Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Ronald Jones Joins Fantastic Four

Data Crunch: Ronald Jones' 98-yard touchdown jaunt Sunday is one of the four longest runs in NFL history…Plus, Justin Watson pulled off a unique feat and the Bucs had their first-ever 300-200 game

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Tony Dorsett. Ahman Green. Derrick Henry. And now Ronald Jones II.

After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 46-23 win over the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte on Sunday, there are now four players in the 101-year history of the NFL who have scored on a run of 98 or more yards. Obviously, the longest possible run is 99, which only Dorsett and Henry have done. It is also possible to rush for 98 yards and not score, but that has never happened. So here are the four longest runs in NFL history:

1t. Tony Dorsett, Dallas: 99-yard touchdown, at Minnesota, Jan. 3, 1983

1t. Derrick Henry, Tennessee: 99-yard touchdown, vs. Jacksonville, Dec. 6, 2018

3t. Ahman Green, Green Bay: 98-yard touchdown, vs. Denver, Dec. 28, 2003

3t. Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay: 98-yard touchdown, at Carolina, 11/15/2020

Jones' touchdown was the longest offensive play of any kind in franchise history, and it tied for the longest touchdown of any kind.

Longest Touchdowns, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
Player Play Type Opponent Date Yards
Ronald Jones Run at Carolina 11/15/00 98
Shelton Quarles Interception Green Bay 10/7/01 98
Derrick Brooks Interception at Baltimore 9/15/02 97
Sammie Stroughter Kickoff Return Carolina 10/18/09 97
Clifton Smith Kickoff Return at Kansas City 11/2/08 97
Jacquez Green Punt Return at Green Bay 9/13/88 95
Devin White Fumble Return Atlanta 12/29/2019 91
Micheal Spurlock Kickoff Return Atlanta 12/16/2007 90
Micheal Spurlock Kickoff Return at Atlanta 11/7/2010 89
Willie Drewrey Reception Atlanta 12/2/1990 89

Jones is the first Buccaneer ever to record a run of even 90 yards in length. The longest previous Buccaneer rush was 84 yards, by Doug Martin. Here are the franchise's five longest runs:

Longest Runs in Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
Player Opponent Date Yards TD
Ronald Jones at Carolina 11/15/00 98 TD
Doug Martin at Philadelphia 11/22/15 84
Bobby Rainey Buffalo 12/8/13 80 TD
Michael Pittman Kansas City 11/11/04 78 TD
Warrick Dunn Chicago 12/21/97 76

Jones wasn't a one-hit wonder on Sunday, even if that hit was a legendary chart-topper. He ran a total of 23 times for 192 yards, the third-highest single-game total by any NFL back this season. Henry owns the top two spots as he surpassed 200 yards against both Houston and Chicago in Weeks Six and Nine. Jones' final total tied for the fifth most in a single game in Buccaneers franchise history.

Most Rushing Yards, Game, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
Player Opponent Date Yards
Doug Martin at Oakland 11/4/12 251
Doug Martin at Philadelphia 11/22/15 235
James Wilder at Minnesota 11/6/83 219
Warrick Dunn Dallas 12/3/00 210
Ronald Jones at Carolina 11/15/20 192
Errict Rhett Washington 12/4/94 192

A 98-yard run is going to do wonders for a player's per-carry average in a game, and indeed Jones finished with a mark of 8.35 yards per tote. That's the fourth-highest single-game average in franchise history for players with at least 20 attempts in a game.

Highest Yards Per Carry Average, Game, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
Player Opponent Date No. Yds YPC
Doug Martin at Oakland 11/4/12 25 251 10.04
Warrick Dunn Dallas 12/3/00 22 210 9.55
Doug Martin at Philadelphia 11/22/15 27 235 8.70
Ronald Jones at Carolina 11/15/00 23 192 8,35
James Wilder at Minnesota 11/6/83 31 219 7.06

While Jones was running wild, quarterback Tom Brady was throwing for 341 yards and four touchdowns. Brady took one sack for seven yards, so the Bucs' net passing total was 334 yards, while the rushing game rang up 210 yards. The result was a 544-yard day for Tampa Bay's offense, the third-highest single-game offensive output in team annals. It also marked the first time in franchise history that the Buccaneers have surpassed 300 net passing yards and 200 rushing yards in the same game.

Most Net Yards, Game, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
1. 576, at Cincinnati, 10/28/18
2. 573, at Minnesota, 11/16/80
3. 544, at Carolina, 11/15/20
4. 542, vs. Indianapolis, 12/8/19
5. 529, at New Orleans, 9/9/18

Notably, those 544 yards are the most Tampa Bay has ever record in a victory. That's because the Buccaneers' defense did its part on Sunday, holding Carolina to just 187 net yards of offense. The result was the best net-yardage differential in a single game for the Buccaneers in their 45-season history.

Best Net-Yardage Differential, Single Game, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
Opponent Date YF YA Diff.
at Carolina 11/15/20 544 187 357
Houston 12/14/03 398 107 291
Seattle 12/26/10 439 174 265
Atlanta 9/13/87 460 197 263
Minnesota 10/28/01 446 195 251

The Bucs net yardage differential over Carolina on Sunday is the best by any team in any game so far this season.

