While most people will be settling in for some nice day-after-Christmas relaxation on Saturday afternoon, the Buccaneers will be in Detroit, trying to give their fans a late Christmas gift in the form of their first playoff berth since 2007.
All Tampa Bay has to do to earn its spot in the postseason is beat the Lions this week, get a Bears loss or take down the Falcons again in Week 17, but let’s be real: Everyone wants to get this done now. It’s been over a decade since the franchise’s last playoff game and almost two decades since its last playoff victory, and with this team, a return to glory should be a realistic possibility. Getting to the dance is just the first goal.
Winning out and the Saints losing out would give the Bucs their first NFC South title since 2007 as well, but the focus has to be on Saturday alone. And while the team will be working toward a big victory, there are some individuals who may very well climb their way toward history along the way. With that in mind, let’s see where things stand heading into Week 16.
**All statistics and records come from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.**
Career Rushing Yards
Ronald Jones II is doubtful for Saturday’s game, but if he does manage to suit up against the Lions, he’ll have a chance to close the gap on Jerry Eckwood for 13th-most rushing yards in team history. Jones currently has 1,668, leaving him 178 away from passing Eckwood (1,845).
Career Rushing Touchdowns
If he can overcome his finger injury and get activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list by Saturday, Ronald Jones II will also have a chance to add to his career rushing touchdown total. He has 13 right now, tying him with Doug Williams and LeGarrette Blount for 12th-most in franchise history. With two more, he ties Earnest Graham, Lars Tate and Peyton Barber (15) for ninth.
Career Receiving Yards
Chris Godwin has 3,323 receiving yards in his career, meaning he needs just 121 more to pass Gerald Carter (3,443) for ninth-most in Bucs history.
With 2,400 receiving yards in his career, Cameron Brate is 18th on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard. He needs 23 more to pass Ron Hall (2,422) for 17th.
Career Receiving Touchdowns
Cameron Brate is still fourth all-time in receiving touchdowns with 29, needing three more to pass Kevin House (31) for third.
With a touchdown catch last week, Chris Godwin now has 21 in his career. He is three away from passing Bruce Hill (23) for ninth.
Chris Godwin has 239 receptions in his career, leaving him six away from passing Gerald Carter (239) for 12th-most in team history. With 15 more, he passes Joey Galloway (248) for 11th.
Cameron Brate’s 220 career receptions are good for 15th in franchise history. He needs two more to pass Michael Clayton (221) for 14th.
Career Total Touchdowns
Mike Evans still has 60 total touchdowns in his career, leaving him 12 away from the franchise record that is currently held by Mike Alstott (71).
Consecutive Field Goals Made
With a field goal against Atlanta last Sunday, Ryan Succop has now made 21 straight. With four more in a row, he ties Connor Barth’s franchise-record streak of 25.
Ryan Succop has accounted for 117 points this season. With two more, he passes Matt Bryant (118 in 2007) for sixth-most by a Buc in a single season. He needs just seven more to pass Connor Barth (123 in 2012) for fifth-most and tie Matt Gay (124 in 2019) for fourth. Ten more puts Succop ahead of Martin Gramatica (126 in 2000) for third, while 12 more moves him past Gramatica (128 in 2002) for second. Plus, just 15 more in the next two games would give him the franchise record that is currently held by Bryant (131 in 2008).
Single-Season Passing Touchdowns
Tom Brady has 32 passing touchdowns this season, which is the second-most by a Buccaneer quarterback in a single season. He needs just two more to take the franchise record, which was set by Jameis Winston (33) just last year.
Single-Season Passing Yards
With 3,886 passing yards this season, Tom Brady is fifth on Tampa Bay’s single-season passing yards list. He needs 157 more to take fourth from Jameis Winston (4,042 in 2015), while 180 would move him past Josh Freeman (4.065 in 2012) for third. With 205 more, Brady takes second from Winston (4,090 in 2016), though Winston’s top spot (5,109 in 2019) doesn’t seem reachable.
