For a team that struggled to gain first downs earlier this season against the Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have found their stride and at the right time. Since coming off of their bye week, they haven’t scored less than 30 points.
This has to do with the play of the entire offense, but Josh Freeman is taking his game to new heights. This past week, he became the first Buccaneer in franchise history to throw for three touchdowns in as many consecutive games. Even when the team hired the offensive mastermind Jon Gruden, he never was able to accomplish this.
Freeman will be the first to tell you that their success is coming from offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. He has been instrumental in Freeman’s development as a passer, and has encouraged him to take shots down field.
Receivers have been instrumental in this success, as they have been able to capitalize off passes. I truly don’t think there is a better combination of receivers that do a better job of winning the jump battles. Vincent Jackson has been exactly what Freeman needed in a number one guy and helped pull double coverage off of Mike Williams.
Williams has regained the confidence we saw in his rookie season, with Freeman regaining trust to throw it up to him. When the ball is in the air, Williams has the ability to elevate, while maintaining control of his body, that might be the best since Chris Carter. This has lead to huge plays and touchdowns all year.
Earlier this week I hinted on how running back Doug Martin was starting to find his stride on the offense, and it really showed this past Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings. His vision and ability to get through the holes is exactly what the Buccaneers were missing last year. If it wasn’t for Robert Griffin III lighting the world on fire, Martin would have a legitimate chance at being Offensive Rookie of the Year.
After rumors swirled that Dallas Clark wasn’t happy about his role with the offense, he finally found his rhythm, and has made some crucial catches the past few weeks. This is positive news for Buccaneers fans who observed that he didn’t look like himself early in the season.
The Buccaneers are starting to find their groove as an offense, and considering the young talent on the roster, you can’t help but think of how good this group could actually be. The more time Freeman has to grow with this offense, the more explosive I project they’ll become.