Gerald McCoy is heading into his seventh NFL season.


gets to Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan. He’s registered five sacks on the Atlanta signal caller, the most he has against any one team. The Bucs’ pass rush has struggled this season, but seemed to get going the past two games. McCoy had a significant outing in Miami, sacking quarterback Matt Moore once and recording seven combined tackles on the day. This followed a two-sack outing against the New York Jets at home in Week 10. Since 2013, McCoy has the most sacks of any defensive tackle in the league with 38.5. He’ll look to get after a familiar quarterback this weekend and add to that total.

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That may not be the only set of game results that would lead to a Buccaneer playoff berth, but any alternatives are sure to be just as complicated, if not more so. This one requires 18 specific outcomes, only four over which the Bucs have any control. Needless to say, it starts with those four, a final-quarter sweep of Detroit, Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans to end the Bucs’ season.

The defensive tackle has a special relationship with Saints’ QB Drew Brees, training with him for the past eight consecutive years. McCoy widely regards Brees with the utmost respect, while also acknowledging that both the competitors absolutely hate to lose to one other. McCoy says Brees will even give him a wink in a game should Brees make a play on him. The prolific pass rusher will be on his ‘A’ game trying to get to number nine this week, so look for that matchup to be especially pronounced as the Bucs try to increase their sack numbers.

wo weeks ago in Miami, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy accounted for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ only sack on defense in a 30-20, last-minute win. It was his fifth sack of the season, giving him at least five QB takedowns in each of the last six seasons. The first five of those campaigns ended in a Pro Bowl invitation for McCoy. The sixth should, as well, because even though his sack total does not put him among the league leaders he is still invading the backfield as frequently as almost any defender in the NFL wholesale Buccaneers jesreys.

Two games back with six to play. That’s not a great place for a team to be in, but neither is it one devoid of hope. What’s helping the Buccaneers at this moment is how they got to 4-6. A painful five-game losing streak is in the past; right now, Tampa Bay is enjoying consecutive victories for the first time in 2017.

Nike Buccaneers #93 Gerald McCoy Navy Youth Stitched NFL Limited NFC 2017 Pro Bowl Jersey

Nike Buccaneers #93 Gerald McCoy Navy Youth Stitched NFL Limited NFC 2017 Pro Bowl Jersey

As is clear from his multi-year lease on a Pro Bowl residence, McCoy has been one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the NFL for much of the current decade. Over the last five years, for example, he leads all NFL players at that position in sacks.

However, a strip-sack, where the ball is knocked out of the quarterback’s hand but the quarterback does not go to the ground, is not a tackle for loss, nor is a sack for zero yards, such as the one McCoy had in Miami. To find out how often a defender is getting TFLs on running plays, we turn to a category called “stuffs.” Not surprisingly, even with such active linebackers as Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander on the field, McCoy leads the team this year with 5.5 stuffs. McCoy is one of only nine defenders in the entire NFL this season who have at least five sacks and at least five run-stuffs. Once again, you’ll notice the position disparity.

With the score 17-13 to start the fourth quarter, the Bucs’ defense forced a three-and-out, aided by a three-yard tackle for loss by defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on Packers’ running back Jamaal Williams.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, while down on sack production this season, is quietly having a great year. The five-time Pro Bowler leads all defensive tackles in number of quarterback hits in 2017. Head Coach Dirk Koetter went so far as to say that he is ‘as disruptive as he’s ever been’ in his press conference on Thursday. Koetter cited the fact that McCoy is often double-teamed, taking on two blockers himself, theoretically creating favorable matchups for his fellow defensive linemen. The Green Bay offensive line has allowed the second-most sacks on the quarterback this season with 40, so it will be a great opportunity for McCoy to get pressure on the Packers’ inexperienced quarterback.

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