Single-Season Receiving Touchdowns
Mike Evans has 11 touchdown catches this season, leaving him one away from tying his own single-season franchise record of 12 (which he set in 2014 before matching in 2016).
Single-Season Points (Team)
The Bucs have scored 401 points this season, which is the second-best total in franchise history. They need 58 points over the next two games to set a new team record, which is currently 458 (set in 2019).
Jason Pierre-Paul’s 30.5 sacks as a Buc are good for eighth-most in team history. He needs three more to pass Brad Culpepper (33) for seventh.
Shaquil Barrett has 27.5 sacks in his Bucs career, which means he is one away from passing Ronde Barber (28) for ninth-most in franchise history.
Lavonte David is stuck on 24 career sacks, leaving him 2.5 from passing Greg Spires (26) for 12th and tying Broderick Thomas (26.5) for 11th.
*Sacks did not become an official stat until 1982.
Tampa Bay has 43 sacks this season, which is tied for the fifth-most in a single season in franchise history. With one more, the 2020 team passes the 1999 and 2002 teams for sole possession of fifth, while two more would move this year’s group past the 1997 team (44) for third. Five more would be the second-most in Bucs history, moving the 2020 defense ahead of 2019’s (47).
Career Passes Defended*
Lavonte David’s 51 career passes defended have him sixth all-time, just three behind Aqib Talib (54) for fifth.
*Passes defended did not become an official stat until 1999.
Career Forced Fumbles
With 22 career forced fumbles, Lavonte David is three away from owning the franchise record that currently belongs to Derrick Brooks (24).
Saturday will be Lavonte David’s 136th career start, which will put him one behind Mike Alstott (137) for fifth-most in team history.
Career Games Played
Saturday will also mark Lavonte David’s 136th career game, which will leave him four away from tying Warren Sapp for ninth-most in franchise history.
**Courtesy of Buccaneers Communications**
Career Games Played
Saturday will be the 300th game of Tom Brady’s career, which will tie him with John Kasay for 10th-most in NFL history.
Career Games Played (Non-Specialists)
Tom Brady’s 300 career games is the third-most among non-specialists. He is behind only Brett Favre (302) and Jerry Rice (303).
Career Passing Touchdowns (Regular Season)
With two touchdown passes last week, Tom Brady now has 573 in his regular season career. Drew Brees returned to action for the Saints and threw three, putting him at 568, five behind Brady for the all-time record.
Career Touchdown Connections (Regular Season)
In their regular season careers, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have linked up for 83 touchdowns. That’s the fourth-most for a duo in league history, and they need only two more to tie Steve Young and Jerry Rice (85) for third.
Career Receiving Touchdowns (Regular Season)
Rob Gronkowski’s 84 career touchdown catches in the regular season have him tied with Mark Clayton, Irving Fryar, Tommy McDonald and Andre Rison for 18th-most all-time. He needs just one more to tie Lance Alworth, Paul Warfield and Hines Ward (85) for 15th.
Career Receiving Touchdowns (Including Postseason)
Including the playoffs, Rob Gronkowski has 96 touchdown receptions in his career. He needs just one more to take sole possession of 12th all-time from Andre Reed.
8,000 Receiving Yards and 60 Receiving Touchdowns in Seven Seasons
Last week, Mike Evans became the third-youngest player in NFL history to reach the 8,000 receiving yard mark. He needs one more touchdown in the next two weeks to become the seventh player to hit 8,000 receiving yards and 60 receiving touchdowns in seven seasons. He would join elite company, as the six to do it before him were Larry Fitzgerald, Marvin Harrison, Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss, Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe.
Consecutive 1,000-Yard Receiving Seasons to Start a Career
Mike Evans now has 779 receiving yards this season. With 221 more over the next two weeks, he would become the first player in league history to post seven consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons to start a career. As it is, he and Randy Moss are the only two players to start their careers with six straight.