Ndamukong Suh had two sacks in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Week Two win over Carolina, and Shaquil Barrett collected two in the team's Week Three victory in Denver. Seven different Buccaneer defenders have already recorded at least one sack in 2020, and only two teams (Pittsburgh and Washington) have more than the 12 sacks Tampa Bay has a team through three weeks.
But only one player on the Buccaneers' defense has recorded a sack in all three games so far: outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul.
In fact, Pierre-Paul has a streak of five straight games with at least one sack dating back to the final two games of 2019. He has eight sacks total in that span. His streak is the longest active one in the NFL.
Most Consecutive Games with a Sack, Active, NFL
|14 tied with||2|
Pierre-Paul's streak is now just one shy of the Buccaneers' franchise record, of which he already owns a part of. The former Giant, who was acquired in a 2018 offseason trade, also had a streak of six straight games with a sack in his first year as a Buccaneer.
Most Consecutive Games with a Sack, Buccaneers History
After recording 12.5 sacks in 2018, Pierre-Paul missed the first six games of the 2019 season due to a neck injury sustained in an offseason car accident. Upon returning, he contributed 8.5 more sacks in the final 10 games. In just 29 games as a Buccaneer, Pierre-Paul has 24 sacks, which is already tied for 11th in franchise history. His rate of sacks per game since joining the Buccaneers ranks seventh in the NFL in that span, on a list of the who's-who of the NFL's best pass-rushers.
Most Sacks Per Game Played, NFL, 2018-20
Linebacker Lavonte David was not one of the five different Buccaneers who notched a sack in Sunday's win in Denver, but he did have the first of the team's two interceptions. That gave David 12 interceptions in his nine seasons since entering the league as a second-round draft pick in 2012. Only one linebacker in Buccaneers history has more interceptions than David and only one linebacker in the league has more interceptions than David since 2012. One is a Hall of Famer already; the other will likely join him in Cooperstown.
Most Interceptions by a Linebacker, Buccaneers History
Most Interceptions, Linebackers, NFL, 2012-2020
|7 tied with||10|
Safety Antoine Winfield recorded a sack for the second straight game, becoming the first Buccaneer rookie to accomplish that feat since Noah Spence in 2016. He is the first rookie defensive back to do that since the Chargers' Derwin James in 2018. Winfield's 2.0 sacks are tied for the most among all NFL defensive backs through the first three weeks of the season, equaling the totals of Seattle's Jamal Adams, Pittsburgh's Mike Hilton and the New York Jets' Marcus Maye.
Winfield is also tied for second among all rookies with 23 tackes, and his two passes defensed are tied for fourth. He is the only rookie in the NFL to have already recorded 20+ tackles, multiple sacks and multiple passes defensed.
Most Total Tackles, NFL Rookies 2020
|Antoine Winfield, Jr.||Buccaneers||23||2.0||2||1||1|
|4 tied with||17|
All of those defensive highlights on Sunday were almost enough to make one forget that the Buccaneers' offense is now piloted by all-time great quarterback Tom Brady. Almost. Brady had his best outing yet as a Buc in his third start, throwing for 297 yards and three touchdowns and leading an offense that did not turn the ball over once. It marked the 59th time in Brady's brilliant career that he has thrown at least three touchdowns in a game while also not suffering any interceptions. That's the most in NFL history.
Most Career Games with 3+ TD Passes, 0 Interceptions, NFL History
Two of Brady's touchdown passes were caught by Mike Evans, who scored on a pair of one-yard passes in the second quarter as the Buccaneers built a 23-3 lead. As it turned out, those were Evans' only two receptions of the day, one week after he recorded his 25th career 100-yard receiving game. That made for a rather unusual stat line for Evans, as he became just the third player in NFL history to have two touchdowns on two catches for two yards in a single game. He is the first wide receiver ever to do so.
Games with Two Receptions for Two Yards and Two Touchdowns in NFL History
· WR Mike Evans, Buccaneers, at Denver, Sept. 27, 2020
· TE Howard Cross, Giants, at Arizona, Sept. 11, 1994
· TE Lee Folkins, Cowboys, avs. Washington, Nov. 3, 1963
Sunday's game marked the 10th multi-touchdown outing of Evans' career. That's tied for the third-most in the NFL since he entered the league as the seventh-overall pick in 2014.
Most Games with Multiple TD Receptions, NFL, 2014-20
Evans increased his career total to 52 touchdown catches, extending his own team record in that category. His 53 total scores (he also scored on a fumble recovery in 2018) rank second in team history, now just 18 behind Mike Alstott's record of 71. Evans is tied for the second-most touchdown receptions in the NFL since 2014. The list is going to look familiar.
Most TD Receptions, NFL, 2014-20
- One of Barrett's two sacks of Jeff Driskel occurred in the end zone early in the third quarter, which produced two points on a safety. Barrett was the first Buccaneer defender in nearly four years to record a safety, following Robert Ayers against Chicago on Nov. 13, 2016.
- Defensive lineman Patrick O'Connor set up the Buccaneers' first touchdown on Sunday with a blocked punt, as he got past the Broncos' blockers up the middle and got a hand on Sam Martin's attempted kick. O'Connor also recovered the loose ball and returned it four yards to the Denver 10-yard line, leading to Chris Godwin's 10-yard score three plays later. That was Tampa Bay's first block of an opponent's punt in nearly five years, following Jeremiah George's effort against the Bears on Dec. 17, 2015.
- After Godwin's touchdown catch, the Buccaneers tacked on a 43-yard field goal by Ryan Succop for a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The Buccaneers have scored 31 first-quarter points through three games. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay's defense has yet to allow a single point in the opening period. The Buccaneers' plus-31 scoring differential in the first quarter of games in 2020 is the best in the NFL.
- Overall, Tampa Bay's defense held the Broncos to just 226 net yards, the lowest total surrendered in a game by the Buccaners since they gave up 216 to Dallas on Nov. 15, 2015. Those 226 yards are also the second-fewest allowed by any NFL team in a game this season. Indianapolis only gave up 175 yards in a 28-11 win over Minnesota in Week Two.