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Chris Godwin Approaches Bucs Record Before Injury

Data Crunch: Before leaving Sunday's game with a knee injury, Chris Godwin came close to eclipsing the Bucs' single-season receptions record…Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski and Lavonte David all added to impressive totals, as well

Data Crunch

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were shut out for the first time in nine years on Sunday night by the New Orleans Saints, 9-0, and games with no points generally also have few statistics to get excited about, unless you're the opposing defense. To put it another way, there is not much Data to Crunch this week.

Still, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and a couple other Buccaneers did hit notable milestones or moved up lists of some importance. Godwin only played one quarter and 90 seconds of the second period before leaving with what has proved to be a season-ending knee injury, but he used that time to catch six passes and in the process moved into second place in team history in single-season receptions.

Most Receptions, Single Season, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
Player Season Recs.
Keyshawn Johnson 2001 106
Chris Godwin 2021 98
Mike Evans 2016 96
Mark Carrier 1989 86
Mike Evans 2018 86
Chris Godwin 2019 86

As it turns out, that's a final 2021 total for Godwin, who will not get a chance to top 100 catches or catch Johnson at the top of the list due to an ACL tear. Godwin also won't improve his totals relative to the league's other top receivers but he had moved into the top five in the NFL in both receptions and receiving yards, with four Week 15 games still to be played on Monday and Tuesday nights.

2021 NFL Leaders in Receptions

Table inside Article
Player Team Receptions
Cooper Kupp* Rams 113
Tyreek Hill Chiefs 102
Chris Godwin Buccaneers 98
Davante Adams Packers 96
Keenan Allen Chargers 92

2021 NFL Leaders in Receiving Yards

Table inside Article
Player Team Receiving Yards
Cooper Kupp* Rams 1,489
Justin Jefferson* Vikings 1,288
Davante Adams Packers 1,248
Tyreek Hill Chiefs 1,178
Chris Godwin Buccaneers 1,103

(* Kupp and the Rams play on Tuesday night; Jefferson and the Vikings play on Monday night.)

Fournette also left the game in the third quarter due to a hamstring injury, but before doing so he caught another seven passes for 33 yards, giving him 69 receptions on the season. That total leads all NFL running backs in 2021.

Most Receptions, Running Backs, NFL

Table inside Article
Player Team Receptions
Leonard Fournette Buccaneers 69
Austin Ekeler Chargers 62
Najee Harris Steelers 62
D'Andre Swift Lions 56
Cordarrelle Patterson Falcons 48

Fournette's availability for the remaining three regular-season games is obviously in question early in Week 16, but if he can get back on the field he'll have a chance to chase the second-most receptions by a running back in a single season in franchise history, if not the top spot.

Most Receptions by a Running Back, Single Season, Buccaneer History

Table inside Article
Player Season Recs.
James Wilder 1984 85
Michael Pittman 2003 75
Leonard Fournette 2021 69
Warrick Dunn 2001 68
Mike Alstott 1996 65

Despite his early exit, Fournette finished Sunday's game with 77 yards from scrimmage. With the aforementioned four games still to be played on Monday and Tuesday nights, the Bucs' back ranks fifth among NFL running backs in yards from scrimmage in 2021.

2021 NFL Leaders in Yards from Scrimmage, Running Backs

Table inside Article
Player Team Yards
Jonathon Taylor Colts 1,854
Austin Ekeler Chargers 1,347
Joe Mixon Bengals 1,298
Najee Harris Steelers 1,296
Leonard Fournette Buccaneers 1,266

Rob Gronkowski caught two passes for 29 yards on Sunday night, a modest total in what has been a stellar season for the veteran tight end. That was enough yardage, however, to push him past another impressive career milestone. Gronkowski is now just the fifth tight end in NFL history to surpass 9,000 receiving yards.

Most Receiving Yards by a Tight End, NFL History

Table inside Article
Tight End Team(s) Yards
Tony Gonzalez Chiefs/Falcons 15,127
Jason Witten Cowboys/Raiders 13,046
Antonio Gates Chargers 11,841
Shannon Sharpe Broncos/Ravens 10,060
Rob Gronkowski Patriots/Buccaneers 9,011

Tampa Bay's defense had a strong outing in Sunday's loss, holding the Saints to 212 total yards and just 3.5 yards per play, both the lowest totals the Bucs have allowed in a game this season. One of the standouts in that effort was inside linebacker Lavonte David, who led the team with 11 tackles and also produced one sack, three tackles for loss, one quarterback hit and one forced fumble.

TFLs and forced fumbles have been calling cards for David throughout his 10-year career, which began in 2012 when the Buccaneers selected him in the second round of the draft. In the decade since, David has ranked third in the league in both forced fumbles and tackles for losses. Every other player in the top five on those lists is a pass-rusher, with TFLs and forced fumbles frequently the results of high sack totals.

Most Forced Fumbles, NFL, 2012-21

Table inside Article
Player Team(s) FFs
Chandler Jones Patriots/Cardinals 31
Robert Quinn Rams/Bears/Cowboys/Dolphins 29
Lavonte David Buccaneers 26
J.J. Watt Texans/Cardinals 26
Khalil Mack Raiders/Bears 23
Von Miller Broncos/Rams 23

Most Tackles for Loss, NFL, 2012-21

Table inside Article
Player Team(s) TFLs
J.J. Watt Texans/Cardinals 166
Aaron Donald Rams 143
Lavonte David Buccaneers 134
Cameron Jordan Saints 131
Von Miller Broncos/Rams 127

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