The Bucs offense has been a disappointment this season as most fans including us here at realbucstalk thought it was going to be something special. However, inconsistent play and a lack of an identity has hurt the Bucs offense and even more so the execution on third down has been non-existent. The ability to sustain drives this season has been poor which is limiting the point production per game. Now third down has not been kind to both sides of the ball this year which is weird since the team was so good at it last season. The Bucs are converting only 36% of the time on third down which is way down from last year’s mark of 44%. For whatever reason on third down, the Bucs can’t win the one on one matchup consistently or avoid the use of pick/combo route plays to help with separation.
With the Bucs playing the Falcons this week, the Bucs offense is going to have to control the ball and to do that they must sustain drives. If the Bucs continue to have drives that stall with three and outs, then it will be a long day at the office on Sunday. On a positive note, the Falcons D is middle of the pack on third downs allowing a conversion rate of 39.4%. The Bucs need to be better on third down and having a good game in this area would be a big boost towards getting a road win on Sunday.
Now this play above would be good for third and mediums as it could be effective vs man or zone. Incorporating more slants, drags, and rub routes needs to occur especially with the skill players the Bucs have. Qb play and playcalling will need to be smart in order to keep the Bucs in third and manageable situations. Being unpredictable on third down as well needs to occur like using draws, screens, and play action to keep the defense off balanced. Getting Mike Evans, OJ Howard, Cam Brate, and Desean Jackson all involved early will help keep the defense on their toes which hopefully will open up good plays on third down. The Bucs offense can’t afford another 3 for 13 showing on third down this week or else it’s going to be an automatic loss for the good guys.