Through eight games of the 2020 NFL season, the Buccaneers are 6-2. That ties the best eight-game start in team history, done twice before (1979 and 2002). But more than that, the 6-2 record has Tampa Bay leading the NFC South by one-half game.
Sunday night is a massive game for the Bucs, one of their biggest in years. They’ll host the division rival Saints, the team that trails them by just one-half game, sitting at 5-2 on the year. Of course, New Orleans drew first blood in the season series back in Week 1, winning 34-23 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This time around, Tampa Bay will be looking to get the last laugh and expand its lead in the division ahead of the season’s stretch run.
With as big as Sunday’s matchup is, all focus for the Bucs will be on emerging victorious and taking control of the NFC South. But there will still be some history at stake when the two teams meet at Raymond James Stadium. Some guys will be looking to work toward franchise history, while others have their eyes on NFL history. So, let’s see where things stand heading into Week 9.
**All statistics and records come from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.**
Career Rushing Yards
With 1,297 career rushing yards, Ronald Jones II ranks 14th in Bucs history. He needs 549 more to pass Jerry Eckwood (1,845) for 13th.
Career Rushing Touchdowns
Jones’ 11 career rushing touchdowns have him 14th in team history. He is just two away from tying LeGarrette Blount and Doug Williams (13) for 12th.
Career Receiving Yards
Chris Godwin has 2,979 receiving yards in his career, leaving him 465 away from passing Gerald Carter (3,443) for ninth-most in franchise history.
Cameron Brate’s 2,249 receiving yards have him 22nd in Bucs history. He needs 36 more to pass Mike Alstott (2,284) for 21st.
Career Receiving Touchdowns
Brate remains tied with Joey Galloway for fourth-most receiving touchdowns in franchise history. He’ll take sole possession of fourth with one more, while three more will tie him with Kevin House (31) for third.
Godwin has 19 receiving scores in his career, which means he needs just one more to tie Vincent Jackson (20) for 10th-most in team history.
Brate’s 205 receptions in his Bucs career are good for 20th in team history. He needs two more to pass Courtney Hawkins and Lawrence Dawsey (206) for 18th, while five more will put him ahead of Ron Hall (209) for 17th.
Godwin has 204 receptions as a Buc, leaving him one away from Brate (205, 20th), two away from Hawkins and Dawsey (206, 18th) and five away from Hall (209, 17th).
Career Total Touchdowns
With his 56th career touchdown last week, Mike Evans is now 16 away from owning the franchise record for total touchdowns, which is currently held by Mike Alstott (71).
Consecutive Passes Without an Interception
Tom Brady has thrown 189 straight passes without an interception and with nine more, he will have the longest streak in franchise history. The current record is held by Jeff Garcia, who threw 197 consecutive passes without a pick back in 2007. (Bucs Communications)
Consecutive Games With a Receiving Touchdown by a Tight End
Rob Gronkowski has caught a touchdown in three straight games. If he catches one against New Orleans, he will tie Brate for the longest streak by a tight end in franchise history. Brate caught touchdowns in four straight games from Sept. 24, 2017 through Oct. 15, 2017. (Bucs Communications)
With 27.5 sacks in his Tampa Bay career, Jason Pierre-Paul is just one away from passing Ronde Barber (28) for eighth-most in team history.
Lavonte David’s 24 sacks have him two away from tying Greg Spires (26) for 11th-most in Bucs history, 2.5 away from tying Broderick Thomas (26.5) for 10th and 3.5 from tying Pierre-Paul for ninth.
Shaquil Barrett’s 22.5 sacks as a Buc leave him 1.5 behind David for 12th and 3.5 away from tying Spires for 11th.
*Sacks did not become an official stat until 1982.
Sacks Through 27 Games With Tampa Bay
The franchise record for sacks through 27 games with the team is held by Lee Roy Selmon and Simeon Rice (24). Barrett has 22.5 through 24 games, which means he needs two more in the next three games to own the record for himself. (Bucs Communications)
Career Passes Defended*
David has 49 career passes defended, which rank him sixth in Bucs history. With five more, he passes Aqib Talib (54) for fifth.
*Passes defended did not become an official stat until 1999.
Career Forced Fumbles
With 22 forced fumbles in his impressive career, David needs just two more to tie Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks (24) for the most in franchise history.
Sunday will be David’s 130th career start, which will tie him with Warren Sapp for the seventh-most in team history. (Bucs Communications)
Career Games Played
Sunday will also be David’s 130th game played in his Bucs career, which will tie him with Brian Kelly and Demar Dotson for 11th-most.
Consecutive Games With Three-Plus Sacks
The Bucs have totaled three or more sacks in four straight games. If they can hit that mark again on Sunday, it will be their longest streak of games with three-plus sacks since 2002 (10/27/02-12/1/02, five games). (Bucs Communications)
Consecutive Games With an Interception
Tampa Bay has an interception in seven straight games. If it gets one against the Saints on Sunday, it will be the team’s longest streak since 2004 (10/10/04-12/12/04, nine games). (Bucs Communications)
Overall Record Through Nine Games
If the Bucs win on Sunday, they will match the best nine-game start in franchise history. They previously started 7-2 in 1979 and 2002. (Bucs Communications)
**Courtesy of Buccaneers Communications**
Touchdown Connections (Regular Season)
In their regular season careers, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have connected for 81 touchdowns. They need four more to tie Steve Young and Jerry Rice (85) for third-most in NFL regular season history.
Touchdown Connections (Including Postseason)
Including the playoffs, Brady and Gronkowski have linked up for 93 touchdowns. That’s good for second-most all-time behind only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison (114).
Career Passing Touchdowns (Regular Season)
Sunday will be a matchup of the two quarterbacks with the most regular season touchdowns in NFL history. Brady leads Drew Brees 561-560 heading into the game.
Receiving Touchdowns (Regular Season)
With 82 receiving touchdowns in his regular season career, Gronkowski is tied with Anquan Boldin and Reggie Wayne for 23rd-most in league history. He’ll take sole possession of 23rd with one more.
Receiving Touchdowns (Including Postseason)
Including the playoffs, Gronkowski has 94 career touchdown receptions. One more will tie him with Isaac Bruce and Anquan Boldin (95) for 13th-most in NFL history.