While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been eliminated from the playoffs after the current five game losing streak they are on, they do have some things to play for this coming week against the Atlanta Falcons. The first is obvious: To halt a five game losing streak and end the season on a high note. Additionally, there are quite a few team records and milestones that the following players can reach:
Josh Freeman needs just 157 yards through the air to break 4,000 yards, the first Buccaneer quarterback in franchise history to do so. With one more touchdown he will also hold the new record for touchdowns in a season. Last week he broke Vinny Testiverde’s record for most passing touchdowns in franchise history. Despite his struggles to stay consistent, Freeman has the chance to end the season on a high note if he can get a win and break those records in the process with a good game.
Doug Martin has cooled off after a great middle of the season but still is within reach of a couple milestones. He already holds a couple of Buccaneers records but with 234 total yards he can hit 2,000 yards on the season. While it seems a little steep, remember there was a stretch of games where he did that in three straight games. He also just needs one more rushing touchdown to hit double digits for the season.
Receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams have the chance to make Buccaneer history if Williams can get 69 yards. That would make them the first wide receiver combo to reach the 1,000 yard mark together. Jackson is just 88 yards away from breaking Mark Carrier’s single season receiving record. Both Jackson and Williams are two touchdowns away from double digits, but it’s possible that one or both can make it.
On the defensive side of the ball the team has already set a franchise high in tackles for loss. One player is close to reaching double digit sacks for the Bucs in Michael Bennett. He needs just one sack to be the first Buccaneer to do that since Simeon Rice in 2005.
While the season has in fact sizzled out for the Buccaneers, hitting these milestones with a win would give the team a nice pick up going into 2013 and something for coach Greg Schiano to build on this off season.