INDIANAPOLIS – Two teams in the thick of their respective playoff races will meet at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon on the heels of some impressive victories.
Led by the career day for rookie Jameis Winston last week, the Buccaneers trounced the Eagles by the score of 45-17.
Winston's five-touchdown day might not have been the most striking note from the Bucs moving to 5-5 on the season.
Former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin continued a bounce back season, running for 235 yards, including an 84-yard run.
After 10 games, Martin (946) and Adrian Peterson (1,006) are the only backs in the NFL with more than 800 rushing yards.
Martin has the most 20-plus rushes this season (10) and his 5.0 yards per carry is the highest mark for a starting running back.
The combination of Martin, scat back Charles Sims and, even, Winston is why Tampa Bay has the second most productive rushing attack in the league (142.2 rushing yards per game).
A major reason why the Bucs are 4-2 in their last six games comes from Winston throwing nine touchdowns, compared to just two interceptions during that stretch (he had seven interceptions in his first four games).
Defensively, Lovie Smith's "Tampa Two" system has the unit ranked in the top half of the NFL in several major categories.
The Bucs have allowed just 23 total points the past weeks.
Currently, at 5-5, Tampa Bay is just a game back of the Falcons (who they beat earlier this season the road) in the NFC Wild Card race.
The 2007 season was the last time the Bucs made the playoffs.
*2015 Record: *5-5, 3rd in the NFC South.
*Head Coach: *Lovie Smith, 2nd season as Buccaneers head coach and 11th NFL season as head coach (87-82 overall regular season, 3-3 playoffs).
*2015 NFL Rankings: *Offense – Overall, 9th (321.0); Rushing, 2nd (142.2); Passing, 23rd (228.5). Defense – Overall, 13th (339.1); Rushing, 14th (104.5); Passing, 13th (234.6).
2015 Leading Passer: Jameis Winston (183-of-314 comp., 2,405 yards, 58.3 pct., 15 TDs, 9 INTs).
*2015 Leading Rusher: *Doug Martin (188 carries, 941 yards, 3 TDs).
*2015 Leading Receiver: *Mike Evans (44 receptions, 725 yards, 2 TDs).
2015 Leading Sacker: Gerald McCoy (6.0).
2015 Turnover Breakdown: Plus 3 (9th in the NFL).
2015 NFL Draft Results: Despite all the questioning of Jameis Winston coming out of college, the Buccaneers seemed steadfast in their belief of the Florida State quarterback. After 10 games of his rookie season, the selection of Winston appears to be heading in the right direction. After taking Winston, Tampa Bay chose a pair of offensive linemen in the second round. Fourth-round pick Kwon Alexander (LSU) has contributed at linebacker in his rookie season.
2014 Review:Lovie Smith's first season in Tampa Bay was a struggling 2-14 campaign. The season was one filled with a new head coach, general manager and the entire Glazer family taking ownership of the franchise. As the season progressed, it became quite apparent that the focus of the upcoming draft would be to find a franchise quarterback.
Last time in Playoffs: 2007 season. Lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, 24-14, to the New York Giants.
*Last time in Super Bowl: *2002 season. Won Super Bowl XXXVII, 48-21, over the Oakland Raiders.
*Super Bowl Championships: *One. XXXVII (2002 season).
2015 Pro Bowl Selections:DT-Gerald McCoy.