Antoine Winfield Set to Become Bucs’ First Non-LB to Lead Team in Tackles Since 1992

Published 12/18/2023, 1:37 PM EST

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By defeating the Packers, the Buccaneers have secured their playoff spot with three games to play. And that has been a collective effort from the team. However, one name stands out amid their 3-game win streak: Antoine Winfield. This is for a good reason.

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The safety is nearing a feat that no other Bucs player has been able to reach since 1992. While that sounds impressive, there’s another side to it. This is definitely not something the team would want to see if they want to have a shot at the playoffs.

Antoine Winfield first non-LB to lead the Bucs in tackles in 1992

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1992 was the last season when another safety, or any other Bucs player led the team in tackles, ahead of their linebackers. It was Marty Carter with 118 tackles to lead the line. A few linebackers have had some good stints since, but nobody has been actually able to hang on till the end of the regular season.

However, this season might be the time it happens. Winfield has 107 tackles with 3 games to play in hand, two more than linebacker Lavonte David. It would be historic if the safety could maintain his lead for three more weeks, equalling the 31-year-old record.

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However, the same statistic also brings up a concerning side of the team. This could lead to adverse effects in the postseason against stronger teams.

The concerning side of Antoine Winfield’s numbers

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While Winfield’s run is something to celebrate, it just proves the ineffectiveness of the Buccaneers’ defensive line. A lack of QB pressure is the biggest concern, which has allowed more opposition players to reach the safety, the last piece of defense for the team.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield recorded a season-highest 158.3 passer rating with 381 yards and 4 touchdowns to humble the Packers. But the QB hasn’t done his job nearly as effectively in blocking the opposition attacks, letting more rushers lose, and risking more touchdowns.

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While the team will hope Winfield recreates the feat, they better step up their defensive game to block the deadlier pass-rushers in the postseason from sliding through and ending their run for the season.

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Written by:

Sagnik Ghosh

375Articles

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My story of becoming an NFL writer is as interesting as my story of becoming an MMA practitioner. Coming from such a sport where athletes look to knock the brain cells off each other for a living, I liked the aggression that American Football had to offer. Before I even realized it, I religiously started following American football, picking up the most challenging in-depth write-ups.
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Edited by:

Shubhankar Adhikari

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