Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are 3-1 on the season after a hard-fought win over the Patriots on Sunday Night Football, but the 3-1 record isn't the only number that stands out from the win.
Let's take a look at five numbers from the Bucs' big interconference win.
The number two was scattered throughout the final stat sheet. Rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka had 2.0 sacks on the night. The Bucs forced two big turnovers, both being the result of an Antoine Winfield Jr. play. Ryan Succop hit his second game-winning kick in four games. Shaquil Barrett and Will Gholston combined for 2.0 sacks, both being their second sack of the season. The Bucs had 22 first downs, including three third down conversions on the final drive. There were two missed kicks, none bigger than the final one that preserved the Bucs' win.
The Buccaneers had three players record 50+ receiving yards on the night. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown -the Bucs' "Big Three"- all came through with big plays throughout the night. Brown's night would've been even bigger had an illegal-use-of-hands penalty on Donvovan Smith not wiped out what would've been a 44-yard gain on 3rd and 6.
The Bucs hit Mac Jones 12 times in this game, which is easily the most quarterback hits the defense has recorded in a single game all year long.
The Bucs had just 17 quarterback hits through the first three games, with a then season-high seven of them coming in Week 1 against the Cowboys. A lot of talk surrounding the pass rush has been its inability to get home. Well, that wasn't the case Sunday night. Not only did the Bucs defense hit Jones 12 times, but it was able to sack him 4.0 times, which is another season-high for a single game. The Bucs had just 3.0 sacks through three games before Sunday night.
This is how many rushing yards the Patriots finished with. No, that's not a smudge in front of the one on your computer screen. The Bucs literally held the Pats to (-1) rushing yards on the ground for the entire game.
Tampa Bay set a new franchise record for fewest rushing yards allowed in a contest. It's also the first time that a team has allowed negative yardage (can you even allow negative yardage?) since the Cardinals held the Lions to (-17) rushing yards in 2007.
This had a huge impact on the game. It forced the Patriots to be one-dimensional and put the game in Jones' hands. Now, one could say Jones is the reason why the Patriots were in the game and led in the fourth quarter and the Bucs' dominant run defense forced the Pats hand on the issue, but still, it's impressive to hold any team to negative rushing yards, evidenced by the 21 other occurrences since 1940.
Brady has now beaten all 32 teams in the NFL, the last being the Patriots, obviously. The only thing more fitting with this storyline would be if the two teams didn't meet until the Super Bowl and Brady finally got his big win there.
The dude has literally accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish in the NFL. The only thing that's missing is an undefeated season that also resulted in a Super Bowl win. Even without that on the resume, it's hard to not be in awe of what Brady has done throughout his illustrious career.
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