Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Nov 2012

ESPN: Can Tampa Bay Make a Playoff Run?

With Tampa's ability to hit the deep ball and their unheralded knack for snuffing out running plays in the backfield, it's not totally crazy to think they could knock off enough more-heralded opponents to sneak their way to 10 wins.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 13 Nov 2012

8 comments, Last at 15 Nov 2012, 12:19pm by BJR


by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 1:04pm

I'm a Bucs fan, and yes, I think Tampa Bay can make a playoff run. I don't actually think they will for the reasons listed in that article, but they conceivably could. Regardless of how well the offensive line played the last two weeks, it's a team that lost its two best offensive linemen, and the article specifically mentions Tampa's #14 overall defensive DVOA without pointing out that number is slanted by the fact that their rushing defense has been incredibly good, while their passing defense is simply godawful. The team really has no pass rush, and the secondary has been utterly awful in pass coverage. They're currently winning games by getting timely interceptions, but right now I think my grandmother could throw for 300 yards on that team, and she's been dead for 20 years.

by Cro-Mags :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 1:58pm

I think the more intriguing question to me is if Schiano can sustain/improve on his rookie NFL season in the coming years.

I guess I'm wondering if he's going to have long term success, or if this one of those temporary bumps that the new/disciplinarian coach gives to team with a soft predecessor that eventual peters out as the college/hard-ass schtick grows tired.

Living in Big East territory, I'm not skeptical that he can pick a down team up to the middle of the pack, but Rutgers never really took the next step to, even so much as a Big East title in all his years there. Meanwhile teams like UCONN came from outside DI and won a few in less time.

by Gridiron Grammarian (not verified) :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 2:35pm

I don't know a whole lot about Schiano, but my impression is that while he's tough, he's not a disrespectful jerk. Someone like Gruden, on the other hand, fired up the team for a while but ultimately undermined it because he would get into very petty, unprofessional, personal conflicts with his players.

As for the Bucs making a playoff run, they're going to have to improve at least marginally in their pass defense. They've got Drew Brees, Matt Ryan (twice), and Peyton Manning coming up. Their run defense is phenomenal right now. But it doesn't do much good to make the opposing team one dimensional if they can continue to find success one dimensionally.

by TomC :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 4:01pm

I don't know a whole lot about Schiano, but my impression is that while he's tough, he's not a disrespectful jerk.

That's funny, because my impression (based completely on secondhand quotes and gossip, of course) is that he is exactly a disrespectful jerk.

by BJR :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 12:19pm

When they play the Bucs, rather than waste a dozen or so offensive plays going nowhere, it would honestly be a good move for Atlanta just to de-activate Michael Turner and bring in an extra pass-blocking Tight End for all plays.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 2:45pm

I question how much is Schiano and how much is not-Raheem Morris; the 2011 team gave up in spectacularly obvious fashion, and had last year's team given even a halfhearted effort, the team would have won several more games. There's also the impact of free agent acquisitions (cannot say enough about Vincent Jackson) and what appears to be a very excellent rookie class between Doug Martin, LB LaVonte David, and safety Mark Barron.

by coboney :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 2:01pm

No link

by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 3:25pm