Bucs rank last in utilizing play-action pass

There have been many things missing from Tampa Bay’s offense in the first three games of the season.

But let’s turn to ESPN Stats & Information to isolate one specific area. Anyone want to take a guess at how many play-action passes the Bucs have attempted so far this season?

The answer is six. That’s the lowest total in the NFL. For comparison, Philadelphia leads with 44 play-action passes.

So why are the Bucs making such infrequent use of play action? A lot of it has to do with the fact Tampa Bay has been playing from behind. In obvious passing situations, defenses aren’t going to bite on fakes.

But that total still is amazingly low. It averages out to two play-action passes a game. The Bucs haven’t even been using play action early in games when defenses are playing honestly. Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey are threats as runners.

Tampa Bay’s receivers have had trouble getting separation from defenders. It might be time to start using more play-action passes.