Ravens give Bucs masterclass in controlling game with dominant rushing attack

Through eight games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on pace to be the worst team in NFL history when it comes to running the ball.

They managed to bring their averages down even further Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, rushing the ball just 15 times for 44 yards, despite being locked in a tight game for most of the evening.

Tampa Bay averaged a measly 2.9 yards per carry, and abandoned the run for most of the game after the first drive, one that finished with Leonard Fournette trucking his way into the end zone for Tampa Bay’s first touchdown in the first quarter of any game this season.

On the other side, the Ravens gave the Bucs an absolute masterclass at controlling a game with a dominant rushing attack, racking up 231 yards on 33 carries. Baltimore averaged seven yards per carry, and ate up over 38 minutes of possession time, leaving just 21 minutes and change for Tampa Bay.

NFL Network’s Peter Schrager broke down why Tampa Bay’s refusal to run the ball consistently is tanking their overall offensive output this season:

Fournette had the touchdown run on the opening drive, but finished the game with just 24 yards on nine carries, averaging 2.7 yards per attempt. Rookie third-round pick Rachaad White did more with his opportunities, averaging nearly five yards per attempt, but was only given four carries for some reason.

It’s understandable for the Bucs to abandon the run when they get behind by multiple scores early in the game. This wasn’t one of those situations, and the Bucs still refuse to commit to the ground game, instead asking their 45-year-old quarterback to throw the ball nearly 50 times.

That’s not a sound strategy for winning football games, especially close ones against quality opponents.

List

Ravens 27, Bucs 22: Postgame reaction from Tom Brady, Todd Bowles and more

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire