NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 14 Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 33, Buffalo Bills 27

Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass in the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held off the late-charging Buffalo Bills 33-27 in Week 14 to secure their 10th win of the season and remain within reach of the NFC’s coveted No. 1 seed.

Tampa Bay needed overtime to take down the Bills after Buffalo erased a 21 point second-half deficit, ultimately securing the victory on a 58-yard catch and run by Breshad Perriman in overtime.

Tampa Bay improved to 10-3 on the season as they work to capture their first NFC South crown since 2007. Buffalo fell to 7-6 despite an otherworldly performance from Josh Allen and will look to stop their two-game slide with a matchup against the Carolina Panthers next week.


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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterback 

Tom Brady was once again magnificent as he helped stave off Buffalo’s historic comeback attempt. The future Hall of Famer completed 31 of his 46 attempts for 363 yards and two touchdowns, decimating the Bills defense in the shorter and intermediate areas of the field.

Brady was meticulous in his approach, averaging just 7.8 yards of depth per target, yet efficient as he finished with an adjusted completion percentage of 72.7%. Last season’s MVP torched the blitz on the rare opportunities he saw it, as he was blitzed on 14 dropbacks but completed 7 of his 13 attempts for 124 yards including the game-winning score to Perriman.

Brady also thrived in his rare attempts down the field, as each of his completions beyond 30 yards was graded as a big-time throw, including his touchdown strike to Mike Evans midway through the second quarter.

Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds. Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 8/8 44 100% 0
Short (1-9) 18/23 221 82.6% 1
Medium (10-19) 3/7 65 42.9% 0
Long (20+) 2/6 33 33.3% 1
Running Backs

Leonard Fournette continued his excellent season with another strong showing, racking up 132 total yards on 23 touches. Fournette led all Tampa Bay ball-carriers with two forced missed tackles, one of which came on his 47-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter.    

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends 

Chris Godwin reeled in 10 his team-high 15 targets for 105 yards and four first downs, leading all Buccaneers pass-catchers with three explosive plays. Godwin was especially impressive with the ball in his hands, racking up a game-high 63 yards after the catch.

Rob Gronkowski submitted another strong performance as he works his way back to full strength, catching five of nine targets for 62 yards and two first downs. Gronkowski was dynamic as a downfield threat, as his average depth of target (11.9) was second-highest on the team behind only Evans.

Offensive Line

Tampa Bay’s offensive line excelled in pass protection with only two sacks surrendered while powering a Buccaneers rushing attack that averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Starting center Ryan Jensen may have been the unit’s most impressive member, finishing as one of two starters who failed to allow a single pressure on the day.

Defensive Line

Edge defender Shaquil Barrett was a force to be reckoned with from the opening snap, leading all pass rushers with seven pressures and two sacks. He paced a defensive line that wreaked havoc, as the unit accounted for 23 pressures and 16 quarterback hurries in the win. The group was less impressive against the run, as Bills rushers averaged a whopping 2.8 yards before contact.

Player Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks 
Shaquil Barrett 51 7 2
Jason Pierre-Paul 42 5 0
Ndamukong Suh 41 2 0
Vita Vea 29 4 0
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka 23 2 0
Linebackers

Lavonte David and Devin White racked up 10 and 9 tackles, respectively, to lead all Tampa Bay defensive players, finishing with a combined average depth of tackle of 13.2 yards. The duo was less stout in coverage, conceding seven receptions on 10 targets for 54 yards and a touchdown.

Secondary

The Buccaneers secondary held up admirably against the Bills’ high-volume passing attack, conceding 26 receptions on 36 targets for 230 yards and one touchdown. Cornerback Carlton Davis drew a team-high eight targets, allowing four receptions for 33 yards while registering the team’s lone forced incompletion and a passer rating allowed of 100.5.

Player Coverage snaps  Receptions allowed/Targets Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
Sean Murphy-Bunting 62 5/6 24 83.3
Carlton Davis 56 4/8 33 100.5
Antoine Winfield Jr. 54 4/6 44 88.2
Ross Cockrell 44 7/8 55 95.3
Andrew Adams 42 3/3 25 101.4

Buffalo Bills

Quarterback 

Allen was marvelous, throwing for 308 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 36-of-54 passing along with 109 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Allen’s performance as a rusher was one of the most impressive by any quarterback this season, as his 109 yards was the second highest single-week total of any quarterback so far this year and his five forced missed tackles were the third highest single-week total.

Allen’s excellence running the ball helped alleviate some of the struggles his offensive line was facing. The constant pressure Allen was under helps explain his pedestrian statistics, as a season-low 31.5% of Allen’s attempts traveled past the first-down marker. Allen also averaged his second-lowest average depth of target so far this season (6.3), as he was pressured an astronomical 34 times. In total Allen was just a few plays away from completing an upset for the ages but now must look to secure a spot in the postseason as his team’s playoff chances shockingly hang in the balance.    

Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds. Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 10/10 55 100% 0
Short (1-9) 19/26 133 73.1% 1
Medium (10-19) 5/8 71 62.5% 1
Long (20+) 2/5 49 40% 0
Running Backs

Devin Singletary shone in his limited role Sunday, turning 10 touches into 89 total yards. Singletary found the majority of his success as a pass-catcher, finishing with an average of 6.2 yards per reception despite averaging just 0.3 yards of depth per target.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Stefon Diggs led all Buffalo pass-catchers with 74 receiving yards, catching seven of his team-high 13 targets. Diggs remained Allen’s most trusted target in the game’s highest intensity moments, as his four first downs and one contested catch led all Bills pass-catchers. 

Dawson Knox continued his breakout season with another impressive performance, reeling in seven of his nine targets for 60 yards and a touchdown. Knox once again was a force in the red zone as his touchdown midway through the fourth quarter was his eighth on the year, most of any tight end in the NFL so far this season.

Offensive Line

Buffalo’s offensive line struggled mightily in pass protection, allowing 34 pressures and three sacks. The unit was much more impressive against the run, facilitating a Bills rushing attack that averaged an incredible 9.1 yards per carry.

Defensive Line

The Bills defensive line failed to make a significant impact, registering just eight unit-wide pressures and one sack. Edge rusher Jerry Hughes was the unit’s most impactful pass rusher, registering a unit-best two pressures.

Player Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks 
Ed Oliver  33 1 0
Mario Addison 31 1 0
Harrison Phillips 28 2 0
Jerry Hughes 24 2 0
A.J. Epenesa 21 1 0
Linebackers

Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano combined for 21 tackles, as the duo was instrumental in limiting Tampa Bay’s success on the ground. The pair was less stout in coverage, allowing a combined 11 receptions for 114 yards and four first downs.

Secondary

 Buffalo’s secondary performed competently in their first true test without All-Pro cornerback Tre'Davious White, surrendering 249 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 26 unit-wide receptions. Slot cornerback Taron Johnson drew a team-high 10 targets, surrendering eight receptions for 144 yards to finish with a passer rating allowed of 152.1.

Player Coverage snaps  Receptions allowed/Targets Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
Levi Wallace 50 1/1 5 87.5
Micah Hyde 50 4/5 48 146.3
Taron Johnson 49 8/10 144 152.1
Dane Jackson 49 3/7 20 50.3
Jordan Poyer 49 4/7 32 68.8
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