Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Keeping Pace

Keyshawn Johnson’s big day against Detroit reminds us, it’s time to update the paces of many would be Buc record-setters

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Another hot streak could lead CB Ronde Barber to one of the longest standing records in Buc history

A month ago, at the midway point of the season, we took a look at some of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who were on pace to challenge team records.

We thought, as the season reached its three-quarters point, we'd give you another update on which players were, indeed, closing in on those franchise standards. Then Keyshawn Johnson went and ruined that whole plan by breaking one of the club's most prominent records before we even got through with game 12.

Okay, so you know that Johnson, the NFL's leading receiver, is already the Bucs' single-season record-holder for receptions, having blown past Mark Carrier's 1989 mark of 86 with 10 more grabs on Sunday against Detroit. In fact, the watch on Johnson now is whether he can catch Lions WR Herman Moore's NFL record of 123 receptions.

Still, there's a long list of records still waiting to be snapped, so let's just plug on without Johnson's cooperation.

Now that we're rounding the third post into the home stretch of the season, it's becoming more clear which long-standing Buc records are seriously endangered and which are only mildly threatened. Let's look at these record-chasers in four different categories: Already Broken, Almost Certain to Fall, Good Bets and Longer Shots. We'll throw in the records being pursued by the team as a whole, as well. Each potential record-breaker is listed with his current total, his projected total by season's end and the mark he is chasing.

Already Broken…

CategoryPlayerCurrentProj.Record
ReceptionsK. Johnson93124M. Carrier, 86, 1989
Cons. PATs madeM. Gramatica91--M. Husted, 78, 1993-96
Cons. Games with INTsTeam15--Team, 14 (twice)

The Bucs' team streak of games with at least one interception was snapped last Sunday against Detroit at 15. It was still enough to beat two previous 14-game runs, one in 1981 and one that covered 1988 and '89. Gramatica's consecutive extra points made streak is, of course, still active.

Almost Certain to Fall…

CategoryPlayerCurrentProj.Record
Pass AttemptsB. Johnson455607D. Williams, 521, 1980
CompletionsB. Johnson290387S. DeBerg, 308, 1984
Completion Pct.B. Johnson63.763.7S. DeBerg, 60.5, 1984

Johnson may break the completions record this Sunday in Chicago; after all, he did complete a team-record 40 passes in the Bucs' last game against the Bears. He would have to complete less than 40% of his passes over the last four games to fall far enough not to break DeBerg's 1984 mark.

Good Bets…

CategoryPlayerCurrentProj.Record
Passing YardsB. Johnson28723829D. Williams, 3563, 1981
Lowest INT Pct.B. Johnson2.02.0C. Erickson, 2.51, 1994
Receiving YardsK. Johnson10771436M. Carrier, 1422, 1989
Fewest INTsTeam912Team, 11, 1982

The best chase in this group is probably Keyshawn Johnson's pursuit of the receiving yards record to pair up with his receptions mark. He has averaged 90 yards per game to this point, enough to get him just past the mark. From a median standpoint, however, his average game is more like 84 yards; he has surpassed 90 in four of 12 contests.

Longer Shots…

CategoryPlayerCurrentProj.Record
InterceptionsR. Barber68Cedric Brown, 9, 1981
Rec. Yards, RBW. Dunn469625J. Wilder, 685
Passer RatingB. Johnson80.680.6S. DeBerg, 85.3, 1987
Field GoalsM. Gramatica1824M. Gramatica, 28, 2000
Fewest FumblesTeam79Team, 7, 1994
TouchdownsM. Alstott912James Wilder, 13, 1984
300-yd. Pass GamesB. Johnson234, (twice)
Punts Inside 20M. Royals1723D. Stryzinski, 24, 1993

Barber could get to one of the longer-standing individual records in team history if he can get hot down the stretch. Interceptions can be a streaky stat – four of his six picks occurred in two games. Alstott's current touchdown pace isn't quite strong enough to catch Wilder, but the rate seems to be picking up. He has four touchdowns in the Bucs' last four games and eight in the last seven.

Of course, there's really only one chase the Bucs are focusing on at this moment. Record pursuits will take a backseat over the next month to playoff scenarios. Still, the way the 2001 campaign is shaping up, the team is going to need a pretty serious rewrite of the record books in the offseason.

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