Stat Shots: Notable Numbers from Sunday

Behind the scenes photos from the Buccaneers vs. Packers game at Raymond James Stadium.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Carolina Panthers, 19-17, Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, falling to 2-12 on the season. Here are some of the more notable statistics and milestones from Sunday's game:

  • Oh, so close! You can say that twice over because both Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson moved to within a stone's throw of 1,000 receiving yards on the season but neither quite got past the mark. Fortunately, one game remains, and barring an unforeseen circumstance, it is incredibly likely that they will both add that fourth digit to their totals next Sunday against the Saints. Evans caught four passes for 49 yards against the Packers, which put him at 997 on the season; meanwhile, Jackson hauled in three passes for 60 yards to get to 991. With the obvious exception of the one early-season game in which Evans did not play due to injury, neither receiver has been held below 10 receiving yards in a game this season, and the Bucs will be facing the 29th-ranked pass defense in Week 17. At stake, as we've mentioned in previous Stat Shot editions, is the chance for the Buccaneers to have a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in the same season, something the franchise has never accomplished before.
  • Together, Evans and Jackson have accounted for 1,988 receiving yards this season, which is tied for the 10th-highest mark in the league for any duo on a single team. It is already the fourth-highest combined yardage total for a pair of Buccaneers in a single season; if they were to combine for 108 or more yards against the saints, they could move all the way to #2 on the list behind another duo of which Jackson was a part. Here are the top five pairs of players in Buccaneer history in terms of combined receiving yards in a single season:

Season

Player #1

Yds.

Player #2

Yds.

Total

2012

Vincent Jackson

1,384

Mike Williams

996

2,380

1989

Mark Carrier

1,422

Bruce Hill

673

2,095

1988

Bruce Hill

1,040

Mark Carrier

970

2,010

2014

Mike Evans

997

Vincent Jackson

991

1,988

1981

Kevin House

1,176

Jimmie Giles (TE)

786

1,962

  • When Jackson and Mike Williams set the franchise high-water mark with a combined 2,380 yards in 2012, they also accounted for 59.75% of the team's net passing yards that year. That's in the top 10 in team history in that regard, but it's not #1. It is not, in fact, a higher percentage than Jackson and Evans have accounted for so far this season. Here are the top 10 seasons in Buc history in that category:

Season

Receiving Duo

Totals

Team Net

Duo %

1977

Morris Owens/Isaac Hagins

851

1,269

67.06%

2000

Keyshawn Johnson/Jacquez Green

1,647

2,583

63.76%

2013

Vincent Jackson/Tim Wright

1,795

2,820

63.65%

1989

Mark Carrier/Bruce Hill

2,095

3,335

62.82%

2014

Mike Evans/Vincent Jackson

1,988

3,200

62.13%

1988

Bruce Hill/Mark Carrier

2,010

3,308

60.76%

2012

Vincent Jackson/Mike Williams

2,380

3,983

59.75%

1991

Lawrence Dawsey/Mark Carrier

1,516

2,572

58.94%

2005

Joey Galloway/Michael Clayton

1,659

2,890

57.40%

  • Neither Jackson nor Evans scored against the Packers, but Evans remains on the cusp of breaking the team's single-season record for touchdown receptions, for rookies and for all players. He has 11, which has already tied the standard set by Mike Williams in his rookie campaign of 2010. New York Giants WR Odell Beckham did find the end zone during Week 16, for the 11th time this year, and that allowed him to catch Evans for this year's lead among rookies. Whether the two remain tied after next weekend or one of the other claims sole possession of first place, they will still form a very rare duo. Allow Randall Liu, the NFL's Director of NFC Football Communications (and must-follow on Twitter for those who love football stat notes), to explain:
  • Beckham has taken over the NFL lead among rookies in receptions (79) and yards (1,120) but Evans is still the most prolific big-play pass-catcher from that amazing Class of 2014. In fact, Evans could stand alone among all rookies in that department, at least since 1991, if he can snag one more pass of 20 or more yards next Sunday. Using NFL.com stat tables dating back to '91, Evans has already tied for the most 20+-yard receptions in a single season by a rookie in that span:

Year

Name

20+ Yard Receptions

2014

Mike Evans, TB

20

2003

Anquan Boldin, ARI

20

1998

Randy Moss, MIN

20

2011

Doug Baldwin, SEA

19

2011

A.J. Green, CIN

19

2004

Michael Clayton, TB

19

1995

Frank Sanders, ARI

19

2010

Mike Williams, TB

18

2001

Chris Chambers, MIA

18

2008

DeSean Jackson, PHI

17

1999

Kevin Johnson, CLE

17

  • While Evans seems like a near-lock to crack 1,000 yards, he would have to have a monstrous game to break the team's single-season receiving yardage mark for rookies. Michael Clayton's 1994 season is probably safe, but Evans climbed past Mike Williams into second on that list in Sunday's game.Most Receiving Yards, Rookie, Buccaneer Single Season