Best Net-Yardage Differential, Single Game, NFL, 2020

Table inside Article
Team Opponent Date YF YA Diff.
Tampa Bay at Carolina 11/15 544 187 357
L.A. Rams at Miami 11/1 471 145 326
L.A. Rams at Washington 10/11 429 108 321
Kansas City at Baltimore 9/28 517 228 289
Kansas City N.Y. Jets 11/1 496 221 275

Brady's three touchdown passes in the game went to Cameron Brate, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski. On the NFL's ever-changing all-time leaderboard for career touchdown passes, Brady is now one behind the Saints' Drew Brees, who had one scoring pass on Sunday and now has 565 to Brady's 564.

Two of Brady's touchdown recipients rank among the Buccaneers all-time leaders in TD catches, as Evans padded his team record and Brate broke out of a tie with Joey Galloway.

Most Touchdown Receptions, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
1. Mike Evans (2014-20): 56
2. Jimmie Giles (1978-86): 34
3. Kevin House (1980-86): 31
4. Cameron Brate (2014-20): 29
5. Joey Galloway (2004-08): 28

Tampa Bay's defense only allowed 35 net yards after halftime in Sunday's win, the fourth-lowest second-half yardage total surrendered by any team this season. The sixth-best mark on that list is the 52 yards allowed to the Green Bay Packers in the second half by Tampa Bay in Week Six. NFL stat service Radar360 has first and second-half splits going back through the 2000 season, and in those 21 years the Bucs have never allowed fewer second-half yards than they did on Sunday in Charlotte.

Fewest Net Yards Allowed in a Second Half, Buccaneers, 2000-20

Table inside Article
Opponent Date Yards
at Carolina 11/15/20 35
Atlanta 12/16/07 38
Seattle 9/19/04 51
Green Bay 10/18/20 52
at Atlanta 9/21/03 59

OLB Jason Pierre-Paul keyed that effort with a sack and an interception, the latter his first pick as a Buccaneer (and the third of his career). Pierre-Paul's sack was definitely not his first as a Buccaneer; in just 36 games since coming to Tampa in a 2018 trade, he has racked up 28.5 sacks. That has quickly moved him up the franchise's all-time leaderboard in that category, and on Sunday he leapt up one more spot, passing a Buccaneer legend in the process.

Most Sacks*, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
Player Seasons Sacks
Lee Roy Selmon 1976-84 78.5
Warren Sapp 1995-2003 77.0
Simeon Rice 2001-06 69.5
Gerald McCoy 2010-18 54.5
David Logan 1979-86 39.0
Chidi Ahanotu 1993-2000; 04 34.5
Brad Culpepper 1994-99 33.0
Jason Pierre-Paul 2018-20 28.5
Ronde Barber 1997-2012 28.0
Broderick Thomas 1989-93 26.5

(* Sacks did not become an official NFL statistic until 1982 but the Buccaneers recorded and recognize pre-'82 sacks for Selmon and Logan.)

Pierre-Paul's interception was the 12th for Tampa Bay's defense as a whole in 2020, and the Bucs now lead the NFL in that category.

Most Interceptions by Team, 2020

Table inside Article
1. Tampa Bay: 12
2t. Pittsburgh: 11
2t. Indianapolis: 11
2t. New England: 11
5t. New Orleans: 9
5t. Seattle: 9
5t. Kansas City: 9

The Buccaneers got a total of three sacks against the Panthers, giving them 32 on the year, and that is the second most for any team so far this season.

Most Sacks by Team, 2020

Table inside Article
1. Pittsburgh: 36
2. Tampa Bay: 32
3t. L.A. Rams: 31
3t. Philadelphia: 31
5. Washington: 28

Shaquil Barrett, the NFL's 2019 sack leader, got one of the other two sacks in the fourth quarter, giving him four on the season. The Bucs' third sack was perhaps the most unusual one in franchise history. It occurred on what originally appeared to be a punt in the third quarter.

On the play, the Panthers lined up in punt formation and long-snapper J.J. Jansen snapped it to punter Joseph Charlton. Instead of kicking it away, Charlton pulled it down and looked to throw to a target out to the formation's right. However, the Buccaneers were ready for it – having been beaten by Carolina on a fake punt in Week Two – and covered that intended target. Charlton then had no option but to tuck the ball and run, and he didn't get far. Wide receiver Justin Watson tackled the punter five yards shy of the line scrimmage. Since it was originally a pass play, that qualified as a sack.

And that made Watson the first offensive player in franchise history to record a sack. Watson also recorded two actual special teams tackles on the day.

Other than allowing a 98-yard kickoff return by Trenton Scott that set up the Panthers' only points of the second half, Tampa Bay's special teams had a pretty good showing on Sunday overall. That was particularly true of kicker Ryan Succop, who made all four of his field goal tries plus four of five extra point attempts (the fifth was blocked) for a total of 16 points. Succop is now the NFL's leading scorer in 2020.

Most Points Scored, NFL, 2020

Table inside Article
Player Pos. Team Pts.
Ryan Succop K Tampa Bay 90
Daniel Carlson K Las Vegas 87
Tyler Bass K Buffalo 86
Wil Lutz K New Orleans 85
Dalvin Cook RB Minnesota 84

Succop's perfect day on field goals extended his current streak to 16 straight succesful kicks. That ties for the second-longest such streak in team history.

Most Consecutive Field Goals Made, Buccaneers History

Table inside Article
1. Connor Barth, 25…10/16/11-9/30-02
2t. Ryan Succop, 16…10/4-11/15/20
2t. Martin Gramatica, 16…10/9-12/3/00
2t. Michael Husted, 16…11/19/95-9/22/96

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