The Buccaneers’ 21-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks was notable for many things. Becoming the first NFL team to win in Germany will see Tampa Bay enter the International Series history books, whilst, in terms of this season, this display represented what was easily one of the team’s most complete performances.
Perhaps most remarkable of all was the play of linebacker Devin White. That the 24-year-old played well was of course no surprise, but to play so well on the back of what must surely have been a heart-wrenching few days, was a credit to himself and all connected with him.
With the focus of many sports fans now turning towards the best offers available at the world cup betting sites, events in Munich served as a fine reminder as to just how much raw emotion the NFL can produce.
Significant Victory Preceded by Tragic Loss
It was a mere two hours before he was due to board the plane for Germany that Devin received the phone call to inform him that his father Carlos Thomas had passed away at the age of just 45. Given the circumstances, surely no one would have questioned White had he needed to take some time. A fact not lost on coach Todd Bowles, who stated, “For him to even get on the plane, it happened right before we were leaving, and he still got on the plane to play the ballgame….. Lose your dad right before getting ready to go to Germany and to come out and still play says a lot about the guy.”
Channeling Grief in a Stellar Display
Not only did White suit up and play, but he put in a dominant defensive performance, being one of the key reasons that the Buccaneers defense were able to smother one of the NFC’s most potent offenses.
With two sacks, White registered the sixth multi-sack game of his career, taking his total since the start of 2019 to 20 – an NFL benchmark for inside linebackers over this period.
The impressive numbers didn’t end with hits on Geno Smith. White also recorded a team-high nine tackles, taking his seasonal total to 76 – again a Bucs best for the current season. Throw in a forced fumble, and it is clear that on the day Devin was a puzzle that the Seahawks just couldn’t solve.
White’s numbers contribute to what is becoming an excellent season for the Buccaneers overall in terms of getting after the quarterback. With a total of 32 sacks on the season, the side are well on course to challenge the franchise record of 55 set in 2000.
On the Road to Greatness
Big things were expected of Louisiana native White when taken as the fifth overall pick in the 2019 draft, and it’s fair to say he is delivering. Following Sunday’s display, White is now only the second player since the turn of the century to register both 400+ tackles and 20+ sacks in his first four seasons in the league. The other to have hit those numbers? A certain Brian Urlacher who has of course now been inaugurated into the NFL Hall of Fame.
A fine overall record for White, with that effort in Germany surely close to a career-best given the circumstances. The final word is perhaps best left to White himself who tweeted in the aftermath simply, “Life will never be the same, I love you daddy.”
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