Bucs have NFL's biggest 2nd-half dropoff
It was more drastic in Sunday's win against Buffalo, but the Bucs have the biggest midgame scoring dropoff in the NFL this season, averaging 8.0 points more in the first half of their games than they do after halftime.
Sunday's win saw Tampa Bay lead 24-3 at halftime, only to finish with a 27-6 victory, with a stellar defense rendering moot the fact that the Bucs' offense totaled just 28 yards in the second half. In the first half of their 13 games this season, the Bucs average 13.4 points per game, good enough to rank eighth in the league; in the second half, they average just 5.4, the worst average in the league.
Across the league, teams are generally even in their scoring -- 16 teams average more points in the first half, 16 teams average more in the second half, and leaguewide, the difference is scoring is just 0.18 points less per team in the second half of games. For most teams, there isn't a significant difference -- half the teams in the league score within 2 points of what they average in the other half of their games.
A second-half dropoff isn't necessarily synonymous with a struggling team -- the second-biggest dropoff in the league is New Orleans, which averages 5.0 fewer points in the second half, and the 49ers and Chiefs rank among the league's top six in their dropoffs.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano has maintained the dropoff isn't indicative of a lack of halftime adjustments by his team, saying that the 12-minute break at halftime offers little more time for adjustments than an offense or defense often has in real time between possessions during games. Still, no team in the league has struggled more to produce points after halftime at the same rate they do before the break.
On the opposite end, the Patriots have the biggest improvement in the second half, averaging 5.8 points more in the second half than they do in the first, with Pittsburgh (+4.8) and Denver (+4.0) as the next-best teams.