Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette had a massive game for the Buccaneers on Sunday. He had 17 carries for 100 yards and three rushing touchdowns, including the game-winning 28-yard touchdown run, while adding seven receptions for 31 yards and one touchdown as the Buccaneers defeated the Colts on the road 38-31.
Fournette’s four total touchdowns in the game marked a career-high and matched the most touchdowns from scrimmage by any player in franchise history.
After 11 games, Fournette has 631 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns on the season and eight total, which is the most in a season since his rookie year in 2017 (10).
On Monday, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians discussed Fournette’s big day against the Colts.
“Well, I think our blocking units did a hell of a job. He finds the holes,” Arians said. “He’s a 240-pound back that can run, and usually he’s coming out the back of Mike Evans’ side. You know he (Evans) is being doubled, so you’re going to have soft coverage. Those four and five-yard check-downs turn into 11 [yards] real quick, and then he breaks a tackle – like he did in a two-minute drill – and it is a 13-[yard gain]. So, don’t force it down the field. He’s doing a heck of a job in the passing game. It was a nice catch and a run on the touchdown and a really good throw by Tom [Brady]. He’s just playing at a really high, consistent level. He’s doing a good job as a pass protector also.”
Fournette is a weapon and making a lot of plays for the Buccaneers right now as Tampa Bay, the world champions, are looking to get back to the Super Bowl, and for that to happen, getting home-field advantage would be ideal.
Last season, Tampa Bay won all three playoff games on the road, but that was with a limited amount of fans in the stadium due to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, there will be fans in the stands this season, which means teams will have a true advantage at home.
“There’s no doubt about it. It’s back like the old days. It has only ever happened a couple of times in the history of the league (where teams advance to the Super Bowl while playing every playoff game on the road),” Arians said. “When I was in Pittsburgh, we went to the Super Bowl and won with all the road games. I think the Giants may have done it, but that’s not very easy. It’s a very hard thing with fans. People forget – everybody talks about our road woes – we’re .500 on the road right now, and that’s pretty damn good in the old days. When there are fans in the stands, and you go and win in a place like Philly, and you go win in a place like Indy – those are hard stadiums to win in. Home-field advantage in the playoffs is a huge, huge advantage.”
Currently, the Buccaneers are a game behind the Cardinals for the top spot in the NFC, so with six games left, Tampa Bay has time to make up ground.