    Player

    Season

    Yards

    1. WR Michael Clayton

    2004

    1,193

    2. WR Mike Evans

    2014

    997

    1. WR Mike Williams

    2010

    964

    1. WR Lawrence Dawsey

    1991

    818

    1. WR Horace Copeland

    1993

    633

  • WR Tavarres King and DT George Uko, two players who were promoted from the practice squad just last week, saw action in Sunday's game against the Packers. That marked the NFL regular-season debuts for both King and Uko (King had been on an NFL active roster before but had not yet played in a game). That increases to a remarkable total of 18 the numbers of players who have made their NFL debuts as a Buccaneer this season. In addition to King and Uko, the list includes C Josh Allen, TE Cameron Brate, LS Andrew DePaola, WR Mike Evans, DE T.J. Fatinikun, WR Robert Herron, LB Brandon Magee, DT Matthew Masifilo, K Patrick Murray, G Patrick Omameh, T Kevin Pamphile, WR Solomon Patton, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, RB Charles Sims and DE Jacquies Smith. All of those players are still with the team, either on the active roster, the practice squad or injured reserve.
  • Brate, Evans, Omameh, Pamphile, Seferian-Jenkins and Smith have all notched their first NFL starts this year, too. Those are six of the 10 players who can make that claim as Buccaneers in 2014; the additional four are CB Crezdon Butler, LB Danny Lansanah, LB Orie Lemon and S Bradley McDougald. Of those 10, only Butler is not currently with the team.
  • K Patrick Murray was true on his only field goal try of Sunday's game, hitting from 43 yards out near the end of the first half. That was his 11th straight successful kick, pushing his season field goal totals to 18 makes in 22 attempts. Murray is now 6-of-7 on attempts of 40-49 yards and 5-of-6 from 50 yards or further. His average field goal attempt this year has been from 41.8 yards away, and his average successful field goal has been from 42.5 yards away. During his current 11-kick streak, Murray's average attempt has been from exactly 41 yards away.
  • Speaking of long field goals, the Buccaneers' 2014 stats page contains another oddity: Opponents are 0-7 against the Bucs in trying to make field goals of 50 yards or longer. Only four teams in the NFL have not had a successful 50+-yard field goal against them this year: the Buccaneers, San Diego, Houston and Dallas. The Cowboys have not had any such field goals attempted against them this year, while Houston opponents are 0-1 and San Diego foes are 0-3. Murray's long-range prowess plus the accuracy problems of opposing kickers means the Buccaneers have a five-kick edge in successful 50+-yard field goals this season, tying Dallas for the best in the league.
  • LB Lavonte David has returned from a hamstring injury that cost him two games and been as impactful as ever over the last three games, even while missing a portion of the Week 14 game at Detroit due to a head injury. Over those three games, David has racked up 25 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one QB hit, two passes defensed and a forced fumble. His three TFLs over the last two games have pumped his season total to 17, which is tied for fifth-most in the NFL despite that missed time. He and Houston's J.J. Watt, the odds-on favorite to win his second NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, are the only two players in the NFL to have recorded at least 15 tackles for loss in each of the last three seasons.
  • David's missed time likely cost him the NFL's tackle crown this season. With one game remaining, he has 141 total stops, second only to the 145 posted by Carolina's Luke Kuechly, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Detroit's DeAndre Levy is third at 140. David could still set his own single-season career high in that mark – he had 144 last year – and he is easily the league's tackles-per-games-played leader with 10.8. David is also second to Levy in solo tackles (109 to 98) and first in solo tackles per game played (7.54).
  • Two members of the Buccaneers' secondary have also been putting up some notable tackle numbers in recent weeks. S Bradley McDougald, who just stepped into the starting lineup four weeks ago, has 24 stops over the last two games, tied with Washington's Will Compton and Chicago's Christian Jones for the most during that span. In addition, CB Alterraun Verner put up nine tackles against the Packers – his most in a game since Sept. 9, 2012 – and has 75 on the season. That's the third-highest tackle total by any cornerback in the NFL this season. Verner has proven quite good in run support, racking up 6.5 "run stuffs" in 2014, the most by any cornerback in the NFL. The only other defensive back in the NFL with 6.5 run stuffs is St. Louis safety T.J. McDonald.
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