Devin White missed the first outing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' four-game run to the Lombardi Trophy in 2020, but you would be hard-pressed to figure that out from looking at his final postseason stat line.
(This Data Crunch edition will focus on the Buccaneers' defense; for offensive highlights from Super Bowl LV and the 2020 postseason,click here.)
The Buccaneers' rising-star inside linebacker was on the reserve/COVID-19 list when Tampa Bay started the 2020 playoffs with a Wild Card win in Washington, but he managed to make up for lost time in a big way. White not only led the team with 38 tackles (12 more than the next man on the list, Lavonte David), but also added two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. In each of his three playoff appearances he either tied or broke the Buccaneers' previous record for most tackles in a single postseason game. That included his team-leading 12 tackles in Super Bowl LV.
Most Tackles, Single Postseason Game, Buccaneers History
|Devin White||at Green Bay||1/24/21||15|
|Devin White||Kansas City||2/7/21||12|
|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||12/31/00||11|
That gave White a total of 38 stops in three games. League-wide tackle totals are available beginning with the 1987 season, and in the 34 postseasons that covers, only two players have ever recorded more tackles in a single playoff run.
Most Tackles, Single Postseason, NFL (1987-2020)
White is the first linebacker since Pittsburgh's Ryan Shazier in 2016 to have multiple interceptions in a single postseason. He is the first linebacker to have multiple fumble recoveries in a single postseason since Atlanta's LaRoy Reynolds in 2017. He is the first player at any position since Green Bay's Tramon Williams in 2010 to have multiple interceptions and multiple fumble recoveries in a single season. Only six defenders have accomplished that feat, including just three linebackers.
Multiple Interceptions and Multiple Fumble Recoveries in a Single Postseason
Since tackle totals became available in 1987, White is the only player to record 30-plus tackles, two-plus interceptions and two-plus fumble recoveries in a single postseason.
White had 12 tackles an an interception in the Buccaneers' dominant 31-9 win over the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. That marked the second time in the 2020 postseason that he hit double digits in tackles and picked off a pass. White is just the fourth NFL player to do that twice in a single postseason. Those four are:
|• Devin White, Buccaneers 2020|
|• Kam Chancellor, Seahawks, 2014|
|• Rodney Harrison, Patriots, 2005|
|• Sam Mills, Saints, 1997|
While White was patrolling the middle of the field, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett was setting up residence in opposing backfields. He recorded one of the Buccaneers' three sacks of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and four of their eight quarterback hits. Barrett finished the postseason with 4.0 sacks, the most of any player on any team in the 2020 playoffs. Barrett's sack total also tied for the most in a single postseason in team history.
Most Sacks, Single Postseason, Buccaneers History
|five tied w/||2.0|
Quarterback hit totals are available beginning with the 2006 season. In the 15 postseasons since, Barrett's four QB hits on Sunday are the second most by any player in a Super Bowl.
Most Quarterback Hits, Super Bowl (2006-20)
The Buccaneers other two Super Bowl sacks came from defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and outside linebacker Cam Gill. Suh had one of his own and then split another one with Gill, both on the same fourth-quarter drive. Suh now has 6.5 sacks in his playoff career, and he has had at least a half-sack in all five postseasons in which he has appeared, and at least one sack for all four teams for which he has played (Detroit, Miami, L.A. Rams and Tampa Bay). That makes Suh the first NFL player since the sack became an official statistic in 1982 to record at least one postseason sack for four different teams.
Players with Postseason Sacks for Three or More Teams
|• Ndamukong Suh (4)…Lions, Dolphins, Rams, Buccaneers|
|• Chris Doleman (3)…Vikings, 49ers, Falcons|
|• Dwight Freeney (3)…Colts, Cardinals, Falcons|
|• Sean Jones (3)…Oilers, Packers, Raiders|
|• Jeremy Mincey (3)…Jaguars, Broncos, Cowboys|
|• Brooks Reed (3)…Falcons, Texans, Titans|
|• Antonio Smith (3)…Texans, Cardinals, Broncos|
Meanwhile, Gill chose a wonderful time to have a hand in the first sack of his NFL career. Gill signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent out of Wagner in May and made the active roster out of training camp. He appeared in each of the last 12 games of the regular season but primarily on special teams, getting just 22 snaps on defense. He also played in all four postseason games, with 13 more snaps on defense. His combined sack with Suh came on one of just three plays he was on the field with the Bucs' defense.
By combining on that sack, Gill became just the second undrafted rookie ever to record even half a sack in a Super Bowl. The other was Green Bay safety Frank Zombo, who had one sack in the Packers' victory over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV.
Speaking of rookies, the Buccaneers' second interception in the Super Bowl was secured by safety Antoine Winfield, Jr., the team's second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Winfield dived for a deflection after fellow safety Mike Edwards broke up a deep pass intended for Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill, setting up a Ryan Succop field goal and the last points of Super Bowl LV.
Winfield is just the seventh rookie to intercept a pass in a Super Bowl, and the first since New England's Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl XLIX six years ago. Prior to Butler, no rookie had intercepted a pass in a Super Bowl since the 1980s. The other five are San Francisco's Bill Romankowski in Super Bowl XXIII, Washington's Brian Davis in Xuper Bowl XXII, Jim Morrissey and Reggie Phillips of the Bears in Super Bowl XX, and San Francisco's Eric Wright in Super Bowl XVI.
Winfield and the Buccaneers' defense limited the Chiefs to just three field goals, marking just the third time in 55 Super Bowls that a team has been held without a touchdown. Most recently, Tom Brady's Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams, 10-3, in Super Bowl LIII just two years ago. Prior to that, the only defense to hold an opponent without a touchdown in the Super belonged to the 1972 Cowboys, who beat the Dolphins, 24-3, in Super Bowl VI.
The Buccaneers beat the Chiefs by 22 points after also routing the Oakland Raiders by 27 points, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII. As we pointed out in our offensive Data Crunch on Wednesday, the Buccaneers are one of only three teams who have won multiple Super Bowls by 20 or more points each. Tampa Bay's average point differential in Super Bowl play is plus-24.5 per game, by far the best of any team ever to make the big game, including those who have only played in one.
Highest Per Game Point Differential by Super Bowl Teams