Tampa Bay Buccaneers

David Moves Up Bucs' LB Interception List

LB Lavonte David sealed the Buccaneers' sixth win of the season on Sunday with an interception with 90 seconds remaining in the game. That gave David a team-leading three interceptions on the season.

Coupled with his five-pick campaign in 2013, David becomes just the third linebacker in franchise history to have at least two separate seasons with three or more interceptions, joining Derrick Brooks (4) and Richard Wood (2).

Most Interceptions in a Season, LB, Buccaneers

Player

Season

INTs

Yards

TDs

1t. Derrick Brooks

2002

5

218

3

1t. Lavonte David

2013

5

87

0

1t. Cecil Johnson

1981

5

84

0

4t. Derrick Brooks

1999

4

61

0

4t. Jamie Duncan

2000

4

55

1

4t. Richard Wood

1977

4

86

1

7t. Scot Brantley

1984

3

55

0

7t. Derrick Brooks

2006

3

51

1

7t. Derrick Brooks

2001

3

65

0

7t. Lavonte David

2015

3

19

1

7t. Mason Foster

2013

3

122

2

7t. Danny Lansanah

2014

3

60

2

7t. Dave Lewis

1978

3

24

0

7t. Richard Wood

1980

3

76

1

David has his pair of three-interception seasons in just four years in the NFL. Since he entered the league in 2012, he is one of just three linebackers with multiple three-pick campaigns in that span, joining Luke Kuechly (Carolina) and Karlos Dansby (Arizona and Cleveland).

David is rapidly moving up the Buccaneers' all-time list for interceptions by a linebacker, though it will probably take quite some time to challenge Brooks, the Hall of Famer who leads the team in that category. Here are the top five:

Most Career Interceptions, Linebacker, Buccaneers

Player

Seasons

INTs

  1. Derrick Brooks

1995-2008

25

  1. David Lewis

1977-81

10

3t. Lavonte David

2012-15

9

3t. Cecil Johnson

1977-85

9

3t. Richard Wood

1976-84

9

David also led the team with 11 total tackles on Sunday, giving him 105 on the year, which marks the fourth time in four seasons that he has eclipsed triple digits in that category. The Buccaneers currently use press box totals for their defensive statistics, but for many years the team published tackle stats drawn from coaches' film study. Using press box data for all seasons since tackles were tracked since 1994, compiled by Statspass, David is already one of the Bucs' most prolific tacklers of the last quarter-century.

Most 100-Tackle Seasons, Buccaneers (Using Press Box Totals)

Player

100-Tackle Seasons

Total Buc Seasons

  1. Derrick Brooks

12

14

  1. Hardy Nickerson

6

7

3t. Lavonte David

4

4

3t. Barrett Ruud

4

6

3t. Shelton Quarles

4

10

  1. John Lynch

3

11

Using those same sources, David is also the NFL's second-leading tackler since he entered the league in 2012, trailing only Carolina's Luke Kuechly. Here are the top five:

Player

Team(s)

Tackles

  1. Luke Kuechly

CAR

554

  1. Lavonte David

TB

534

  1. D'Qwell Jackson

CLE/IND

520

  1. Paul Posluszny

JAX

474

  1. James Laurinaitis

STL

455

In last week's "Football Geekery" story on Friday, we noted that the Buccaneers have been converting third downs on offense at an impressive rate. In fact, Tampa Bay's conversion rate of 49.1% on third downs since Week Four of the season was the NFL's best in that span. On Sunday, the Bucs' offense remained in a groove, moving the sticks on six of 11 third-down tries (54.5%). As such, the Bucs remained on top of that list, as seen below.

Best Third-Down Conversion Rate, NFL, Weeks 4-13

Team

Made

Att.

Pct.

  1. Tampa Bay

58

117

49.6%

  1. Arizona

53

117

45.3%

  1. Oakland

43

119

44.5%

  1. Seattle

50

113

44.2%

  1. New Orleans

52

120

43.3%

The Bucs improved their overall third-down numbers in 2015 to 42.7%, improving them to seventh in the league's rankings and drawing the team very close to its own single-season record in that category. The current standard is 42.9%, set in 1984. Since that Week Four game against Carolina, the Buccaneers have converted third downs at a rate of 45% or better in eight of nine games.

All those third-down conversions have led to a higher total of first downs than the Buccaneers' offense has generated in a long time. On Sunday, the Bucs picked up 25 first downs against the Falcons, marking the fourth straight game in which they had recorded at least 20 first downs. That is actually the second time the Bucs have done that, also moving the chains 20 or more times for four straight games from Weeks 4-8 (with a bye in that stretch). Prior to those two runs, the Buccaneers hadn't had a streak of four straight games with 20 or more first downs in 31 years. The 1984 offense powered by James Wilder and his 407 carries (then a league-record) got 20 or more first downs in five straight games from Oct. 28 to Nov. 25.

Odds and Ends

  • LB Kwon Alexander recorded his third sack of the season on Sunday just before the end of the first half. The Buccaneers' record for sacks by a rookie linebacker is 5.0; Alexander's total is the second-best in team annals.
  • Overall, Tampa Bay's defense generated three sacks of Matt Ryan, with DE William Gholston collecting the other two for his first career two-sack game. The Buccaneers have recorded at least three sacks in four consecutive games, marking the first time they have done that in over a decade (Nov. 14-Dec. 5, 2004).
  • Winston's aforementioned 20-yard scramble gave the Bucs their longest third-down conversion in over a year, as the team needed 19 yards at the time. The last conversion of that length was a third-and-23 against Chicago on Nov. 23, 2014.
  • The Buccaneers got their first season sweep of the Falcons since 2007 and their first of any NFC South foe since they took two from Carolina in 2012. The Buccaneers will get a chance next Sunday to sweep New Orleans for the first time since 2007. Obviously, that makes 2007 the last time the Bucs have swept two different division opponents in the same year. Since the NFL realigned to eight four-team divisions in 2002, the Buccaneers have twice finished the season with a 5-1 record against their collected division foes, their best mark yet. The team has a chance to tie that with Sunday's game and the season finale in Carolina.

Behind-the-scenes photos of the Buccaneers vs. Falcons game at Raymond James Stadium on December 6th.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising