A Small Change To Help The Buccaneers Offense Beat Carolina and Could Help Them In The Stretch Drive

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By Jeremy Morrow

Bucs Report for Sports Talk Florida

Sometimes a small change can quickly accelerate the growth and potency of an offense. Also, sometimes you have to look to past success to uncover something that may be the key. In the Buccaneers’ case, could a move of one player be what causes a spark?

Enter Chris Godwin

In the past four seasons Chris Godwin’s success has been unprecedented playing along side Mike Evans, a player that consistently hits 1,000 yards a season, Godwin has seen his own success. In three of the last four seasons he’s hit over the 1,000 mark as well, So what the Buccaneers may need is for Dave Canales to use Godwin much in the same fashion he was used in the past.

The Percentages Tell A Tale

Over the past four years you would be hard pressed to find Chris Godwin anywhere other than the slot. In fact the lowest percentage of snaps he had taken  form the slot was 63.4% of his snaps. He has proven to be a “slot machine”.

From the 2019 season to the 2022 season Godwin was targeted 1.2 more times per game than he is now. And, for the entirety of a full season and the success of a game, those targets add up. Factor in arrant throws, and Godwin’s receptions per game (4.8) is at the lowest it’s been since 2018 (3.7). It’s also almost a full two receptions less per game than the last four years.

A Difference Two Receptions Makes

For Godwin, and his impact on the offense, two receptions is an extra drive extending first down a game. An extra first down pushes the Buccaneers from 25th in first downs to 20th per game in 2023. That’s extra time for the defense to rest, a win in the field position game, a better chance at a field goal or a touch down in each game. Afterall the Buccaneers have lost four games by a touchdown or less.

With an extra first down does Atlanta get the chance to kick a field goal for the win, or the Texans time to score a touchdown? Who knows?

Helping the QB/Offense

Yards after catch is no longer an overlooked statistic. Everyone is tracking a receivers ability to make more out of each catch. For Godwin, while in the slot he has been able to amass a large chunk of YAC per reception. But this season he has seen his lowest number outside of his rookie season. Yards after contact are what has made Godwin special, but those routes and the offensive scheme must provide for that opportunity. Right now they don’t

Final Thought

This offense is a mess. The receivers get separation, drops have been a problem (not for Godwin), and the run game is just now starting to show up. So some small changes could have a huge impact. Maybe a move back to slot will make Godwin more viable and visible for Baker Mayfield.

Afterall, Trey Palmer has done well in the 10-19 yard and 20+ yard route scheme. Place him on the outside where his 4.33 forty time can be used. He’s faster than Chris but Godwin is such a weapon int he slot. It feels like the smart play but here we sit with Godwin taking the most snaps from out wide.

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