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Chase McLaughlin Caps Best Kicker Season in Bucs History

Data Crunch: Chase McLaughlin accounted for all of Tampa Bay's points in their division-clinching win on Sunday, in the process posting the best field goal percentage and long-range mastery in franchise annals


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Carolina Panthers, 9-0, on Sunday in Charlotte, in the process claiming a third straight NFC South title. This marks the first time in franchise history that the Bucs have donned a division crown in three straight seasons, and this is also just the second time Tampa Bay has made the playoffs in four consecutive years. The team also did so from 1999-2002, culminating in a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.

The Buccaneers' defense led the way, producing the team's first shutout since November 21, 2010, when they blanked the 49ers in San Francisco, 21-0. Overall, it was the 11th shutout win in team annals. Tampa Bay also won for just the fifth time in a game in which it did not score a touchdown. Two of those five games occurred in Charlotte. Also, the first of the five, in 1979, was also a game in which the Buccaneers clinched a division title.

Buccaneers Victories Without Scoring a Touchdown

  • 9-0 at Carolina, 1/7/24
  • 15-0 at Chicago, 12/29/02
  • 12-9 at Carolina, 10/27/02
  • 6-3 vs. Chicago, 10/24/99
  • 3-0 vs. Kansas City, 12/16/79

The Buccaneers are now one of three NFL teams that have made the playoffs in each of the last four seasons, joining the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. The Bucs have won nine division titles overall between the NFC Central and the NFC South, and their six crowns since the South was formed in 2002 are the second most among the four teams that comprise it. Todd Bowles is the first coach in team history to lead his team to consecutive playoff berths and consecutive division titles in his first two seasons at the helm.

As tremendous as Tampa Bay's defensive performance was on Sunday, the team still needed some points to win the game, and that task fell to kicker Chase McLaughlin. McLaughlin hit on all three of his field goal attempts, from 36, 57 and 39 yards, finishing the regular season with a streak of 18 successful tries in a row. Those three kicks improved his season totals to 29 of 31 on field goal attempts, a 93.5% success rate that set a new single-season franchise record.

Highest Field Goal Percentage, Single Season, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
Kicker Season Made Att. Pct.
Chase McLaughlin 2023 29 31 93.5%
Connor Barth 2011 26 28 92.9%
Ryan Succop 2020 28 31 90.3%
Steve Christie 1990 23 27 85.2%
Connor Barth 2012 28 33 84.8%

McLaughlin's 57-yard shot marked the third time in three tries that he hit from that distance in 2023. Those three kicks are tied for the fifth-longest field goals in team history and, with another pair of 55-yarders, he now owns five of the 18 longest field goals ever for the Buccaneers. McLaughlin finished the season seven of eight from 50 yards or farther, breaking another team record for most 50+-yard field goals in a season.

Most Field Goals of 50-Plus Yards, Single Season, Buccaneers

1. Chase McLaughlin, 2023: 7

2. Connor Barth, 2012: 6

3t. Matt Gay, 2019: 5

3t. Martin Gramatica, 2002: 5

3t. Martin Gramatica, 2000: 5

3t. Patrick Murray, 2014: 5

McLaughlin debuted in the NFL with the Colts in 2019. Since then, he has made 24 of his 29 attempts from 50 yards or further. That's the second-best success rate in the NFL in that span among kickers with at least 10 attempts.

Best Field Goal Percentage on Attempts of 50-Plus Yards, 2019-23

Table inside Article
Kicker Team(s) Made Att. Pct.
Eddy Pineiro CHI/NYJ/CAR 10 12 83.3%
Chase McLaughlin 7 Teams 24 29 82.8%
Chris Boswell PIT 23 28 82.1%
Graham Gano WAS/CAR/NYG 23 29 79.3%
Daniel Carlson LV 22 29 75.9%

McLaughlin also made all 33 of his extra point attempts in 2023, becoming the first Bucs kicker since Patrick Murray in 2014 to be perfect in that category while handling all of the team's placekicking. McLaughlin is the first Bucs kicker to do so since the line of scrimmage on extra points was moved back to the 15.

McLaughlin's nine points might not have been enough for a Bucs victory on Sunday if not for the spectacular play of safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Winfield finished the game with five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, and his forced fumble prevented what seemed to be a sure touchdown for the Panthers. Carolina quarterback Bryce Young completed a pass to wide receiver D.J. Chark on a broken play, giving Chark an open path to the end zone. However, Winfield sprinted over from the middle of the field and dived to poke the ball out of the receiver's hands just inches before he crossed the goal line. Jamel Dean recovered for Tampa Bay in the end zone for a touchback.

