The Bucs were breaking records left and right as they also set their own single game record with 588 yards of offense in a 47-7 win over the Lions. The defense did their part as well, shutting out the offense with four sacks and two turnovers. It was a perfect way to clinch a playoff spot as Tampa Bay will be going to the postseason for the first time since 2007.
Here were the most impressive players from the game.
QB Tom Brady
Brady played just one half of football, and that’s all he needed to put on an absolute passing clinic. Not only did he go 22-of-27 for 348 yards and four touchdowns in two quarters, Brady also wrote his name into the Bucs’ history books as he became the single-season franchise leader with his 34th touchdown, which is now extended to 36. Brady looked unstoppable against a weakened Lions’ secondary as he picked them apart in the first half. He spread the ball around as well, with his four touchdown passes all going to a different receiver.
WR Mike Evans
Speaking of breaking records, Evans broke a franchise record that he already held when his second touchdown of the game was his 13th of the season. Evans can have games where he puts up unreal, video-game type numbers when he really catches fire, and this was one of them. He was without question the best offensive player on the field for the Bucs. Evans also came into this game needing 221 yards over the next two games to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the eight straight season and he put a big dent into that to set him up well for the final game of the season. Evans led the team in receiving, finishing with a stat line of 10 receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
WR Chris Godwin
As talented as the Bucs’ offense can be, Godwin continues to be the most consistent of the entire unit. Godwin was making important third down receptions and even had the longest reception of the game with a 47-yarder. His highlight moment came on his touchdown when reception when Godwin made a great one-handed catch for the score. Considering he’s been playing through a broken finger, it made it that much better. He ended the game second on the team with five receptions 84 yards along with a touchdown.
TE Rob Gronkowski
He may not always get the ball, but when he does, it’s usually in the end zone. Gronkowksi made a really good 33-yard catch down the sideline for the Bucs’ first score of the game with a defender on him. He then followed it up by catching Blaine Gabbert’s first pass of the game as he was open for his second touchdown. Gronkowksi has been really important for the Bucs as he’s second on the team with 7 touchdown receptions. He made two catches today for 58 yards and two scores.
LB Devin White
White continues to be a prolific pass rusher for the Bucs when they send him to chase after the quarterback. He had another sack today, which was his fourth in two games, and overall was constantly in the face of Lions’ quarterbacks all day. White is now second on the Bucs with nine sacks, and has a chance to surpass Jason Pierre-Paul next week for the team lead. He did have the team lead today in tackles, though, recording 10 with two tackles for loss and a sack.
LB Lavonte David
If the Lions even had a shred of a thought about making a comeback in the second half, David erased that quickly by forcing a fumble on D’Andre Swift on the first play of the second half, leading to a touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to Rob Gronkowski on a play later It’s been a long time coming for David, who is making the postseason for the first time in his nine-year career. He was a big part of the Bucs’ defense that shutout the Lions as he made five tackles and the forced fumble as well.
Bucs’ Pass Rush
The Bucs’ pass rush got back on track this week to the tune of four sacks on the Lions. They were getting great help from the defensive line as three of their four sacks came from Will Gholston, Anthony Nelson and Jeremiah Ledbetter to go with White’s sacks. It was the first career sacks for Nelson and Ledbetter, and even when the Bucs weren’t getting to the quarterback, they were creating pressure and forcing errant throws out there. It was nice bounce back performance in a great defensive effort.