The Bucs, who will go into Sunday’s game leading the NFL with 21 interceptions and 29 total takeaways, have had a lot of success forcing turnovers this season. They’ve also had a lot of success avoiding turnovers.
Only Dallas, Indianapolis, Kansas City (13 each) and New Orleans (14) have given the ball away less than the Bucs, who have given it up 16 times and have a plus-13 turnover differential that is currently the sixth-best in team history.
Did you know?
The Bucs defense boasts two of the top three stuff leaders in the NFL this season. A stuff is when a runner is stopped for no gain or thrown for a loss and LB Lavonte David leads the league in that category with 11 while DE Adrian Clayborn ranks third behind Houston’s J.J. Watt (10.5) with 9.5.
By the numbers
The Bucs defense has slipped from first to ninth against the run this year. However, since the beginning of the 2012 season Tampa Bay still ranks first in the NFL in rush defense, allowing 92 yards per game and 3.8 yards per rush.
Quote of the day
“(I’m) just going out and playing the game I love. I dreamed of being in this position my whole life and I’m just taking advantage of the opportunity.” — David on how well he’s played this season
Bucs — LG Carl Nicks (foot) did not participate. DE Da’Quan Bowers (knee), WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring) and C Jeremy Zuttah (shoulder) were limited. RG Davin Joseph (knee/shoulder), LB Lavonte David (back), DE William Gholston (concussion), DT Gary Gibson (calf) and NT Akeem Spence (wrist) were full go.
49ers — WR Mario Manningham (knee), DT Ray McDonald (ankle), TE Vance McDonald (ankle), LB Dan Skuta (foot) and DT Justin Smith (shoulder) were limited. WR Jon Baldwin (shoulder), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), G Adam Snyder (not injury related) and OT Joe Staley (knee) were full participants.
Sunday: San Francisco, 1 p.m.
Dec. 22: at St. Louis, 1 p.m.
Dec. 29: at New Orleans, 1 p.m.