July 27, 2021

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The Running Game is on Life Support

2 min read

Jim Brown | USA TODAY Sports

Passing vs. the run

One Thousand, four hundred and ninety-five, and one hundred and eighteen. Anyone got any idea what those two numbers represent? 

You probably guessed them right. The first number is Jameis Winston’s passing yardage over the four-game win streak. The second number is Ronald Jones’s total rushing yards during that same period. Added to that, the Bucs haven’t had a running back gain one hundred yards in a game, but four times since 2016. Jacquizz Rodgers did it twice in 2016. Peyton Barber once in 2017 and again last year. This season we’re still waiting for one, but don’t hold your breath folks. With wide receivers dropping like flies, our run game will not be asked to take some pressure off. Oh sure! They will throw to the Backs more, but handing the running game straight over to Jones and Barber to carry the team to victory just isn’t happening.

Improving the Offensive line

Maybe if we had an Offensive line that was capable of Run Blocking, we could actually use Jones as the weapon he truly is, and Jameis Winston wouldn’t have to throw for 500 yards a game to get the win. There have been a couple of times, over this season, that Arians has talked about running the ball more. For a couple of games, they did do that. Their idea of running the ball more and mine is different.

Throwing draft picks at the Offensive line is a must just like they did for the defense. Put yourself in the position of being able to dictate the line of scrimmage when you must. Then you can go back to chucking it downfield. It’s hugely important to be able to do that. Being able to run the football isn’t a sweet trick, it should be a staple of any well-rounded, strong offensive football team. In my belief system, a team that cannot run the ball effectively, especially in the red zone, is a team that isn’t going to go deep into the playoffs and beyond.

History backs my take

When you look back in history upon the teams that were known as passing juggernauts, you will find a running back and an offensive line that was able to run effectively. The Rams had Marshall Faulk, and the Forty-Niners had Roger Craig. I can promise you this; until our running game is something that opposing defenses must account for, we will never go deep into the playoffs. Jameis Winston has proven that he can carry the team, but it’s a whole different animal, though, once you make the playoffs, and every team you play is much better than average.

Hopefully, the powers that be are aware of this and will pay attention to the offensive line come draft day. If not, it’s time I replace Jason Licht as General Manager. Go Bucs!!

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