Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hoping to Ride Defensive Wave into the Playoffs

As Tom Brady tossed four touchdowns, the Bucs' defense held the Lions scoreless.
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers broke or tied a number of team records on offense Saturday in route to a 47-7 win over the Detroit Lions.

Tampa Bay racked up 588 total net yards of offense in the game, setting a new franchise record. Thanks to four passing touchdowns from quarterback Tom Brady, two more from backup Blaine Gabbert, and a four-yard rushing touchdown by Leonard Fournette, the Bucs scored seven total touchdowns, tying for the most in a single game in team history.

Possibly lost in the high-powered offensive performance was Tampa Bay's stout defense, which held the Lions scoreless when on the field.

Detroit's lone touchdown came on a 74-yard punt return by Jamal Agnew midway in the fourth quarter. Besides that one play, the Lions didn't cross the 50-yard line on offense until the 6:49 mark of the fourth quarter.

Detroit finished the game with only 186 yards of total offense while Tampa Bay totaled 588 yards. Checking out some quick math, the Buccaneers out-gained Detroit by 402 yards in the game, which happens to be the largest yardage differential in team history.

“Just being consistent and understanding what we’re supposed to do," linebacker Lavonte David said when asked what the key to the game was on defense. "Understanding what we want to do and understanding how they’re going to try to attack us in ways that we’ve been attacked before. We just try to fix that and then get back to working on us. We put together a great performance today."

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The Bucs ended up beating the Lions by 40 points, the second-largest scoring margin in team history. Head coach Bruce Arians spoke about the importance of winning by such a large margin as the postseason quickly approaches.

"When you play a half like we did last week and then a half like we did this week, you start stacking those together," Arians said. "We’re going to be a pretty tough out. I just like the way we’re playing football right now in all three phases, although Ryan [Succop] did struggle today.”

Defensive lineman William Gholston recorded one of four sacks for the Bucs Saturday and deflected a pass. Linebacker Devin White led the team with 10 tackles and a sack as well. As a team, the Buccaneers have 47.0 sacks on the season – tied for the most in the NFL through Saturday’s 1 p.m. slot.

Gholston explained that type of performance on defense is something Tampa Bay wants to repeat next week against the Atlanta Falcons and in the playoffs.

“That was beautiful," Gholston said about the defense not allowing points in the game. "I think it was a great defensive performance. We have to tally it all. To do that performance to clinch, [we have] to do something good next week, and then take it to the playoffs.”