That was Winfield's sixth forced fumble of the season, and he finished in a tie for first in the NFL in that category.

Most Forced Fumbles, NFL, 2023

1t. Antoine Winfield Jr., Buccaneers: 6

1t. Bradley Chubb, Dolphins: 6

3t. Khalil Mack, Chargers: 5

3t. Trent McDuffie, Chiefs: 5

5t. six tied with: 4

Winfield also tied for the league lead with Giants' linebacker Micah McFadden for the most recoveries of opponent fumbles, with four. The NFL has verifiable fumble data since 2000, and in the three decades since Winfield is one of only two players to finish a season with at least a share of the league lead in both forced fumbles and fumble recoveries, joining Philadelphia outside linebacker Haason Reddick in 2022.

Overall, Winfield finished the 2023 season with 122 tackles, six tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, eight quarterback hits, three interceptions, 12 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He is the first NFL defensive back since 2000 to record six or more sacks and six or more forced fumbles in a season.

Winfield had one of the Buccaneers' three sacks of Young on Sunday, as did rookie outside linebacker Yaya Diabyand outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. Shoyinka's play was of the strip-sack variety, ending the Panthers' last drive of the game. Those three sacks increased Tampa Bay's team total in 2023 to 48, tied for the second most it has had in a single season. Four of the top five sack season in franchise annals have occurred since the arrival of Bowles in 2019.

Most Team Sacks, Buccaneers, Single Season

1. 2000: 55

2t. 2023: 48

2t. 2020: 48

4t. 2021: 47

4t. 2019: 47

Diaby's sack was also a tackle for loss, giving him 12 on the season. That was the most among all rookie defenders in the NFL in 2023

Most Tackles for Loss, NFL Rookies, 2023

1. Yaya Diaby, Buccaneers: 12

2t. Calijah Kancey, Buccaneers: 10

2t. Will Anderson, Texans: 10

4t. six tied with: 8

The Buccaneers didn't find the end zone in their win over the Panthers but they did have some players hit significant milestones. Quarterback Baker Mayfield battled through injuries to his ribs and ankles to throw for 137 yards, which was enough to put him over 4,000 in a season for the first time in his career. He finished with 4,044 yards, a career-best 28 touchdown passes and a 94.6 passer rating that ranks as the second best of his career. His 28 scoring throws ranked seventh in the NFL. Mayfield's passing yardage total is the seventh most in a season in Bucs history.

Mayfield's top target on Sunday was wide receiver Chris Godwin, who caught six of the 51 passes thrown his way. With those 51 yards, Godwin got to 1,024 on the season, marking the fourth time in his seven seasons that he has crossed the 1,000-yard mark, and the third time in a row. That is the second most 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Buccaneers history, trailing only the 10 by his teammate, Mike Evans.

Most 1,000-Yard Receiving Seasons, Buccaneers History

1. Mike Evans: 10

2. Chris Godwin: 4

3t. Joey Galloway: 3

3t. Vincent Jackson: 3

5t. Kevin House: 2

5t. Keyshawn Johnson: 2

Since Evans has hit 1,000 yards in each of his 10 NFL campaigns, this is obviously the fourth time that he and Godwin have done so in the same season. That accounts for four of the five times the Bucs have had two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season; Evans and Vincent Jackson also pulled off that combo in 2014. Godwin's final reception total was 83, marking the fourth time he has topped 80 catches in a season. No other player in team history has done that more than twice.

Evans didn't score another touchdown in Sunday's win, but he held onto his league lead in that category. Even though he has now scored 13 or more touchdowns in a season three times, this marks the first time a Buccaneers player has ever led or tied for the NFL lead in that category.

Most Touchdown Receptions, NFL, 2023

1t. Mike Evans, Buccaneers: 13

1t. Tyreek Hill, Dolphins: 13

3. CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys: 12

4t. four tied with: 10

Running back Rachaad White finished the game with 75 critical yards on 19 carries. That left him just 10 yards shy of 1,000 on the season, but that plus four catches for 18 yards also boosted his yards from scrimmage total in 2023 to 1,539. He's the first Buccaneer to cross 1,500 yards from scrimmage in a season since Doug Martin in 2015, and that total ranks sixth overall in franchise history. White finished the season ranked fourth among all running backs in yards from scrimmage.

Most Yards from Scrimmage, NFL Running Backs, 2023

Table inside Article
Running Back Team Yards
Christian McCaffrey San Francisco 2,023
Breece Hall N.Y. Jets 1,585
James Cook Buffalo 1,567
Rachaad White Tampa Bay 1,539
Travis Etienne Jacksonville 1,484

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