Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs offense at its best against Bears in two-minute drill

As much as the Bucs offense let some points on the board with red-zone inefficiency in Sunday's 29-7 win against the Bears, the team's best execution might have come in the final minute of the first half in setting up a 50-yard field goal.

Up 23-0 already, given the ball at their 25 with 1:04 left, the Bucs could have easily just run out the half, content to go to the locker room with a dominating lead. Instead, they worked on that two-minute drill, with Jameis Winston completing four passes for 53 yards to set up the kick.

"It feels great. We wanted that two-minute opportunity," quarterback Jameis Winston said after the game. "We got a chance to run a play that we have never run in a real game before, with Mike Evans catching that ball, then getting out of bounds, so it was good to be able to work that and we saw how it did. I think that's the happiest I've ever seen Coach Koetter — during that two-minute drive, on that final play — than I have since I've been here."

Winston completed a 21-yard pass to DeSean Jackson — the Bucs' longest offensive play of the day — and then converted a third-and-10 with an 11-yard gain to Cam Brate, but the Bucs used their last time out to stop the clock at the Bears' 44 with 14 seconds left.

At that point, the expectation is that the Bucs would only throw to the sidelines — a completed pass stopped on the field to keep the clock running has no guarantee that the offense can move quickly and spike to stop the clock. But Winston threw to Evans going across the middle, and he had three teammates — RB Charles Sims, Brate and Jackson — in position to make blocks to seal a path to the sidelines, putting the Bucs at the Bears' 27 with 0:07 left.

An illegal shift penalty cost the Bucs 5 yards — Folk had connected from 45 yards, but given a longer kick, was still good from 50 yards, or 7 yards longer than any kick the Bucs had last season.

How rare is such a well-executed drive in the final two minutes of the first half? In 16 games last year, the Bucs only had eight such opportunities, and only managed to score three times. The best execution came in last year's opener, when the Bucs, starting at their 25 with 1:45 remaining, went 75 yards on 10 plays and got a 23-yard touchdown pass to Sims on their way to a huge win at Atlanta.

The other scores were also field goals — against Chicago, they got the ball at their 47 with 1:45 to go and got a Roberto Aguayo field goal with 31 seconds left, only to allow the Bears a 50-yard Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of the half. Against the Chiefs, they were at their 25 with 1:13 to play and went 52 yards to set up another Aguayo field goal. Again, given the same opportunity, sometimes the Bucs let the clock run out — up on Oakland last year, the Bucs got the ball with 1:06 left and were content to run the ball twice and go to halftime with a modest lead.

Sign up for Bucs Red Zone

A daily report of whats happening inside the locker room and on the field.

 

Sign up for our other newsletters

(View our Privacy Policy)

Comments
Bucs’ corner injuries press Justin Evans into cameo at nickel

Bucs’ corner injuries press Justin Evans into cameo at nickel

The Bucs continue to be hit hard with injuries at cornerback, and for the third straight practice, starting safety Justin Evans was pressed into a cameo as the team's nickel cornerback on Tuesday."Because we're getting stressed in our depth at corner...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tony Dungy to enter Bucs’ Ring of Honor

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tony Dungy to enter Bucs’ Ring of Honor

With Tony Dungy at One Buc Place today for a news conference in advance of his induction into the Bucs' Ring of Honor, Rick Stroud recalls Dungy's tenure as the team's head coach.Dungy established a winning culture in Tampa Bay and led the ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Even bigger: Bucs TE Antony Auclair up to 270 for 2nd NFL season

Even bigger: Bucs TE Antony Auclair up to 270 for 2nd NFL season

A year ago, when Antony Auclair made the Bucs' roster as an undrafted rookie, the Canadian import was already the largest tight end at 6-foot-6 and 256 pounds.That's even more the case now as he heads into his second season with the confidence that c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Brent Grimes happy to be back, healthy at Bucs practice

Brent Grimes happy to be back, healthy at Bucs practice

Veteran cornerback Brent Grimes had returned to practice in a limited capacity Saturday, but Monday saw him back in 11-on-11 full-squad work for the first time in nearly two weeks."We want Brent Grimes out there. He's our best cover guy, so it's grea...
Published: 08/13/18

Madden 19 predictions: The Bucs are bad, the Browns are good and the world might be ending

You thought the Buccaneers’ playoff drought was going to end last season. Instead, they lost six of their first eight games and limped to a 5-11 finish.If only someone or something had warned you.Actually, something did.A video game.While every...
Published: 08/13/18
Peyton Barber has edge on starting RB job over Ronald Jones

Peyton Barber has edge on starting RB job over Ronald Jones

It's still too early in the preseason to declare a starter at some positions, but Bucs coach Dirk Koetter took a step in that that direction Monday at running back.After an underwhelming performance by rookie Ronald Jones in the preseason opener at M...
Published: 08/13/18
Koetter on Bucs’ practice fight: ‘Big deal. I mean, it’s football’

Koetter on Bucs’ practice fight: ‘Big deal. I mean, it’s football’

One day after a video showed an extended fight at Jaguars practice, and two days before the Bucs start joint practices with the Titans, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said he wasn't worried about a minor late-practice skirmish between players."We had a figh...
Published: 08/13/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Bucs’ QB depth the best in franchise history?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Bucs’ QB depth the best in franchise history?

Do the Bucs have the best trio of quarterbacks they have ever had? What does Vernon Hargreaves' injury mean for the secondary? How did Tampa Bay's running backs fare in the preseason opener? Rick Stroud answers these questions and more on today'...
Published: 08/13/18
Alan Cross may not look like a typical NFL tight end, but there’s nothing he can’t do on the football field

Alan Cross may not look like a typical NFL tight end, but there’s nothing he can’t do on the football field

TAMPA — Alan Cross always has been the boy on the bubble. A linebacker in high school, he walked on to his college team, Memphis, as a long snapper. He had no scholarship offers. Hugh Freeze, then head coach at Arkansas State, told Cr...
Published: 08/12/18
Bucs claim cornerback De’Vante Harris from Saints

Bucs claim cornerback De’Vante Harris from Saints

The Bucs got help for their injury-depleted secondary on Sunday, claiming third-year cornerback De'Vante Harris off waivers from the Saints.Tampa Bay has veteran Brent Grimes just returning from injury and Vernon Hargreaves and Javien Elliott dealing...
Published: 08/12/18