INDIANAPOLIS- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not been playing so well in their away games in the National Football League and heading into Sunday’s tilt with the red-hot Indianapolis Colts, it was looking like they may be in for another rough outing.
With quarterback Tom Brady and the passing game bogged down at times, that opened up a big day for the Buccaneers’ backfield to shine at Lucas Oil Field. Fournette, reminiscent of his days as a Jacksonville Jaguar, went off to rush for 100 yards on 17 carries, scoring four touchdowns to lead Tampa Bay to a thrilling 38-31 victory, improving their overall win-ratio to 8-3.
Also having himself a good day out on the field was tight end Rob Gronkowski, who led all the Buccaneers’ receivers with seven catches for 123 yards on 10 targets. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were held in check with seven catches for 40 yards between the two. Fournette caught seven passes for 31 yards and was a very reliable option for Brady out of the backfield.
The defense was having themselves an up and down day, as though they were giving up a bunch of yards, they took advantage of opportunities to take away the football. The Buccaneers were able to nab four turnovers from the Colts, which included three mistakes by Indianapolis quarterback Carson Wentz, who went 27 of 44 for 306 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions, and a fumble lost.
Brady (25-of-34, 226 yards) didn’t need to have a big day passing, yet the 44-year old was efficient in running the offense. Ronald Jones II got to see some field time next to Brady and gave crucial breaks to Fournette, rushing for 37 yards on seven touches. With the Buccaneers starting to hit on all cylinders, Tampa Bay looks to continue the streak heading into another away game.
Tampa Bay (8-3) has a stretch the next couple of weeks in which they will play an ever-improving Atlanta Falcons (5-6) team on the road and then the Buccaneers will return back home to play a good Buffalo Bills club. The Buccaneers have been one of the NFL’s top teams when playing at home, with a perfect record of 5-0, but on the road, they are currently 3-3.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.