Best Tampa Bay Buccaneer Coverage

Best Tampa Bay Buccaneer Coverage

Hear all the Tampa Bay Buccaneers games on 98ROCK, Tampa Bay Radio Station


Antoine Winfield Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week


The National Football League today announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 18. Winfield Jr. previously won the award in Week 13, becoming the third player in team history to win Player of the Week accolades twice in the same season, joining Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018) and Devin White (2020).

In Week 18, Winfield Jr. capped off his season with five tackles (one for loss), 1.0 sack, one quarterback hit, and a touchdown-saving forced fumble within the 1-yard line to preserve a division-clinching 9-0 shutout win for Tampa Bay. His third-down sack also pushed the Carolina Panthers back nine yards, forcing a missed 52-yard field goal and keeping a full 10 points off the scoreboard between his two game-altering plays. Winfield Jr. was the only NFC player with a sack, forced fumble and five-or-more tackles in a win in Week 18.

Winfield Jr. put forth an unprecedented NFL Defensive Player of the Year-caliber season, amassing 122 tackles (six for loss), 12 passes defensed, eight quarterback hits, 6.0 sacks, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and three interceptions. He finished the year with a share of the league lead in both forced fumbles and fumble recoveries, joining Haason Reddick (2022) as the only players to accomplish that feat since at least 2000.

Among defensive backs this season, Winfield Jr. finished first in sacks (6.0), first in forced fumbles (six), first in fumble recoveries (four), tied for third in takeaways (seven) and third in quarterback hits (eight). Winfield Jr. earned a 91.2 grade this season from Pro Football Focus, putting him as the league’s highest graded safety in 2023. He leads the NFL in most games with a takeaway and a sack this season, with four-such performances.

Winfield Jr. is the lone player since data became available in 1999 with 100+ tackles, three-or-more interceptions, three-or-more forced fumbles, three-or-more fumble recoveries and 3.0+ sacks. He is also the lone defensive back since 2000 with 6.0+ sacks and six-or-more forced fumbles in a season, and the lone defensive back with seven-or-more takeaways and 5.0+ sacks. He is also just the fourth defensive back since 1982 with six-or-more games with a sack in a single season.

Since entering the league in 2020, Winfield Jr. leads all defensive backs in sacks (15.0), quarterback hits (21), forced fumbles (11) and fumble recoveries (eight). He also ranks tied for seventh in takeaways (15). Among all players, Winfield Jr. leads the NFL since 2020 with 19 combined forced fumbles plus fumble recoveries.


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content