The game became a lot closer at the end than many would have liked but the result is the same - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leave Germany with a win over the Seattle Seahawks and head into the bye at 5-5. It seemed like a pipe dream after losing three in a row, but the Bucs’ defense was playing at an elite level and the offense is beginning to really figure things out.
Let’s Pick Six.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Rachaad White Is RB1. What a performance by the rookie. 22 carries, 105 yards, and nearly 5-yards a carry. While Leonard Fournette left the game late with a hip injury, White was the better performer long before that. The more opportunities he gets, the better he looks and he proved that once again on Sunday. Fournette has the bye week now to heal up, but the offense is probably better served having White take the bulk of the early carries to wear the defense down before unleashing a fresh Fournette on them. Fournette still had a solid game - 14 carries for 57 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and a touchdown - and he looked better than he has in over a month, but this run game clearly works better with the rookie in the backfield.
2.) Devin White Balls Out With A Heavy Heart. While most have heard, for those that have not - Devin White lost his father earlier in the week. He still made the most of his trip to Germany and was a big reason Kenneth Walker III was held to just 17 rushing yards on ten carries. Walker had averaged over 100 yards a game over the last four weeks and the Seattle run game was a non-factor. White also had two huge sacks and a forced fumble when the Seahawks were threatening in the red zone. I can’t imagine how difficult is was for him to go out there, but he has stepped up his play exponentially over the last two weeks.
3.) Vintage Julio. Julio Jones has played well over the last three weeks and he had a vintage catch-and-run for the first score of the game. The 31-yard touchdown was the Bucs’ longest touchdown play of the season so far, which is hard to believe considering how many explosive plays they had last season. Julio looks to be getting more comfortable with his role in the offense and if he can stay healthy, he’s going to be a big weapon for the Bucs down the stretch.
4.) Okay, Maybe Dial It Back A Little, Byron. Bucs fans have been clamoring for Byron Leftwich to stop being so predictable and vanilla with the play calling, which is why it was so refreshing to see the Bucs line up with both Fournette and White in the backfield together. Then we saw the wildcat with Tom Brady split out wide to the left. It only gained a few yards as Fournette kept it, but it was something different. Unfortunately, they ran that exact same play again five plays later and Fournette threw an interception on a pass intended for Brady. Brady slipped on the play, but he had no chance of catching that pass. It was a little too soon to pull the trigger on the same play when Seattle very obviously noticed they left Brady uncovered the first time around and weren’t going to make the same mistake twice. Love the creativity and love changing it up a little, but let’s not get too crazy.
5.) Joe Tryon-Shoyinka Stepping Up. Two weeks in a row now, in the absence of Shaq Barrett, Tryon-Shoyinka has stepped up big time to generate pressure and get sacks. He finished with two tackles and a sack on the day, but his presence was felt far more than that. He was in line to get another sack before slipping on the turf - allowing Geno Smith to escape and run for a seven yard gain. This is the reason the Bucs drafted Tryon-Shoyinka two years ago and he’s developing into exactly what the Bucs were hoping for - and he’s getting better every week. Hopefully he continues this level of play coming out of the bye week.
6.) Have To Keep Building Through The Bye. This bye week may be bad timing for the Bucs. They were able to build off what they did against the Los Angeles Rams last week and take down the Seahawks. Now, they get a week off and you have to hope that things don’t regress in the meantime. The Bucs are 4-6 in the last ten seasons coming off their bye - and one of those wins came off the week one bye where the Bucs and Dolphins had to be rescheduled due to a hurricane. With Brady as their quarterback, the Bucs are 1-1 and suffered an embarrassing loss to the Washington Football Team last year coming out of their bye. The Bucs can’t afford any setbacks or to come out of the bye looking like they did against the Steelers or Panthers. They have to use this bye to not only rest and get healthy, but to evaluate where they are, how they got there, and how they can build on recent success. They get the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints right out of the bye before heading to San Francisco for a huge matchup with the 49ers that absolutely will have playoff implications.
Six Numbers To Consider
399 - Consecutive pass attempts by Tom Brady between interceptions. Came up just four short of breaking Aaron Rodgers’ NFL record of 402
347:30 - Game minutes in-between Buccaneers’ takeaways this season
76 - Bucs’ first half rushing yards, tied for most in a half this season
161 - Total rushing yards by the Bucs, most since Oct. 2021 (182 vs Chicago)
2 - Number of NFL players since 2000 with 400+ tackles and 20+ sacks through four seasons - Brian Urlacher and Devin White
11.1 - Percent of third downs the Seahawks converted against the Bucs on Sunday, lowest percentage this season
Six Best Tweets
Find you someone who loves you as much as Scotty Miller loves needlessly jumping— Bailey Adams (@BaileyJAdams22) November 13, 2022
Devin White sack and Geno fumbles the ball recovered by Anthony Nelson!!! pic.twitter.com/X9lZ8uvJ5B— Bucs Nation (@Bucs_Nation) November 13, 2022
That play call was the wurst. https://t.co/MywKoQkN4U— Whitney Holtzman (@WHoltzman) November 13, 2022
Jake Camarda's booming 63-yard punt is already his 10th of the season for 60 or more yards. The previous single-season record for a Bucs punter was six.— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) November 13, 2022
Six Super Bowl Bets
Per usual, this list is compiled ahead of the completion of Sunday Night Football
1.) Philadelphia Eagles - Undefeated and takes over the Bills’ spot
2.) Kansas City Chiefs - Mahomes & Co. keep it rolling
3.) Minnesota Vikings - Quietly one of the best teams in football. Justin Jefferson is an alien
4.) Miami Dolphins - Continuing to dominate with a staunch defense and explosive offense
5.) Buffalo Bills - Cautious with Josh Allen’s elbow, but now dropped two straight
9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Climbing their way back up in a wide open NFC