On Sunday in Indianapolis, Leonard Fournettedid something that no other Tampa Bay Buccaneers player had ever accomplished and it earned him an award no Buccaneers running back had enjoyed in eight years.
The NFL named Fournette the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 12 on Wednesday, acknowledging one of the most prolific offensive outings in Buccaneers franchise history. Fournette tied the team's single-game record with four touchdowns and contributed 131 total yards from scrimmage in the Buccaneers' critical 38-31 win at Indianapolis on Sunday.
This is the first Player of the Week award for Fournette, who played three seasons for the Jacksonville Jaguars before joining the Buccaneers shortly before the 2020 season. Fournette is the first Tampa Bay running back to win a Player of the Week award since Bobby Rainey took that honor in Week 11 of the 2013 season.
Fournette became just the third player in franchise history to score four touchdowns in a single game, joining tight end Jimmie Giles and running back Doug Martin. Giles had four touchdown catches against Miami on October 20, 1985 and Martin had four scoring runs against Oakland on November 4, 2012. Fournette is the first player in Buccaneers history to have a four touchdown game while scoring both on the ground and through the air.
Fournette also recorded Tampa Bay's first 100-yard rushing game of the season on Sunday in Indianapolis, gaining exactly 100 yards on 17 carries. He reached that mark with a powerful 28-yard rumble for the game-winning touchdown with 20 seconds left in the game. Fournette also scored on runs of four and one yards and on a four-yard reception. Beyond those impressive statistics, Fournette also helped propel the Buccaneers to victory with an impassioned halftime speech in the locker room.
Fournette is the fourth Buccaneer to win a Player of the Week award in 2021. Punter Bradley Pinion took the special teams honors in Week One, safety Mike Edwards was the choice on defense in Week Two and quarterback Tom Brady won the award in Week Five.