Looking back on the Bucs win over Colts

by Gary Shelton on November 30, 2021

in general

Leonard Fournette had a resounding game./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Thoughts

  1. Tom Brady has had three of his four lowest-rated performances in the last three weeks. Have teams adjusted to him, or does he miss Antonio Brown that badly?

2. Every time I watch Sean-Murphy Bunting play, I can see smoke. Either he's getting burned a lot, or they have elected a new Pope.

3. Think Jacksonville looks longingly at Leonard Fournette? After all, success is the greatest revenge.

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4. Thinking about a thousand yards? Chris Godwin (806), Mike Evans (696) and Fournette (621) all have a shot with six games to go.

5. Up for debate: Was Shaq Barrett's strip sack or Antonio Winfield's centerfield interception more impressive. Discuss.


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On the play of Fournette): "I think our blocking units did a hell of a job. He finds the holes. He’s a 240-pound back that can run, and usually he’s coming out the back of Mike Evans’ side. You know he (Evans) is being doubled, so you’re going to have soft coverage. Those four and five-yard check-downs turn into 11 [yards] real quick and then he breaks a tackle – like he did in a two-minute drill – and it is a 13-[yard gain]. So, don’t force it down the field. He’s doing a heck of a job in the passing game. It was a nice catch and a run on the touchdown and a really good throw by Tom [Brady]. He’s just playing at a really high, consistent level. He’s doing a good job as a pass protector also.”

(On coaching in the fourth quarter): “I think you just have to stay on top of the situations in the game and the way the game is being played. You look at the two last road wins – in Philly, I think we got it back with six minutes and ran out the clock. We could have obviously scored and gone up by nine, but we didn’t have to. In this one, it was just a matter of taking that last three minutes and 30 seconds or whatever it was and getting in field goal range. Probably in hindsight, I would have got on the headset and told Leonard [Fournette] not to score, so that you do take all the time off the clock and kick the field goal, so you don’t have that kickoff return. Also in hindsight, we would not kick that ball deep.”

(On the importance of winning home-field advantage in the playoffs): “There’s no doubt about it. It’s back like the old days. It has only ever happened a couple of times in the history of the league (where teams advance to the Super Bowl while playing every playoff game on the road). When I was in Pittsburgh, we went to the Super Bowl and won with all the road games. I think the Giants may have done it, but that’s not very easy. It’s a very hard thing with fans. People forget – everybody talks about our road woes – we’re .500 on the road right now and that’s pretty damn good in the old days. When there are fans in the stands and you go and win in a place like Philly and you go win in a place like Indy – those are hard stadiums to win in. Home-field advantage in the playoffs is a huge, huge advantage.”

(On TE Rob Gronkowski saying that Winfield Jr.’s interception was the best catch he’s ever seen by a defensive back): “It’s up there, man. Five-foot-11, or if he’s stretching to 5’11, over 6’4. If I’m the quarterback, I’m throwing that up every time. Most times that receiver is coming down with it or it’s broken up. To go up over top of him and catch it – and then he did a great job on the return too. That’s one of the all-time best I’ve seen.”

(On how much of being able to comeback from deficits to win late in the season no matter the adversity is due to having a veteran team:) “I put Leonard in there just because of the way Leonard is playing and for him to speak up at halftime. I think when you have a guy like Kevin Minter that you can just throw in there – he’s not Devin White, but he’s a damn good football player. He’s not going to beat us; he’s going to make them beat him. I think all of those guys take that attitude of they’re not going to beat us. Then you throw some young guys in there and you teach them that way and it really rubs off on everybody. Just look at that defensive line and they’re all veterans other than Vita [Vea], but Vita plays like a vet because he’s around vets.”

Game Balls

Offense: Hard to beat four of a kind, especially when they're touchdowns. Fournette is having a fine year.

Defense: Shaq Barrett has been quiet lately, but on Sunday he led the team with eight tackles had two sacks, one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.

Special teams: Scotty Miller fell on a muffed punt in a key play of the game.


Quarterback: No, I don't think it's his age. But Brady hasn't been in rhythm in weeks: Grade: C+.

Running backs: Fournette was the star of the game, and Ronald Jones was solid. Grade: A.

Offensive line: Nick Leverett gets a special mention for playing well as the third guard. A good day for the unit. Grade: A.

Wide receiver: Only seven catches among the group. Grade: B-.

Defensive line: Strong performance shutting down Jonathan Taylor for most of the game. Grade: A.

Linebackers: The team missed Devin White, who missed time with injury. Grade: B-.

Secondary: Two interceptions, but for most of the day, Wentz looked like a long-lost Manning. Grade: D.

Special teams; Nothing to write home about. Grade: D.

Unsung Hero

Guard Nick Leverette had his moment to shine.

Most 100-Yard Games by a Tight End

Rank         Player                                                              Games

1.              Tony Gonzalez                                                    31

2.              Rob Gronkowski                                                30

3.              Travis Kelce                                                         28

4.              Kellen Winslow                                                    24

5.              Jackie Smith                                                        22

Most Season with 30-plus Passing TDs

Rank         Player                                                             Seasons

1.              Drew Brees                                                         10

2t.             Tom Brady                                                          9

2t.             Brett Favre                                                           9

2t.             Peyton Manning                                                    9

5.              Aaron Rodgers                                                     7

NFL Ranks

Passing Yards Tom Brady 2

Rushing Yards Leonard Fournette 15

Receptions Chris Godwin 9

Tackles Devin White 15

Sacks Shaq Barrett 17

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