The 2019 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a complete roller coaster. From Jameis Winston’s 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions, to Matt Gay’s up and down performance, it seemed like no unit could get hot at the same time.
One of the lone bright spots however, was outside linebacker Shaq Barrett. And while it is true he had an up and down season in some sense, he still finished the season with the most sacks in the NFL, and in Tampa Bay Buccaneer history.
But can Barrett repeat his 2019 campaign, and hit similar numbers in 2020? Lets take a look at past sack leaders dating back to 2010, and see how they fared in the following season.
|Year||Player||Sack Total||Sack Total
|2015||J.J. Watt||17.5||1.5 (Injured)|
|2013||Robert Mathis||19.5||DNP – Injury|
As you can see, most of the sack champions performed well in the following season, with a few exceptions of course. Only four players did not reach double digit sacks in the following season, and two were because of injury reasons.
One Year Wonder
But still, one argument I hear over and over again is that Barrett is a one year wonder. Now that there is an entire year of film out, teams will be able to game plan around him.
I think this is a lazy take, especially given the talent along the the defensive line. Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh are bull rushers over the middle, and Jason Pierre-Paul cannot be ignored or he will create havoc.
This front seven is the best in football, and it will only elevate Barrett even further as teams can’t single him out.
Barrett recorded the most sacks in NFL History for an undrafted free agent, and spent the first five years of his career overshadowed by Von Miller.
Barrett doesn’t do anything at an elite level, but he does everything great. He studies his opponents weaknesses and uses it against them like only the most intelligent football players can do.
I think Barrett will hit double digit sacks once again in 2019, but a repeat of 19.5 is unlikely. I expect Pierre-Paul to come out of the gate swinging with Vita Vea, which could limit the total for any one player.
Barrett is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, and I expect him to have another massive season as Tampa Bay pushes for the playoffs.