NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 12 Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38, Indianapolis Colts 31

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) celebrates his fourth touchdown vs Indianapolis Colts with teammates in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts got a taste of their own medicine and had no answer for Leonard Fournette in a Week 12 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Fournette went for 131 scrimmage yards and a career-high four touchdowns, including the go-ahead 28-yard score with under 30 seconds remaining. The Buccaneers improve to 8-3, while the Colts’ winning streak ends and they drop to .500 on the season.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterback

Tom Brady played far from perfect, but he didn’t need to be with the performance from Fournette. Brady completed 74% of his passes for 227 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He prioritized getting the ball out quickly, with 62% of his passes short of the sticks and 59% of his yards coming after the catch.

Brady failed to make a big-time throw for the first time since Week 6 while throwing his fifth turnover-worthy play in the last four weeks.

Tom Brady by position targeted
Comp. % YPA TD INT Passer rating
Targeting HB 87.5% 3.9 1 0 122.4
Targeting TE 76.9% 11.2 0 0 113.0
Targeting WR 66.7% 4.2 0 1 40.3
Running backs

Leonard Fournette was the saving grace for the Bucs offense and ultimately led his team to victory. Fournette finished with 17 carries for 100 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, with eight attempts going for a first down. All of his attempts gained positive yardage and his final touchdown was his third attempt to gain over 10 yards. Fournette also caught all seven catchable passes for 31 yards and two first downs.

Ronald Jones has been somewhat of a forgotten man in the offense but played well in relief, rushing for 37 yards and a touchdown.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Rob Gronkowski still proves to be a devastating weapon in the passing attack, catching seven of his 10 targets for a game-high 123 yards. Four of his receptions went for over 15 yards with six resulting in a first down. His 91.6 receiving grade will be his best outing of the season.

Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were nearly nonexistent in this matchup with both receivers catching no more than four passes for less than 25 yards each.

Offensive Linemen

The Buccaneers desperately missed Ali Marpet, as his replacement Nick Leverett conceded six of the unit’s eight pressures in just 28 pass-blocking snaps. It was his first regular-season appearance, and he will receive a sub-30.0 pass-blocking grade upon first review.

Two starters — Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith — didn’t allow a pressure in the game, and both earned 80.0-plus pass-blocking grades.

Player Pass-blocking snaps Sacks allowed Pressures allowed Pressure rate
Alex Cappa 36 0 1 2.8%
Tristan Wirfs 36 0 0 0.0%
Donovan Smith 36 0 0 0.0%
Ryan Jensen 36 0 1 2.8%
Nick Leverett 28 1 6 21.4%
Defensive Linemen

Shaquil Barrett was a force to be reckoned with, earning an elite pass-rush grade after creating a team-high seven pressures and two sacks — one of which was a strip sack turnover that later resulted in points for the Bucs. Ndamukong Suh also got in on the action, generating three pressures and one sack on 29 pass-rush snaps. As a unit, the defensive line created pressure on 28.6% of the Colts dropbacks.

Player Pass-rush snaps Sacks Pressures Win-rate
Shaquil Barrett 34 2 7 22.9%
Ndamukong Suh 29 1 3 9.7%
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka 25 0 2 7.7%
Jason Pierre-Paul 24 0 2 8.0%
Vita Vea 19 0 1 5.3%
Steve McLendon 13 0 2 6.7%
Linebackers

Lavonte David struggled to guard the Colts tight ends, conceding six receptions for 54 yards and two first downs. Kevin Minter entered the game in relief of the injured Devin White and allowed 26 yards on three receptions. Both linebackers combined for four defensive stops and two missed tackles.

Secondary

Mike Edwards didn’t allow a reception on either of his targets while also forcing a fumble to earn an elite coverage grade. Antoine Winfield Jr. allowed 23 yards on two targets but came up with an acrobatic interception over Michael Pittman to prevent a touchdown.

On the other hand, both Sean Murphy-Bunting and Pierre Desir had up-and-down performances. Both were responsible for allowing a touchdown, but Murphy-Bunting forced two incompletions while Desir came up with the game-sealing interception.

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Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback

Carson Wentz shrugged off a slow start to finish with 306 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 49 dropbacks. All three of his touchdown passes came in the second quarter, but the Colts quarterback severely struggled down the stretch. Wentz threw both of his interceptions in the second half and averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt after halftime compared to his 9.3 average in the second quarter.

Carson Wentz by quarter
Comp. % YPA TD:INT Passer rating
Quarters 1, 3, 4 53.8% 5.0 0:2 35.7
Second quarter 72.2% 9.8 3:0 142.6
Running Backs

For whatever reason, the Colts went away from the run game for the first three quarters, but when they needed him most, Jonathan Taylor delivered. Nearly 70% of Taylor's rushing yards came in the fourth quarter, and he finished with 83 yards and a score on 16 carries. He averaged 3.8 yards after contact per carry while tallying four explosive carries and six first-down runs. Taylor also caught four passes for 14 yards while breaking two tackles in the process.

Jonathan Taylor by quarter
First three quarters Fourth quarter
8 Attempts 8
25 Yards 58
1 Explosive Run 3
25% 1DTD% 50%
25% Stuff rate 0%
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Nine different route runners caught a pass for the Colts, led by Jack Doyle with six receptions for 81 yards and a score. Five of his six receptions resulted in a first down and he finished with 3.52 yards per route run. Michael Pittman Jr. ran the most routes on the team (46) and caught four of his 10 targets for 53 yards and three first downs.

T.Y. Hilton found the end zone for the first time this season, while Ashton Dulin ran just three routes and scored on a 62-yard post route for his first career touchdown.

Offensive Line

The Colts struggled to protect Wentz in key moments, as the offensive line conceded 15 pressures. Four starters — Braden Smith, Ryan Kelly, Eric Fisher, and Mark Glowinski — gave up at least three pressures, with Smith and Fisher combining to allow all three sacks in the game.

Quenton Nelson didn’t allow a pressure on 49 pass-blocking snaps and earned an 89.5 pass-blocking grade upon first review.

Defensive Line

The Colts pass rush couldn’t get to Brady consistently and combined for just five pressures in the game. Kwity Paye created three of the five pressures and took Brady down for his third consecutive game with a sack. DeForest Buckner played the most pass-rush snaps (30) and sacked Brady on his only pressure in the game.

Linebackers

Darius Leonard might be the best linebacker in the NFL at forcing fumbles. His peanut-punch on Godwin was the 14th forced fumble of his career and fifth so far this season. He finished the game with 16 tackles, one defensive stop and an 80.8 defensive grade upon first review.

Bobby Okereke forced three defensive stops in the game but also allowed six receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown in coverage.

Secondary

The Colts secondary wasn’t tested often but held up well when it was. Xavier Rhodes allowed four receptions for 19 yards but none went for a first down. Isaiah Rodgers played 17 coverage snaps and intercepted Brady on one of his two targets. As a unit, the Colts secondary conceded just 13 receptions for 96 yards and zero touchdowns.

Player Targets Yards allowed Interceptions + Forced incompletions Passer rating allowed
Kenny Moore II 6 28 0 86.1
George Odum 3 35 0 106.3
Rock Ya-Sin 3 8 1 42.4
Xavier Rhodes 6 19 1 70.8
Isaiah Rodgers 2 6 2 16.7
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