It is looking increasingly likely that Jameis Winston's single-season touchdown pass record is going to have a very short shelf life.
In 2016, Winston set a new Tampa Bay Buccaneers record in that category with 28 touchdown tosses, and last year he topped that with 33. In his first year as the Buccaneers' quarterback, Tom Brady has now surpassed that first mark and is closing in fast on the second one with three games still to play. In Sunday's 26-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings, Brady connected on touchdown passes with Scotty Miller and Rob Gronkowski to give him 30 on the season.
Most Touchdown Passes, Single Season, Buccaneers History
This marks the eighth time in his career that Brady has thrown for 30 or more touchdown passes. Only three quarterbacks have done that more often, and Brady is now within two such seasons of the top mark.
Most Seasons with 30+ Touchdown Passes, NFL History
|Brett Favre||1991-2010||4 teams*||9|
(* Favre played for the Falcons, Packers, Jets and Vikings.)
Gronkowski scored on a two-yard touchdown catch to end the first possession of the second half and give the Buccaneers a 23-6 lead. It was his fifth touchdown catch of the season and the 84th of his career. Since entering the NFL with the Patriots in 2010, Gronkowski has the most touchdown receptions of any player in the league despite sitting out the 2019 campaign. He is now tied with Mark Clayton, Irving Fryar, Tommy McDonald and Andre Rison for the 18th-most TD catches in league history.
Most Touchdown Receptions, NFL, 2010-20
|Jimmy Graham||4 teams*||80|
(* Graham has played for the Saints, Seahawks, Packers and Bears.)
Brady's 48-yard touchdown pass to Miller in the second quarter stands as the Buccaneers' longest score through the air this year. As both Miller and Head Coach Bruce Arians described it after the game, the second-year receiver was at least Brady's third read on the play, but he had time to go through his progression because he received outstanding protection from his offensive line. That was true all afternoon, as Sunday marked the fifth time this season that Brady has not been sacked in a game. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers have recorded more games without a sack allowed this season.
Most Games Without Allowing a Sack, NFL, 2020
|2. Tampa Bay…5|
|3t. Green Bay…4|
|3t. Las Vegas…4|
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay's defense sacked Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins six times, tying a single-game season high. The Buccaneers are just the third team this year to record six or more sacks on defense while not allowing their own quarterback to be sacked, joining Denver and Miami (the Broncos have done it twice).
Those six sacks improved the Buccaneers' season total to 40, which is tied for the fourth-most in the NFL. The 16 sacks Tampa Bay has allowed is also the fourth-lowest in the NFL.
Most Team Sacks, NFL, 2020
|3. L.A. Rams…42|
|4t. Tampa Bay…40|
Fewest Team Sacks Allowed, NFL, 2020
|2. Green Bay…14|
|4. Tampa Bay…16|
|5t. L.A. Rams…17|
As one would suspect, putting those two lists together demonstrates that the Buccaneers are winning up front, where they have the third-best sack differential in the NFL and are one of just four teams to be +20 or better.
Best Sack Differential, NFL Teams, 2020
|Team||Sacks For||Sacks Allowed||Diff.|
Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett had two of the Buccaneers' six sacks, with safety Antoine Winfield, outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul and defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Patrick O'Connor adding one each. It was the first career sack for O'Connor. Barrett increased his season total to 8.0, including 5.0 in the Bucs' last five games, and is attempting to become the first Buccaneer with back-to-back double-digit sack seasons since Simeon Rice in 2004-05.
Barrett led the NFL with a team-record 19.5 sacks in 2019 and is the NFL's leader in that category since the beginning of last season.
Most QB Sacks, NFL, 2019-20
Barrett took over sole possession of 10th place on the Buccaneers' career sack list, separating from a tie with Broderick Thomas (26.5). Pierre-Paul stands eighth on that list with 30.5 sacks, which he has amassed in just 39 games as a Buccaneer. He has a team-high 9.5 QB takedowns in 2020 and is close to his second double-digit season as a Buc and the fourth of his career. He is currently seventh in the NFL in sacks.
Barrett's two sacks marked his sixth game with multiple sacks since he joined the Buccaneers in 2020. That's tied for the most by any NFL player in that span.
Most Multi-Sack Games, NFL, 2019-20
|1t. Shaquil Barrett (Buccaneers)…6|
|1t. Myles Garrett (Browns)…6|
|3t. Za'Darius Smith (Packers)…5|
|3t. T.J. Watt (Steelers)…5|
|5. Five players tied with…4|
As noted, rookie safety Antoine Winfield had one of the Buccaneers' six sacks on Sunday, giving him 3.0 on the season. That's the most sacks by a rookie defensive back in the NFL this season.
Most Sacks, Rookie Defensive Backs, 2020
|1. Antoine Winfield (Tampa Bay)…3.0|
|2. Kamren Curl (Washington)…2.0|
|3. Six players tied with…1.0|
Kicker Ryan Succop accounted for eight of the Buccaneers' 26 points in Sunday's win, making both of his field goal tries and two of three extra point attempts. He now ranks sixth in the NFL with 110 points, which is the seventh-highest single-season total in franchise history. Succop is on pace for 135 points scored, which would establish a new Buccaneer record.
Most Single-Season Points, Buccaneers History
Succop has made 24 of his 26 field goal attempts in 2020 for a success rate of 92.3%. If maintained, that would rank as the second-best single-season field goal percentage in franchise history.
Highest Field Goal Percentage, Single Season, Buccaneers History
Succop's two successful field goals on Sunday, from 18 and 48 yards, extended his active streak to 20 straight field goals made. That's the second-longest streak in team history and is now just five shy of the record.
Most Consecutive Field Goals Made, Buccaneers History
|1. Connor Barth, 25…10/16/11-9/30-02|
|2. Ryan Succop, 20…10/4-12/13/20|
|3t. Martin Gramatica, 16…10/9-12/3/00|
|3t. Michael Husted, 16…11/19/95-9/22/96|
Succop's field goals helped the Buccaneers win under an unusual circumstance. The visiting Vikings controlled the ball for almost two-thirds of the game clock on Sunday, ending up with a time-of-possession advantage of 39:03 to 20:57. That type of possession disadvantage is not often associated with a victory. In fact, that stands as the lowest time-of-possession total the Buccaneers have ever posted in a win in 45 seasons.
Lowest Time-of-Possession Total in a Victory, Buccaneers History