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Offensive futility strikes down Tampa Bay again versus Jacksonville

Adam Markowitz
Sunday May 1, 2016

TAMPA - At least this time, the Tampa Bay Storm didn't get blown out.

That said, the Storm continued to set futility marks on offense with their third different starting quarterback of the season. Jonathan Bane tried his best, and he had Tampa Bay in a position to take the lead with less than a minute to go in a lackluster game against the Jacksonville Sharks, but a couple passes over the heads of receivers in crucial spots ended any chance of the upset.

The 33-27 loss marked the fourth time in a row the Storm were held under 30 points. In this day and age, that's virtually impossible to fathom. The entire AFL last season had just 15 examples of games in which teams have failed to score 30. (Side note: The Storm had three of them.)

You might be asking yourself when the last time was that a team scored fewer than 30 points in four straight games. Here's a hint: Many of you young whippersnappers out there probably weren't even alive when it happened. The 2001 New Jersey Gladiators pulled off the stunt in Weeks 1-4, just like this Tampa Bay outfit.

The four-game stretch is the worst offensive run in the AFL v2.0 era since 2010 for any team in the league.

Last season, there were only four games in which teams were held under 30 points. Tampa Bay has three already this season.

Perhaps the most damning stat of them all for the Storm is that Tim Marcum only had five games from 1998 through the time he left the team in which his teams scored under 30 points. Tampa Bay now has four this season.

The Arizona Rattlers have failed to score 30 points just six times since 2000. The Storm have done it six ttimes in their last 15 games and seven times in their last 20.

To his credit, Bane had respectable stats versus a good Jacksonville offense, as he went 21-of-38 for 281 yards and three TDs. He didn't throw an interception, but he also only accounted for three offensive touchdowns on seven drives.

If you're keeping score at home, the Storm have scored just 15 offensive touchdowns this season on 38 possessions. That's a good rate in the NFL. It's a horrifying disaster in the AFL.

To rub salt in the wound even more, Rod Windsor and Brandon Thompkins both have more touchdowns than the Storm do, and Joe Hills now has the same number of scores as his former team.

The situation is getting worse and worse in Tampa Bay, not better, and if something isn't done sooner rather than later, this could end up being a disastrous season of epic proportions.

Adam Markowitz is an accountant and a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 16 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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