Shaq Barrett on league’s best sack pace in 35 years
Eduardo Encina, Tampa Bay Times, published 23 September 2019

What kind of sequel did Bucs outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett offer on Sunday coming off his three-sack game in Week 2? One better, and a record-setting pace of taking down the quarterback.

Barrett recorded a new career-high four sacks on Sunday afternoon, giving him eight through the first three games of the season. That matches the most by any player through the first three games of the season since the Jets’ Mark Gastineau recorded eight through the first three games of the 1984 season. The Bucs’ previous record for sacks through three games belonged to Warren Sapp at 5½.

“Just everything working perfectly,” Barrett said of his day. “The play calls, the guys in the back and the guys on the inside push, the push from the other edge with (outside linebacker) Carl (Nassib). So everything is working and I’m beating my guy one on one at the right time and making the play.”

Barrett’s day tied the Bucs franchise record for most in a game. Marcus Jones (2000) and Simeon Rice (2003) also recorded four-sack games. Sacks first became an official stat in 1982. “He’s just wearing out left tackles,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. “It’s nice to be able to have confidence in that four-man rus to be able to play coverage and not have to blitz.”

Three of Barrett’s sacks came over a 10 defensive-play stretch at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter as the Bucs tried to put the game away after the Giants came within three points.

The Giants opened a drive at their own 19 when Barrett’s sack set them back 11 yards, and two plays later another sack (this time an eight-yard loss) but the Giants into a fourth-and-23 at their own 6.

After the Bucs turned the ball over on Jameis Winston’s first interception, Barrett sacked Jones again from behind forcing a fumble and causing a turnover when Rakeem Nunez-Roches recovered at the Giants 32. The Bucs converted it into a field goal to take a 31-25 lead.