Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers' Road Dominance Continues

Stat Shots: Tampa Bay has now won more consecutive road games in a single season than ever before…Plus new accomplishment for the Bucs' defense and several individual players.

A behind-the-scenes look at the Buccaneers' game against the Chargers.

Only Jack Reacher enjoys life on the road more than the 2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Sunday, the Buccaneers defeated the San Diego Chargers, 28-21, at Qualcomm Stadium to run their road record to 5-1. With remaining away games at Dallas in Week 15 and New Orleans in Week 16, the team has a chance to set a franchise record for road wins in a single season. The 2002 team set the standard with a 6-2 road record, which was later matched by the 2010 Bucs.

Tampa Bay has already won at least five road games for just the sixth time in its 41-season history. Only one of those previous five teams missed the playoffs, and all of them won at least 10 games.

Season

Road Rec.

Overall Rec.

Playoffs

1979

5-3

10-6

Lost in NFC Championship Game

1997

5-3

10-6

Lost in Divisional Round

2002

6-2

12-4

Won Super Bowl XXXVII

2005

5-3

11-5

Lost in Wild Card Round

2010

6-2

10-6

Did Not Qualify

The Buccaneers have won four straight contests away from home and are only one shy of the team record for consecutive regular-season road victories. The 2002 Super Bowl team won its last two road contests, and the 2003 squad opened with wins in each of its first three road games. The last two road games of 2009 were wins, followed by the first three  of 2010.

However, the Bucs current streak is already their longest run of wins on the road in a single season. Obviously, there were the pair of three-game streaks, in 2003 and 2010, mentioned above. The Bucs also had three-game runs in 1979, 2001, 2002 (separate from the one that stretched into 2003), 2005 and 2012.

Coupled with a week seven victory in San Francisco, the Buccaneers have now won multiple games in the state of California in the same season for the first time in franchise history. As we noted last Friday in anticipation of this potentially coming to a pass, that's a relatively rare feat. From the 1970 AFL-NFL merger through last season, only 18 teams that were based West of the Mississippi River (and were not in either of the West divisions) were able to win two games in California in the same season. Fourteen of those 18 teams went on to make the playoffs. The Bucs, Dolphins and Saints have all accomplished the feat this year.

The Buccaneers are riding an overall four-game winning streak, as well, with victories over Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle and San Diego. That's the team's longest run of victories since a similar four-game stretch in 2012 (Oct. 25 to Nov. 18). Tampa Bay's defense has been outstanding during the streak, holding all of its opponents to 21 or fewer points. The last time the Bucs did that in a single season was 2008, during a five-game run from Sept. 28 to Oct. 26. Tampa Bay leads the league in scoring defense since Week 10 and has produced some of the best results in the NFL in a variety of defensive categories.

Buccaneers' Defensive Ranks, NFL, Weeks 10-13

Category

Total/Avg.

NFL Rank

Takeaways

11

1st

Points Per Game

13.3

1st

Yards Per Game

300.3

5th

Net Passing Yards Per Game

180.0

3rd

Third Down Pct.

28.9

2nd

Sacks

12

5th

The Buccaneers trailed, 14-7, at the half on Sunday but scored 21 of the game's final 28 points. During their four-game winning streak, the Bucs have pitched two second-half shutouts and allowed a single touchdown in the second halves of the other two games. Those 14 total second-half points allowed is the lowest in the NFL over the last four weeks, even among teams that have played fewer than four games in that stretch. Among the teams that have played four games in that span, only the Bucs and Seahawks have allowed fewer than 25 second-half points.

Fewest Second-Half Points Allowed, NFL, Weeks 10-13

Team

Games

2nd-Half PA

Rec.

  1. Tampa Bay

4

14

4-0

  1. Indianapolis*

2

17

1-1

3t. Seattle

4

18

3-1

3t. N.Y. Jets

2

18

0-2

  1. Detroit

3

23

3-0

  1. Tennessee

3

26

2-1

  1. N.Y. Giants

4

27

3-1

  1. Cincinnati

4

30

1-3

  1. Atlanta

3

32

1-2

  1. New Orleans

4

33

1-3

( Prior to Monday night Colts-Jets game.)

