While many in the Tampa Bay area want to hold firmly to the good ole days of the "Tampa 2" and winning with defense and no offense, the NFL has changed. Teams are scoring points at an alarming rate due to rules that benefit offenses and their passing games. Where does that leave the current Buccaneers? Well, way behind!
The Bucs have scored more than 17 points in a game just three times in 2014. Ironically, two of those games were the Bucs only wins of 2014, and the other game was an overtime loss to the Saints. Despite Lovie Smith's focus on improving the defense, when the Bucs score more than 17 points in a game, their win percentage goes through the roof.
Having a solid defense is still a necessity to winning a championship as the Seahawks showed us last season. However, to win consistently in the regular season and host playoff games, a high scoring offense is actually the necessity.
Of the top 8 scoring offenses in the NFL (GB, IND, NE, PHI, DEN, PIT, BAL, DAL), all are either leading their divisions or still in the hunt to win their divisions. As for defense, of those top 10 scoring offenses, only the Ravens and Patriots crack the top 10 in points allowed, again showing the influence of offense in this era of the NFL.
The Bucs have averaged just 18.2 points/game in 2014 and are currently 28th in the NFL in points scored. This number must improve with a new offensive coordinator and new quarterback likely coming to the team this off-season.
The only way the Bucs can break through their own personal barrier of 17 points in a game next year is if Lovie Smith tears down his own barrier and allows his offense to be fun.
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