Shaquil Barrett begins the fourth quarter needing just a three-spot to come out on top.
No, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren't going to ask Barrett to kick a clutch field goal at the end of a game. Rather, it's the final quarter of the 2019 season and the Buccaneers' star pass rusher has four games left to chase a record set by a Hall of Famer. After his two-sack performance on Sunday in Jacksonville, Barrett has 14.5 on the season, just two behind the 16.5 put up by Warren Sapp in 2000, which is the Buccaneers' single-season record.
Barrett's sack total is also just one behind the second-place mark set by another former Buccaneer great, Simeon Rice, in 2002. Here's the updated list of the top 10 single-season sack totals in franchise history.
Most Sacks, Single Season, Buccaneers History
Barrett has four games left to chase the record because he's well ahead of the three-quarters pace of any other pass-rusher in team history. In his record-breaking season, Sapp hit the three-quarter pole with 11.5 sacks before a last-month rush. Even if Barrett hadn't logged a single sack in Jacksonville on Sunday he still would have had the best 12-game sack pace in team annals.
Most Sacks, First 12 Games of a Season, Buccaneers History
With three Thanksgiving games played prior to Sunday's action, Barrett had briefly lost the NFL sack lead to New Orleans' Cameron Jordan, who racked up four QB takedowns against Atlanta on Thursday to push his season total to 13.5. However, Barrett recaptured the lead on Sunday. He heads a list of eight players with double-digit sacks so far, prior to the Monday Night game between Minnesota and Seattle.
Most Sacks, NFL, 2019
Barrett also ranks third in the NFL in quarterback hits with 26 and he registered four of those in Jacksonville, one week after getting five against the Falcons. Barrett and Pittsburgh's T.J. Watt are the only players in the NFL who have had four or more quarterback hits in four different games this season.
The first of Barrett's two sacks forced a fumble by Nick Foles, which rookie inside linebacker Devin White picked up and returned 12 yards for his first career touchdown. That was Barrett's sixth forced fumble of the season, which also leads the NFL.
View photos of Tampa Bay's Week 13 matchup against Jacksonville.
Most Forced Fumbles, NFL, 2019
Barrett's six forced fumbles are also just one off the Buccaneers' single season record. Three Bucs have previously forced seven fumbles in a season:
· Wally Chambers, 1979
· Broderick Thomas, 1991
· Stylez G. White, 2007
In addition to his fumble return touchdown, White also secured his first NFL interception in the first quarter and added seven tackles, one tackle for loss, two passes defensed and a quarterback hit. He is the first Buccaneer in 26 years to intercept a pass and score on a fumble return in the same outing.
Buccaneers with Interception, Fumble Return TD in the Same Game
· Devin White, at Jacksonville, 12/1/19
· Ray Seals, vs. Washington, 12/5/93
· Ricky Reynolds, vs. Green Bay, 9/13/92
· Cedric Brown, at Houston, 10/19/80
· Greg Johnson, at New Orleans, 12/11/77
· Richard Wood, at Dallas, 10/2/97
Outside linebacker Carl Nassib recorded a sack for the second straight game since his return from a groin injury that cost him nearly three contests. Nassib is second on the team with 5.0 sacks on the season. His takedown of Foles in the second quarter forced a fumble that was recovered by Ndamukong Suh, setting up a Peyton Barber touchdown run. That is Suh's fourth recovery of an opponent's fumble of the season, which is a new career high for him. It's also just one shy of the Buccaneers' single-season record, set by Lavonte David in 2017.
As a team, the Buccaneers recorded five sacks, with Jason Pierre-Paul notching one for a second straight game and Sam Acho getting his first as a Buccaneer. The previous week in Atlanta, the Buccaneers had rung up six sacks, including two by White. This is the first time in 25 years that a Tampa Bay defense has had at least five sacks in back-to-back games. The most recent such occurrence was by the 2004 team, against Atlanta and Francisco on Nov. 14 and 21. One more game with five or more sacks next Sunday in Indianapolis would tie the current defense for the longest such streak in team history. The 2000 Buccaneers defense did it in three straight against New England, Chicago and Detroit on Sept. 3, 10 and 17.
Running back Peyton Barber scored exactly half of the Buccaneers points in Jacksonville with a career-high 14 on two rushing touchdowns and a two-point conversion run. It was the second two-rushing-touchdown game of Barber's career and the first by any Buccaneer since he did it in Atlanta on Nov. 26, 2017. Barber is the first NFL player this season to have multiple rushing touchdowns and a two-point conversion score in the same game, and only the second Buccaneer ever to do that. The first was Mike Alstott, whose two-point conversion run were the final points in a memorable 36-35 win over Washington on Nov. 13, 2005.
Barber's two rushing touchdowns gave him six on the season and seven total TDs, which are both new career highs for him. They also gave him 16 rushing touchdowns in his career, which tied Earnest Graham by the most in team history by an undrafted player. His 17 total touchdowns are the second-most by any undrafted player in franchise history, behind only one of his current teammates. Barber is also second among undrafted non-kickers in points scored.
Most Touchdowns Scored, Undrafted Player, Franchise History
Quarterback Jameis Winston saw his team-record streak of six consecutive 300-yard passing games come to an end Sunday, though he got near the mark with 268 yards on 21-of-33 passing. Winston remains second in the NFL with 3,659 passing yards, which are also the most any Buccaneer passer has ever recorded through the first 12 games of a season.
Winston's 2019 totals have increased his career mark to 18,287 passing yards, which are the eighth-most by any passer in NFL history through a player's first five seasons. He passed Cam Newton and Russell Wilson on that list on Sunday and, with four games left to play, is less than 800 yards from moving all the way into third place on that list.
Most Passing Yards, Player's First Five Seasons, NFL History
Rookie K Matt Gay scored eight more points in Sunday's game to give him 98 on the season, which ranks fifth in the NFL among kickers. Gay made both of his field goal attempts, from 25 and 37 yards, and is now 23 of 26 on field goal tries this season. That currently gives him the second-best single-season field goal percentage in team history, though of course there are four games still to play.
Highest Field Goal Percentage, Single Season, Buccaneers History
(* Four games remaining in the season.)
· Gay has helped the Buccaneers score 340 points this season, which ranks fourth in the NFL and is the most Tampa Bay has ever scored through the first three quarters of a season. The previous high was 333 by the 2012 squad.
· WR Breshad Perriman's team-high 87 receiving yards on Sunday was also a new career single-game high for him.
· Chris Godwin's 1,121 receiving yards are the exact same amount that Mike Evans had through the first 12 games of the 2018 campaign, tying for the most ever in the first three-quarters of a season. Evans went on to set a new Buccaneer single-season record with 1,524 receiving yards.
· Since returning from an early-season knee injury in Week Six, Devin White has 61 tackles. That's the most by any NFL rookie in that span.