The Buccaneers are headed to Atlanta this weekend for their Week 15 matchup against the Falcons, marking the first of two meetings between the two teams in the next three weeks.
Stakes are high for Tampa Bay, which sits at 8-5 and holds the NFC’s No. 6 seed heading into its final three games. This team has been in contention at this stage of the season before, only to fall short and miss the playoffs. But with this roster, that can’t happen again. The Bucs currently have a 96% chance of making the postseason, and if they beat the Falcons on Sunday, that probability jumps to 99%. So, yeah, this is a big one for Bruce Arians and his squad.
While there’s a playoff drought to be broken and collective goals to be reached in the next few weeks, time is also running low for the players who are hoping to climb their way toward franchise and NFL history—at least for the 2020 season, that is. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at where things stand heading into Week 15.
**All statistics and records come from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.**
Career Rushing Yards
Ronald Jones II is unlikely to play on Sunday, but if he manages to bounce back from the Reserve/COVID-19 list and his finger injury, he’ll have a chance to gain some ground on the team’s all-time rushing yards list. With 1,668, he is currently 14th. He needs 178 more to pass Jerry Eckwood (1,845) for 13th.
Career Rushing Touchdowns
With his rushing touchdown last week against the Vikings, Jones has 13 in his career. That ties him with LeGarrette Blount and Doug Williams for 12th-most in franchise history. He is two away from tying Earnest Graham, Lars Tate and Peyton Barber (15) for ninth.
Career Receiving Yards
With 3,287 career receiving yards, Chris Godwin is 157 away from passing Gerald Carter (3,443) for ninth-most in team history.
Cameron Brate has 2,346 receiving yards in his career, leaving him 16 yards from passing Michael Pittman (2,361) for 19th and 32 away from taking 18th.
Career Receiving Touchdowns
Brate is still stuck on 29 receiving touchdowns in his career, which is good for fourth in Bucs history. He needs three more to pass Kevin House (31) for third.
Godwin’s 20 touchdown receptions tie him with Vincent Jackson for 10th and leave him four from passing Bruce Hill (23) for ninth.
Godwin has 230 catches in his career, which puts him 13th all-time in Buccaneer history. He needs 10 more to pass Gerald Carter (239) for 12th.
Brate has 216 career receptions, which means he needs three more to tie Adam Humphries (219) for 15th and five more to tie Michael Clayton (221) for 14th.
Career Total Touchdowns
Mike Evans has 60 total touchdowns in his career, which is the second-most in franchise history. He needs 12 more to take the team record from Mike Alstott (71).
Consecutive Field Goals Made
Ryan Succop has connected on 20 consecutive field goal attempts. If he is able to play on Sunday, he’ll have a chance to gain some ground on Connor Barth’s franchise record (25).
Succop has 110 points this season, meaning he needs nine more to pass Matt Bryant (118 in 2007) for sixth-most by a Bucs kicker in a single season.
Single-Season Passing Touchdowns
With two touchdown passes last week, Tom Brady has 30 on the season. He needs four more to set a new franchise record, surpassing Jameis Winston (33), who set it last year.
Single-Season Passing Yards
Brady has 3,496 passing yards in 2020. He is nine yards from passing Jameis Winston (3,504 in 2017) for ninth-most by a Buccaneer quarterback in a single season. With 59 more yards, he passes Steve DeBerg (3,554 in 1984) for eighth, while 68 more moves him ahead of Doug Williams (3,563 in 1981) for seventh. To take sixth from Josh Freeman (3,592 in 2011), Brady needs 97 more yards, and a 316-yard day would move him past Brad Johnson (3,811 in 2003) for fifth.
Single-Season Receiving Touchdowns
Evans has 11 touchdown receptions this season, putting him two away from setting a new franchise record. He owns the current record of 12, a mark that he hit in both 2014 and 2016.
8,000 Receiving Yards and 60 Receiving Touchdowns in Seven Seasons
If Evans collects 71 more receiving yards and one more touchdown catch before the end of the season, he’ll become just the seventh player in league history to total 8,000 receiving yards and 60 receiving touchdowns in their first seven professional seasons. He’ll join elite company, too, as those before him to accomplish the feat were Larry Fitzgerald, Marvin Harrison, Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss, Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe.
Single-Season Points (Team)
The Bucs have scored 370 points this season. They need 19 more to beat the 2000 team (388) for fourth-most in a single season in team history, while 20 would put them ahead of the 2012 team (389) for third. With 27 points, this year’s team would pass the 2018 team (396) for second.
Jason Pierre-Paul is up to 30.5 sacks in his Buccaneer career. He is three away from passing Brad Culpepper (33) for seventh-most in team history.
Shaquil Barrett has totaled 27.5 sacks in his brief Tampa Bay career, meaning he is just one away from passing Ronde Barber (28) for ninth-most in franchise history.
Lavonte David is stuck on 24 career sacks, which leaves him 2.5 away from passing Greg Spires (26) for 12th in team history. He needs three more to pass Broderick Thomas (26.5) for 11th and four more to pass Barrett for 10th.
*Sacks did not become an official stat until 1982.
Career Passes Defended*
David is up to 51 passes defended in his career, putting him four from passing Aqib Talib (54) for fifth-most in team history.
*Passes defended did not become an official stat until 1999.
Career Forced Fumbles
With 22 forced fumbles in his career, David is second all-time. He needs three more to take the franchise record from Derrick Brooks (24).
Sunday will be David’s 135th career start, putting him two behind Mike Alstott (137) for fifth-most in team history.
Career Games Played
Sunday’s game will also be David’s 135th game played in his career, which leaves him five from Warren Sapp (140) for ninth-most in franchise history.
**Courtesy of Buccaneers Communications**
Career Touchdown Connections (Regular Season)
Last week’s touchdown connection between Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski was their 83rd in the regular season. With two more, they’ll tie Steve Young and Jerry Rice (85) for third-most in NFL history.
Career Passing Touchdowns (Regular Season)
Brady is up to 571 regular season touchdown passes in his career, which has him six ahead of Drew Brees (565), who is set to return from injury this week.
Career Receiving Touchdowns (Regular Season)
Last Sunday’s touchdown grab was the 84th of Gronkowski’s regular season career. He is now tied for 18th-most all-time alongside Mark Clayton, Irving Fryar, Tommy McDonald and Andre Rison. With one more, he ties Lance Alworth, Paul Warfield and Hines Ward (85) for 15th.
Career Receiving Touchdowns (Including Postseason)
Including the playoffs, Gronkowski has 96 career touchdown receptions. That ties him with Andre Reed for 12th-most in league history. One more will give him sole possession of 12th.
Consecutive 1,000-Yard Receiving Seasons to Start a Career
Mike Evans has some work to do if he’s going to become the first player in NFL history to post 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of his first seven pro seasons. He needs 331 more over the final three games to do so.