Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lavonte David Joins Exclusive 15-10 Club

Stat Shots: LB Lavonte David has 15 sacks and 10 interceptions through his first five NFL seasons, which is a rare accomplishment…Plus new feats by Kwon Alexander, Cam Brate and Jameis Winston.

A defense that allowed a league-low 12.8 points per game from Weeks 10-14 was rightfully given a good portion of the credit for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' five-game winning streak. That streak, which vaulted the Buccaneers into the thick of the NFC playoff race, ended on Sunday night in Dallas when the Cowboys scored the games' last nine points to win 26-20.

Obviously, Tampa Bay's defense – and the team as whole – is not going to be satisfied with that outcome. Still, there were some accomplishments of note within that hard-fought game.

For one thing, those nine points the Cowboys scored on three fourth-quarter field goals were the only second-half scores the Buccaneers allowed after hitting halftime in a 17-6 hole. That continues a remarkable trend of second-half scoring defense for Tampa Bay, as over the last six games the Bucs have allowed a total of 26 points and two touchdowns after halftime.

Tampa Bay's defense has allowed the fewest points per game after halftime in the NFL since Week 10.

Team

Gms.

Pts.

Avg.

  1. Tampa Bay

6

26

4.3

  1. N.Y. Giants

6

30

5.0

  1. Seattle

6

35

5.8

  1. Tennessee

5

36

7.2

  1. Indianapolis

5

39

7.8

On Sunday night, the Buccaneers rallied from their halftime deficit to take a 20-17 with two third-quarter touchdowns, before the home team moved back ahead for good. Still, Tampa Bay did outscore its opponents in the second half for the fourth time in the last six weeks, with the other two games featuring second-half ties. Overall, the Bucs have outscored their opponents by the widest margin in the second halves of games since Week 10.

Team

PF

PA

Diff.

  1. Tampa Bay

67

26

+41

  1. Washington

98

58

+40

  1. New Orleans

92

57

+35

  1. N.Y. Giants

64

30

+34

  1. Atlanta

76

46

+30

Tampa Bay's defense forced only one turnover in Sunday's loss, a fourth-quarter fumble recovery by linebacker Lavonte David. Still, that is the Bucs' 12th fumble recovery of the year, a total the team has not exceeded since it had 19 in 2007. Overall the Buccaneers have recorded a takeaway in 10 straight games, which is the second-longest streak by any team in the NFL this season. The San Diego Chargers have an active streak of 14 straight games with at least one takeaway; no other team has reached double digits this season.

A behind-the-scenes look at the Buccaneers' game against the Cowboys.

The Buccaneers committed four giveaways in Sunday's loss and thus lost the turnover battle for the first time since Week Nine against Atlanta. Tampa Bay is still third in the NFL with 26 total takeaways and first in that category since Week Five, with 24. Tampa Bay's +12 turnover differential since Week Five remains the best in the league.

In addition to recovering the Jason Witten fumble forced by fellow linebacker Kwon Alexander on Sunday, Lavonte David also contributed nine tackles and a sack. It was David's second sack of the season and the 15th of his NFL career, which began when the Buccaneers made him a second-round draft pick in 2012. David also has 10 career interceptions. According to Pro Football Reference, that makes him just the sixth player in league history and the first to begin his career in the current millennium to record at least 15 sacks and 10 interceptions in his first five seasons. Sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

NFL Players with 15+ Sacks and 10+ Interceptions in Their First Five Seasons

Player

Team(s)

Seasons

Sacks

INTs

Lavonte David

TB

2012-16

15.0

10

William Thomas

PHI

1991-95

18.0

12

Wilber Marshall

CHI/WAS

1984-88

20.5

12

Keith Bostic

HOU

1983-87

15.0

12

Dave Duerson

CHI

1983-87

15.0

15

E.J. Junior

STL

1981-85

20.5

10

As mentioned, the fumble recovered by David was forced by Kwon Alexander, who also paced all players on both teams with 21 tackles, the most by any Buccaneer defender in 2016.

According to Statspass, which uses statistics compiled by gameday stat crews in NFL press boxes, Alexander's 21 tackles are the most by any player in a single game this season. Alexander owns two of the seven games with 17+ tackles in the NFL this season.

Most Tackles, Single Game, NFL, 2016

Player

Team

Opp.

Date

Tackles

  1. Kwon Alexander

TB

DAL

Dec. 18

21

  1. Sean Lee

DAL

NYG

Dec. 11

18

3t. Kwon Alexander

TB

ATL

Sept. 11

17

3t. Zach Brown

BUF

NE

Oct. 2

17

3t. Johnathan Cyprien

JAX

HOU

Dec. 18

17

3t. Jerrell Freeman

CHI

HOU

Sept. 11

17

3t. Logan Ryan

NE

BUF

Oct. 2

17

The description of how Statspass accumulates its tackle data is included above because tackles have long been considered an "unofficial" statistic in the NFL and they have been compiled and publicized in varying manners. For decades, most teams – including the Buccaneers – reported their own player tackle totals based on film study by coaches. Some teams still do, though Statspass totals are more convenient for comparisons between players on different teams.

That history of statistical reporting also makes it difficult to compare Alexander's performance on Sunday to other big tackle days in franchise history. In the Buccaneers' own record book, which necessarily references the tackle data compiled in different manners in previous seasons, Alexander's 21 tackles tie for the fourth most in a single game in team annals.

