Which players dominated the Buccaneers?

David Banks

Which players were most productive against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Barry Sanders, Brett Favre and...Wade Wilson?

Which quarterback is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' nemesis? That's a question Football Perspective answered for every NFL team, and the result isn't surprising: it was Brett Favre, if you measure it by total passing yards. But what does the rest of the top 10 look like? And what happens when we look at other positions, too?

The greatness of Wade Wilson

Brett Favre was the most productive passer against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by most measures, but he certainly wasn't the most efficient. That's what happens when you face one of the best defenses in NFL history twice a year. Drew Brees and Matt Ryan didn't exactly do that, so they're not that far behind and likely to overtake Favre's records.

Brees is just 1,113 yards short of topping Favre's total yards, so that will probably take, what, 1.5 games? The touchdown record is as good as gone, too: Brees needs just four more to get that one. Ryan's much further off, and the Bucs have actually done well against him. 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 10 games with barely over 200 yards per game -- that's fairly awful. In fact, the Falcons offense always seems to struggle against the Bucs. Of course, they still won seven of those games.

But the quarterback who was most dominant against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Wade Wilson of Vikings fame. Anyone remember him? A well below-average passer for most of his career who somehow crushed the Bucs, winning 8 games and losing just one, throwing for a ridiculous 9 yards per attempt, 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Of course, doing that against the 1980s Buccaneers is basically the equivalent of stomping on some kittens.

Interestingly, the only player in the top 10 to not be a division rival is Joe Montana.

Passing
Rk Player From To Tm G W L T Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Y/A AY/A
1 Brett Favre 1992 2005 GNB 23 15 8 0 474 774 61.24% 5125 37 23 84.3 6.62 6.24
2 Drew Brees 2004 2012 TOT 15 9 6 0 356 527 67.55% 4012 33 14 99.9 7.61 7.67
3 Tommy Kramer 1978 1989 MIN 15 12 3 0 249 416 59.86% 2852 18 14 80.9 6.86 6.21
4 Jake Delhomme 2002 2010 TOT 13 10 3 0 202 335 60.30% 2465 16 15 80.3 7.36 6.30
5 Lynn Dickey 1977 1985 GNB 9 5 3 1 179 285 62.81% 2216 8 19 68.4 7.78 5.34
6 Joe Montana* 1979 1993 TOT 9 8 1 0 190 275 69.09% 2106 11 6 95.8 7.66 7.48
7 Matt Ryan 2008 2012 ATL 10 7 3 0 181 298 60.74% 2069 10 10 78.8 6.94 6.10
8 Wade Wilson 1984 1994 TOT 9 8 1 0 144 219 65.75% 1959 14 6 104.0 8.95 8.99
9 Jim McMahon 1982 1996 TOT 10 9 1 0 142 224 63.39% 1831 10 8 89.0 8.17 7.46
10 Jim Harbaugh 1988 1994 TOT 11 6 5 0 130 216 60.19% 1694 8 6 85.7 7.84 7.33

You can find the full list here.

Barry Sanders dominates

The Bucs weren't very lucky with the running backs in their division. Barry Sanders and Walter Payton for the entirety of both players' careers? What a disaster. Both were a joy to watch, but also incredibly frustrating to watch. Especially Barry Sanders.

Unsurprisingly, those two players dominate the list -- but no one else really racked up yards against the Bucs. Ted Brown comes close, but at 65 yards per game he's hardly dominant. Eric Dickerson certainly was, but played just 6 games against the Bucs.

Interesting note: The modern-day backs in the top 10 aren't exactly doing much against the Bucs. None of them top 80 yards per game. That's partly a result of a shift to a passing game and the lack of feature backs in the division. In fact, it's mostly that, because the Bucs were awful at stopping the run from 2008 to 2011. So yeah. Luck, I guess.

Rushing
Rk Player From To Tm G W L T Att Yds Y/A TD
1 Barry Sanders* 1989 1998 DET 19 12 7 0 392 2195 5.60 14
2 Walter Payton* 1977 1987 CHI 20 16 4 0 407 1629 4.00 11
3 Ted Brown 1979 1986 MIN 14 10 4 0 196 907 4.63 8
4 Deuce McAllister 2001 2008 NOR 11 6 5 0 195 795 4.08 3
5 Eric Dickerson* 1984 1991 TOT 6 5 1 0 154 768 4.99 10
6 Robert Smith 1993 2000 MIN 13 6 7 0 175 756 4.32 2
7 Neal Anderson 1986 1993 CHI 14 10 4 0 172 752 4.37 13
8 Terry Allen 1991 2001 TOT 9 5 4 0 151 707 4.68 4
9 DeAngelo Williams 2006 2012 CAR 12 7 5 0 141 675 4.79 8
10 Michael Turner 2008 2012 ATL 9 6 3 0 153 649 4.24 8

You can find the full list here.

Wide receivers galore

Two Hall of Famers, one more who's almost certainly going to make it into the Hall and three more with at least solid credentials make the wide receiver list. Wide receivers loved beating up on the Bucs, I guess. Which is weird, because the Bucs have historically had a pretty good pass defense. If we ignore the games they played in the '80s -- like we do with most things from the '80s.

Steve Smith is probably going to overtake Cris Carter, soon, who mostly seems to have lived off volume rather than big plays. James Lofton's numbers stand out, too: he averaged three more yards per catch than anyone else in the top 10.

Receiving
Rk Player From To Tm G W L T Rec Yds Y/R TD
1 Cris Carter* 1988 2001 TOT 25 14 11 0 114 1416 12.42 10
2 Steve Smith 2002 2012 CAR 20 11 9 0 91 1311 14.41 6
3 Sterling Sharpe 1988 1994 GNB 14 9 5 0 83 1114 13.42 12
4 James Lofton* 1978 1991 TOT 16 9 6 1 63 1089 17.29 4
5 Anthony Carter 1985 1993 MIN 15 12 3 0 67 909 13.57 5
6 Marques Colston 2006 2012 NOR 13 8 5 0 73 909 12.45 4
7 Herman Moore 1992 2000 DET 14 9 5 0 72 892 12.39 4
8 Brett Perriman 1988 1996 TOT 15 10 5 0 62 888 14.32 3
9 Roddy White 2005 2012 ATL 16 9 7 0 68 880 12.94 2
10 Jake Reed 1994 2002 TOT 16 9 7 0 57 854 14.98 4
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/4/2013.

You can find the full list here.

Read more:

Bucs blitzed DBs 120 times for 4 sacks

The Buccaneers believe they fell short in 2012

Ronde Barber joins preseason broadcast team

What do Josh Freeman's deep passes tell us?

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