Seven games into the 2022 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are searching for answers as very little about the team's performance is meeting expectations. The offense, as Tom Brady noted after Sunday's unsettling loss at Carolina, is having difficulty stringing successful plays together. The defense is not currently displaying its signature abilities to stop any ground game and produce turnovers. The result is a 3-4 record that, while good enough for a tie for first place in the NFC South, does not feel worthy of celebrating.
But every football game, season and career generates a lot of numbers, and today is no different. Amid the disappointment there is data to be crunched, and that's why we're here.
For instance, Brady has quietly set another franchise record.
Early in the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers' season-opening win in Dallas, safety Donovan Wilson intercepted a Brady pass intended for Mike Evans. It proved to be of little consequence as the Cowboys didn't score and Brady only threw two more passes as the Bucs ran out the clock on a 19-3 decision. Since that trip to Dallas, Brady has played six more complete games without throwing another interception. On Sunday in Charlotte he added 49 more passes to his run and now owns the longest streak of consecutive passes without an interception in Buccaneer annals.
Of course, he was merely breaking his own record. Again. In three seasons with Tampa Bay, Brady has reset that record three times.
Most Consecutive Passes Without an Interception, Buccaneers History
(* Active streak.)
Brady's interception percentage, unsurprisingly, is the lowest among all qualifying passers in the NFL so far this season.
Lowest Interception Percentage, NFL, 2022
Mike Evans was Brady's favorite target on Sunday, and he caught nine of the 15 passes thrown in his direction for a game-high 96 yards. Brady also targeted Chris Godwin 13 times, resulting in seven catches for 43 yards. In the process, Godwin moved one spot closer to Evans on the Bucs' all-time receiving yardage list, passing 1980s standout Kevin House.
Most Receiving Yards, Buccaneers History
Brady also found rookie tight end Cade Otton four times for 64 yards, both of which are new single-game highs for the fourth-round draft pick. In his last four games, Otton has hauled in 15 passes for 159 yards and has taken over the NFL lead in receiving yards among rookie tight ends in 2022.
The Buccaneers will be monitoring the health of safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who left Sunday's game in the second half after dropping Panthers running back Raheem Blackshear for a loss of four yards. Winfield was shaken up on that play and taken into the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion. He did not return to the game. Though it likely wasn't worth the cost, Winfield pulled into a tie for the most tackles for loss by a defensive back in the NFL so far this season.
Most Tackles for a Loss by a Defensive Back, NFL, 2022
|Antoine Winfield Jr.
Kicker Ryan Succop provided the Buccaneers' only points of the game with a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Succop has connected on 16 of his 17 field goal tries so far this season and is tied for the league in field goals made overall.
Most Field Goals Made, NFL, 2022
- Neither the Buccaneers nor the Panthers committed a giveaway on Sunday, which marks the third straight game Tampa Bay has played without either team turning the ball over. That's the first time that has happened in franchise history. The only other streak of even two games with neither team committing a turnover was Dec. 19 and 26 of the 2010 season, in a win over Seattle and an overtime loss to Detroit. According to Stathead, in fact, this is the first time any team has had a streak of three straight games with no turnovers by either side.
- Defensive lineman Vita Vea recorded the Buccaneers' lone sack of Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker on Sunday. He now leads the team with 3.5 sacks, just ahead of insider linebacker Devin White and safety Antoine Winfield, who have 3.0 each. Vea needs one more sack to surpass his career high of 4.0, established last season.