Most Tackles, Single Game, Buccaneers History
(as compiled by historical team documents)

Player

Opponent

Date

Tackles

  1. Derrick Brooks

at Minnesota

9/30/01

23

2t. Derrick Brooks

vs. Buffalo

11/26/00

22

2t. Hardy Nickerson

at Chicago

11/23/97

22

3t. Kwon Alexander

at Dallas

12/18/16

21

3t. Shelton Quarles

vs. New Orleans

1/1/06

21

3t. Broderick Thomas

vs. Philadelphia

10/6/91

21

By the statistics compiled by Statspass, Alexander's game was a franchise record. However, Statspass tackle date is only available through the 1994 season. Here are the top five on that list:

Most Tackles, Single Game, Buccaneers History
*(as compiled by Statspass from press box totals, since 1994)


Player

Opponent

Date

Tackles

1t. Kwon Alexander

at Dallas

12/18/16

21

2t. Derrick Brooks

at Minnesota

9/30/01

20

2t. Derrick Brooks

vs. Buffalo

11/26/00

20

4t. Derrick Brooks

at Denver

9/15/96

19

4t. Hardy Nickerson

vs. Minnesota

10/26/97

19

Alexander currently ranks fourth in the NFL with 125 total tackles and first with 97 solo tackles. Alexander missed the last four games of his 2015 rookie season, but since he entered the league he has ranked in the top 10 in tackles per game.

Most Tackles Per Game, NFL, 2015-16

Player

Team(s)

Gms.

Tackles

Avg.

Sean Lee

Cowboys

28

268

9.6

Luke Kuechly

Panthers

23

220

9.6

NaVorro Bowman

49ers

20

189

9.5

Alec Ogletree

Rams

18

166

9.2

Paul Posluszny

Jaguars

28

251

9.0

Bobby Wagner

Seahawks

29

259

8.9

Jerrell Freeman

Colt/Bears

23

203

8.8

Reshad Jones

Dolphins

22

186

8.5

Kwon Alexander

Buccaneers

26

218

8.4

Vontaze Burfict

Bengals

21

175

8.3

**

Offensive Stat Shots

Tight end Cameron Brate gave the Buccaneers a short-lived 20-17 lead in the second half on Sunday night with a 10-yard touchdown catch. It was Brate's seventh TD reception of the season, which is tied for the NFL lead among tight ends in 2016. He also ranks 10th among tight ends in receptions and seventh in receiving yards
Most Touchdowns, Tight End, NFL, 2016

Player

Team

Rec.

Yards

TDs

1t. Cameron Brate

TB

56

648

7

1t. Hunter Henry

SD

32

435

7

3t. Kyle Rudolph

MIN

66

670

6

3t. Delanie Walker

TEN

57

742

6

six tied with…

5

Brate needs just one more touchdown catch during the Buccaneers' final two games to tie franchise Ring of Honor inductee Jimmie Giles for the most in a single season by a tight end. Brate has already joined Giles as the only two Tampa Bay tight ends ever to surpass five touchdown catches in one campaign.

Most Touchdowns, Tight End, NFL, 2016

Player

Season

No.

  1. Jimmie Giles

1985

8

2t. Cameron Brate

2016

7

2t. Jimmie Giles

1979

7

  1. Jimmie Giles

1981

6

5t. Calvin Magee

1986

5

5t. Dave Moore

1999

5

5t. Kellen Winslow

2009

5

5t. Kellen Winslow

2010

5

Brate led the Buccaneers with five catches for 73 yards on Sunday, giving him 56 receptions on the season. That's second to Mike Evans's 84 grabs, and wide receiver Adam Humphries is third on the list with 44. If Humphries can snare six receptions over the last two weeks of the season, it will mark the first time since the 2002 Super Bowl season that the Buccaneers have had three different players surpass 50 receptions.

In fact, that's only happened twice in team history, and in both cases there was a running back involved (Michael Pittman in 2002, James Wilder in 1984). That means the trio of Evans, Brate and Humphries could be the first set of non-RBs to accomplish that feat together.

Season

Players w/50+ Receptions

2002

Keyshawn Johnson (76), Keenan McCardell (61), Michael Pittman (59)

1984

James Wilder (85), Kevin House (76), Gerald Carter (60)

Nearly all of those passes caught by Evans, Brate and Humphries have been delivered by second-year quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's loss, giving him 3,611 yards and 25 touchdowns on the season. If he maintains the per-game rate that got him to those totals for two more weeks, Winston would finish with 4,127 yards and either 28 or 29 touchdowns. Both of those would be new single-season franchise records.

Winston needs just three more touchdown passes to break the Bucs' record, and he's on the verge of recording his second 4,000-yard campaign.

Most Passing Yards, Single Season, Buccaneers

Player

Season

Yards

  1. Josh Freeman

2012

4,065

  1. Jameis Winston

2015

4,042

  1. Brad Johnson

2003

3,811

  1. Jameis Winston

2016

3,611

  1. Josh Freeman

2011

3,592

Most Touchdown Passes, Single Season, Buccaneers

Player

Season

TDs

  1. Josh Freeman

2012

27

  1. Brad Johnson

2003

26

3t. Jameis Winston

2016

25

3t. Josh Freeman

2010

25

5t. Brad Johnson

2003

22

5t. Jameis Winston

2015

22

If Winston does total 389 or more passing yards during the final two weeks of the season (against the teams that have given up the most and the 10th-most passing yards this season), he will become the first quarterback in NFL history to open his career with two 4,000-yard campaigns. He is already in the all-time top five in passing yards in a player's first two NFL seasons.

Most Passing Yards, Player's First Two Seasons, NFL

Player

Team

Seasons

Yards

  1. Andrew Luck

Colts

2012-13

8,196

  1. Cam Newton

Panthers

2011-12

7,920

  1. Peyton Manning

Colts

1998-99

7,874

  1. Jameis Winston

Buccaneers

2015-16

7,653

  1. Blake Bortles

Jaguars

2014-15

7,336

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