Shaquil Barrett and Aaron Rodgers don't play in the same division, so they likely won't be able to build up the kind of of friendly superstar rivalry that Warren Sapp and Brett Favre had in the 1990s. Barrett won't get annual trips to Lambeau Field like Sapp and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did when they were in the NFC Central, but he certainly made the most of his time in Green Bay this past weekend.
In fact, Barrett did his best Warren Sapp impression in the Buccaneers 31-26 win over the Packers in the 2020 NFC Championship Game on Sunday. Barrett's 3.0 sacks tied Tampa Bay's all-time postseason single-game mark, putting his name right alongside Sapp's in the record book. Fellow outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul also had 2.0 sacks to tie for third on the list.
Most Sacks, Game, Buccaneers Postseason History
|Shaquil Barrett||at Green Bay||1/24/21||3.0|
|Warren Sapp||at Green Bay||1/4/98||3.0|
|Jason Pierre-Paul||at Green Bay||1/24/21||2.0|
|Simeon Rice||at Philadelphia||1/12/02||2.0|
|Lee Roy Selmon||Philadelphia||12/29/79||2.0|
Sapp's three sacks of Favre came in a Divisional Round loss to the Packers, who would go on to play in the Super Bowl that season. Barrett's Bucs are moving on to their own second Super Bowl, which will give him a chance to pursue Sapp's 5.5 career sacks as a Buccaneer, though Barrett might need multiple postseason runs to catch Simeon Rice's franchise record.
Most Career Postseason Sacks, Buccaneers History
|Lee Roy Selmon||4||4.0|
Barrett and Pierre-Paul's combined pass-rushing prowess allowed the Bucs' defense as a whole to match its best sack output in a single postseason game. One of the other two five-sack games in Tampa Bay's playoff history was Super Bowl XXXVII against Oakland.
|at Green Bay||1/24/21||5.0|
|at Green Bay||1/4/98||4.0|
While Barrett and Pierre-Paul were wreaking havoc in the backfield, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting continued to make big plays on the back end. Murphy-Bunting's interception of a intended for WR Allen Lazard down the middle came in the final minute of the first half and gave Tom Brady an opportunity to loft a perfect 39-yard touchdown pass to Scotty Miller just before halftime. That pick made Murphy-Bunting the first player in franchise history to intercept a pass in three straight postseason games. He has already moved into a tie for first in career playoff interceptions in Buccaneer annals.
Most Postseason Interceptions, Buccaneers History
|four tied w/||2|
Murphy-Bunting is the first player since Seattle's Kam Chancellor across the 2013-14 postseasons to record an interception in three consecutive games. The last NFL player to do so in a single season before Murphy-Bunting was the New York Giants' R.W. McQuarters durinf the 2007 postseason. In addition, the Buccaneers' second-year corner is just the fourth player ever to snare an interception in each of his first three playoff appearances. Murphy-Bunting is the first one to ever do it in a single postseason. Here's the list:
Players with Interceptions in Each of Their First Three Playoff Games
(* Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.)
Early in the second half, safety Jordan Whitehead forced a fumble by Packers running back Aaron Jones that inside linebacker Devin White recovered and returned 21 yards to the Green Bay eight, setting up Brady's touchdown pass to tight end Cameron Brate. Whitehead had two forced fumbles on the day and White was able to scoop up a loose ball for the second game in a row.
Meanwhile, White also racked up 15 tackles to lead all players on Sunday. Just a week after tying the Buccaneers' single-game playoff record in that category, White broke it with room to spare.
Most Tackles, Single Postseason Game, Buccaneers History
|Devin White||at Green Bay||1/24/21||15|
|Devin White||at New Orleans||1/17/21||11|
|Derrick Brooks||N.Y. Giants||1/6/08||11|
|Jermaine Phillips||N.Y. Giants||1/6/08||11|
|Jamie Duncan||at Philadelphia||12/21/00||11|
White's final tackle total marked is tied for the third-most by any NFL defender in the playoffs since 2010. He is the first player to record 15 or more tackles in a postseason game since Jacksonville's Telvin Smith had 16 against Pittsburgh on January 14, 2018.
