Devin White gives listless Bucs defense life with huge second half
Sunday afternoon's resuscitation of the Bucs began, in part, with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles essentially defibrillating the young heart of his unit. "Coach Bowles ... kept saying, 'Lead us, lead us. Keep leading us,'" second-year inside linebacker Devin White said. "And he came to me and said, 'You're about to take over the game.' I said, 'I know, I feel it. It's going to be my night, I'm going finish it out for us.'"

If the Bucs (9-5) can somehow learn to commence a game the way they closed Sunday's 31-27 triumph in Atlanta, a playoff run seems far more plausible. During that final stretch at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, few closed with more fury than White.

Three of his team-high 12 tackles came via sacks in the final nine minutes. Perhaps the most critical: a third-and-6 blitz of Matt Ryan that forced the Falcons to settle for a field goal, one play after rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. lunged to deflect a Ryan pass in the end zone for Calvin Ridley. The Bucs responded with Tom Brady's winning 46-yard scoring strike to Antonio Brown.

Two other White sacks would follow, both deep in Falcons territory, to help seal a comeback from a 17-point halftime deficit. White now has eight sacks on the season and 10.5 for his career. "He's so quick," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. "When he sees the gap, man, he can shoot it, and (he) got (Ryan) on the ground (three) times. They were big, big sacks."

Joey Knight, Tampa Bay Times, published 21 December 2020