The Bucs' second-half dominance in San Diego was helped greatly by Lavonte David's pick-six and Keith Tandy's game-sealing goal-line interception. That marked the fourth straight game in which Tampa Bay's defense has forced at least two turnovers, which is tied with Oakland and Seattle for the longest active streaks in the NFL through Week 13. The last time the Bucs had multiple takeaways in four straight games was in 2013, from Nov. 17 to Dec. 8.

*

David's 15-yard return briefly gave the Buccaneers a 17-14 lead in the third quarter. The Bucs would later take the lead for good in the fourth quarter on Cameron Brate's touchdown catch. Tampa Bay's other touchdown came in the first half on a two-yard run by Doug Martin. That's the third time this year that the Buccaneers have scored touchdowns on a run, a catch and a return in the same game, tied with Atlanta for the most such occurrences in the NFL. The Buccaneers have won two of those three games, and in the one they lost, their opponent (the Rams) also scored in all three of those ways.*

There have been 18 instances this season of a team scoring touchdowns on a run, a pass and a return in the same game, and 16 of those have come in victories. The only two aberrations were the aforementioned Bucs game and a 33-30 overtime loss by Atlanta to San Diego on Oct. 23.

*

In the Buccaneers' 41-season history, they have recorded 35 games in which they scored at least one touchdown on a run, a pass and a return in the same game. The team's record in those games: 32-3. The last time Tampa Bay pulled off that feat three times in a single season was 2008. They've never done it four times in a single season.*

David's interception was his first of the season but the 10th of his career. The 2012 second-round draft pick is now tied for second in interceptions by linebackers in franchise history, though Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks is still well out in the lead.

Most Interceptions, Linebacker, Buccaneers History

*

Player

Years

INTs

Yards

TDs

  1. Derrick Brooks

1995-08

25

530

6

2t. Lavonte David

2012-16

10

148

2

2t. David Lewis

1977-81

10

110

0

4t. Richard Wood

1976-84

9

199

2

4t. Cecil Johnson

1977-85

9

101

0

David is also tied for second among all NFL linebackers since he entered the league in 2012. Most Interceptions, Linebackers, NFL, 2012-16

Player

Team

INTs

Yards

TDs

  1. Luke Kuechly

Panthers

12

104

1

2t. Lavonte David

Buccaneers

10

148

2

2t. Thomas Davis

Panthers

10

55

0

  1. Paul Posluszny

Jaguars

9

114

1

5t. Karlos Dansby

4 teams

8

141

4

5t. DeAndre Levy

Lions

8

88

1

Tandy's interception was the fifth of his career, and the third that has come in a game he started. Tandy was originally a sixth-round draft pick in 2012 but he played sparingly in his rookie season. Since 2013 he has been a key contributor on special teams but has only drawn starts here and there. Sunday's game in San Diego was the eighth start of Tandy's career, with the first five coming in 2013 and another two at the end of last season.

Tandy has produced impressive numbers when he's had a chance to start. In those eight games, he has totaled 49 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, three interceptions, three passes defensed and a fumble recovery. That tackle total would rank sixth on the current Bucs' defense (through 12 games) and the interception total would be the top mark.

**

Additional Notes

  • The Buccaneers continue to excel on third downs on both sides of the ball. With an offensive conversion rate of 44.2% and an allowed rate of 34.5%, the team ranks seventh and third in those categories, respectively. Tampa Bay is the only team to rank in the top 10 in third down conversion rate both offensively and defensively, and it continues to have the widest differential between those two marks.

Best Offensive/Defensive Third-Down Differential, NFL

Team

OFF

DEF

Diff.

Tampa Bay

44.2

34.5

9.7

New Orleans

49.7

40.5

9.2

Tennessee

46.8

39.9

6.9

Green Bay

47.9

41.4

6.5

New England

44.5

38.7

5.8

Arizona

43.5

38.5

5.0

Dallas

46.1

41.4

4.7

Pittsburgh

42.9

38.5

4.4

San Diego

43.5

39.2

4.3

Houston

40.3

36.9

3.4

Where the Buccaneers have really excelled on third downs, offensively, is when Jameis Winston has been asked to throw, particularly in the second half of the season. Over the last five games, the Buccaneers have converted 29 of 49 (59.2%) third-down tries when they've attempted to pass. That includes plays on which the quarterback was sacked, but not ones on which he scrambled for positive yards.