In addition to hitting Miller and Brate on touchdown passes, Brady also finished the game's first drive with a 15-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Mike Evans, who joins Keenan McCardell as the only players in Bucs' postseason history with multiple career touchdown catches. Brady has now thrown multiple touchdown passes in 10 straight games, including the playoffs, and while that's the longest active streak in the NFL it is not Brady's personal longest run. In fact, it's not even his second-longest streak. Brady had multiple touchdown passes in 14 straight games from November 7, 2010 to October 2, 2011, which is tied with an Aaron Rodgers streak from roughly the same dates for the longest in NFL history. Brady also had a 12-game streak in this category across the 2014 playoffs and the 2015 regular season.
Brady's three touchdown passes are a single-game record for the Buccaneers, however, and his seven total scoring throws this postseason make him the team's career leader in that category.
Most Touchdown Passes, Single Postseason Game, Buccaneers History
|3, Tom Brady, at Green Bay, 1/24/21|
|2, Tom Brady, at New Orleans, 1/17/21|
|2, Tom Brady, at Washington, 1/9/21|
|2, Brad Johnson, vs. San Francisco, 1/12/03|
|2, Brad Johnson, vs. Oakland, 1/26/03|
Most Career Touchdown Passes, Buccaneers Postseason History
|Player||Playoff Games||TD Passes|
|three tied w/||1|
Brady might be the first Buccaneer with three touchdown passes in a game but it certainly wasn't the first such performance in his storied postseason career. In fact, Brady now has 11 career postseason games with three or more touchdown passes, the most in NFL history.
Most Postseason Games with 3+ Touchdown Passes, NFL History
Brady continues to extend his NFL playoff records in most passing categories, most notably touchdown passes, of which he now has an incredible 80. In fact, Sunday's game featured two of the all-time top three in that category.
Most Postseason Touchdown Passes, NFL History
Brady's favorite target in Green Bay was wide receiver Chris Godwin, who caught five passes for 110 yards. Godwin became the third Buccaneer to record a 100-yard receiving game in the playoffs. Two of those three games, and the two top yardage totals in franchise history, have occurred this month, as well as three of the top six.
Most Receiving Yards, Single Game, Buccaneers Postseason History
|Mike Evans||at Washington||1/9/21||119|
|Chris Godwin||at Green Bay||1/24/21||110|
|Keyshawn Johnson||at Philadelphia||12/31/00||106|
|Jimmie Giles||at Dallas||1/2/82||98|
|Keyshawn Johnson||San Francisco||1/12/03||85|
|Cameron Brate||at Washington||1/9/21||80|
The Buccaneers' fourth touchdown on Sunday was scored by running back Leonard Fournette, who strung together a series of broken tackles, spin moves and dives to finish a 20-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. That gave the Buccaneers a lead they would not relinquish. Fournette finished with 55 yards on 12 carries plus five catches for 19 more yards. His 74 yards from scrimmage increased his total in this postseason to 313, the most yards from scrimmage a Buccaneer player has ever recorded in a single postseason.
Most Yards from Scrimmage, Single Postseason, Buccaneers History
Brate's eight-yard touchdown grab was part of a three-catch, 19-yard outing. That was just enough to make Brate the franchise's all-time postseason leader in receiving yards among tight ends.
Most Career Postseason Receiving Yards, Tight Ends, Buccaneers History
Kicker Ryan Succop accounted for the Buccaneers' other seven points in Green Bay with four extra points and a 46-yard field goal, making all five of his combined attempts. Succop has made all of his field goal tries during the 2020 postseason and has the most field goals in a single playoff run by a Buccaneer kicker.
Most Field Goals Made, Single Postseason, Buccaneers History
Overall, the Buccaneers scored 30-plus points for the third time in three playoff outings. Those are three of the five highest-scoring games for the franchise in its postseason history.
Most Points in a Postseason Game, Buccaneers Team
|at Green Bay||1/24/21||31|
|at New Orleans||1/17/21||30|
All of it added up to yet another victory, the Buccaneers' eighth in a row on the road. That extended the team's record for consecutive road wins.
Most Consecutive Road Victories, Postseason Included, Buccaneers History
|1. 7…Oct. 25, 2020 – Jan. 24, 2021|
|2. 6…Dec. 15, 2002 – Oct. 12, 2003|
|3. 5…Dec. 20, 2009 – Oct. 31, 2010|
|4. 4…Oct. 10, 2016 – Dec. 4, 2016|