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Tom Brady Continues Mastery Over Falcons

Data Crunch: Teams quarterback by Tom Brady have still never lost to the Falcons, as Brady's prolific first-half output led to a 21-15 Bucs victory…Also Leonard Fournette accomplished something no Bucs back had since 2007


Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady hasn't lost to the division-rival Atlanta Falcons since he came to the NFC South in 2020. Oh, he also never lost to them before he moved into the division, including quite notably in the playoffs. Brady has as many wins without a loss against a specific franchise as any starting quarterback in NFL history.

Most Wins Without a Loss for a Starting QB Against One Team, Including Postseason

Table inside Article
Quarterback Team(s) Opponent Record
Tom Brady Patriots/Buccaneers Falcons 11-0
John Elway Broncos Patriots 11-0
Andrew Luck Colts Titans 11-0

Given that record, it's unsurprising that Brady has also put up some gaudy numbers against Atlanta during his career. In fact, he has a higher average number of passing yards per game while playing the Falcons than against any other opponent.

Tom Brady's Most Yards Per Game by Opponent, Career, Regular Season

Table inside Article
Opponent Games Yds/Gm
Falcons 10 322.6
49ers 3 316.3
Seahawks 3 314.0
Chargers 9 313.4
Steelers 12 312.0

Brady upped that average a bit against Atlanta by producing 351 yards on 35-of-52 passing on Sunday, adding one touchdown and throwing no interceptions. That was the 110th 100-yard game of his career, putting him a little closer to one of the few all-time records he has not yet seized from Drew Brees.

Most 300-Yard Passing Games, NFL History

Table inside Article
Player Team(s) Games
Drew Brees Chargers/Saints 123
Tom Brady Patriots/Buccaneers 110
Peyton Manning Colts/Broncos 93
Matt Ryan Falcons/Colts 74
Phillip Rivers Chargers/Colts 73

Brady did a good amount of his damage in the first half, as he hit intermission with 256 yards on 24 completions in 33 attempts. That marked the most passes he has ever thrown in the first half of a game – which is remarkable given that he has now played in 323 regular-season games – and tied for his most first-half completions ever.

Most First-Half Pass Attempts, Single Game, Tom Brady

Table inside Article
Opponent Date Attempts
Atlanta 10/9/22 33
Washington 10/16/19 31
Buffalo 10/29/18 31
Kansas City 9/22/02 31
Seattle 10/14/12 30

Most First-Half Completions, Single Game, Tom Brady

Table inside Article
Opponent Date Attempts
Atlanta 10/9/22 24
Tennessee 10/18/09 24
Indianapolis 10/4/18 23
Buffalo 11/18/07 22
Detroit 12/26/20

Brady had time to get off 52 passes for the second game in a row because he was not sacked once in the game. The Falcons only apparent sack, late in the game by Grady Jarrett, was erased by a roughing-the-passer penalty. This is the 12th time since he joined the Buccaneers in 2020 that the team's protection has kept him from begin sacked in a game.

Most Games Without Allowing a Sack, NFL, 2020-22

Table inside Article
1. Buccaneers: 12
2. Bills: 9
3t. Browns: 8
3t. Chiefs: 8
5. Steelers: 7

Brady spread the ball around to eight different pass-catchers, and five of those eight caught at least four passes, including wide receiver Chris Godwin and tight end Cade Otton who hauled in six passes each. Leading the way, however, was running back Leonard Fournette, who set his own personal bests in both catches and receiving yards with 10 for 83 and a touchdown.

Leonard Fournette Single-Game Reception Highs

Table inside Article
1. vs. Atlanta, 10/9/22…10
2t. at Tennessee, 11/24/19…9
2t. vs. Tampa Bay, 12/01/19…9
4. at Washington, 11/14/21…8
5. Six others tied with 7

Leonard Fournette Single-Game Receiving Yard Highs

Table inside Article
1. vs. Atlanta, 10/9/22…83
2t. at Tennessee, 12/31/17…67
2t. at Tennessee, 11/24/19…62
4. vs. N.Y. Jets, 10/27/19…60
5. at N.Y. Jets, 10/1/17…59

On Sunday, Fournette became just the sixth running back in Buccaneers annals to catch 10 or more passes in a single game. James Wilder did it five times and Warrick Dunn twice, with Fournette, Earnest Graham, Michael Pittman and Jerry Eckwood all making the list once. Fournette is the first Bucs back to accomplish this feat in 15 years, since Graham caught 13 passes against Detroit on October 21, 2007.