In contrast, during that same span, the Bucs' defense has allowed only a 31.0% success rate on third downs on passing plays, giving up 13 first downs in 42 tries. That's commensurate with the team's work on defense all year, as opposing teams have only succeeded 31.3% of the time all year on third down passing plays.

**

  • DT Gerald McCoy recorded one of the Buccaneers' two sacks on Sunday in San Diego, giving him seven on the season. That leads all NFL defensive tackles this year, and in fact McCoy continues to lead all players at his position in that category since 2013.

Most Sacks, NFL Defensive Tackles, 2013-16

Player

Team(s)

Sacks

  1. Gerald McCoy

Buccaneers

33.5

  1. Aaron Donald

Rams

26.0

  1. Jurrell Casey

Titans

25.5

4t. Calais Campbell

Cardinals

25.0

4t. Ndamukong Suh

Lions/Dolphins

25.0

If McCoy records one more sack over the final four games of the season, he will have at least eight for the fourth year in a row. No Buccaneer defensive tackle, including Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, has ever had four straight seasons with at least eight sacks. In fact, since the sack became an official statistic in 1982, only three defensive tackles in the NFL have put together that long of a streak. Steve McMichael did it for the Chicago Bears from 1983-86 and La'Roi Glover did it for New Orleans from 1988-2001. Then there's Minnesota's John Randle, who is in class by himself. Randle had at least eight sacks in *11 straight seasons *(1991-2001), the last of those actually taking place in Seattle.

**

  • Tight end Cameron Brate led the Buccaneers on Sunday with six receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. That yardage total set a new personal single-game high, and his sixth touchdown catch of the season keeps him tied for the most among NFL tight ends this season.

Most Touchdown Receptions, Tight Ends, NFL, 2016

Player

Team

Rec. TDs

1t. Cameron Brate

Buccaneers

6

1t. Delanie Walker

Titans

6

3t. Antonio Gates

Chargers

5

3t. Jimmy Graham

Seahawks

5

3t. Hunter Henry

Chargers

5

3t. Jordan Reed

Redskins

5

3t. Kyle Rudolph

Vikings

5

With four games to go, Brate already has more touchdown catches in a season than any tight end in team history not named Jimmie Giles. In fact, Giles, a Buccaneers Ring of Honor member who holds the franchise record with 34 career TD receptions, is the only tight end other than Brate to surpass five in one season. Brate now stands just two shy of the team record for his position.

Most Touchdown Receptions, Tight End, Season, Buccaneers History

Player

Season

Rec. TDs

  1. Jimmie Giles

1985

8

  1. Jimmie Giles

1979

7

3t. Cameron Brate

2016

6

3t. Jimmie Giles

1981

6

5t. Calvin Magee

1986

5

5t. Dave Moore

1999

5

5t. Kellen Winslow

2009

5

5t. Kellen Winslow

2010

5

**

  • After piling up 280 yards on 20-of-30 passing on Sunday against the Chargers, Jameis Winston remains on pace to become the first quarterback in NFL history to open his career with two consecutive 4,000 yard seasons. He has 3,180 yards through 12 games, an average of 265.0 per contest that would equate to 4,240 by season's end. That would be a new Buccaneers' single-season record.

Even if he doesn't hit that milestone, Winston already ranks in the top 10 in league history for passing yards in a player's first two seasons. In fact, he moved up three spots on the list to #7 during Sunday's performance, and even a performance well below his average in the next game could bump him all the way up to #4.

Most Passing Yards, First Two Seasons, NFL History

Quarterback

Team

Years

Gms.

Yards

  1. Andrew Luck

IND

2012-13

32

8,196

  1. Cam Newton

CAR

2011-12

32

7,920

  1. Peyton Manning

IND

1998-99

32

7,874

  1. Blake Bortles

JAX

2014-15

30

7,336

  1. Dan Marino

MIA

1983-84

27

7,294

  1. Derek Carr

OAK

2014-15

32

7,257

  1. Jameis Winston

TB

2015-16

28

7,222

  1. Ryan Tannehill

MIA

2012-13

32

7,207

  1. Andy Dalton

CIN

2011-12

32

7,067

  1. Drew Bledsoe

NE

1993-94

29

7,049

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