the red zone this season, right? The Bucks haven’t had a scoring drive started at home since Week 4 against the Chiefs. They started one field gold live in each of their first three games, followed by a late touchdown with the Chiefs and have been none in nine games (half of the season) since.
Tampa Bay opponents have no such problem. They started in Bucks territory and recorded his 10th scoring drive, which was a result of his poor coverage on kicks and offensive turnovers by Tampa Bay, making him the only player in the NFL this season. It’s his fifth-highest record. Rashard He had White on his drive for a 20-yard touchdown and a 21-yard touchdown as White fumbled the opening and Brady fumbled on a sack. The Steelers returned the kickoff to his 12-yard line for the Bucks to set up an easy field goal. Even that Bucks’ drive to open the second half on Sunday went the other way, as Brady’s interception set up the 49ers on the Bucks’ 38 and led to a touchdown two plays later.
This is shared not to take serious responsibility away from the Bucks’ offense, which has consistently failed to move the chain wherever this season’s drive has started. Have you ever recorded a drive of 75+ yards in a game? The Bucks have 11 this year, tying 24th in the league. Last year he was the third-most in the NFL with 26, and in 2020 he was the eighth-most with 23. However, the offensive’s problems this year are exacerbated by having to go far to find the end his zone.
Remember when we talked about “points for turnovers”? There is no more complementary football than an offense that takes advantage of a defensive splash play to give you the ball and convert it into points.
The Bucs as a team have scored a total of 7 points from turnovers since Week 4. This is him over 9 games. It was Devin White’s forced fumble against Seattle in Munich that they turned the takeaway into a point, and for a 21-3 lead he scored an 87-yard touchdown on his drive (also It was never easy). Globally, more bluntly, the Bucks haven’t scored a single point from a turnover while playing in the United States since October 2nd.
To end this on a slightly positive note, there are practical reasons to think there may be a short field in short order due to the Bucks offense. All of their opponents have allowed their opponents to start at least 16 drives in plus territory, and they all rank among the NFL’s 10 worst in this stat. They allowed a total of 43 scoring drives initiated on their side of the field. This is almost once per game.
So the Bucks offense will have to take a much-needed break at some point in the final month of the season.
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Greg Auman is FOX Sports’ NFC South reporter covering the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints. He entered his 10th season covering the NFL full-time with the Bucks, Tampa Bay he spent with The Times and The Athletic. You can follow him on Twitter. @gregauman.
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