The arrival of the quarterback whisperer Bruce Arians set the bar high for the Tampa bay Buccaneers and their fans this season as Arians the miracle worker was expected to reform quarterback Jameis Winston’s game with better decision making and the elimination of turnovers.
Arians failed in that regard as Winston threw 30 interceptions, the most interceptions that he has ever thrown in his career. Winston’s decision making was also questioned at times and there was a report mid way through the season that the coaches were baffled as to why Winston could not make the Improvements that were needed to take his game to the next level.
After finishing first in total offense in 2018, the Buccaneers finished third in 2019 in total offense averaging 398 yards a game offensively.
The Bucs passing game was again the best in the NFL for the second consecutive season as the Bucs passing attack averaged
303 yards a game in the air.
The running game as a whole showed no improvement as the Bucs averaged 95 yards a game good for 24th in the league, the same amount of yards they averaged in 2018 when they finished 29th in the league.
The Tampa gunslinger Jameis Winston set a new all-time Buccaneer franchise record for passing yards as winston passed for 5,109 yards.
Winston becomes just the eighth player in NFL history to pass for over 5,000 yards in a season. Winston also is the first 30-30 player in NFL history as Winston threw for 33 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions.
There was a lot of good and a lot of bad with Jameis Winston this season and thats what will make the decision a difficult one on wether to bring Winston back for another year or sign him to a new contract.
The Bucs receiving group is one of the best in the NFL. Because the Bucs have been perennial losers for so long, the league spotlight does not shine on Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
If Mike Evans played in another market like New York, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Green Bay, etc, they would have his bust already built for the Hall of Fame. But because Evans toils in Tampa, he is one of the most disrespected receivers in the game.
This season Evans joined Randy Moss as the only two players in NFL history to have 1,000 receiving yards in their first six seasons in the league.
Evans finished 2019 with 1,157 yards receiving despite missing the final three games of the season with a hamstring injury.
Third year receiver Chris Godwin had his breakout season and earned his first Pro Bowl bid. Godwin had his first 1,000 yard receiving season as he finished with 1,333 yards and nine touchdown catches. Godwin also missed the final two games of the season with a hamstring injury.
Breshad Perriman finished the season as the number one target of Jameis Winston and he did not disappoint as he finished the season with three straight 100 yard receiving games.
Perriman finished the season with 36 catches for 645 yards and six touchdowns.
After a slow start, OJ Howard had a much better second half of the season. Howard finished with 34 catches for 459 yards and one touchdown. Still, a disappointing season for OJ Howard.
Cameron Brate finished with 36 catches for 311 yards and four touchdowns and remained one of Winston’s favorite targets.
The running game continued to struggle and just could never seem to get untracked.
The duo of Payton Barber and Ronald Jones ran for 1194 yards with 12 touchdowns averaging 3.5 yards a carry. Together, the 1194 yards rushing would have been good for seventh in the NFL this season.
The Bucs had one 100 yard game all season, and that was by Ronald Jones in the season finale against Atlanta when Jones ran for 106 yards.
Arians said on a couple of occasions during the season when asked about the running game that he was happy with the production, but the improvement of the running game has to be high on the list of Bruce Arians off-season priorities for the offense.
Arians also took to task tight end OJ Howard for his missing some blocks that would have have sprung Jones and Barber for big gains. Howard’s poor blocking also landed in him in the doghouse of Bruce Arians for extended periods this season.
The offensive line stayed healthy for the most part and performed better than expected. Alex Cappa and the move to guard from tackle worked out as Cappa improved substantially from his rookie season.
Pro Football Focus had high praise for the Bucs offensive line, especially the interior of the line anchored by Ali Marpet and Ryan Jensen
“Ryan Jensen and Ali Marpet anchored the middle of this Buccaneers’ offensive line and provided some of the best pass protection that we saw from any interior offensive line this season. The guard and center positions for the Bucs combined for an 80.4 pass-blocking grade this season, ranking second among all offenses around the league. Dating back to 2015, Marpet has the 12th-highest overall grade among 55 guards with 2,500-plus snaps.”
Overall, Pro Football Focus had the B ucs offensive line ranked seventh best in the NFL.
Overall another solid season for the Buccaneer offense. With expectations being raised even higher for next season based on how this team finished the 2019 season, improving the running game and adding depth along the offensive line has to be a major focus on the offensive side of the ball.
The Bucs averaged 28.6 points per game good for fourth best in the NFL. The offense had a third down conversion rate of 41 percent which was good for 13th in the league.
Inside the red zone, the Bucs scored touchdowns 64 percent of the time good for fourth place in the league.