Buccaneers vs Falcons: Breaking Down Tampa’s Offense

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Sep 7, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates after a play during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina defeated Tampa 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports


Vincent Jackson continues to be one of the most underrated receivers in the league. Coming off three straight seasons of 1000+ yards and 7+ touchdowns, you still don’t hear about Jackson as a top-10 receiver. His career 17.3 yards per catch is insane. Of all active receivers with at least 150 career catches, Jackson’s yards per catch is #1. He is very good at the catch point and has the advantage over most cornerbacks in contested situations. Jackson knows his role and limitations and has built his game around that into the finished product he is now.

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The Buccaneers spent a 1st round pick on WR Mike Evans, who drew a lot of comparisons to Vincent Jackson. His start to his NFL career has been unspectacular but that could be due to external factors. He’s been targeted 13x so far but all but 2 have come within ten yards from the line of scrimmage per PFF. That’s not the best way to use him and his production reflects that. Like Jackson, he has plenty of height and bulk and excels down the field in contested situations. He’s the type of player you go all-in for on up-for-grabs passes. He hasn’t been able to display that skillset in the NFL just yet but don’t be shocked if McCown gets time and throws some bombs his way.

The slot receivers are Chris Owusu and rookie Robert Herron. Both guys are speedsters that eat up cushions quickly but are still learning the position. Owusu had a nice 19-yard touchdown catch against the Panthers. Lining up on the outside, he got open running a seam against cover-2. No defender was near him but he still showed nice footwork keeping both feet inbounds. The Buccaneers used significantly less “11” personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) in week 2 than they did in week 1, most likely to offer extra blockers to help for run blocking as they used their fullback and a second tight end more often that a 3rd WR. I think that trend will continue and we may not see much of Owusu or Herron unless the Falcons start building up a lead.

Rookie TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins looks like he will miss out with injury so that leaves Brandon Myers and Luke Stocker as the team’s remaining tight ends. Myers is a very ordinary player. He’s not a very good blocker and is simply a solid player catching the ball with no outstanding traits. His old offensive coordinator when he was at the Giants said he is more of a #2 TE. Luke Stocker is the team’s blocking tight end but oddly have only kept him to block once on 18 passing plays. He hasn’t been a threat in the pass game but he is good enough as an option on play action passes.