I hope you, the reader, had a nice weekend. Now let's get back to business.
That's the business of Tampa Bay Buccaneers trivia which, okay, is more of a pastime than a business but let's not sweat the details. We're going to do this every workday in April, as I explained last week. Last week I brought you questions about draft picks, long-time offensive contributors and quarterbacks who threw most of their touchdowns in Buccaneer victories. Today we're going to look at the Bucs' defense since the 2002 NFL realignment and which quarterbacks they've victimized the most.
Our Daily Bucs Trivia question will be posted here each workday at 10:00 a.m. ET, and then also shared on Twitter. At 4:00 p.m. ET, I'll update the story to include the answer and share that on Twitter as well. There's no prize, just the pride you'll get from knowing your team and its history well. And this isn't multiple choice; you'll have to figure out the answer for yourself.
Now, obviously, the answers to some of these questions will be relatively easy to look up online. See if you can challenge yourself first before resorting to that solution.
Bucs Daily Trivia Question, April 6:
In 2002, the NFL expanded to 32 teams with the addition of the Houston Texans and took that opportunity to realign into a very symmetrical group of eight four team divisions. The Buccaneers were one of a handful of teams that switched divisions, moving from the geographically suspect NFC Central to the newly-created NFC South. Tampa Bay won the first NFC South title in 2002 and, oh yeah, went all the way to a Super Bowl championship.
In the 18 seasons since realignment (2002-19), Tampa Bay defenses have secured a total of exactly 300 regular-season interceptions. That's the fourth-highest total of any team in that span, trailing only New England (331), Green Bay (327) and Baltimore (319). Eighty-eight different players contributed to that total, led by Ronde Barber and his 31 picks. Jamel Dean got the most recent one to put that total at exactly 300 at the end of 2019.
The topic we're looking at today is which quarterbacks have the Buccaneers intercepted most often in that span. Now, to make this a little harder, we're going to look at only quarterbacks who did not play in the NFC South in that span. You could probably guess that Drew Brees leads the overall list (with 27) simply because he's played so many games against Tampa Bay since signing with the Saints in 2006. Jake Delhomme, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton are the next three on this list. So let's ignore those division opponents and answer this question:
Which quarterback who did not play for any NFC South team since the formation of that division in 2002 has thrown the most interceptions against Tampa Bay in the 18 seasons since realignment?
This one might be tougher than you think. Come back at 4:00 p.m. ET for the answer!
Answer: Carson Palmer, who threw nine interceptions against the Buccaneers while playing for Cincinnati, Oakland and Arizona.
That's one more than Brett Favre threw against the Buccaneers of the NFC South. If we included the first two seasons of the decade, 2000 and 2001, before the realignment, Favre's total would be 15 and that would be your leader. But the Bucs and Packers were in the same division those two seasons (and eight others), so Tampa Bay's defenders got a lot of cracks at the Green Bay Hall-of-Famer.
Derek Anderson appeared to match Favre on first glance but two of his eight picks against Tampa Bay came during a start with the Panthers, within the division. Jay Cutler, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford all come in at seven picks.