The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shellacked the Miami Dolphins 45-17 on Sunday, so it's logical to expect some pretty intriguing numbers when an NFL team wins in dominant fashion.
Which numbers stood out the most? Let's dive in and find out.
To say the Bucs were struggling on the ground before Week 4 was putting it lightly at the time. It looked like they finally got things on track against the Patriots, but it would take another solid performance in order to really start thinking the ground game was finding its legs (pun absolutely intended).
Well, that turned out to be the case. The trio of Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II, and Giovani Bernard combined for 109 rushing yards on 21 carries, which comes out to a robust 5.2 yards per carry on the ground.
It's not like the Bucs just broke one big run off, either. The Bucs running backs regularly gained four, five, six yards on the majority of their carries. It was easily the best performance of the young season.
The Bucs torched the Dolphins through the air on Sunday. Tom Brady had his best game as a Buccaneer, completing 73.1% of his passes for 412-yards and five touchdowns. Backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert even got in on the fun, completing all three of his passes for 43 yards. As a result, the Bucs averaged 10.3 yards per passing attempt, which is wild.
To put things into context: The league average is 7.6 yards per pass attempt. Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson averages 4.9 yards per pass attempt, which is dead-last in the NFL.
The Bucs essentially averaged a first down every time they threw the ball. It's no wonder they scored 45 points.
The Bucs were outstanding on 3rd down in this game, converting 72.7% (8/11) of the time on the money down.
This is not only the highest rate in 2021, but it's also the highest rate since Bruce Arians arrived in Tampa Bay. The main reason why the Bucs were so efficient is because they averaged just 3.9 yards to go on seven of the eight third downs they converted (the eighth was awarded thanks to a defensive pass interference call on Eric Rowe). Staying in manageable situations on third down is a credit to a season-low six penalties for 47 yards and the competent ground game that was discussed earlier.
The Bucs offense showed its full potential on Sunday and if it continues to play like it did against the Dolphins, then this type of conversion rate will start to become more of the rule and less of the exception.
Per The Athletic's Greg Auman, the Dolphins haven't won in Tampa Bay since 1988, which is currently the longest drought for any team playing the Bucs in Raymond James Stadium.
Miami won't return to Tampa Bay for another eight years. Therefore, the Dolphins' winless streak in Tampa Bay will reach 41 years before they get another crack at beating the Bucs.
Who knows: Tom Brady might still be the quarterback at the ripe age of 52-years-old in 2029.
Since 1950, there have been just six instances in which a quarterback that is 40+ years of age has thrown five touchdowns in a single game. Tom Brady now owns four of those occurrences and three of those four occurrences have come with the Bucs. Two of the three have happened during the first five weeks of 2021.
That's it. That's the stat. Do I really need to say anymore?
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