Last season, Fournette was leading all NFL running backs with 69 receptions through 14 games before he suffered a hamstring injury and missed the final three contests of the regular season. He is back near the top of the list again through five weeks of the 2022 campaign (not including Monday night's game between the Raiders and Chiefs).

Most Receptions, NFL Running Backs, 2022

Table inside Article
Running Back Team Recs.
Austin Ekeler Chargers 31
Leonard Fournette Buccaneers 26
Christian McCaffrey Panthers 26
J.D. McKissic Commanders 24
Joe Mixon Bengals 20

In addition to his pass-catching prowess, Fournette also led the home team with 56 rushing yards on 14 carries on Sunday, giving him a total of 139 yards from scrimmage. That tied for his best yards from scrimmage mark in a single regular season game since he joined the Buccaneers. Fournette also scored on a one-yard run to go with his one-yard TD catch, marking the third time in his career he has found the end zone on a run and a reception in the same contest.

Leonard Fournette Most Yards From Scrimmage, 2020-22, Regular Season

Table inside Article
Opponent Date Yards
Falcons 10/9/22 139
Patriots 10/3/21 139
Cowboys 9/11/22 137
Bills 12/12/21 132
Colts 11/28/21 131

In addition to Fournette's 12 points on his two touchdowns, the Buccaneers also got two more on a successful two-point conversion after the second TD. The other seven points in the game were provided by kicker Ryan Succop, who made both of his field goal attempts, hitting from 21 and 44 yards in the second quarter. Overall, Succop has made 11 of his 12 field goal tries this season and, most notably, has hit on all eight of 40 or more yards. He is tied for the NFL lead in field goals of 40+ yards.

Table inside Article
Kicker Team FGM FGA
Ryan Succop Buccaneers 8 8
Graham Gano Giants 8 9
Kai'mi Fairbairn Texans 7 8
Brett Maher Cowboys 7 8
Evan McPherson Bengals 7 8

Succop is currently tied for fifth in the NFL in scoring among kickers with 41 points (he drops to tied for sixth if Nick Chubb's 42 points on seven touchdowns is included). Since he arrived in Tampa just before the start of the 2020 campaign, Succop has scored the fourth most points in the NFL.

Most Points Scored, NFL, 2020-22

Table inside Article
Player Team(s) Pts.
Daniel Carlson* Raiders 336
Tyler Bass Bills 318
Justin Tucker Ravens 309
Ryan Succop Buccaneers 308
Greg Zuerlein Cowboys/ Jets 300

(* Carlson plays on Monday night.)

On defense, the Buccaneers held an opponent scoreless in the first half for the first time since a 47-7 dismantling of the Lions in Detroit in Week 16 of the 2020 season. Though they did not force any turnovers, they did record five sacks by five different defenders, giving them 19 on the season. that is the third-highest total in the NFL through five weeks, not including the Monday night game.

Most Sacks, NFL Defenses, 2022

1. San Francisco: 21

2. Dallas: 20

3. Tampa Bay: 19

4t. Broncos: 17

4t. Eagles: 17

The Buccaneers are also third in the league in sacks since the 2019 arrival of Todd Bowles, who spent three seasons as the team's defensive coordinator before his promotion to head coach this year.

Most Sacks, NFL Defenses, 2019-22

1. Pittsburgh: 175

2. L.A. Rams: 163

3. Tampa Bay: 161

4. New Orleans: 152

5. San Francisco: 147

The five players who recorded a sack were, in chronological order, outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, safety Antoine Winfield Jr., defensive linemen Deadrin Senat Logan HallandVita Vea. Senat, who entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick of the Falcons in 2018, recorded the first sack of his career. The five different players with at least one full sack is just one shy of the team record for a single game. The Buccaneers had six different players with a sack against Buffalo on December 8, 2013 and against Green Bay on December 7, 1998.


Additional Notes:

- Defensive lineman William Gholston played in the 141st game of his career on Sunday, moving him into 10th place on the Buccaneers all-time list. He passed Warren Sapp (140), in the process setting a franchise record for most games played by a defensive lineman.

- Cornerback Carlton Davis left the game with a hip injury in the second half on Sunday but before he did he registered one of the Bucs' two passes defensed. Davis has 51 passes defensed since the start of the 2019 season, tied with Philadelphia's James Bradberry for the most in the NFL in that span.

- Rookie tight end Cade Otton set single-game highs with six receptions for 43 yards. With Cameron Brate sidelined by a concussion, Otton played 74 offensive snaps, or 94% of the total, by far his largest play share so far.

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