The Buccaneers (6-6) have clearly been one of the more surprising teams of the 2015 regular season. Expectations were they would be a better team than their 2014 counterparts that posted an abysmal 2-14 record. But they have exceeded those expectations to currently rank second in the NFC South and position themselves squarely in the race for an NFC wildcard berth.
BY THE NUMBERS:
A look at the Buccaneers’ BES numbers over the last six weeks reveals an inconsistent offense and a defense steadily growing in strength. Though they are 4-2 over that span, their most problematic area offensively has been pass protection, evidenced by unimpressive fluctuations between scores of 2.25 and 1.91.
|PLAYER: Jameis Winston
IMPACT: Point Yield
Analysis: Winston hasn’t been without blemish in his rookie season. However, he has combined leadership, poise and clutch playmaking ability to guide the Buccaneers to a 6-6 record and viable playoff aspirations.
|PLAYER: Doug Martin
IMPACT: Point Yield, Ball Control
Analysis: Martin’s 1,133 yards rushing rank second in the league as he constructs his strongest statistical season since his 2012 rookie campaign.
|PLAYER: Kwon Alexander
IMPACT: Point Suppression, Pass Pressure, Takeaways
Analysis: Alexander has been nothing short of stellar as a rookie with 93 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and nine passes defensed.
Here’s a glance at the four games remaining on Buccaneers schedule and how they compare to those teams based on the data from our Week 13 Rankings. They draw the Saints and Bears at home while traveling to face the Rams and Panthers. Clearly they must win all four games for a shot at a wildcard berth.